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TOUR DIARY: Mean Creek

Posted by Michael Brodeur  April 27, 2012 10:56 AM

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[This week, Boston-based band Mean Creek finish up the final leg of their U.S. tour with Counting Crows, and MC bassist Erik Wormwood will offer a glimpse of life on stage and in the van on the band's biggest tour yet.]

Mean Creek has been writing, recording, and playing shows for the better part of 6 years. In 2010, Adam Duritz saw us play a CMJ showcase put together by Ryan Spaulding and DigBoston. We became friends with Adam, he has come to see us play and let us crash at his apartment when we are in town

Of course we were ecstatic to open for the Counting Crows. We all have very powerful early memories of listening to their first record when we came to musical consciousness in the early 90’s.

Touring has long been a major goal for us, but there are aspects that are challenging as well. We all have jobs that are not easy to leave and we have to cross our fingers and work extra hard to make sure we don’t lose them to pursue our musical goals. We have had to make some pretty gnarly drives to keep up with the Crows’ buses on our jaunt across the country. We traveled across the U.S. in just over a week playing shows. We would see the desert one day and a snowstorm the next. Feeling exhausted and weary became the norm.

That being said, the reality is that this is an amazing tour for us. The crew and band have been unbelievably helpful and generous. The 45-minutes we get to share our music to a very open and supportive audience, as well as watching the Counting Crows perform, is the highlight of every day. This is why we bust our asses.

Playing Boston was a culmination of all these dichotomous feelings. Before each show, Adam is gracious enough to introduce us to the crowd, which gives us a tremendous boost of confidence. As the stage manager was trying to rush us on the stage last night, our singer/guitarist Chris Keene’s mom stopped us on the ramp. I introduced her to Adam. As she shook his hand, she thanked him for the opportunity he had given to us. She told him Chris has been playing in bands since he was 11 and that this was his dream. Her voice was sincere, full of emotion; she was on the verge of tears.

Adam graciously thanked her, and then looked at us as she left and said, “That was awesome.” Chris laughed with happiness and without embarrassment as we took the stage. Later in the set, Chris dedicated our new song ‘Young and Wild’ to three friends he had grown up playing music with. I thought I heard his voice waver with emotion and it was palpable how important this was to him, and to us all.

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The latest news, commentary, and reviews on music in Boston and beyond.

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Sarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.

James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.

Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.

Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.

Julian Benbow is a staff writer at the Boston Globe, covering sports and music.

Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.

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