That was fun.
Well, that 15 hour drive straight home from Richmond, VA was a bit of a slog, especially with that thunderstorm outside pittsburgh, but…still. Overall. A good time.
I’ve said it elsewhere, and I’ll say it again I’m sure: I am incredibly grateful to be doing this. I get to travel around, with my friends, making music with my friends, for my friends. Artists I looked up to with awe 20 years ago are now friends and peers. I’ve met people from all over the country – and the world – who connect with what we’re trying to do. That is rare, and humbling, and I’ll never get tired of it.
I won’t bore you with the details of how much money we made/lost. We did okay, all things considered. We lost money, but that was partially by choice – JIll and I decided early on that since we have day jobs and are hurtling with abandon through middle age, we’d spring for decent lodging instead of the time-honored method of sleeping on various floors and couches. And we ended up in some pretty danged nice places.
It also wasn’t a super-long tour. When we toured Suspending Belief it was a full-on 9 days/9 shows. We were younger then, and slightly more resilient, and even that was pushing the limits of what I could handle (I slept for something like 18 straight hours when I got home). This time was only four (originally five before DC fell through) but it did sort of hit the sweet spot of “what we can reasonably afford to do” and “what’s a decent amount of time to make all the travel worth it.”
We sold some merch, which always helps. Not a ton, because…well, many people who came to our gig already owned everything. I made a joke one night about how I was facebook friends with about 40% of the audience. We weren’t exactly playing to unfamiliar crowds. It was pretty humbling to see a few people at some of the shows, knowing they’d driven further that day to see us than we had to get there.
There were some career – and personal – highlights along the way. It’s often said that touring is a terrible way to sightsee, and that is for the most part true, but nevertheless the sights we did have a chance to see – the verdant mountains of West Virginia, the small towns of rural Pennsylvania, the neighborhoods of Columbus, the resilience and beauty of Charlottesville – will stay with me. Standing up on a stage in Charlottesville, a mere five blocks from the makeshift memorial for Heather Heyer and a mere four days after the violence – and singing “Fascists Bound to Lose” (which we’d rehearsed in the car on the drive there) was deeply humbling and emotionally wrenching.
We couldn’t have toured with nicer folks, too. Everyone got along, everyone was a pro about everything, and every night backstage was like hanging out with your friends on the weekend – casual, relaxed, nobody freaking out about anything, everyone there to have fun and make music.
And of course my band – this iteration, just me and Jill – always got on famously. I think the tour was short enough that there wasn’t enough time for me to really get on her nerves! But we had fun, and managed to turn any adversities (wrong turns, weird weather, etc) into adventures. I can’t think of a better tour partner.
So yeah, overall, it was a stellar time. I’d do it again without blinking. But I am glad to be home with my family and cats, sleeping on a regular schedule, with a steady and regular supply of coffee and a short commute to work.