A gray and wet-looking Denmark is slowly rolling by outside the windows of the Mercedes Sprinter tour bus. “It’s Valentine’s Day today!” – says our TM (tour manager) and driver, Victoria suddenly. I know, because I bought chocolate buns for everyone. Our drummer Casper had the same thought and brought cardamom buns. Nobody thought about bringing napkins, and we were all licking the sugar off our fingers by the end. We’re crossing the Storebælt-bridge on our way to the Danish town Fredericia, through very thick mist, and it feels like we are driving into another dimension.

This is a low-budget tour. We share hotel rooms, we pick up and carry all of our gear, set it up and plug it in, play a 90-minute show, and pack it up. We drive home late at night and pay for our own meals. I wish I could provide more for these fantastic people, who give me so much of their time, musicality, and effort. The goal is that one day I will be able to do just that: give them every comfort they deserve! But we are not there quite yet. Our tour manager Victoria is the newest addition to the crew. When we started the tour on January 12th, we thought we could do all of it by ourselves, with occasional help from a driver but touring during the winter turned out to be harder than we thought.

The Magic and the Reality Check

But when we stand on stage together, we forget about space and time. There’s only music, us, and the audience. The physical world gets blurred, we go through the misty portal together like on the Storebælt bridge – and anything can happen! The size of the audience varies between 60-1400 people on these Lucky Lo headliners shows. But no matter how many or how few are present, there are always special moments occurring during the show. Like the time when a bald middle-aged man in a death-metal T-shirt was standing in the front, bawling his eyes out and singing along to the song “Through the Eyes of A Woman”. Or when Mads walked on the tables, (at a sit-down Wednesday-night concert), playing a wild guitar solo while an 80-year-old woman was holding his jack-cable, making sure it was long enough. Or the 3-year-old sitting on his father’s shoulders doing his best with his small limbs to dance the choreography of “Supercarry”. These are the moments we live for!

The reality is that playing the actual concerts only amounts to about 10% of the job. Despite trying our best to stay healthy, we started dropping like flies with influenza. Still, we all showed up to each show. Halfway through the tour, it was only our sound engineer and I left to drive the bus. Everybody was running on low energy and still working. On top of this, I was also selling Lucky Lo merch alone after the show, while the rest were packing down the stage (some of them with fever). At one point, a guy in the audience felt so sorry for me that he jumped into the merchandise booth and helped me find the right T-shirt sizes. 6 shows into the tour, and I was already almost completely worn out. But if I can’t play the show, we are all out of a job.

Asking For Help

Photo by Bjørn Giesenbauer

I can be pretty bad at asking for help. I would rather try to fix as much as I can by myself before I “cause trouble” to anyone else. This is a really bad habit. I wrote a song called “Receiving/Giving” about how people do better when we help each other and are vulnerable together. But I am still learning to follow my own advice. It came to a point where I had to ring the alarm bells. I reached out to everyone on the team (label, management, booking). The magical thing is, that when you are honest about how you feel like you’re not coping, people are often super happy and honoured to help. Our team responded super quickly.

This is how we got our wonderful tour manager Victoria on board. She’s an investment that I could never have afforded normally, but because we had a show that sold over break-even, we made some extra money. Thank heavens!  Now she is driving us around the gray Danish countryside. We are singing loudly along to Caroline Polachek’s song “Sunset”, stuffing our faces with cardamom buns and wiping our sticky sugar fingers on our raincoats. We help each other out, we share the burden. At the same time, we are not scared to talk about the hard stuff when things don’t work out as they should. There’s a cliché saying “Communication is key”, but there is so much truth to that.

Please remember to buy tickets for Lucky Lo shows at your local venues. We worked so hard to get there and would love to see you. Independent musicians need you. We need you. We will give you an amazing time if you let us.

Words by Lo Ersare.

The Big Feel by Lucky Lo is out via TAMBOURHINOCEROS. Listen to it on Bandcamp, Tidal, and Spotify