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TOUR DIARY: Mean Creek reflects on touring with Counting Crows

Posted by Glenn Yoder  May 8, 2012 03:00 PM

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[Saturday night, Boston-based band Mean Creek finished up their US tour with Counting Crows, and band members have been offering a glimpse of life on stage and in the van on the band's biggest tour yet. Read the first post from bassist Erik Wormwood about returning to Boston, a second installment from drummer Mikey Holland about Foxwoods and Atlantic City, a check-in from the south by singer and guitarist Chris Keene, and some thoughts heading into the final show from Holland. Below, singer-guitarist Aurore Ounjian follows up with this wrap-up on the drive home.]


Mike Vera

From left: Singer-guitarist Aurore Ounjian, singer-guitarist Chris Keene, drummer Mikey Holland, and bass player Erik Wormwood outside of the band's Super 8 motel in Jacksonville, Fla.

I have a love/hate relationship with Nashville. Back when Chris Keene and I were playing as an acoustic folk duo, Chris & Aurore, we used to drive down to Nashville in search of musical opportunities, whether it was signing up for open mic slots, playing in coffee shops, visiting recording studios, etc. Hell, I remember walking into lobbies of record labels asking receptionists if we could leave our music with them. As naïve as all of this sounds, we truly believed (and still believe) that if someone heard the passion and hard work we put into our music, they would believe in us. Unfortunately, we always drove the 18 hours home completely discouraged and heartbroken.

Fast-forward about five years. I got a phone call from [Counting Crows's lead singer] Adam Duritz on Feb. 17, 2012. Only an hour after my big sister gave birth to her first child, Adam gave me even more emotional news. “The gigs are all yours this spring”, he said. I couldn’t believe my ears, but after managing to pull myself together, I realized we were going on tour with Counting Crows. Adam has always been extremely supportive of Mean Creek (and to tons and tons of other bands), but this was above and beyond. I immediately called my bandmates and shared the incredible news; it was one of the happiest days of my life.

A few days later, we got the tour itinerary and, lo and behold, I noticed that we’d be playing the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville; not only have some of my favorite musicians emerge from this city (dead or alive), but they have played at this very club. Immediately, I knew I’d be playing this show for my scared, 19-year-old self. I couldn’t wait.

Needless to say, the show was absolutely amazing, as all of the shows on this tour have been. The crowd, sound, and venue all exceeded my expectations. So, as I write this entry from our van, on this very familiar 18-hour drive back to Boston, I can finally say that I feel proud.

Before I end this entry, I want to say, aside from all the great music, venues, opportunities, and fun adventures we’ve been lucky to experience on this tour, I am mostly thankful for the relationships we’ve made along the way. The members of Counting Crows and their entire crew took us in, treated us so well, and taught us a lot over the past month. I rarely find myself feeling so attached to people, but these guys and gals are truly special. I want to say that I’m going home having made some really great friends, but what it actually feels like is a family.

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