6. Set up the stage so people can actually see you
JAKE: At the Niagara Falls show, I forgot to move the Struts’ microphone before we started our set, so it was directly in front of me for the entire show. I didn’t realize this until we looked at a bunch of photos that had been posted online from that show. But it was right in front of me the entire time.
7. Bring earplugs and a sleep mask
JOSH: We knew we wouldn’t get a lot of sleep on this tour, but none of us realized just how little sleep we would get. So we’d nod off whenever we could for however long we could—in the van, in the dressing room, wherever. For those quick naps, earplugs and a sleep mask are a must.
8. Make sure your gear is working properly before you go onstage
SAM: At one show, my tuner pedal was working fine at soundcheck, but it had died by the time we went onstage. Thankfully, I had my second bass, so I played that one for the show. I found out later that the pedal’s 9V battery had gone dead, so we now hook up a 9V cable charger to the tuner so it’s always charged.
9. Always bring a paper calendar
DANNY: On this tour, we were always in one of three places: in the van, at the venue or at the hotel. The days kind of ran into each other, so we didn’t really know what day it was at any one time. Of course, if I hadn’t been the only one to bring a phone charger, everyone would have been able to check the calendars on their own phones. Nothing like bringing a paper calendar that we can hang up somewhere in the van.
10. Don’t forget the super glue
SAM: I play the bass really hard, so I got a really bad blister on my finger when we were in Flint [Michigan]. Bass blisters are deep and they don’t pop. So, we’re in the middle of the show and all of a sudden I see this massive chunk of skin hanging off of my finger, and let me tell you, playing was painful. My dad—who is a bass player himself—was at the show and hooked me up with super glue. I won’t lie, it hurt really badly, but I filled the hole with the super glue, let it dry, and when it had hardened, I was able to continue to play.