The Tour Diaries: Part One
October 26, 2011
When local singer-songwriter Lauren Shera embarked on a tour with the U.K.-based, grassroots promotion outlet Communion, she promised to keep in touch with her hometown through a weekly update of her experiences on the road. Below, is her first installment:
One week ago I hopped in a 15-passenger van (pictured above) and embarked on the Communion Tour. I met up with my tour-mates, The David Mayfield Parade and Matthew & The Atlas, in Austin, TX last week, where I played a warm-up show with M&tA and where DMP was opening for the Avett Brothers. On October 17th we left Austin at the crack of dawn, barely stopping until we reached California just in time for the first show of the tour, at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles.
In the alley behind the venue in LA is where we were able to get an hour of rehearsing in before the show began, as we still had to figure out how to meld our sets (a big part of this tour was the idea of doing "seamless set transitions" from one act to the next) and what our group encore pieces would be. Two hours after our first rehearsal, it was showtime! I kicked off the night with a solo set, joined at the end by members of the David Mayfield Parade who continued to rock the stage after me with their high-energy songs and David's hilarious stage presence. Their set fused into Matthew & The Atlas's, who play perfectly-orchestrated and haunting folk songs that will leave you completely mesmerized. At the end of the night all three acts took the stage to play and extended encore that featured "The Rake" by Townes Van Zandt, "Lonesome Road Blues" (trad.) and "I'll Fly Away" (trad.).
This is how the last week has gone for me, and how it will be for the next few weeks of this tour. In the first week we played in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Visalia, and Big Sur at the first Communion In the Redwoods festival; a completely free festival held at Fernwood this past weekend. It was a magical way to close out a magical week, amongst family and friends in the most beautiful of places. It's been a thrill and an honor to get to share this show with my loved ones, as I am so excited about the music that is being made on stage within the Communion sets.
Tonight we are in Seattle and tomorrow we head to Portland, then it's off to the midwest, the southeast and the east coast where we'll wrap things up next month. It's a blast to get to see the country at this time of year amongst such fine company; I am soaking up every second and feeling very lucky indeed!