In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the singer-songwriter, Galen Crew, talks about some of his crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.
I was touring in China last fall. It was my second tour there. The first time I did 4 cities, and this time I was doing 13. I had only been performing in the major cities – Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, etc – but the last show of the tour was in a smaller city I’d never heard of called Zibo. The club was full, but still one of the smaller audiences I’d played for in China.
A few songs into my set I noticed that there was a cluster of middle-aged men sitting up in the balcony (there were tables up there). It wasn’t hard to tell that they were inebriated. As the set went on, they got more and more boisterous. They stood up and cheered loudly after every song, hooting and hollering and yelling stuff in Chinese that I couldn’t understand. But I knew they were enjoying it. They were acting even more excited than my fans who were standing close to the stage. In the middle of one of my up-tempo tunes, I pointed up at them as if to say “Yeah! I see you guys! This is for you!” And they loved it. They stood up and cheered so loud I could hear them over the music. It was hard not to keep from laughing in the middle of performing. But I was happy they were digging it.
Towards the end of my set, I brought the energy down for an acoustic song. I was in the middle of singing this quiet ballad when I noticed one of the men had come down from the balcony and was making his way toward the stage. Next thing I knew he was on the stage, walking towards me from the side. I turned to look at him, still singing, and he tried to hand me a beer. I was like, this is interesting…he was saying things to me in Chinese and trying to get me to take the bottle of beer. I think it was a Corona. I didn’t want to be disrespectful, so I actually stopped playing the song so that I could let go of my guitar and take it from him. I nodded and thanked him in my limited Chinese. He then moved over to my other guitar player and did the same thing. Then he left the stage, looking accomplished. I slowly started resuming the song where I left off…thinking how hilarious that just was. But no one in the crowd was laughing – they were just waiting for me to finish the song.
I finished my set and then came back for an encore. After that, I came out to the merch table to sign and take pictures. Here comes the man who gave me the beer. He starts speaking to me very slowly, all in Chinese. I look at this younger Chinese fan next to him and politely ask, “What is he saying?” And the guy replied, “He’s offering his daughter to you in marriage.”
I did my best to respectfully decline. But I was glad they liked me so much in Zibo.