Thursday, April 23, 2009

On Tour On Bicycle: Blind Pilot

I first heard about Blind Pilot a couple weeks back on a recommendation from someone I'd just met. My interest was piqued when I read today that for a couple of their early tours they had traveled strictly by bike.

Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski met in college at the University of Oregon and began writing songs and playing music together in Portland. When they took their show on the road they opted to do so by bicycle. This wasn't a tour with a support car. They constructed bike trailers to pull their instruments and gear along with them. Instead of a tour bus, they camped along the way. Their fist such tour was planned to run from Vancouver down the Pacific Coast to Southern California. The trip was cut short when their bikes were stolen in San Francisco. Despite such hiccups associated bike travel the band remained committed to their opted for mode of transport and set out on another tour again by bicycle. This time with added members Katie Claborn on banjo and dulcimer, and bassist Luke Ydstie.
The bike tour seems to suit them just fine as Nebeker says, "[The tour] was actually a pretty great way to meet people, because then they'd ask about what we were doing. We'd tell them we were playing music down the coast."
Blind Pilot have continued to grow as a band (having up to nine members for some shows) and for their current tour they even have a van, but the early bike tours are a pretty cool way of doing the upstart musician circuit. Read some more about their travels by bike and otherwise over at NPR. Listen to a performance of theirs while you're there. Also be sure to check out there own website where you can listen to a couple tracks and check out their postcards from the road. A good sound and a really cool mode of early tour travel. Check 'em out at Lollapalooza or Outside Lands this summer or any of their other tour dates below.

The following dates are supporting Counting Crows and The Hold Steady

5/4 - Ahoy - Rotterdam, Netherlands
5/7 - Odyssey Arena - Belfast, UK
5/8 - 02 Arena - Dublin, Ireland
5/10 - Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre
5/11 - MENA - Manchester, UK
5/13 - NIA - Birmingham, UK
5/14 - Wembley Arena - London, UK
5/16 - Cardiff Arena - Cardiff, UK
5/18 - BIC - Bournemouth, UK
5/20 - ICA - London, UK* supporting Akron/Family
5/21 - Brixton Academy - Brixton, UK *with Counting Crows only

5/23/09 Sasquatch Music Festival @ Gorge Amphitheater - George, WA

The following dates are supporting The Decemberists

5/24: Wilma Theater, Missoula, MT - Tickets
5/26: Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO - Tickets
5/27: Uptown Theater, Kansas City, MO - Tickets
5/29: Riverside Theater, Milwaukee, WI - Tickets
5/31: Pageant, St Louis, MO - Tickets
6/01: Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, Columbus, OH
6/03: Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA
6/04: Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh, NC
6/05: The National, Richmond, VA

The following dates are headlining shows

6/06: Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
6/07: Black Cat, Washington DC
6/09: Johnny Brendas, Philadelphia, PA
6/10: TT the Bears, Cambridge, MA
6/11: Il Motore, Montreal, Canada
6/12: El Mocambo, Toronto, Canada
6/13: Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY
6/14: Pike Room, Pontiac, MI
6/16: High Noon, Madison, WI
6/17: 400 Bar, Minneapolis, MN

The following dates are supporting The Decemberists and Andrew Bird

7/17: Marymoor Amphitheater, Redmond, WA
7/18: Edgefield Amphitheater, Troutdale, OR
7/19: Edgefield Amphitheater, Troutdale, OR

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1 comment:

  1. giving 'touring bike' a whole new meaning...
    makes me want to go n a long bike trip