We're on the bus right now heading towards Boston as we finish up our first week of touring this new album. It's been quite a hectic month getting ready for this tour! We did nearly a month of rehearsals/production rehearsals and this music has not been easy to pull of live as a four piece band... But I think we are starting to get the hang of it after the first week of touring. One of the interesting things about this tour is that our music is pretty different than it ever has been before and you can tell that a lot of people are still trying to figure out how to engage with it in a group setting. K.S. Rhoads is touring with us and he has been telling us that he is amazed at our crowd. He says we have a much more attentive crowd than normal. We're playing in a lot of clubs, which are normally pretty noisy, but on this tour there have been these beautiful moments that you could hear a pin drop in the room. K.S. had played lots of clubs and he says he's never experienced anything like that before. People are attentive and engaged, and that's really cool on one hand! It's amazing to have an audience that actually pays attention to the nuance of what's happening. But on the other hand, there are moments of the set where it feels kind of funny. "Let It Go", for example, is a pretty much a full out dance party jam, but a lot of people don't really know what to do with it. And understandably so… In the past, we've toured with poets and string players, and broken up our show into movements…This time, there are shadow puppets and I'm often wearing a poncho and dancing around like an idiot.
So, while we have had incredibly positive feedback after the shows from people, there has also been a bit of awkward transition time as people try to figure out what they are supposed to do while we play this music.
So for those of you who have seen us before and are planning on coming to one of the shows on this tour, here's a little list of recommendations that might help ease you into the live experience of this new record…
Remember that all of life can be "sacred".
Because we started as a band by making liturgical music, it is easy to feel like something like a dance party jam is less "sacred" or something. We don't believe that to be the case. All of life is sacred. The pain. The struggle. The joy. The stained glass and the mirror ball glass. It's all part of existence, and it all matters.
Let go and have fun
Because there are all sorts of moments on this tour: heavy, fun, mystical, thoughtful…etc, the tendency can be to try to fit yourself into just one of those modes. This tour is best experienced with loose fingers. Experience the experience that comes and then let it go without expectation of what the next moment might entail. Specifically, I'm really hoping that by the end of this tour, more people in the audience will start joining us more viscerally in the celebratory aspects of life that are found in I Am Mountain. I love the attentiveness, but I'm also hoping to see more beer flowing and more booties shaking. That would make this experience even more sacred for me.
Bring a friend. (The crazier the better.)
I'll be honest with you. Most of our real fans (the ones that buy tickets to come to our shows) love this album, but there definitely is a group of people who were kind of on the line about Gungor anyway who we have now officially lost with this album. That's actually ok with us, but we also want to get this music in front of new people and perhaps fill some of the newly emptied seats with some of those who haven't heard of us before. I think there are a lot of people out there who this music would mean something to that have never heard of us. If you have any weird friends that would be interested in a concert that contains a classical guitar piece, synth solos, a resonator, a banjo and a dance party, then please let them know that they are welcomed to join some wayward and torn in having a good time singing and dancing together.
Hope to see you soon!