Tour Diary: Evening Darling

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Back in February, Evening Darling premiered their single “Live Where You Lay” exclusively with Impose Magazine. Now back from a recent tour, the band’s lead singer Erica Lane shares her words and photos from the trip along with a special Spotify playlist to stream along with it.

Day 1: 8/5/17
NYC to Bethlehem, PA – Musikfest
I met Brett at Penn Station to take the 6921 train to Dover. Dave picked us up at the station and we headed to Musikfest with a 16 passenger van to meet the rest of the band.
We play a full hour set at Musikfest for the biggest crowd we’ve ever had. I don’t know what to say other than it was awesome to have such a huge audience be so attentive and appreciative of what we do. People tell us the CD’s of our album are priced too low as they buy them and chat with us. Clearly they have never experienced the issue of being in a few bands and having a couple hundred CD’s left over that nobody wants. WE’RE PRICED TO SELL, BABY.
We catch Low Cut Connie play in front of the Steel Stacks all lit up. The look is magical. Their performance was absolutely on fire. Brett gets manhandled by an inebriated woman. Dan and I get seduced by a BBQ truck with fake wood panels and proceed to have the worst, most watery mac and cheese of our lives. We survived, but we will never forget.
Then it’s back to NJ to crash at Dave’s place.

Day 2: 8/6/17
Dave’s place, NJ to Gaithersburg, MD – Day Off
We take our time in the morning, since we don’t have a gig tonight. We stock up on groceries for the next couple days and head to Maryland where we’ll stay with Rusty’s dad and his wife, Nicole. They are both certified badasses who have accomplished a lot in the field of animal rights, activism, and policy. #herostatus
We go to their local wine shop (Wine Harvest) which doubles as a bar, and are served by a woman named Deanna, but just call her D. Everyone here is a regular and knows all the same folks and are so welcoming you don’t want to leave. This is followed by a bunch of Indian and Chinese food, more wine, several sorry rounds of Heads Up, and an impromptu songwriting session. An ideal day that Dave, Nick and I end by watching some of What We Do in the Shadows. As with the night before my sleep is restless, so I’ll have to wait for exhaustion to beat out the whirring in my head that comes with unfamiliar spaces.

Day 3: 8/7/17
Gaithersburg, MD to Washington, DC – DC9
Morning to afternoon consists of running some errands for forgotten items, practicing some new material and cover songs, and any last minute preparations to get us through the week.
We pull into DC with an hour and a half to kill before load in/soundcheck so we take a walk to the hybrid restaurant, bar, and bookstore, Bus Boys & Poets. Rusty, Dan, Dave, and Brett grab some Bloody Mary’s, while Nick and I peruse a nearby thrift store in search of cool jackets and boots. Our search came up empty. Better luck next town.
Loading into a venue in the rain is a bummer. Sound guy, Paul, is as glad to see us as we are to see him. He ran sound for us at DC9 last time we were in town and is the sweetest dude. The night manager, Janai, takes good care of us. Be good to the folks working the venues. Always learn the names of the sound person and manager.
Somewhere between all these hours we watch Rubyfruit play a killer set (with Nick stepping in as lead guitar for the tour). Then we play an hour set and debut a couple new songs. We sound good, we play well, we tear down, pack up, settle up with Janai, and call our buddy Reed for the details about the open mic night he’s running at Boundary Stone.
We meet up with Reed, a local DC musician we’ve shared bills with in the past. Boundary Stone is in full swing being led the band The Chem Trails and audience members jump on the mic to improvise while the band plays. Nick strums guitar, and Dave plays an upright piano with the band while a tap dancer takes the lead. The rest of our band joins Nick and Dave on stage and we play Live Where You Lay and the new song we wrote the night before. Shuffling off, we give hugs to Reed and the party continues as the door closes behind us.
The sleep is heavy and gone too soon.

Day 4: 8/8/17
Gaithersburg, MD to Asheville, NC – Galactic Sanctuary Farm hosted by Feed Bands
We make themed playlists on Spotify and try to guess who chose what song. We play word games that make our brains melt. We fall down the rabbit hole and when we come out on the other side we wince at the daylight and fresh air that surrounds us on a farm on the outskirts of Asheville. I keep an eye on a curious rooster. He’s shifty.
Kendra, Rubyfruit, and Evening Darling play our sets in the main house on the farm. After tear down, a bunch of our audience members start up several jam circles. Bluegrass on the porch, spacey shoegaze in the living room, rockabilly in the backyard.

Day 5: 8/9/17
Asheville, NC to Columbus, OH – Rumba Cafe
We drive. We drive some more. We get a ticket near the Kentucky border. We drive again.
Load in, sound check, pizza, change, doors open, warm up, Rubyfruit set, Evening Darling set, sell some merch, tear down, load the van, hang with the one of the nicest venue staff’s I’ve ever met. Sound man Sam was hilarious and kind enough to laugh at our jokes. Bartender Casey bought merch and we chatted about the adorable little fluff-nugget that is her dog, Marty.
We meet up with Rubyfruit for more pizza then make our way to our hotel.

Day 6: 8/10/17
Columbus, OH to Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub
We hit up the hotel gym and pool, do some laundry, practice some covers for a 3 hour gig in SC tomorrow, make the short drive to Cincinnati and grab some Skyline Chili on the way.
We load in alongside Young Heirlooms and RubyFruit, set up, sound check, ROCK OUT. Hands down the best crowd, they were not afraid to get close up. You can watch our entire set that we streamed live on our Facebook page. Other than that is was a blur of faces and names and excellent musicians working that uphill hustle. The night ended at Kelly Fine’s place with Domino’s pizza and several vicious rounds of Mario Kart.

Day 7: 8/11/17
Cincinnati, OH to Greenville, SC – Smiley’s Acoustic Cafe
We sleep in, Kelly makes us pancakes, showers, pack, coffee run, hit the road.
Trying to be productive in the van is hard, but we discussed our covers list, key changes, difficult sections, I ran lyrics, all in prep for our 10pm-1am set at Smiley’s. I don’t know where the rest of the hours went. If you kept up with our Instagram story then you probably witnessed our van delirium first hand.
We meet up with Dan’s friend Sterling Waite and his wife MK who are putting us up for the night. We clean ourselves up, load in, set up, place our food orders with Jill who makes sure we get to eat on our breaks between sets. My mom makes the trip from Wilmington, NC and sells a bunch of our merch with her pal Kerry. Note to fellow musicians: Moms are the best at pushing merch.

Day 8: 8/12/17
Greenville, SC to Brooklyn, NY – HOME
Sterling and MK make us coffee, we stop for fuel and Bojangles (obviously), then it’s homeward bound. There are intervals of delirious giggle fits, guilty pleasure song requests, naps, and the inevitable “tour is over” come-down. We make it home safe and sound, greet our partners, I smother my doggo with hugs and kisses, she takes it like a champ. Goodnight Brooklyn, goodnight tour, goodnight band.
Sweet dreams folks!