July 29, 2011

Touring is Hard and other Bits of Obviousness.

Filed under: Midwest Tour 2011,Tour — Kate Houle @ 6:52 pm

A lot of people ask us how we do it?  All I can say is that it is really difficult, but we learn more every time we do it.  It is especially hard being 100% DIY and only two people.  Sometimes you get bullied by other bands, ignored by barflies, stiffed by the establishment, robbed by god knows who and/or a myriad of other unpleasant fates. Most often it is a labor of love, however there are certainly times when we find ourselves thinking, “Why am I torturing myself like this?”


Sturgeon Bay and Madison both had their own high and low points on this tour. Both places are fabulous Wisconsin towns with tons of beauty that I highly recommend you visit if you ever have the opportunity.


In the interest of being diplomatic I will share with you the high points.  If you want to know the dirty low points or you are in a band and want to know about promoters to avoid, ask me in person.


Here is why Sturgeon Bay rocks:

  • Ben, a great promoter that is easy to work with and always delivers what he says he will.  We have booked more than three shows through Ben at this point and love working with him.
  • It is in Door County, WI.  If you don’t know what that means, it is certainly worth investigating.  You feel pretty safe there.
  • We have some super awesome super fans there!  These fans make up in quality what the overall audience lacked in quantity…  We really <3 our Sturgeon Bay fans.
  • Pat MacDonald and MelanieJane.  Remember that song My Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades by a little band called Timbuk 3?  Well that was Pat MacDonald and he and his current multitalented music partner, MelanieJane now have a rad band called Purgatory Hill in which he plays a Cigar box bass.  Check them out!  Also they put on a super cool music fest in Sturgeon Bay every June called Steel Bridge Songfest.  We played it in 2009 and plan to play again in 2012.

Us with Ben

Purgatory Hill and Before Dawn cold chill'n.

Here is what we love about Madison:

  • It is a capital city, a university town and quite progressive.  Basically it reminds us a lot of a tiny Austin, but the weather in the summer is much better there, also it is an Isthmus.  Isn’t that a great word?
  • One of my bestestest friends in the whole world that I met at camp when I was a kid lives in Madison and we stay with her every time we play there.  Also she cooks us amazing meals with veggies and herbs from her garden and meat and eggs from the Farmers Market.  This makes for a high level of comfort when we are on the road.


My friend Meredith in Madison plays on an Ultimate Frisbee Team.  She is the one wearing the maroon #3 shirt chasing down her opponent with agression!


In theory, Madison is an ideal place for Before Dawn to throw down, it just hasn’t worked out that way… YET.  One really positive thing that came from our most recent Madison performance was that there coincidentally happened to be an incredible photographer at our show, Derek Groves, who took some great live shots of us playing.  Check out the photos.


We are becoming road weary but we still have a long way to go.  Time to suck it up and move on to the next show.   Next stop Cincinnati!


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