Tour Expectations and Lessons Learned

It’s official.  The Daily Duranie is going on tour.  We have purchased tickets for 2 shows.  I can count that a tour, right?  I think so, especially when we plan on adding a third.  As you all might have guessed, the two shows are Durham, North Carolina, and Biloxi, Mississippi.  We hope to add Atlanta, which is to fall in between and maybe something else depending on how we feel and what, if anything, gets added.  To me, this equals a tour.  For one thing, we have to fly to get there.  Second, we will see the band in 3 different states.  This amuses me, as once upon a time, Rhonda and I made arrangements to “go on tour” for another band, but one related to Duran Duran.  In fact, this band was an opening band for Duran Duran in 2005.  Anyway, as we made plans to see that band, we knew of two shows but we kept hearing rumors of a third.  We joked that it wouldn’t be a proper tour without three shows.  Well, we got those three shows in three different states.  We openly declared that three shows in three states equaled a tour.  In fact, we wrote this equation on a window of my parents’ van that we borrowed so that we could travel in style around the great Midwest!  Anyway, now that I’m calling this an official tour, I’m starting to think about previous tours and those experiences.  In fact, in discussing which shows to go to, how we are going to travel, which tickets to buy and more, we have been making constant references to past tours.  Why?  I suppose because we truly do believe that you learn many lessons on tour, at least we hope so.  This way every tour gets better than the last!

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!!!

-A

6 thoughts on “Tour Expectations and Lessons Learned”

  1. All you need is one more fiasco tour and you'll be jaded like me! ONE OF US! Welcome to the dark side! =)

    Seriously, though, you've hit the point I was at when I met you and Rhonda. It's hard not to be concerned for the fans that are new to touring and have high expectations (or still believe that touring is a glamorous, non-stop joy ride of pleasure). Touring is an expensive, exhausting experience spiked with intense highs, and is almost never what one planned or expected.

    I think having the experience with like-minded people is key to success. If you don't enjoy the people you're trapped in a car for 8 hours across the Midwest with, it's a horrible time. But if it's people you love, the time flies by and makes it all worth it. Touring stopped being about shows and started about being with my tribe a long time ago, and that's what makes it worth doing. If I were still only in it for the shows, I wouldn't go at all.

  2. Good advice from the pro's. I look forward to your updates on the blog about your experiences as they unfold. Let the unexpected happen but plan for the rest.

  3. I actually don't think that we would be jaded with one more “fiasco tour”. The May trip was a big bummer in a TON of ways but all was not lost then. We met some wonderful people and learned a lot from it. Then, our last tour was one of our bests if not THE best. The band was fabulous and the people were, too! We got along well and it renewed our Duranie spirit.

    I just wanted people to realize that EVERYTHING you hope/want will happen, will. It is good to be tied to reality while having fun!

    You are right, though. It is all about having fun with the people you are with. That does make all the difference!

    -A

  4. And never, EVER assume you're gonna meet the band and have those kinds of expectations. Go into it for a good show, a fantastic time with friends both new and old and leave the rest. In all of the years I've been a fan and have been attending shows, it's never when I *think* I'm going to find them, meet them, etc when I have the most fun. Coincidence? Probably not!!!

    If I have one more “fiasco tour” I'm probably going to be satisfied with having a driver take me to all the shows so that I can just sit in the back and have a cocktail or two with friends along the way!!! -R

  5. Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of food, your closet full of clothes – with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That's not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating.
    Flights to Dar es Salaam

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