I’m finally back on the road and have a decent amount of time to do some writing. As anyone who reads this blog would already know, I toured across Canada with Ra Ra Riot over a couple of weeks between September and October. I got the gig through a referral, and was going into this tour only as a tour manager, and wasn’t doing any sound.
It’s always really nerve-wracking when you’re about to start a tour with a band you’ve never worked with before. It’s often a bit awkward until you get to know each other, and you never know what people’s habits/meal preferences/mannerisms are.
I’ve toured with everyone from folk singers to rappers, and thankfully haven’t really had any issues with anyone I’ve worked with, and this tour was no exception. I think the most important thing about tour managing is that you simply let them do their thing and try to make life easier on them wherever possible. My patience sometimes does wear thin with some people, which is inevitable when you’re with people 24/7, but by-in-large most musicians are out there to work, and keep it professional.
(Thankfully I haven’t worked for the Brian Jonestown Massacre)
It was a lot of fun touring with a new band that wasn’t all that familiar with Canada. I took them on a bit of a scenic drive through the Rockies on a day off that ended with a nice dinner in Banff and a swim in the Banff Hot Springs, went to the West Edmonton Mall, and went curling in Winnipeg. We toured in a Dodge Sprinter, which was amazing. They’re super nice to drive and you can fit a pile of gear into them – it was nice not needing a trailer. It had an XBOX which kept the guys entertained, and they’re very comfortable to sit in, and you can actually stand up which is a nice way to stretch once in a while. They also have a turbo diesel engine which makes them way more fuel efficient than those gasoline 12/15 passenger vans.
The tour was a very quick one but was a great time, and I hope to work with them again.