Thunderhead. ©Ryan Schierling

In early June of last year, I set out for two weeks with Spanish For 100. They were kind enough to ask me along to document their summer tour, so I packed up my gear, a sleeping bag and pillow, and a fist full of ear plugs.

Now, rock and roll shows (and, more specifically, photographs of rock and roll shows) are pretty much the same no matter where you are in the world - there are clubs of varying sizes; the bands load in and sound check, fans show up and listen to the bands; photographers use all of the tricks in their bag trying to make images that don't look like every other rock and roll photographer; fans leave, photographer leaves; bands load out and move on to the next town. It's kind of formulaic.

That said, I didn't spend all of my energy shooting live shots.

Most of what I found visually intriguing were the things you never really get to see - the moments before and after shows, the long roads, the stops in between cities, decisions and indecisions, the collective exhaustion, teamwork and absurdity that is amplified when you're on tour - and perhaps, disturbingly enough, a certain lead singer in tiny blue swim trunks.

It was an amazing time.

This Saturday, I'll be heading out once again with Spanish For 100, for nearly three weeks of criss-crossing the midwest.

Flying J serenade. ©Ryan Schierling

If you're in any of the following cities, towns, burghs or 'burbs, stop by and say hello, throw back a beer and listen to a band whose sound has been lovingly described as "...Fugazi tackling the Merle Haggard songbook..."

June 15 - Badlander, Missoula, MT
June 16 - Filling Station, Bozeman, MT
June 18 - The Uptown, Minneapolis, MN
June 19 - The Darkroom, Chicago, IL
June 20 - Rhino's, Bloomington, IN
June 21 - I.B.C., Bloomington, IL
June 22 - The Melody Inn, Indianapolis, IN
June 23 - Friends and Co., Charleston, IL (canceled due to flooding)
June 24 - Mojo's, Columbia, MO
June 26 - The RePlay Lounge, Lawrence, KS
June 27 - Kirby's, Wichita, KS
June 29 - 3 Kings, Denver, CO

No comments: