If there's one gig providing value for money this month, it's the triple-pronged attack of
Black Stone Cherry, The Cadillac Three and Monster Truck.
Their tour kicks off at the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena this evening, and climaxes with a show at Wembley Arena on December 14.
The European leg of the tour has been in full flow for almost a month, winding its way through Europe in preparation for the final UK leg, so we expect all three bands to be operating as smoothly as well-lubricated hovercraft.
To get an idea of what's going on behind the scenes, Monster Truck guitarist Jeremy Widerman has supplied us with a gallery full of photos: What goes on on tour doesn't stay on tour, but gets shared widely on the internet.
. Tickets for the tour (full dates below) are on sale now
Speaking of merch, here’s a tedious job that must be done every now and then. Here, Steve and Marv are marrying individual guitar picks into sets for sale later that night. It could be a relatively easy job however since the addition of drum picks, organ picks and a band pick it has turned into an afternoon job. The best thing to do is to smoke a big joint and put on wicked tunes and buckle down.
Arena in Vienna Austria. The number of friends and peers and legends who had stickers in this lift is staggering. We had such an amazing show that night. You couldn't go anywhere in this venue without seeing a sticker or tag of from someone who didn’t hold a small place in our heart. Jer and Marv had a couple drinks and decided to capture the moment in a lift that every band we know has ridden in before.
One of the things we’ve learned is that the smaller you can keep the crew the more money you come home with. This has a double effect, one is that you need an absolutely stellar crew that are multi-talented to fill many roles. The other is that when they are off doing one of their other jobs you have to willing to pitch in. In this case while our tour manager Tom was dealing with the gear load out Marv had to fill in on merch. He did ok.
There is nowhere else on a tour that you spend more time in than the back of the bus. Especially when you have lots of long drives on a tour. Movies, Xbox, and all other extra curricular activities take place and you can find anyone back here on any given night. Tonight it’s Marv, Gary (stage tech), Tom (tour manager) and Chris (Front of House). I can’t remember the movie they were watching and they probably can’t either.
Hanging out at merch and meeting fans (new and old) after the show its about as rewarding as it gets. This tour has been one of the best so far for that and Munich, Germany never disappoints. Drinks were had, posters and albums were signed and promises to return soon were made.
Every now and then you have an especially crappy drive. It usually means leaving immediately after the show (around 1am) and then sleeping all the way through the night and drive one to have a few more hours left to go. For our commute from Italy to Barcelona we got about six hours into the drive when the bus died. After an hour of monkeying around they realised the gas gauge got stuck at a 1/4 tank and we were actually out of gas. Once that was rectified we continued on through France to finally arrive in Barcelona around 4pm. It’s a mind melter for sure. But this graffiti in the bus park was neat.
This is the first tour Steve has been on since becoming a dad. Although everyone has someone or something at home that they miss terribly, I have to assume being a new parent and being away from your baby has gotta be the toughest. Having a photo of baby Royal on his t-shirt seems to help just a little bit.
More merch hangs but this time Brando and Marv are chilling with Dean (BSC’s Merch Captain). We’ve been super fortunate that every band we’ve ever opened for has been so accommodating and supportive which is extremely crucial in making a five week tour successful and fun to be on. Huge shout out to Black Stone Cherry and their whole crew for making smiles like this commonplace on this run.
Prior to this tour we had been off the road for over a year. It was the longest time we have ever endured between tours since getting on the road in 2010. Usually it takes us about 3-4 shows to really get “tour tight” but on this tour it took a a bit longer. Even though we had many great shows prior to this one, everything just seemed to click on this night and the crowd seemed to know it. Jer is looking back at Steve almost as if to say “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS SHIT?!??”
(Image: © Nick Corney)
Over the years the wear and tear of the road has taken its toll and the body begins to say no more. In an effort to prevent further damage and undo previous injury both Jer and Steve engage in daily workout routines. Steve with various stretching and strength training and Jer with Ashtanga yoga. Both specialisations have helped immensely and have become as mandatory as eating, sleeping and show beers. The real challenge involves finding a place to do it every day in these smaller European clubs and in this picture we see an empty cloak room in Oslo, Norway with just enough space for both.
Our day off in Munich also happened to be Ben's (Black Stone Cherry) birthday and a party was planned at the local Hard Rock to celebrate. Giant beers and American cuisine was on the menu and everyone had a blast. Just another example of the love between both camps and the inclusive nature of BSC’s etiquette to invite us along.
(Image: © Mike Rodway)
The tour bus is a mythic beast. It can be your fortress of solitude or the bane of your existence. We’ve had trusty steeds and crusty bangers. This is a photo of meeting our bus for this tour and sizing her up to see if we could get a guess which one it might be. As of this writing three weeks in, it’s been a trusty steed but we’ve learned that in the past that can change in the blink of an eye. Here’s hoping.
One of the greatest assets of being on a tour like this is the amazing amount of knowledge you can pick up from being close to a band like BSC all day every day for five weeks. Here Marv is wasting no time chatting and hanging with Ben and Chris and swapping stories and gear knowledge as we all continue to try and get better every day.
(Image: © Mike Rodway)
Black Stone Cherry / The Cadillac Three / Monster Truck tour dates
Dec 6: Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff –
BUY TICKETS Dec 7: Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle –
BUY TICKETS Dec 9: SECC, Glasgow –
BUY TICKETS Dec 10: Manchester Arena, Manchester –
Dec 11: Birmingham Arena, Birmingham – BUY TICKETS
Dec 12: First Direct Arena, Leeds – BUY TICKETS
Dec 14: SSE Arena, Wembley, London – BUY TICKETS