In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the pop rock artist, Anderson Rocio, shares one of her stories from being on the road. You can check out the story, after the break.
February 2021, I happened to be in the only country in the world that could tour at the time…New Zealand. I was the guest artist for an NZ Royalty, Pop Opera trio, Sol3 Mio.. a 12 show National Tour squeezed into under 3 weeks.
Our Tour would start at the south of the south, Invercargill… literally couldn’t go further without hitting Antarctica, and work its way North, building up to our biggest show, size-wise anyway, Auckland City’s sold-out Spark Arena.
We were 4 shows down. After my opening set, I would return to the stage to sing a song called ‘Homeland’ together with the guys, a somewhat emotional, anthemic song. It seemed to spark our audience wherever we performed it…I would look at the guys, arm in arm, and think how could I be this lucky. This was a dream.
…but let’s not forget the global pandemic that the world is facing at this exact moment and had been for the year prior.
So, when 2500 phone alerts went off in unison in the middle of our anthemic “Homeland” at the Christchurch Town Hall, we knew things were going to shift and we knew it was going to shift fast. 2500 alerts was followed by what I remember as silence. We had eight shows to go and an Alert like this meant that would all change, and it would all change fast.
(Typically, with our alert system, you have 24 hours to get home for a lockdown…and it works, our government shuts NZ down as soon as a single community case is discovered.
With our small population of under 5 million, it’s easier to get everyone on board, and closing the borders off has kept us in our little snow bubble. We’ve managed to live Covid free for the two years that our world has been amidst it)
We all looked at each other on stage, stomachs falling knowing that this was it for a while, looking back at the crowd they all started calling out to continue, ‘Keep going!’ “We have ‘til midnight, Keep going!’ So we did. That I think was a moment. What a strange moment.
The audience was all on their feet singing with us and once I kissed the crowd and left the stage the guys kept going, they sang all night. Their 3 song encore routine turned into 5 or 6 more. I’ll never forget the energy, I don’t think the audience ever sat back down.
We were in lockdown for 3 weeks. Fortunately, the tour went ahead with new dates and we went on to perform for 10000 people at that Arena as our first show back. 9 weeks later we wrapped up the strangest 12 show tour. Feeling grateful and lucky to even have the chance to get on a stage each night, wondering if it was our last like we were tempting fate. I’ll never forget it. What a way to start my tour life. Surreal.