November 14, 2011
Check out Lauren Shera's final installment of her journey around the country on the Communion Tour, including a visit to my hometown of Philly:
From the window seat of a plane carrying me from Boston to San Jose, I feel like I've left summer camp and am trying to thumb through the files of memories I've accumulated over the last month to keep them fresh and present in my mind.
The last week of the Communion tour found me crunching leaves on a perfect fall day in Nashville, getting to indulge in some thrift store shopping and a good cup of coffee before our show there at the newly remodeled 3rd & Lindsley, a great gig as it was a hometown appearance for the David Mayfield Parade. Atlanta's show was at Smith's Olde Bar and was an especially fun and high energy set for everyone. We also made stops in some places I'd never been: Raleigh, NC where we played a beautiful place called the Lincoln Theater to an enthusiastic crowd that seemed to come out of the ether, as the part of town we were in seemed so empty when we got there. We even got to enjoy a day off in a cute town just outside of Raleigh- our first off-day that didn't involve a long drive. It was wonderful to be able sleep in and do such normal things as take a walk or lay around listening to Tommy from Matthew & The Atlas tell us ghost stories.
From there we moved on to Vienna, VA and played one of my favorite stops of the whole tour at Jammin' Java- an unassuming oasis of a venue located in a strip mall. That night all 12 of us crammed into a friend's nearly-empty apartment and slept for a couple of hours before we continued our journey eastward. We did a radio performance at WXPN in Philadelphia and afterwards enjoyed a day of wondering around the city and getting some exercise in the park across the street before our soundcheck and show at World Cafe Live, one of Philadelphia's most revered venues.
I think everyone on the tour would agree that a major highlight was our show at the Mercury Lounge in New York City. We had an early load in that day and were able to enjoy some fun city exploration afterwards: pizza, coffee, music shops and an evening walk through SoHo in the perfectly crisp air right before it rained. The show was packed and the energy was electric and I think all three acts delivered very memorable performances that night. For the last song of our group encore at the end of the night, David Mayfield invited anyone who wanted from the audience to get on stage with us, which resulted in more people on stage then there were in the house! My Dad had flown in to catch the show and was able to come share a mic and sing with me, and we even had a friend of Harry's (from M&tA) do a freestyle rap verse in the middle of the song. It was great fun for all that night.
The tour ended with a stop at Higher Ground in Burlington, VT which was a treat as that part of the country is so breathtaking, and brings back fond memories from my childhood when we used to visit there often. Our final show was last night in Boston at Cafe 939 which is located on the Berklee campus. Another full house and you could tell that everyone in the room was really there to listen and enjoy the music. It was a fantastic crowd which fueled a fantastic show, and a great way to say Bon Voyage to my amazing tour mates. At the end of the night as we packed up and went our separate ways, I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, trying not to get choked up as I said farewell to the people I've grown to love so dearly over the last month of our shared adventures together. I know we built a bond that will last forever and I am so grateful for the experience and the chance to befriend such incredible musicians and people. Holy Communion- what a ride!