Usually, A week and half to two weeks pass before I begin to forget what daily life was like before tour, and begin to think that I have always lived in a bus. This time around, I slipped right back into the "tour mentality" in about three days. Everything odd about "living on a bus" became second nature. Maybe we've just been missing "the road" for far to long while Dia was filming "The Voice". We were really, REALLY ready to be on tour again.
Where the buses and semis park just outside the venue becomes a "mini city". The two feet of space in between busses becomes our "mini city" streets. We begin to see familiar faces each morning. We see the same stage hands having their morning cigarettes, the same production manager anxiously running around, red-faced and upset, the same band members sleepy-eyed and smiling with their tired smiles.
I've made a HUGE effort to memorize names. The Blake crew and band member's have also made efforts worthy of applause to not confuse Dia with myself. I walk around the arena floor behind the enormous stage curtains, wind my way in between stadium seats, all the while silently reminding myself as I pass familiar faces: "Philliip: Blake's piano player, Jeanae: Blake's fiddle player, Shane: stage manager, etc…"
Am I a little intimidated being a woman, who is much younger than everyone else, singing pop music on a Country tour? I surprise even myself giving you guys my answer: No. No, I'm not scared. I think I've finally come to realize, after all these years of touring, that we are all at different levels of playing and have different levels of experience, but we are all here to do the same thing: have a good time playing music. With that common goal in mind, there isn't any reason why we can't all be happy to be here, on tour together, no matter where we all come from and where we've all been.
As for tonight's show in Lincoln, Nebraska. Can anyone say, "Technical problems"? We never have adequate time to check levels before we play. Blake's crew needs to have a full sound check, as well as Josh after them. By the time doors are open, the "Dia Frampton" gang has barely plugged in our instruments.
A lot of tour is "sucking it up".
So, even though my acoustic guitar was missing in my monitor system, and I couldn't hear a thing I was playing, the name of the game is to "pretend like everything is fine". That's what I did. I smiled, (which was easy to do because technical problems or not, it's always a blast to play in front of that many people!)
After the set my manager asked me how it was. I said, "You know, Even though there were a lot of issues tonight, I'm going to go ahead and skip the whole "freaking out" part, and the "feeling sorry part" of being a musician who has just experienced the show I did, because…" I continued "We've gone through this a hundred times. The first week of a tour there are a lot of tweaks to be made. We usually feel a little "loose" because we have been out of practice. We usually get really upset and hold all kinds of serious band meetings, but not this time. I know that everything will be straightened out within a week, and we'll all be laughing about how worried we were."
That's the great thing about having played so many shows, and been at this "touring thing" for so long. I've experienced all the "ups" and "downs" like I'm sure all of you guys have in your own lives. This is an occasion when we can appreciate having been through those "hard times" because we now know that "hard times" always get better. They always turn around.
|Audience in Lincoln, Nebraska|
Lincoln Nebraska, I love you because you have Jimmy Johns. Blake Shelton Production Team, I love you because you just brought to our bus a GIANT platter of vegan Jimmy John's sandwiches. I'm going to go enjoy one right now.