We have been “on tour” a few times. Okay. We have been on tour more than a few times. Some tours have involved lots of driving. Others have involved more plane travel. Still others have had relatively little travel. We have seen all types of shows from small theaters to large arenas. We have seen the band indoors and outside. We have had seats and we have experienced general admission. Heck, we even survived a festival!!! Sometimes, we have traveled with other friends and, sometimes, we have gone by ourselves. At times, we have been to parties the night before a show. Sometimes, those parties took place a few hours before a show or immediately following a show. Thus, you would think that we would be experts at this by now and that none of it stressed us out or got us excited! It would be old hat, by now. Yet, we still do get stressed out and need to remind ourselves of the lessons learned.
Some of the lessons we have learned include that if driving most of a tour, it is important to give some time in between travel days and/or make sure that people can take turns driving, never do festivals unless you don’t care how far back you are, know as much as you can about the venue/seating chart/costs as you can before buying tickets, everyone included should be on the same page about activities/budget/etc. and much more. Presently, Rhonda and I are trying to use what we have learned to make our tour better than previous ones. For example, we are hoping to get to Biloxi the day before the show so that we have 2 nights there before driving on to Atlanta. We will make sure that both of us can drive the rental car. Of course, some lessons are bigger, more important than others. One of those big lessons is that every show can’t be everything. Maybe, it can, but you shouldn’t expect that from one show. For example, show X cannot be the best band performance, the best seats, the best time with friends, the best pre-show and post-show fun. Nothing can be that perfect. That just isn’t really natural and normal and we certainly don’t have any luck that would result in a perfect experience. I mean..really…we are two people who have never been front row, who have never gotten a drumstick or guitar pick or pictures with the band. Thus, a lesson we learned is to try to make realistic expectations. Don’t expect to meet the band or don’t expect to get a picture with a band member. Don’t expect the post-show activities to be the most fun ever. Thus, if any or all of those happen, you will pleasantly surprised. If you expect it to happen, you are only leading yourself to disappointment. I understand this impulse to try and plan for perfection. I, too, have tried for that and, in most cases, I am disappointed. Yet, when I limit my expectations to something more realistic, I have been wowed! The show in Glasgow last December is a perfect example. It was right after Birmingham, which I had TONS of expectations for. While Birmingham was great, Glasgow was better, WAY better. I think part of this is due to the fact that I didn’t have any real expectations for Glasgow.
I guess I’m pointing out this lesson because I have seen US fans already begin talking about how the show(s) are going to go for them, like they can predict the future or that they can make it happen exactly as they want it, too. While I understand their excitement, I worry for them. How will they feel if things don’t go as planned? Will this disappointment be so much that they won’t want to tour? Yes, you can argue that if they, too, learn this, it would help them with future tours. That’s true, if the people continue to tour. I just don’t want anyone, including myself, to be let down by a show or a tour. After all, this is supposed to be fun, isn’t it? How much fun is it to have these super huge expectations to only have them crash and burn? Can anyone live up to perfection? Is that fair to the band? To oneself? To the friend(s) and the other fans around you? Thus, I offer a little advice. Keep the expectations reasonable in order for it to be fun, no matter what!!!