Dalton Willett, Indigo Kidd
“It began in Arlington, Texas, at a brewery with a record store and music venue attached. We befriended a couple of flight attendants and shared Mexican food with them before being invited to their apartment. [Once there], we’re introduced to their friend, a captain on an airliner, who proceeds to brew us some special tea. We’re spending quality time with the captain, and he’s going on about how he’s so jealous of us being in a band and traveling from state to state. This was a captain of a plane, saying he was jealous of us. It became clear to us that our way of life is a symbol of something we all deeply want: freedom from the monotonous cycle of work and routines. We’re lucky to be three best friends who can get in a van and look at each day as a new adventure.” indigokidd.bandcamp.com.
Rasar Amani, The Lique
“We played Cleveland a couple summers ago on a national tour and played at a bar across the street from the stadium—the Yankees were in town, it was a big deal. My girlfriend at the time actually flew out to see me, and she hid this secret for months. It was the surprise of a lifetime and probably the coolest thing I can remember someone ever doing. … Our last show before the world ended was that Friday when everything hit the fan. We had a show at the Space—we had Cameron Calloway, Sonia Barcelona and a rapper named Spectrum. It was great. It was all-ages and people were social distancing for the first time. I think we knew the world had changed, but nobody had fully perceived what had happened yet.” thelique.com.
Megan Wingerter, Dusty Sunshine
“In Lincoln, Nebraska, we played a show at Duffy’s Tavern with Bol’d Crow, and they asked us to come back to their place—they had made homemade apple pie moonshine and lived out in the country in this farm area. There were banjos and violins, just all these random people there playing music. One of the guys said, ‘I have this farm that I work on and I have baby goats that were just born; do you want to see them tomorrow?” So we meet up with this guy the next day, and we get to the farm and it’s a weed farm. This is 2013. We’re like, ‘Uhhhh, where are the baby goats?’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, we’ll get there.’ It felt a little sketchy, and I kept saying ‘Where are the baby goats?’ We ended up seeing the baby goats, and they were so cute and everything ended up being OK.” dustysunshine.bandcamp.com.
Charley Fine, Be Like Max
“When we went to Brazil, it was just a really good experience for us. We have to tip our hats to [Brazilian band] Abraskadabra because they did most of the work. It was a DIY tour, but for us it really wasn’t. They booked all the shows and showed us around, and we had a driver, which was pretty nice, and just a lot of really good times and good food. It was easy for us to just show up and play and win [the crowd] over—they like ska-punk out there, at least at the shows that were booked. Abraskadabra brought out 100 to 200 kids each show, and the energy was great. ... I miss touring. The longer you go without doing it, the more you realize how big of a part of your life it was.” belikemax.com.
Brendan Scholz, Mercy Music
“We’re the band equivalent of Curb Your Enthusiasm—we’re generally boring, but sh*t just has a way of finding us. Our last tour before COVID was our first trip to Europe, and we made lifelong friends and played the first club The Beatles ever played in Hamburg, [Germany]. We also just about broke even, which is a victory. The quarantine really put things into perspective as far as taking what we get to do for granted. I will never ever complain about playing a show in the middle of nowhere, or anywhere to no one, ever again.” mercymusicforyou.com.