Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Rock Your iBalls Off Tour - 2013

To this day I'm still unclear as to why it was called that. Anyhoo....

Despite the fact that Jasmin, our resident BTS videographer, could not accompany us on the second half of our tour last year, I've still decided to blog about one of the most musically spontaneous and fun touring experiences of my life.

Just a few days before the end of the Honestly tour, Tyler approached the band and asked us if we would want to join him for what was originally slated to be a purely solo acoustic tour. After double-checking schedules and making sure that we could make it work, tour management kicked it into high gear in order to make sure we all had the proper equipment and travel arrangements. Once we were ready to go, the issue of just what the heck we were going to actually play needed to be addressed.

After spit-balling a few ideas and discussing what of the new songs from the Honestly record could or could not be performed in a 4-piece acoustic format, an idea came to me backstage before our show in Frankfurt. I approached Tyler with the idea of sculpting a set around the theme of a biographical jaunt through his career. It would be like VH1's 'Storytellers': not only could he tell some of the tales that inspired the music, but we could construct the show chronologically. He would start the show by himself, talking about some of the first songs he ever uploaded to YouTube (which were solo acoustic performances), and then gradually walk through each stage of his career up to the recording and release of Honestly.

Tyler loved the idea, and so the Rock Your iBalls Off Tour finally had its shape.
The band, stripped down to a minimalistic drumkit and smaller amps, had only the soundcheck before our first performance in Lyss, Switzerland to rehearse the show. As I'm sure you can imagine, the set was a constant work in progress, growing and evolving with each subsequent performance. But, that's not to say it didn't work. Quite the contrary.

The audiences loved it. We loved it. So much so that it has become the blueprint for our upcoming spring tours in Europe and North America. The format was more musically adventurous and free - just about everything was fair game as far as orchestration was concerned, and we came up with some pretty great ideas under the pressure of, well, having to.

The views at Old Town Square in Prague.
And so, iBalls was a resounding success. There were far too many specific memories - over the span of just 11 shows - to spell them all out here. In Paris, I missed my chance to get into the Louvre again but had a magical afternoon wandering around the Jardin de Tuileries. In London, I finally got to cross London Bridge and have a drink at the (in)famous Ten Bells. In Prague, I got to take in Old Town Square and bask in the awesome of Týn Church and the Orloj. The cities, the history, the culture... it all speaks to me in its own powerful way and makes this part of my job one of my life's great joys.

To say nothing of the people. We met so many great fans and made some incredible new friendships on this tour. And, of course, some of the old familiar faces still insisted on coming out to the shows, as well. (I suppose we haven't managed to bore them too much yet.)

You people that support Tyler and the rest of us in his little band are the entire reason we get to do what we love. The pleasure of performing music for all of you is one we do not take for granted and the honor and privilege of getting to do it in your home countries is not lost on us at all. It will never be a small thing for me to get to say that I have traveled the world because people like to hear me play the drums. I am exceedingly thankful for that gift and everything else that comes with it and will be so forever. Thank you to everyone who keeps this dream alive for us and keeps welcoming us back year after year. I love you all.

Can't wait to see you again in a few months...

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realize this about that part of the tour. I love that the concept of the tour is staying in tact for the North American shows. I can't wait for the last show to see how it has all come together. PS. My apologies for being all late to the game in discovering your blog.


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