4.19.2012

life on the road >> a look inside a tour bus.


so you may or may not know that when my husband, jeff, isn't at home writing hit tunes, he's on tour playing keys with matthew west. and they've had a great gig out on the road opening for casting crowns this spring on the "come to the well tour". but -- great gig for them equals my husband not home for half the time of our first 3 months of being married.
so, to get a better feel for this "road life" (and to just get a weekend together) i joined the boys and loaded up the bus for the weekend.
for those here in nashville, this isn't that crazy. i have a lot of friends that for various reasons have spent a weekend or two on a tour bus. but for those not so lucky to be right in the middle of music city -- let me give you a glimpse into life on the road... (you're welcome, mom!)
(not actually their bus -- just a google image!)
for starters, you get used to sleeping in a coffin. think about a bus, and how high it is. now think about 3 bunks being stacked on top of each other (there are 12 bunks total on most buses). yup -- not a whole lot of room in there. but, it is cozy. and each bunk has it's own little light, plug (phone charging!), cup holder, and tv. yup, you can be lying there in your coffin and a little personal tv swings down for you to watch. and each bunk has a little "privacy curtain" for you to close (and latch!) while you sleep. creates a little more un-interupted sleep.
but all in all, the buses are pretty sweet -- 2 big screens (in a front lounge & a back lounge), a mini kitchen, wi-fi, and more. all while zooming down the interstate at 75 miles per hour. not a horrible way to travel.

though showering and going to the bathroom feel a little more like camping than fancy rockstar living. most showering occurs at the venues in dressing rooms (shout out to lindsay mccaul for sharing her dressing room with me that weekend!) ...lots of planning and shower shoes involved. and let's just say there's the rule "only peeing allowed" on the bus bathroom, so you can just assume there's more planning here.

one of the stops was in chattanooga, and the venue was right downtown, so jeff and i got to walk around and explore a fun little art district between lunch and soundcheck. i was definitely excited for some fresh air and sweet time at a coffee shop! by-the-way... if you're not in walking distance, the only way you're getting somewhere is by getting a "runner" -- which is kinda hit or miss -- so venues in good locations is a big perk!

this tour was pretty massive -- 5 buses, 2 semi-trucks of equipment, and a catering van. there's about 50 people total moving from city to city every night. but they make it happen. the bands and crew are some of the nicest people around, and really care deeply about the work they're doing and the story they're telling through the show each night.

so i think i'll leave the touring life to my husband, but i'm grateful to get a glimpse into the crazy reality of life on the road.
tell me -- have you ever traveled by tour bus? what were your thoughts?

1 comment:

Christine said...

I just remembered that hysterical scene from Two Weeks Notice after Sandra Bullock's character eats the chili dogs and has to borrow the bathroom of a parked RV on the freeway! HA! Guess that would be a problem in the tour bus :) I've only been in the Caedmon's one a long time ago and it seemed pretty cozy! I think I'd like sleeping in those bunks! Glad you got a chance to go on the road!