Journal

 

what does a week on tour look like? 1 COMMENTS

I see so many of you on the road at shows, after performances in the lobby, and I always get asked what tour is like.  It is so hard to describe: the highest highs and the lowest loses.  I feel lucky and incredibly blessed to have one of the most fantastic jobs in the world, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t difficult at times.  There is an incredible amount of time and hard work that goes into the job that you might not see from just the two hours we are on stage.  On a typical day, we have gotten up, driven for a few hours, set up gear and all of our own merchandise, sound  checked, rehearsed and tried to squeeze in a few personal chats with family or a quick workout.  It’s a lot of shlepping around gear and practicing – not the glamour some people imagine when they see us perform.  But the two hours on stage make everything worth it.

Just of an example of a week, here is our schedule on the books for one week in February:

Mon FEB 16 
9:45 am – bus call
10:00 am – drive to St. Louis . Approx. 8 hours
evening off
Tue FEB 17
morning off in Saint Louis
4:30 pm – organize merchandise
5:00 pm – sound check
6:00 pm – dinner
8:00 pm – show at The Pageant, STL
Wed FEB 18 
9:45 am – bus call
10:00 am – drive to Pittsburg . Approx. 10 hours
Thur FEB 19
3:00 pm – merch
4:30 pm – soundcheck
6:00 pm – dinner
8:30 pm – show at StageAE
Fri FEB 20
8:45 am – bus call
9:00 am – drive to Columbus
1:00 pm – Load in
4:30 pm – soundcheck
6:00 pm – dinner
8:30 pm – show
Sat FEB 21
10:45 am – bus call
11:00 am – drive to Cleveland
2:00pm – tour Rock and Roll HOF
4:00 pm – load in
5:45 pm – soundcheck
6:00 pm – dinner
9:00 pm -show
Sun FEB 22
9:45 am – bus call
10:00 am – drive to Buffalo
3:00 pm – load in
4:30 pm – sound check
6:00 pm – dinner
8:00 pm – show
have questions? tweet @KianaJuneWeber  or @GaelicStorm #weekontour
I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

travel hacks 1 COMMENTS

I thought I’d take this post to try to share some of the little things I’ve found to be really helpful when I travel.  Travel hacks, if you will.  Small things I have come by in the past 5 years of international touring as a musician that add up to make life on the road way better.  Here is a just a short list to get this started. If your interested in this idea, or want to know more about any of these specific things let me know (on FB or Twitter or just here as a comment – #travelhacks)  I’m wondering if this could be a subject to expand upon.

  • My suitcase – On tour this basically becomes home and after various failed attempts I finally found the perfect suitcase:  Dakine Split Roller Bag.  It’s split into smaller mesh section with lots of pockets, light weight but with indestructible wheels, and even if it is packed to the brim it’s never over 50lbs.  (I’ve had bigger bags, you tend to want to fill the room and then get dinged with overweight charges.) I’ll never by another kind of suitcase.
  • protein shakes – this is a more recent discovery for me, but so helpful.  Ahead of tour I measure out individual portions of protein powder into small zip lock bags to take with me. I use it as a meal replacement when I’m in a pinch to find food, as an additive yogurt and smoothies for a kick of protein, or as a recovery drink after long runs.
  • water bottle – I used to bring a water bottle with me on tour all the time.  Now that I bring I protein shaker I left the Klean Kanteen at home, but my shaker easily doubles as a water bottle in a pinch. Buying water bottle all the time is so expensive, and I also feel really bad contributing to a landfill somewhere each time I use them, so when I can fill up my water bottle instead.  Most airports have drinking fountains, but they are hard to find – usually they are in a corridor by the bathrooms or next to the family bathroom. Another good trick is that Starbucks has to provide tap water to anybody who asks – so ask them to fill your bottle up for you.
  • aeropress coffee – the best small coffee maker ever.  It’s light, and plastic and makes really great espresso. I often make it in my room in the morning to avoid terrible hotel coffee or Starbucks.  Delicious and  it saves you money
  • packing cubes – for anyone who has a small touch of OCD these are a must.  Packing cubes come in all shapes and sizes and keep your clothes organized even through the longest tours.
  • pre-pack snacks for airports – Airport food is always terrible (expect at Denver Airport and in some European airports) and way overpriced.  Whenever I leave from home I pack myself food to eat.  Something simple that will be filling and healthy because there is nothing worse at the end of a long travel day than feeling sick due to something gross you ate.  (I think there is some kind of principle too that when you fly it completely amplifies any discomfort due to bad food choices)  I pack things like simple sandwiches what won’t get soggy, or a salad and veggies.  My new favorite: a packet of tunafish and an avocado (yes they both make it through security).
  • when in doubt buy healthy in the airport – I have learned this the hard way so many times. When your tired and you had to walk by McDonalds for the third time if may seem like a good idea, but it’s not! Don’t do it! You will absolutely regret it later (see flying amplification above).  Instead, go to one of the little convenience shops and get a pack of nuts and a little to go container of humous and pretzels. Naked smoothies are really good too, and pretty easy to find a lot of shops now.
  • Always bring food on international flights – You might sleep through dinner service, you might find that dinner on the plane is terrible and ten you’ll be starving for the next seven hours.
  • Good Headphones – quality headphones are so worth the price, and I wouldn’t travel anywhere without mine.  Right now I use Klipsh ear buds.  They have an amazing range of frequencies that makes listening to music, podcast, videos really enjoyable.  They are small and virtually indestructible (I’ve had these on tour with me for three years now and they are still perfect).  My favorite bonus is that they also noise canceling and they double as earplugs.
  • clear travel toiletries case – if you fly a lot, buy yourself a small clear plastic case for toiletries instead of using multiple plastic bags. It saves time and hassle and it’s better for the environment too! What do I keep in mine? The essential flying kit: contact solution, contact case, hand sanitizer, a small comb, eyeliner, mascara, one shade of shadow, chapstick, 2 hairties, a few bobbie pins, shampoo and conditioner samples, lotion.
  • apps I use everyday:  Yelp, google maps, MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper, Flipboard, WhatsApp, TempoX
  • and apps that I would be lost without:  SignNow, GateGuro, FlightTracker, Kayak, Netflix, MapMyRun, VoiceMemos

Thanks for reading.  Let me know your thoughts!

@kianajuneweber #travelhacks

Snow Escape COMMENT

I’ve spent the last week visiting my parents.  They live on a small farm way out in the country in lower Michigan.  I flew in early monday mooring just before a giant blizzard hit the midwest.  A foot of snow fell in about 12 hours and we have had multiple  smaller snow falls since then.  There is something so magical about the snow to me. It falls and covers the earth like the softest blanket and somehow everything is covered in a kind of brilliance – a bit of sparkle and magic. And yet, there is a silence that falls with it.

 

That added to the natural silence at the farm is such a welcome retreat.  And it is silence of all kinds out there.  No noise from cars, or planes, or other people, just the sounds of the nearby pine forrest which softened by the snow is just a light hum of wind rushing in the pines.  The first couple of days out there I was getting so frustrated with my phone not being to find any kind of respectable service.  I was about to go nuts, but then I settled into it.  What a needed break from technology and the constant hum of socialization.  Maybe that makes me a hermit that I occasionally relish in that kind of solitude.  But out at the farm, things just move at a different pace and the focus is much more on the here and now.  It is a forced kind of mindfulness, and I hope I can keep that feeling with me through the next six weeks of tour.  The February/March tour we have coming up is always wonderful, but can be the most difficult and trying time of the year with long hours or travel, big shows, and lots of late nights.  I just hope I can remember this feeling and stay sane.

 

Enjoy the snow everyone up in the north country.  Stay warm and safe!

tweet me your snowy retreat pictures! @kianajuneweber  #snowscape

Rock Boat Review 2 COMMENTS

Rock Boat Review

What an amazing four days.  The Rock Boat is quite a phenomenon, and it is difficult to explain.  People from all over the country, from all different walks of life, come to this floating music festival. People that may have no more in common than I love and appreciation for music – nurses and lobbyist and bankers and grocery store clerks all sip on sweet miami vices together because for four days it doesn’t matter at all what you do or where you come from, just that you are here now to enjoy the music, the sun, and good company.  I met so many amazing people and I was overwhelmed with the sense of community and the kindness of strangers that I encountered. And all of this before I even mention all the amazing bands on the boat!  So much talent.
We had the first day off, so I was able to watch bands all day.  I caught a bit of Melodime, and saw almost all of BNL’s show in the theatre – where I was pleasantly surprised by the caliber of the performance and the level of musicianship.  I then went to watch some of Carbon Leaf’s show (our good friends)  and ran up stairs to catch the second half of Michael Franti’s show.  Apparently during the show he tore his ACL!  But he kept playing, and only noticed a slight limp.  My mother tore her ACL and I know how painful that is, so I am completely impressed.  He did have to leave the ship the next day, and I really hope he has a speedy recovery.
The next three days we had performances in the evening, so I didn’t have as much time to explore other bands, but I can just list a couple of my favorites.  Simplified was a blast – with a killer horn section and really catchy groove songs and a kind of surf rock vibe.  Amy Gerhartz – love her voice.  Hey Monea – their three part harmony blew me away.  Green River Ordiance – was roots and american in all the right ways.  I also re-awakened my love of Sister Hazel.  What a great band, and the nicest people.
Here is a complete listing of bands that were on the boat.  Check out this spotify playlist to listen to a few tracks from each band, and the Rock Boat website for more information about the ship, the bands, and the festival. You might want to think about booking a trip for next year! : )
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Sister Hazel
Barnaked Ladies
Will Hoge
Red Wanting Blue
Kris Allen
Scars on 45
Carbon Leaf
Green River Ordinance
The Mowgli’s
Stokeswood
The Roosevelts
Honor By August
Amy Gerhartz
Brian Fechino & Friends
Radio Birds
Melodime
Chuck Cannon
The Shadowboxers
Brian Collins
Von Grey
Simplified
Hey Monea!

On The Road Again COMMENT

Great first couple shows in florida after being apart for almost two months!  It is so wonderful to have a break, but we all have a good time catching up and seeing what the news is back home for everybody:  New kids, dogs, houses, fitness kicks, and ideas for tour all made it in to our first couple days of conversation.  But what was really fun was getting up on stage and doing a show together again.  We didn’t have much time to rehearse, and a break of two months is a long time, but it is so fun to feel the music all coming back to you.  You feel you fingers react and you body move to the music that you know so well and just slide back into that groove and magical bliss that is performing.  I’m not tying to blow hot air here. I think you all know that there plenty of mistakes happen on stage, and that now every show is like that.  But these first few back on the road have been great craic.

The Ponte Vedra performing Arts center brought in a couple of photographers and got some really great pictures of the band. I picked a few of my favorite to put  in this post but you can check out their whole slide show on spotted.  (Check it out!)
Tweet me if you have any ideas for next weeks topic. @KianaJuneWeber
My idea? “Review of the Rock Boat”

New Year, New Adventures, New Goal. COMMENT

Well, it’s a new year. One of my new year’s resolutions was to get back into posting to my journal.  As you can imagine, it is kind of difficult with a touring schedule to keep any kind of consistency. However, I really want to post to this as much as possible and build up something meaningful here.  Besides the obvious of updating you, my readers and fans and friends and family,  it is actually a process that I really enjoy. It forces me to sit and reflect.  To stop and appreciate and the really process what I am doing.  The whole process of writing and putting this crazy life all into words really helps makes sense of it all. So there you go. I’m going to try to be much better about it. My Goal: To post once a week.  It might be about anything:  shows and performances, tour stories, mishaps, struggles, triumphs, adventure, music reviews, recipes, etc.  I am also counting on you to help out!  Write in and tell me what you want to hear about. Tweet at me and remind me to keep posting.  Here’s to a new year and lots of new adventures in the crazy life!
Contact me on twitter @KianaJuneWeber  and check out Instagram for daily pictures.

First real post coming this afternoon: “On the Road Again”

This Summer in Photos COMMENT

It has been altogether too long since I have posted. I’ve just been living in the moment – enjoying this amazing summer!  The best way I can share it with you is through picture of some of my favorite moments.  Enjoy pics from some of the greatest festivals, shows, times on the road, and even our band camping trip in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

 

Oshkosh Irish Fest COMMENT

Here is a great video from Oshkosh Irish Fest this weekend!

Thanks to www.anythingmediagroup.

http://vimeo.com/98284475

Ki News COMMENT

New Newsletter – check it out!

http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=84cafd4655076384288dd728a&id=abf9a570e1

 

 

Flip Cup COMMENT

The skinny on the Flip Cup tournament you all have heard about.  (Children and students cover your eyes.)

Rock Boat has a flip cup tournament every year. And Gaelic Storm happens to the reining champions and therefore hosts of the tournament. So as the rookie member of the band I felt the pressure.  We had three games to play: first against this year’s champion of the boat, then against our WAGS (wives and girlfriend’s …or boyfriends), and then one last game against Sixthman.  Without any warm up it was tough, and we lost the first game.(I choked – It took me three tries to flip mine).  But in the other two games I must say, I was flawless! The one flip wonder!