When you think of the vital things that are needed for tour, what comes to mind? Guitar, bass, drums, amps, and van are probably the first things, right? Aside from the van, I’d argue that cellphones are more important than any equipment. In a pinch, equipment can be borrowed from other bands. We use cellphones on tour for so many things: alarms, capturing memories, communication, directions, distractions, etc…
I never had the pleasure to tour with a band in the pre-cellphone age but I imagine it would have been much more inconvenient. There would be no way to let the promoter know you were stuck in traffic and going to be 2 hours late to the show. There was no GPS to fall back on when you needed to guide the streets of Seattle. There was no access to the internet to look up ridiculous videos for everyone to enjoy.
While cellphones do a lot of good on tour, they can also be negative. When everyone is glued to their cellphones, keeping in touch with people on Facebook and text messages instead of spending time with each other, you begin to question ‘why are we on tour?’ There were some points on Lemuria tour that we had to instate a “no cellphones at dinner” rule because we all realized we collectively were spending too much time on our phones.
I hope this post doesn’t come off as me hating cellphones, because that is the farthest thing from the truth. I got my iPhone 6 the day it came out last year and ordered two new cases for it yesterday (I couldn’t decide between them). Also despite my camera being very portable, I tend to take a lot more photos on my phone. Like many people, my phone has become a vital part of my daily life.
I (sadly) probably spend a good 8 hours a day using my phone. Part of this post was reflecting on cellphones’ role on tour, but it also was introspective. I’m trying to be more mindful of my cellphone use when I am around other people and in social situations.
On Tour With Lemuria photo essay series: