This new set of Tour Tips was written by the alternative rock band, The ReAktion. You can check out their tips for being on the road, after the break.
As first timers on a US tour, we’ve made lots of mistakes and we’ll surely keep doing them for the rest of it, but we’ve also had the chance to take some lessons from people who have been long enough on this to be experts. The following are 5 things we’ve learned from them.
Travel light: as much as this might be obvious, we can’t be more emphatic on this point. You’ve got 5 favorite shirts you like to play with? No, you have one. Two at most. Your gear includes your 24 favorite pedals on stage? If you are not headlining the Warped Tour, you should scale down to the essentials. In-ear monitors and good modelers and preamps could save you a lot of space, and a lot of back pains for loading and unloading that old 8×10 every night.
Everything on wheels: try to put wheels on everything, gear cases, merch booth, even your bags. And don’t be cheap on this, bad wheels will last two shows and then you are stuck with a case with bad wheels that you still have to drag around for two months.
Foldables (chairs, tents, merch booth and table, scrims): Save space, while still being comfortable. A good foldable merch table and backdrop to hang your t-shirts, hoodies, posters and that rare collectible ice vinyl kit you made for your last album will make a difference. And if you have a few extra foldable chairs and a tent, you can set up a nice living room outside the venue and enjoy the fresh air.
Robo hormiga: it’s a common chilean saying for shoplifting, but don’t get us wrong. We mean it in a legal, semi-decent way. Leftover catering waters and sandwiches, bananas, cinnamon rolls and coffee from road motels, toilet paper from the gas station’s restroom. Whatever you can get your hands on (that won’t get you in trouble with the police or immigration), just do it. It may save your day.
Be nice: The most important principle. If you are nice to others, if you give yourself in love and spread that to all those you meet on the road, the universe shall return it times 10. Be humble, picture yourself on the other guy’s shoes. Understand that the venue’s sound guy may have been dealing with assholes all week, and the last thing he needs is you to ask him for 7 different stage monitor mixes. Make it easy on yourself, make it easy on the others too.
Did you find these tips useful? Let us know in the comments below!