Plenty of people go to see bands when they come through their town, but most people don’t think about everything that it takes to get those bands to their favorite club. Being on tour for a musician is both enlightening and daunting, as physically and mentally draining as it is stimulating. And no matter what, there are always stories to tell. In Tales From The Golden Road we let musicians tell their own stories of life on the road to get a behind-the-scenes, up-close look at what really goes down between each show.
Charleston, S.C.’s Stop Light Observations has quickly garnered a following with their potent blend of Southern rock that incorporates elements of psychedelic, electro, reggae and hip-hop. If you listen to the band’s newest album Toogoodoo you’ll quickly realize this is catchy stuff with a wide-ranging appeal. The album is loaded with powerful anthems that balance pop sensibility and straight up rock and roll. Now the band on the road in support of the album, and they will be sharing dispatches with Glide Magazine from the road. Vocalist Will Blackburn fills us in from the road…
It seems as if we humans have been designed to work together. To band together in hopes that the support of those closest to us will allow us to share not only in the hardships of life’s journey, but also its most monumental rewards. That is our story and ultimately our hope. As we travel around this land we are consistently met with challenges that will not only test our strength as individuals but more importantly test our ability to work together and conquer our greatest fear, the fear that we will become all that we have ever dreamed of being and all that we have feared and run from.
Repetition is the key to a great hook “they” say, and in so many ways one of the many keys to touring (and touring well) has become just that. Repetition. Wake up at the same time everyday. Switch drivers after 3 or so hours. Check the load-in the day before. Set an alarm for wake up call. Make sure the back door is shut all the way. Put on that damn seatbelt. I always seem to forget to strap in until the monotone beeping has annoyed Louis enough to remind me “seatbelt, seatbelt, seatbelt.” That repetition will generally carry on 5 or 6 times until I actually hear the obnoxious beep myself. What I mean to tell you is that being in a band isn’t too much about being a damn good player, it’s about, love, care, communication and support for one another. Support of your brother’s dreams, lending a caring ear for his trials and challenges, communicating your feelings now and not later so that you don’t bottle that shit up and end up looking like an ass when you let your temper get the best of you. That is my greatest fault, and it seems I’ve known it all my life. My “Mamma” Ms.Earline, used to always say, “Boy, it’s your mouth that gets you into such trouble.” She had been saying that for years before I first met that challenge head on. Much like the beeping, and Louis’s repetition before I strapped up the seatbelt, the truth was there all along I just hadn’t heard it. Loud and clear as can be.
Through this repetition we have learned many things but most importantly and vital to our happiness is to love each other. More than words can express and more than most anyone who hasn’t been in our humblest of shoes would understand. But amidst our biggest fights and toughest days we are forever better humans for having overcome the many challenges we have encountered together thus far. The road is long and the ride is bumpy at times but that pull into the drive after a long run is bittersweet to say the least.
Check out tour dates below, visit stoplightobservations.com, and stay tuned to Glide for more installments of this edition of Tales From The Golden Road!
Friday June 2 – Asheville Music Hall – Asheville, NC
Saturday June 3 – Tuckfest – Charlotte, NC
Wednesday June 21 – Revelry Room – Chattanooga, TN
Thursday June 22 – High Watt – Nashville, TN
Friday June 23 – Bidentennial Park Concert Series – New Albany, IN
Friday June 30 – The Windjammer – Isle of Palms, SC
Thursday July 6 – Summerfest – Milwaukee, WI
Friday July 7 – GMAN Tavern – Chicago, IL
Saturday July 8 – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe – Kalamazoo, MI
Friday July 14 – The 8×10 – Baltimore, MD
Sunday July 16 – Fairfield Theatre – Fairfield
Monday July 17 – Rough Trade NYC – Brooklyn, NY
Thursday July 20 – Wonder Bar – Asbury Park, NJ
Friday July 21 – SummerSounds – Greensburg, PA
Saturday July 29 – Bragg Jam Music Festival @ The Hummingbird – Macon, GA
Friday August 4 – Barley’s Tap Room – Knoxville, TN
Saturday August 5 – Taproom Amphitheater at Sierra Nevada – Mills River, NC
Saturday August 12 – Volvo Car Stadium – Charleston, SC
Sunday August 13 – The Boathouse – Myrtle Beach, SC
Friday August 18 – Fountain Square – Cincinnati, OH
Saturday August 26 – Shoeless Jam Music & Arts Festival – Greenville, SC