In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the indie pop duo, joan, shares one of their stories from being on the road. You can check out the story, after the break.
We were in the middle of our first tour of this year when the polar vortex hit. When we drove into Toronto, we literally couldn’t see ten feet in front of us because the snow was so thick. An insane amount of snow hit that night while we were playing, and the temperature dropped to -10 degrees. It was a sold out show, but there were only about 10-20 people that actually showed up to the show because they were within walking distance. Our hotel was going to be an hour away that night with normal weather, but it took three hours to get there because we had to drive so slow. When we finally did get there, the hotel had sold out of all double queen rooms so we had to go three deep on a king bed.
The next day we were going to Chicago from Toronto, and the snow had pulled back some but the wind chill got worse as the day went on. We had to keep buying windshield fluid and pouring it on because the one in the van compartment was frozen. Everything took SO much longer than normal because everyone was driving so slow. The drive to Chicago is like 8 hours – we were only halfway after 8 hours. At around 3/4 of the way there, we were in the middle of nowhere Illinois and our van started moving slower and slower. After a while, the van wouldn’t let us go over 25 miles per hour because all the sensors in the engine were freezing. We drove as long as we could until we broke down about an hour out of Chicago.
No joke, it was -35 degrees outside. If you had any skin showing, it would go numb immediately. we’ve never experienced anything like that. We were pretty close to an exit with a gas station, and we were luckily able to get the car going enough to make it there. It was around 1 AM at this point, so we figured making it to Chicago would be impossible. We walked a half mile to the only hotel in town hoping they’d have a room available. Thankfully we got in and took the van to the shop in the morning. After two full days of driving and hundreds of dollars lost, we played a show to about 9 people because it was -35 degrees and the city of Chicago was ordered to stay inside their homes. That was maybe the most stressful four days of our career as a band.