Rain slammed against the windshield of the van at 3 a.m. on a night drive to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after playing a show in Athens, Ohio. We took this drive in an attempt to make the next day less stressful. Wind shook and pushed us around as if our sprinter weighed nothing. Steve Gibson gripped the steering wheel with white knuckles as he tried to navigate the practically flooded U.S. 22. We were exhausted, nervous and on edge to say the least. By this point, you may be asking yourself why do this? Why pursue a tour? Why go to such lengths?
This and the next several blog posts tells the story of Signals Midwest and their tour across the east coast in support of their album At This Age. From the highs to lows, this is their story told through my lens.
I flew from Salt Lake City, Utah to Boston, MA to meet up with Signals Midwest. They had already played five shows before I had joined up with them but by that point they still had more two weeks left of their tour.
After Boston, the band was riding a high of having played several high energy shows over the last days. The drive to Oaklyn, New Jersey felt longer than it was and by this point Steve was dealing with a terrible cold that caused him to sleep the whole way there and still feel sick by when he woke up. Oaklyn was a smaller less energetic show, a little exhaustion was kicking in but the band still performed as they do.
Loading out of Studio Luloo in Oaklyn, New Jersey after the show. Max (left) Ryan (right).
The show was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania a roughly 15 minute drive from Oaklyn. Grateful to have done well even at a small show, the band drove across the Delaware River and were in Philadelphia.
We woke up in Philadelphia after a long night of needed rest. The band had a whole day to kill before the show that evening. For some it was breakfast or lunch in between time spent at our host's home. Something about touring with Signals Midwest is that, it's still very "Do It Yourself" (DIY). Max booked the whole tour and arranged the places we stayed for the most part. Most of the time those places were houses of fellow musician friends, friends that had been made from past tours or just friends in general. You get it. They were friends. There is something to be said about the DIY ethic and the community that surrounds it. Without it, bands like Signals Midwest would have a much harder time existing.
Later, another small group of us went to get pho at Pho75 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Max (left) Jonathan Hernandez of Timeshares (right).
Max had to get a few hits in before the show.
Side note: he did pretty alright. :)
Thanks for looking and reading. Find Part 2 here
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