In this Preshow Rituals segment, Alex Hwang, from the indie rock band, Run River North, reveals what they do before taking the stage. You can check out their rituals, after the break.
After 8 years of touring – our routines have evolved from a lot of group activities like group vocal warm-ups, intense set list debates, to more individual time and trusting/giving each other the necessary space before show time.
For this tour, our pre-show routines on the road differ between each bandmate and we end up assembling 5 min before showtime like power rangers for a final huddle and prayer against Rita and the puddy patrol.
For me, this includes attempting calls and texts to my wife to connect me back home and ground me (hectic with the time and work hours difference), YouTube vocal warm-ups (mommy made me mash my m&M’s), CBD teas (ginger and turmeric are my favorite tour ingredients), throat coat, the bathroom, and the constant battle between eating something with cheese (PIZZA) and being vocally and physically responsible.
Green rooms at our current club level range from trustworthy, comfy or way too worn-in couches to suspicious dark corners of rooms with a lone hot kettle and graffiti of band names and penises. Watching the opening acts usually loses to finding food that we can all eat together as a band/crew – meals are those unspoken, crucial moments that keep our band together. Being a band really does feel like being in a family and more family meals lead to more collective memories and connection/trust between each other.
When the stars align and the sound check goes well and the schedule allows for it, watching the opening act is always the smart choice. We don’t always know the support acts personally so it’s fun to hear what bands sound like love from their recorded / online material. I’m always gleaning from folks’ songs, performances, stage banter and presence for future performances and inspiration, as well as maybe finding future tourmates! It’s a great time to read the room, check out the sound system and get back to being a fan of live music.