Fall Break Tour Day #1

by Jeremy Chance

Greetings from the Glee Club bus!! We are back on the road for day 2 of our Fall Break Tour. Let’s recap Day #1.

On a personal level, the day did not start out well for me. I stayed up til about 2 doing many much needed loads of laundry. Unfortunately I was scheduled to work a short shift at the grocery store in the morning at 7 am. I get a wake up call at about 7:55 from my boss saying I’m late (obviously) for work. So the day started off a little rough for me. After work I finished packing for the tour. Rehearsal started at 11:30, so I left my appartment around 11 to get there early. Now at this point, it had probably been raining for 36 consecutive hours. I had an umbrella (I finally broke down and got one), but when you have to pull a suitcase in one hand and carry a garment bag with a tux AND a suit in the other hand, holding an umbrella was a pretty difficult task. So I walked from my appartment to PMO, about a 15-20 minute walk, dragging my duffel bag suitcase and garment bag, all while getting soaked (sidenote: my clothes in my suitcase were still wet last night). It wasn’t a very good start to the day.

Rehearsal was good. Grabbed some McDonald’s afterwards with some of the guys. Call time was 1, so we loaded the buses up (while it’s still pouring, mind you) and head out for Lake Zurich High School. Traffic wasn’t too great, even though we took a really interesting route. We arrived at the high school and walked into our beautiful performance facility. The Performing Arts Center at Lake Zurich was AMAZING!! It was built in 2004 but looked as if they just finished last week. It was absolutely marvelous! We soundchecked, headed to dinner then waited around before lining up for the show. Funny story: as we were in line up getting the pre-show peptalk, Lake Zurich’s choir director comes up and tells us that he had to leave one of the doors near or dressing room because, get this, they didn’t build a men’s bathroom in the lobby. There was a women’s bathroom in lobby, but not a men’s bathroom. It was definitely weird. After that little announcement Bill talked to us. Granted, he used to be a high school football coach, but when Bill speaks with us before a show, he really gets me pumped up about it. One of the things we emphasize with Glee Club (that really is applicable in any aspect of life) is the fact that what we’ve done before doesn’t matter. This upcoming show is the next “best show.” Nothing else matters except the 60 guys on THAT stage at THAT moment in time. Nothing else matters. The way Bill conveys that message to us really motivates me personally to perform well. Not that I really need extra motivation, but I love Bill’s preshow pep talks.

And I will say that last night’s show really set the bar high for this tour as well as the rest of the year. From the very beginning we were in sync with Bill and things seemed to be clicking. “Brothers, Sing On” rang in the audience from our surround position and “Praise to the Lord” was strong and powerful as our first song from stage. The “first half” was solid. We opened our repertoire and sang some of our old stuff as well as Bill’s new stuff. The Boiler Boys performed their Frankie Valy and the 4 Seasons stuff and sounded pretty good. People just eat that stuff up. A few soloists performed and sounded great. Lighthouse, the Clever Lads and BaNaNa all performed at halftime and sounded great. Lighthouse and BaNaNa all debuted new songs which went over well with the Lake Zurich audience. BaNaNa performed an arrangement of the hit “Shout” which got the crowd (as well as the guys lined up ready to head back in) pumped up for the second half. We came back in to perform “The Glee Club,” a crowd favorite, about the inter-voicepart arguments. A few songs later VoiceOvers (my group 🙂 ) performed. We sang an arrangement of the classic “Carry On My Wayward Son” and debuted a new song called “Keep Pushin’ On.” I was pleased with how it sounded, especially considering it was the first time in front of a live audience, AND the on stage monitors weren’t working very well making it difficult to hear each other (which makes things REALLY difficult for a group who sings a capella stuff and rely on hearing each other).

We finished the second half with a few more oldies and a few new goodies. After the show we mingled in the audience per usual. My father was able to come to the show, since he works near the high school. It was pretty cool having him there. Yes, he’s seen shows before, but this one was a REALLY good one. After we were “dismissed” and changed into travel attire, we with our families who were hosting us for the evening. That, in my mind, is one of the coolest things about going on the road with the Glee Club. We get the opportunity to stay with people from the area instead of staying in generic hotels. It’s just a unique situation and gives the trip a more homey feel to it. And the people are (usually) pretty wonderful. One of the guys and I stayed with the DeVitos, and they were great. We grabbed some Sonic after the show and watched some of the baseball playoffs before heading to bed. They were very nice people. I’m gonna miss their dogs, too. Snickers, a golden lab, and Lucky, a mixed breed, were too much fun. It was a really great evening and I wish we could have stayed longer then the one night.

We had to be back at the high school at 9:30 to load the buses and headed back out on the road by about 9:45. We’re now on our way up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, or, as Bill puts it, “God’s country.” It’s looking like a good day! Once we get there we’ll head to Le Club for some r&r and lunch. Later we’ll head to Whitefish Bay High School, our assitant manager’s alma mater, to set up and soundcheck before heading to a brewery for dinner. Then we have the show, then it’s off to the next set of homestays. I hear all of the seniors are either in Dan’s house or the Gardniner’s neighbors’ houses, so we’ll probably have a few adult beverages tonight. It should be a great day!

Well, thanks for reading this and have a wonderful day!!