TOUR BLOG: Kiros (Week 1)

Kiros-8

Under The Gun Review is excited to bring you the first of many exclusive Fall tour blogs today with an entry from Ain’t No Grave Records’ Kiros.

Currently out on the “Music With A Mission” tour, Kiros will be giving UTG readers exclusive access to their life on the road over the next few weeks, as well as details on their forthcoming Outlaws and Prodigals EP (Out September 27).

Click “read more” to view the group’s full entry and be sure to check back in a week for another installment!

Tour journal 1

Sept 1. Waukesha WI

We stayed with friends just outside of Chicago last night, so the drive to the show is a short 2 hours.

We pull up alongside the big coaches and the semi truck that is carrying the production for the tour. Our bus feels small next to the big entertainer coaches.

The first day of tours can be chaotic, but not this time. Everything is well organized, directions and times clearly marked. After a few hours connecting with old friends/tour mates, and making new friends, I realize I’m overwhelmed with names and faces, and that its going to take a couple weeks before I’m really on top of it. Everyone seems awesome on this tour, and we’ve crossed paths with many of them before, so hugs are more common than handshakes.

Instantly, I’m excited about Jason, the singer of Hawk Nelson. A huge Calgary flames fan, and a fellow Canadian, we have a lot in common. We’re hoping to put together some pick up hockey games, and teach the Americans a thing or too. All the guys in that band seem awesome, so it should be a lot of fun.

The sound and lights production is over the top great. Playing on these big sound systems that are designed for the big rooms, along with seasoned sound techs who really care about the artists makes our job easy. A quick sound check lifts any remaining anxiety right off my shoulders as the mix gets dialed in flawlessly and seamlessly.

The show is great, although the attendance is considered small for what’s expected for this tour. I’m guessing between 500-600. Wisconsin is a state we rarely get to play, but we are well received, and find ourselves signing plenty of autographs, and making lots of new fans. We’re grateful for the response, and eager for the next show. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get my hands on some Wisconsin cheese, but I didn’t think about until it was too late to stop anywhere and get some.

Sept 2. Lacygne Kansas

Bus troubles turn our 9 hour drive to Kansas into a 15 hr drive. I’m first up behind the wheel, and we notice our battery is barely hanging on. We make it to Walmart and die in the parking lot. Ryan proves resourceful, removing, testing, and replacing the battery. After my shift is over, Johnny takes over, and upon stopping at a gas station, notices our front tire has gone flat. We have it fixed at a nearby tire shop. Later, when Jordan is driving, the weather stripping on the front side window almost completely comes off. We remove it and replace it with duct tape. We’ll leave that repair for another day.

Finally we arrive at “rock the light” festival in LaCygne Kansas. I run into a few old friends including the TFK guys. Always beautiful running into fellow Canadians! They put on a great show every time.

We don’t play till Sunday, but we set up our merch, and hang out. At our table, we’ve set up a listening booth, and we start making new friends.

For the weekend, we’ve been provided with a nice little cabin on the grounds. Between the cabin and the great catering, all our needs are met and more.

Sept 3. Lacygne Kansas

I woke up at 7 and went for a run around the campground/festival grounds, then head to one of the Merch tents. It’s empty, so I grabbed an acoustic guitar and started writing a new song. Although the morning is beautiful, today I’m inspired by heartbreak, and the lyrics and melodies mix with the chords resonating that theme.

The festival doesn’t come alive until noon, and once again our merch table is busy, and remains so all day.

I did an interview with a magazine called Susie. It’s a magazine directed at teen girls. It was actually one of my favorite interviews in recent memory, with the questions being very unique, deep, and engaging. I’ll be posting a link on our twitter and Facebook once the interview is published. Some of the questions had to do with Christmas, so it might be a few months away before is published.

A storm rolls through around 4:30, and the whole festival shuts down for an hour. There is still a lot of fear due to the recent deaths at the state fair in Indianapolis, so the stage area is immediately cleared out.

Steven Curtis Chapman is one of the headliners tonight. He’s hugely popular with adult Christian audiences, playing an acoustic driven a/c sound. He shared a story about one of his hit songs called “Cinderella” which is about his young daughter. The song is about watching her grow up, looking forward to her prom and her wedding etc. The song is frequently played as the father/daughter dance at weddings. A few months after the song came out, his daughter was tragically killed in a car accident. He talked about God meeting him in this tragedy, how God is still good even when bad things happen, and how much he’s looking forward to seeing his daughter again after this life is over. He then proceeded to play the song, effectively bringing tears to the audience of 4000 people.

I’m going to bed tonight still thinking about that song, and what it must take for Steven to summon to the strength to perform it. All our songs are close to my heart, and some hurt to sing sometimes, but nothing like that.

Sept 4. Lacygne Kansas

Today is our day to perform at Rock the Light festival.

We offer Ryan 6$ to take a round house kick to the chest from a teenager who takes karate lessons, but the kick is pretty weak. I think he was worried about actually hurting Ryan so he let up. Bing the roadie bets a butt punch on a disc golf putting challenge and loses to Ryan. A crowd gathers to watch Ryan deliver a bruising punch.

We play on the main stage at 3:30pm to an enthusiastic crowd of well over a thousand. A few fans are holding homemade signs, and at one point a plastic flamingo joins us on stage. Ryan almost falls off the speaker stacks he climbed during his guitar solo.

After the set we find a long line at our booth that quickly turns into a blob. The people of Kansas are friendly, and I think we were as excited to be hanging out with them as they were with us. It takes a few hours, lots of camera flashes, high fives and more before the crowd disperses, and I make a trip to the deep fried Oreo stand. A perfect and genius creation.

Tonight is finished off with an incredible performance by Switchfoot. They are band I’ve been listening to for near a decade, and they have been influential on my songwriting. I watch half the set from side stage, and for the other half I join the crowd out front, and sing my heart out.

Sept 5 Springfield MO

I wake up in my bunk in the parking lot of the venue. It’s a big entertainment complex. It’s nice to hear from the promoter they’ve already hit 800 presales.

Catering is provided by The Catering Divas “www.thecateringdivas.com”. They’ve won national awards and been on tv shows, and all three meals throughout the day prove why! Everything is exceptional, but the almond chocolate cup cakes and the strawberry cake pops are the absolute highlights! There were the sweetest ladies, and I probably got about a dozen hugs from them throughout the day.

To pass some time, myself and a couple guys from Hyland throw a football around inside the venue. Nick and Trisha from Superchick have 2 dogs who like to play soccer, so we play keep away with them. Then all of Kiros heads to a local disc golf course for a 9 hole round.

Back at the venue, a line has formed and wraps around the building. Ryan and I walk through the line greeting everyone.
By the time we hit the stage, 1300 people are in the house, and the energy in the room is thrilling. All the bands on the tour put on a great show.

After the show we end up at a Steak n Shake along with the guys from Same State and a crew we met at the show. They are a great up and coming band and solid dudes. It’s was nice to get to known them a bit better before we head to the hotel and call it a night.

Click “Read more” to read the full entry and keep checking back for additional updates in the coming weeks.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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