Equipped with two helping hands and a digital camera, I boldly joined an out-of-state-tour gig with The California Repercussions Marching Band. Around seventy band members and roadies traveled to the fabulous city of Las Vegas, Nevada. It was one hot spring weather gig!
What are Roadies? They’re volunteers who give assistance to the musicians. For me, being a roadie meant helping and learning at the same time. I carried some of the instrument pieces from one location to another. Sometimes I handed out bottles of water to members who needed to hydrate. I offered any legwork to make the musicians’ gig smoother. It sounded easy, but very challenging.
The hard work sat on the shoulders of gig-getters and trip-planners. They were the ones who booked the hotel rooms, talked to the parade organizers, negotiated with security, and did all the impossible stunts to make the whole tour happen.
Thank you shout out to “Team Vegas!”
The band played at several locations wearing red shirts, black shorts and white hats; musicians carried different music instruments, from small piccolos, to medium-sized saxophones, trumpets, and mellophones. They were quite visible with the big bass saxophone, drums and large sousaphones. If you were at the city of Henderson, then you witnessed the fun street choreography of the 70-piece marching band. It was a complete eye-catcher, accompanied with up-beat music.
These were the areas the band visited:
1. At The Strip – several spots; stayed longer in front of Bally’s, Caesar’s Palace, and Monte Carlo (red/black uniform)
2. At Henderson – St. Patrick’s Day Parade (green/black uniform)
3. At Broadacres Swap Meet Stage (green/black uniform)
My non-band friends often asked: Why would these successfully employed folks take time off away from their families in order to meet up with fellow band friends? Why would they play their instruments at far away places where no one even knows their name? Why volunteer to spend money on a marching band instead of getting paid individually as a musician?
According to one of the gig-getters, the band gigs were all about giving and sharing.
1. Give time – In order to meet up with wonderful close musically-inclined friends
2. Give talent – In order to hear and play wonderful music
3. Give effort – In order to have fun, gather all talents together
4. Give music – In order to infect other people with their positive vibe
Hard work done by so many giving hearts resulted in something absolutely spectacular. People loved the band. The crowd danced to their music. Listeners cheered for more. It’s an out-of-this-world feeling. Everybody needed the positive inspiration.
For that aspect, people learned more about the band. They asked about them. The California Repercussions, a fun band to follow.
I’d never get tired supporting this band. I can’t wait to be one of their musicians, too. Everybody needs music. I need music. Giving time to create music makes everything easier. Giving time for others to listen to music makes life a little bit happier. At least, that’s what I learned from my very first tour with the band. I’m looking forward to the next gig.