In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the folk pop artist, Eli Lev, shares one of his stories from being on the road. You can check out the story below:
This crazy tour story is about how sometimes, you just gotta go for it.
I'm an original artist and I write and perform original music, but during my cross country tour shows, I mix up my sets with cover songs to keep the crowd engaged. I always put my own little spin on the songs I cover to keep things interesting, but this night was a little different than most...
Every so often while on tour, I'll have a venue try to cancel a show on me. Whenever that happens, I just show up anyway.
This was one of those nights: the venue said they accidentally 'double booked' a high school reunion - but I arrived right around when my set was supposed to start and walked right into the high school reunion, which was honestly boring as there was no music on. I set up my speaker, mic and guitar on the stage and was about to start playing when the manager came up and said "I'm sorry, we don't have music tonight, this is a high school reunion!" I replied with two simple questions: "What is the high school's name and what year did they graduate?"
She told me the name of the school, the year 1983, and that was all I needed.
I plugged in, turned it up, and started rocking early 80's covers. Immediately, the room perked up and everyone began smiling, moving around, and even singing along a bit. Then, I asked for requests... They kept coming in - Queen, The Eurythmics, Bob Seger, Madonna, The Police - and the reunion guests ordered more drinks and participated in even more sing-alongs.
The manager saw what was happening, called in their sound engineer, and we switched the sound over to the venue's system seamlessly while I was performing a cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun'. Now, with the full power of the venue's sound, we were really rocking! The room was all singing together, shouting out lyrics, giving hugs and high fives, and there was an abundance of smiles and laughter... and lots of tips.
In the end, it was a wild show, and probably something that class and that town will talk about for a long time to come. I'll remember it as one of my crazy tour stories, and it's a testament to the fact that, on tour as in life, sometimes you just gotta go for it.