As a musician you can take this scenario two ways: You can bitch, moan and cry or take it as a challenge. This is what defines who will succeed. Every tour has these dates, you’ve got to make the best of it.
I’ve often equated touring to gambling. Sure, you might hit the big score occasionally but there are so many factors out of your control, it’s no wonder the house always wins.
One of the biggest factors affecting a tour is proper marketing. Nobody is going to see a band unless they know when and where that band is playing. Unfortunately, that’s what happened to one of my favorite acts, Kissing Candice, on the recent Year Of The Killers Tour. I knew the gig was happening but I couldn’t decipher the correct day or location. Ultimately, I decided to contact the band page and inquire.
This was not a good sign, five band playing and nobody knows the date! When Metal Channel Editor Roger Schultz and I arrived at Bada Brew last Saturday night, the place was empty with less than a hundred headbangers on hand.
As a musician you can take this scenario two ways: You can bitch, moan and cry or take it as a challenge. This is what defines who will succeed. Every tour has these dates, you’ve got to make the best of it. Impact the crowd so they remember you.
When Night Falls kicked things off, they’re a local metalcore act from Bloomingdale, IL. The band has a Killswitch Engage or The Amity Affliction vibe. Their set was short but entertaining. I saw more than a few people donning When Night Falls gear, confirming the local support was there.
Ohio’s Erasing Never was the next band up. Established in 2008 this band was like a metalcore version of Pantera! I checked out the group’s website later that night and was surprised to find they are planning an indefinite hiatus after this tour! Hopefully, they will find a way to regroup and continue.
Kissing Candice followed Erasing Never and after interviewing them prior to this gig I was stoked. I hadn’t see the band live since Mayhem Fest and I couldn’t wait to hear them play “Taken”, a new track released last summer.
I’ve been reviewing shows with some regularity since 2011 and I believe I can tell when a band has ‘it’. I’m talking about that place were performance and music combine to form real entertainment.
Kissing Candice wasn’t phased by the crowd. They openly acknowledged it and praised the hardcore fans exclaiming: ‘I’d rather play to a small crowd that’s into our music than a big one that doesn’t give a fuck!’ That’s how you win the night, it’s all point of view.
Needless to say the merchandise counter was flooded their set was complete. Despite wearing sweaty costumes they’d likely want to get out of, Kissing Candice took the time to engage with fans. Taking pictures and signing autographs until everyone in attendance was satisfied.
Dead By Wednesday played next. I’d never heard of this band before but after seeing the merchandise they were selling I was intrigued. I’m a huge fan of the Adams Family and Wednesday Adams appeared to be the band’s mascot. Dead By Wednesday are from New Haven, Connecticut. They’ve been around since 2005 and play a very addictive style of heavy metal. I was just starting to get caught up in their set when I got the dreaded text, telling me my daughter was sick. I needed to come home.
I was bummed I wouldn’t be able to catch A Killer’s Confession. I’m a big of a fan of Mushroomhead but I felt no regrets missing Waylan’s performance. My family is the priority.
On my way out, I noticed a few more cars arriving in the parking lot. The turnout had increased enough to reach a fair level of respectability.
Driving home that night I considered what I had experienced. Although, the life of a musician may be filled with uncertainty. The opportunity to perform and connect with fandom makes that gamble worthwhile. \m/