In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the singer-songwriter, Tyler Edwards, talks about some of his crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.
I think most, if not all, bands and musicians are inspired and born out of kids wanting to be like their heroes. I say this because my crazy tour story is about an interaction with one of my musical heroes. In 2010, I was touring and making music in a band called I Anthem. One of our favorite venues to play was a place called Murray Hill Theatre in Jacksonville, FL. We became really good friends with the booker and manager of the venue, Flip Padilla. Anyways, he told us about the venue’s anniversary show and wanted us to stop in and play one of the nights while we are on our tour. He also mentioned he had a special surprise for us.
Turns out that the surprise was that he managed to book one of our favorite bands and heroes of the time, Switchfoot. This band was one of the biggest reasons me and my drummer, Tyler Bodkins, started the band in college. I remember when we were driving our van down to the show, we had the thought, “what if we meet Jon Foreman??” So, we devised a plan to have a t-shirt handy because everyone gives their favorite band their CD. However, we weren’t sure what size shirt he would wear; so, we had multiple sizes in hand. Give Foreman a shirt and maybe he will wear it on stage, that was the plan!
So, we arrived at the venue… fashionably late; we checked in and realized that Switchfoot was getting ready to take the stage. My drummer and I ran to the back of the venue where the entrance and tour buses were parked. Like a moment planned before the time, the band came off the bus as soon as we reached the roped off area (side note – we were pretty sure they somehow mastered the cinematic art of walking in slow motion). Flip, the venue manager, remembers this next part a little differently than me and my drummer: but Jon Foreman was the last guy off the bus and literally made eye contact with us and walked straight toward us. We panicked and stated the fact that both of our names were Tyler, to which he replied, “oh, Tyler/Tyler. That’s cool.” In a quick idea pitch, we told him that we brought him our band shirt and asked his size. He offhandedly stated, “I’m a small kinda guy.” Soon as we hand the shirt to Jon, we heard a security guard shout, “hey! keep it moving guys!”
Like a harsh nose dive back into reality, we realized we may have overstepped our boundary. Flip also heard the crash landing and quickly rushed over and apologized on ours and his behalf. Afterward, he shot us a glance that stated, “REALLY?!” But we didn’t care, we just met our hero! And we also overheard Jon tell the security guard to put the shirt with his stuff on the bus. Mission accomplished!
Well, we made it inside to watch the show, and of course, our human-hero-billboard plan had not worked exactly as planned. But we did meet one of our heroes and made complete fools of ourselves. After the show, we do our best to contain our excitement and avoid reprimand from our friend who got us into the show. We played the next day at the venue celebration and had good laughs at being the butt of the jokes. The real laugh came a few months later when someone sent us a link to a video of Switchfoot playing a show in Memphis, featuring Jon Foreman wearing an I Anthem t-shirt.