Last week we had the great opportunity to do a couple of shows on Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party Tour" and it was really the first time we got to see a multiple city operation like that work from night to night. We were the first of three acts (Corey Smith was second) so we had the chance to watch the load in, set up and sound check of a lot of instruments, production and staging, etc. It also meant some gear jealousy, equipment envy and conversations amongst us as to how they manage it all. Students of the game as we like to say. Jason's operation is definitely a well oiled machine...loading in multiple tractor trailers of gear, having it all up and running, lights, sound, merch, catering, early in the morning and then breaking it down to move to the next city that night is no easy task but it runs very smoothly. Not to mention the thousands of people who come through to see the actual concert. Pretty impressive stuff. There are just 9 of us on the road and it is crazy trying to get all that in line sometimes.
Even the catering was amazing. We are used to (maybe) some chips and salsa and a deli tray when we play clubs, but when you go on a tour like Jason’s you generally bring along your own people to provide meals at thevenues, etc. It winds up costing less and being away from home for months at a time you get a level of consistency and healthy options not generally found at truck stops and fast food joints. These guys were pros too, sitting us down and giving us the lowdown: what the menu was, when meals were available and if we needed anything just let them know. Oh yeah, the food was AMAZING.
Of course, the best thing about the shows was the show! We didn’t get to play long, so we went with an all up-tempo set and tried to get the crowd going. Let me tell you I’ve played a lot of shows and don’t really get nervous anymore, but when we were about to step on a stage in front of 12,000 people I got a little of that feeling back. It was pretty badass. Crowd seemed to dig it and we gave away a lot of “blood” last weekend. Of course we also got to watch Corey and Jason play their sets, which were both killer. They are pros who know what they are doing and are a lot of fun to watch. Thanks to both of them and all the crew on the tour…we had a blast!