On The Road: Weekend Run with SolRising

Hey all! I just got back from playing two shows with my reggae band, SolRising. We’ve been doing these little weekend “runs” for the past several months since our lead singer had moved to Oakland. We didn’t want to put the band on hold until he moves back to LA (we think/hope he will move back,) so we’ve been setting up shows in Central Cali every other month. So far it’s worked out okay, and we’re still learning how to make the most out of these weekend shows. Here’s a little glimpse of what my weekend was like!

My drumset and two large speakers in my Honda Fit, the guys with everything else…
First show at Mr. Rick’s in Avila Beach
Couch surfing with the band at a friend’s in SLO
Amazing vegan food at Bliss Cafe in SLO! And Kambucha
THE coffee spot in SLO, Kreuzberg
Sightseeing in Lompoc
Of course… I found ramen in Lompoc
The band and gang at Johnny’s Bar & Grill after the show

Playing shows out of town is always fun, but it can get really hectic, with trying to find a place to stay for free, loading our own gear and PA system, and hoping we play to a good crowd. Mr. Rick’s was a tough one because Avila Beach is a small touristy town and an older crowd. We must have played for 20 to 30 people at most. The gig at Johnny’s Bar & Grill was really fun though, a younger, responsive and larger crowd and the promoter kept giving us free shots! I had to say no after the first one because I knew I was driving back to LA that night. I made it home by 4:00 am.

We’re so grateful to do these shows, to have a warm place to sleep at night, and the new people we get to meet and share our music with. I love being able to explore new towns and try different foods, and by the end of the day, play music. But here are some things I’ve learned so far:

  • “When you go on tour, you hear all the sounds and smell all the smells…”
  • ALWAYS bring earplugs. Make sure they don’t fall out easily while you sleep in the same room with everyone else…
  • Bring your own sleeping bag, and extra pillows in case the couch you end up with is saggy.
  • Bring incense, sage, palo santo, or whatever you need to freshen up the place you’re staying… and check if the trash needs to be taken out.
  • Always plan your travel time. I realized that driving back after our last show to SLO from Lompoc was more than an hour, that I might as well drive the extra hour back to LA, to my comfortable, nice smelling bed.

That’s all I can think of for now. I’m sure there will be more the next time.

Thanks for reading!


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