When on the Road: Expect the Unexpected

erica bryan, beaverdamusa.com, behind the micI’ve started expecting the unexpected when it comes to out-of-town shows. It’s a good habit to build, because you never know what you’re going to run into on the road. My last show was no exception.The day started at 8:30 a.m., when we met at one of my band member’s houses to load up the Delta Mama (our “tour” bus…see previous post). We headed to Chick-Fil-A, a band ritual for early morning drives, then headed down I-65 from Nashville to Birmingham.

The trip was fairly uneventful, just a lot of laughs at the comedian we were listening to, and some bathroom breaks. After 3 hours, we pulled up to the house we were staying at, got out of the car, and my guitarist/bassist said, “I just realized I didn’t bring my bass.” My initial response was, “Wait- is this a joke? Is this serious?” She confirmed that this was, indeed, not a joke. Luckily, the band member we knew the best, from the other band we were playing with that night, was the bass player. So, we asked him if we could play his bass. He kindly responded that we could. Phew! Disaster was averted…for now.

We then ate some lunch, had some rehearsal, and went on our way to the show. At 7:30 p.m., we got to the venue. When we walked in, it was a brisk 90 degrees inside, and we were aptly informed that the air conditioning was broken. My immediate thought was of my drummer’s Grandma, who was going to be in attendance, and thought that she would probably not enjoy watching the show from a sauna. They said they were going to bring in some fans, but never did. However, my band is awesome, and 2 of them took initiative to find the fans and assemble them in the room.

While the fan fun was happening, the other band was sound checking. However, that band had already been there about 2 hours trying to sound check, and there seemed to be some confusion with the sound guys that took a while to figure out. So, we just waited a while. After we waited what seemed like eternity, one of my members said, “Maybe the sound guys don’t know that we exist?” I thought, “there’s no way they don’t know we’re playing tonight…but maybe we should tell them just in case?” So, he went up to them, told them we existed, and their response was, “There’s another band?!”

At this point, it was 8:40 p.m., and our show start time was 9:00 p.m. We hadn’t even put our equipment on the stage yet. They were already letting people in the doors, so our audience ended up watching us put the instruments and cables on the stage. We then sound checked for our entire audience.

Finally, we got everything situated and started our actual show around 9:10 p.m. There were many loud drones of sound feedback throughout our set, but considering everything we had just gone through, it was the least of our worries.

When people ask how our show went, my response is simply, “What we could control went very well.”

About Erica Bryan

Erica’s passion for performing started when her mom brought her to her first theatre audition in Pennsylvania when she was eight years old. She didn’t make the cut. But the next year, she went back to the same audition and got the part. From an early age, Erica learned that with hard work and persistence, anything can happen. After her first show, there was no question that performing is what she would do for a living.
When she was twelve years old, her family moved to Roswell, GA, where she heard Country music for the first time. After listening to Reba and singing lots of Shania Twain karaoke, Erica decided she wanted to be a Country singer. Some years went by and, although Country music was always in the back of her mind, she started focusing more on her theatre opportunities, which led to her decision to study Musical Theatre in college.
While still in college, Erica performed professionally with Opera Birmingham, and spent her summers performing at theme parks and theatres. After graduation, she moved to New York City to continue her professional theatre career. While in New York, Erica got to train with Broadway’s finest actors and was cast in leading roles in Regional Theatres around the country. During one of her shows, Erica had the opportunity to perform with a Country band on the side. Call it coincidence or fate, but Erica was back singing Country music in the middle of a theatre contract, and she fell in love all over again.
After another year in theatre, it became clear to Erica that it was time to move to Nashville, TN and pursue her original childhood dream of being a Country artist. Shortly after arriving to Nashville, she landed a day job working for country hero, Reba McEntire, at Starstruck Entertainment. By night, she began crafting her own songs and writing skills. Within a couple months of songwriting, Erica’s songs started receiving the highest honors from the Nashville Songwriters Association. She recently released her debut single “This House Is Haunted,” and is receiving radio play in multiple countries. For the Country Record describes Erica as, “one of those rare multi-talented people who most only dream about becoming.” Erica is currently touring with her original music and plays keys, ukulele, and guitar to anyone who will listen.

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