So as I trek about the country on tour I’m learning a lot about the geography of this great country of ours. So as I delve deeper into this nation I want to right a little bit about what you can expect to find in different regions of the country. Today I m on my way to Chicago from beautiful Indianapolis and I’ve learned a lot about the Midwest (And the weird charm of vaguely trashy Midwestern belles) I want to share the beauty of my travels in an effort to help everyone get a better sense for what to expect when it comes time for them to to journey forth and discover the very human beauty of the all-American heartland.
The most important thing to be aware of with regards to the Midwest s that the people are idiculosly nice. There is a different rhythm of life out here ascompard to my usualEastern peers. Land is a lot cheaper so people tend to have bigger houses and can ut you up in some pretty nice places.People want to help you, everyone we have met in the Midwest has been incredibly kind, helpful and extremely willing to talk. They understand that they can be a bit isolated from the rest o the world (Some of the drives around the region are insane) but things feel homey. It’s like we’ve tapped into a more fundamental side of American life.
This doesn’t mean you should be taking advantage of Midwesterners natural kindness though. These guys seem to be turned on to a different reality. They are a lot more sensitive and will notice if you try and call them out. People out here seem to be a lot more aware, they are careful about how these things go down and have cultivated something special with their attitude. You need to embrace this as you move forward, simply because it means that there is a lot more to enjoy in the Midwest than might initially meet the eye.
The issue of course is that most folks on the coasts view the Midwest as something of a hellhole. The guarantees at shows tends to be less than ideal because attendance is usually lower, after all people are spread out, and in a lot of these places, poor as dirt. It’s a place that most people seem to be striving to get out of, but can’t because even though their minimum wage job might take care of them here it can’t really give them the flexibility to move elsewhere. The venues tend to be bigger but that’s because there are so few, and thus seem smaller when your band only gets to play to forty odd people. Then of coure there’s all the anti-abortion ads and the giant billboards that say “JESUS IS REAL.” Suffice to say – the Midwest isn’t going to always be a super appealing place to play.
That being said – as a whole the Midwest has really impressed me. Despite a bleak Monday night in West Virginia this leg of the tour seems to be going incredibly well. Just look at how our merch sales have done! It’s common to have people come up and dump a hundred dollars on merch just because “You’re in a touring band, I have a good job, but you need the money” It ties into the no-nonsense attitude that folks seem to have out here about just about everything. People in the Midwest have proven to be really ‘with it’ and excited to see you band come ou because they have been skipped over time and time again.
Suffice to say – the hospitality that we have seen has made me excited to come back here. The people here genuinely want to help, they have none of the pretentious delusions that folks on the coasts seem to be so often tied into. The Midwest started out as a place I was dreading touring through since I didn’t have a lot of friends and didn’t think I would find a lot of places to stay, yet we have found no end of kind folks who wanted to hook us up, help us out and create a better tomorrow for a scene that is several underserviced. What I’m trying to say is that even though this place can be brutal it is somehow worth it.