This winter you will have a unique opportunity to host an intimate living room concert with members of Abandon Kansas. Imagine being able to invite a couple dozen of your friends and family over to enjoy an hour of music, stories behind the songs, tales from the road, and the genuine company of authentic musicians and people. Sounds awesome right? I’m sure you already have questions, so here are a few answers. This is a similar set of Q&A as last year, but we’re adding more this year, so read on;
What in the world is going on?
This is The Living Room Tour 4. It’s “The Living Room” because I am going to be playing in none other than your living room. It’s “#4” because I have done this thrice before and people can’t get enough of it, and neither can I! I’m pushing my bags in a car, bringing an acoustic guitar and sharing my music and story with you and your friends in your very own home. I will be playing Abandon Kansas songs, new and old, plus Christmas tunes, cover songs, and even leading in some worship if it fits the occasion. No two nights will be the same, that’s part of the beauty of this tour.
Why in the world are you doing this?
I love playing with my band mates, we play hundreds of concerts every year, and there is nothing like a loud rock and roll show. But this tour is unique because it gives me a chance to spend time getting to know you and you actually getting to know me. For lack of a better term, the living room tour creates “space” to allow the songs to breathe, conversations to happen, questions to be answered, and a unique exchange to take place. Sure, the night will be centered on the acoustic performance, but I will be in your home, eating at your table, with plenty of time to hang before and after, and we will become family, if even just for a night. In past years, this tour has brought songs to life for the fans, but it has also changed my perspective on what music and ministry could really be when some walls are taken down. Playing in your living room is a lot different than a public concert for a lot of reasons and I believe there is some real significance in connecting with AK fans in this environment. Bands take take and take from their fan base, always asking something from them, and the living room tour has been a radical way for me to give back by spending a whole evening with our core fans. Without you guys I wouldn’t have a career in music, and I want to say thanks in a big way.
This all sounds great, but it probably costs the host $1,000, right?
Wrong. Hosting even a small concert for an out-of-town indie artist can easily cost several thousand dollars. There are a lot of expenses like flights, hotels, food, and Starbucks that are usually the financial responsibility of the host, but not this time around. On this tour I am doing everything in my power to cut expenses on my end to keep the evening as affordable as possible. I am charging a flat fee of $300, dinner, and a bed to sleep in for these living room shows.
Can the host collect donations or have a ‘cover charge’ to help with that fee?
Absolutely. While some hosts might not have trouble paying $300 outright, creating a free event for their friends — other hosts might just rely on their connections. If 30-40 people each chip in, that fee is covered — so I hope I am making this realistic for anyone, no matter their financial situation. One important note: If the host takes up a collection of some sort, and more than $300 is received, the excess will go directly to my gas tank and/or McChicken fund for the tour.
Will you have merch available on this tour?
In years past I have brought along a t-shirt design or two, the band’s albums, and some exclusive living room tour posters and such. It will be a fairly bare bones merch setup, but yes, there will be some AK merch available.
I’m sold! How do I offer my house for a concert?
Excellent. It’s an easy (eh?) 3-step process, as follows…
STEP 1: Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your city and state in the subject line. Please make sure the following information is included in the email:
City & State:
How many people your living room can hold:
How many people you think you can get to come over:
Which month (Dec 2012 or Jan 2013) do you prefer?
I also need to know if you mind if the concert is open to the public. This would mean your address is posted online, and while I seriously doubt any creepers are going to show up (it’s never happened before) it’s your right to have the concert be totally private. Keep in mind, I want AK fans to be able to participate in this tour, and I want AK fans to meet other AK fans in their region. I will lean towards the houses wanting their show open to the public, but have played several private events in the past.
At this point in the process you are only showing your general interest in being a host — no commitment is being made on your end or mine. All tour interest must be submitted by Sept 15, 2012.
STEP 2: I will gather all of the email submissions, and figure out what regions of the US have multiple people interested. When I figure out the best route I will be in touch with you about nailing down a specific date. At this point I have taken the living room tour everywhere in the US except the far northeast, so that is a goal for this year. I most likely will not be able to cover the whole country this year, so if we don’t come your way this year, we certainly will the next.
STEP 3: If you’re in a region I’m traveling to, I’ll try to coordinate with you and the others in that region on the best dates for a house show. Routing a tour is comparable to a puzzle, so it is best if the host can be as flexible as possible on timing. I’d rather not zigzag across the country. I would expect that in some cases the travel timing and the host’s availability just won’t match up, and I might have to scratch some names off the list. But I’ll be doing our best to make it work for everyone! Once we have a date & time booked, the host can start inviting their friends & family for a terrific evening.
What?! This sounds too good to be true!
Start telling your friends about this tour now! Even if you can’t host a show, most of these dates will be open to the public and I would love for you to bring anyone and everyone. I’ll be posting info online for the house shows that are open to the public.
What if I’m a church or coffeehouse — can we have Jeremy perform at our establishment as part of this tour?
You bet. However, the $300 rate is an offer only for house shows. We do have a rate for other venues (based on venue size) that will still save a church, college, or venue over 75% from what it would normally cost to bring in an indie artist like Abandon Kansas.
Why the increase in price from last year?
This year is going to be different in several ways. Most importantly, I will be joined by various combinations of my band mates throughout the tour. The guys have never come with me before on a living room tour, but I’ve convinced them how radical this tour is and how much they should be a part of it. There will be a few shows where all four of us will be hanging and playing, but mostly likely in combos of 2 or 3, making each living room show even more unique. More dudes equals more mouths to feed and more time off work, thus the increase in price. Another difference this year; we’re doing less dates. Last year I played 60+ acoustic sets in even less days and it took a toll on me. I want to play less dates, quality over quantity this year, and I think raising the price is a good way to filter out anyone who doesn’t’ want to make this the best house show ever!
What else is new for The Living Room Tour 4?
Back on the first living room tour my friend Tyler and I would play house shows and record them live each night, and turn around and sell that specific set on a burnt disc. I hope to do the same this year, and if not on a burnt disc, put up the entire set online for download exclusive to the people that attended. Wouldn’t it be cool to not only have an acoustic cd, but the very same set you heard that night? Other new goals for this tour are… more fan requests added to the setlist, more unique artwork and merch for living room tour fans only, and more dates in Mexico, Canada, and UK I hope?! That’s all up to you guys though.
Who is traveling with you?
That will be different every date. Depending on the city Brad and/or Brian and/or Nick may be joining me for the evening. In other cities I may have locally based artists join me and share the experience with us. Don’t worry, this won’t affect your fee and you will be notified in advance.
What are the technical needs to pull off a house concert?
This tour will thrive on simplicity. Looking for big living spaces with plenty of chairs and carpet space. You’d be surprised how many people can fit in a tiny room when they want to! For most ‘normal’ sized living rooms, no sound system will be needed. Snacks, treats, coffee and any other beverages will make for a happy living room all around! This tour is close to the holiday season and in years past people have made these house shows a Christmas party as well with goofy sweaters, hot chocolate and all. Feel free to make this event fit your home and your friends and family. I’m stepping into your home to play a show, you don’t have to change everything for me.
You have done a fabulous job of answering all my questions… but I’m concerned that MORE questions might pop up?
Last year’s TVU special (*note* this show is shorter than the one you’ll be hosting , but just to give you an idea)
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