What do you do when you love to support your clients, but they live halfway around the world and you are dying to see a gig, but don't have a passport? You wait patiently until they come to you, of course!
In mid-November 2017, Single By Sunday, an indie pop/punk band from Glasgow, Scotland, were travelling to Toronto, Ontario, Canada to play Indie Week. While Toronto is within driving distance from my home in New York, I wasn't able to secure a passport in time to get there. Surely, I thought, my one chance to meet the guys had passed... (And my disappointment was compounded when the band announced that they were recognized as Indie Week's Best Emerging International Artist, and I thought had missed it!)
The Single By Sunday Guys and their team at Indie Week in Toronto, Canada, showing off their "Best emerging international artist" award... November 2017
My disappointment didn't last long, however. They soon announced they'd be visiting the United States... I didn't need a passport, and, even better, they would be playing in Pennsylvania (a MUCH closer drive than Toronto!)
On Friday afternoon I made the 5 hour drive to Harrisburg, PA, where the band was attending and playing the Millennium Music Conference. They were playing three gigs and my plan was to see the second and third shows.
The second gig was nearly impossible to find! After several wrong turns, and a call to the place for directions, I arrived... completely frazzled and nervous. The venue was some hidden, secret, underground-style venue, and once I finally located it, I realized I had beaten SBS to the place.
I waited anxiously for the guys to arrive, trying to enjoy the other bands that were playing before them. (Speaking of... Seventh Avenue was pretty cool, even though the guys pranked me a little before the show. You should check them out. They've got a music video out on YouTube: https://youtu.be/gGhEhgf5rRo)
There were double doors to enter into the place, and they were covered in stickers from all of the bands who had played there before, so you couldn't see through the glass. I remember clearly seeing the doors crack open, and this purple-haired head came poking through and looked around.
Suddenly, the whole band was standing literally in front of me, less than 2 feet away, loading in their guitars and equipment. They were getting ready for the show, all business, so I stayed back and let them do their thing - until Jonny recognized me and came zipping over to me. What happened next can only be described as a band sandwich! I was hugged by all of these color-coded young musicians as if I had been a part of their family forever.
The guys, Kendell, Angela, and Nicole were all so friendly, gracious and welcoming! We only had a few moments to talk before the guys had to set up the stage for their gig. As they launched into N e v e r e v e r e v e r to start their set, I admit - I was totally "fan-girling." I was trying to take still photographs, but couldn't help but dance along. In the end, most of my photos came out fairly soft-focused or simply blurry:
I had brought along my handheld camcorder, and Nicole (Jonny's sister) was using it to record a bit of footage for me. I was utterly stunned when the band paused between songs in mid-set and pointed me out for the logo design and thanked me for driving to see them. They then asked my favorite song (Adrenaline) and played it for me. I didn't realize it until later, when I was back at the hotel, but Nicole video-taped the song for me!
They played their set with every bit of energy and enthusiasm I imagined they would. They sounded great, were interactive and engaging with those there to see them, and seemed to be having a genuinely good time as they worked the stage.
After the set, we took some selfies and the guys signed my favorite hoodie with the new generation-2 logo on it. As I returned to my hotel room for the night, I was even more excited for the gig the following night!
Saturday morning arrived - dreary and rainy - but I found a quiet place to edit my photos from the night before and do some "research". I discovered that in the UK they don't have some of the weird sweets that I enjoyed as a kid. I went on a mission and made up an "American" snack basket for the guys, then headed off to the hotel for the last gig of the conference.
The Saturday night gig did NOT disappoint! I'm not sure how it is possible, but the guys seemed to have even more energy than the night before. The venue was packed and poppin'! They played "It Is What It Is" (another favorite of mine) and "500 Miles" and took a sweaty post-gig photo with me.
We spent some time talking and laughing and dancing in the club next door before I had to say good-bye and start the long trip home.
I can honestly say that I am proud to be a part of the journey these young men are on. They are hard-working and genuine, and have an amazing team of family and friends supporting them. I can only imagine the greatness in store for them in the future!