Tuesday, September 23, 2008

State of the Union

Well, the Chris Sligh First Annual Back to School tour is coming to a close.  We've had some really, really good nights.  We've had some okay nights.  We made some brilliant decisions, we made a few rookie decisions.  But...overall the B2S tour has been a HUGE success.

It will end up being 30 shows.  We've averaged about 350 a night, overall (about 250 on ticketed nights - some shows were given free).  We had some really big nights, attendance-wise.  We had a couple of nights that were less than 100.

What I have to remind myself is that I'm a new artist.  I'm on my first headlining tour...though I'd love to see thousands of people flock to the shows, I simply have to be patient as I build this thing from the ground up.  However, management and booking and my whole team is extremely encouraged by how well this little experimental tour went.  We definitely will be having the 2nd annual Back to School tour next year!

One rookie mistake we made was putting the tour in August and September.  Apparently, the Christian music industry has a couple of dead times - Christmas (unless you're on a big Christmas tour - more on that later) and August.  Oops.  Little did I know.  So, I booked 21 shows in August - 17 of those headlining shows!  Haha...rookie mistake.

Another rookie mistake was taking crazy-butt drives between shows.  Kansas City to Greenville, SC?!!!  Stupid!  We will try to keep those shows to a minimum.  When I get no sleep, my voice sounds like poop!

Overall, though, the band played GREAT every night.  We had Jason Walker out for about half the shows and he killed it every night!  We got tighter in friendships and that was great.

So...what's going on in the near future.

Well...first of all, October is a slow month show-wise.  But I am writing a ton.  Along with the 7 shows on the books right now, I have 8 writing sessions, and will be adding more.  I have about 20 songs that I've written that have not yet been demo-ed, so I'll be, hopefully, getting a lot of demo work done.

November is filling up.  We have the Chris Sligh STRIPPED tour, with me, Jon Skaggs and Jason Walker that is up to 10 shows now.  We also will have a couple of full band shows.

One exciting bit of news is this: I'll be going out on the NewSong Christmas tour!  It's NewSong (of course), Rush of Fools, me and special guest Ayesha Woods.  We'll be doing 15 shows starting the day after Thanksgiving until December 21!  Yay!!!  I get to sleep on a bus again!  No driving ourselves!  Roadies!!! YAY!!!

Seriously, though, it's gonna be awesome...more on those dates later!

Also, it looks as though in January through March I'll be on a massive tour for like 35-40 dates...we're still working on details, but if it works out...this tour is going to be awesome!

Then, in March-June, I'm working on building my own tour to own, featuring myself and 3-4 other up and coming artists.  Not sure how this will work yet, but if it works out like I have it in my brain, it's going to be cool.


here i go with all my thoughts said...

Hey Chris-
I've had an incredibly busy summer and an even crazier start to this semester, so I am just now catching up on some of your blogs. I just wanted to say how proud it makes me to hear all these wonderful news from you- especially all the tours you are doing. I know it is important to you to reach out to fans and perform for them, and you are doing just that. I hope I can come to one of your shows. I was just listening to your album and it made me really want to hear you sing live again! It's been too long! Keeping you in my prayers and I'm here supporting you!

<3 Megan

gdahimself said...

Some venues to consider when tour planning. A rather electic trio.

Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake, NJ

Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ

Prudential Hall/NJPAC, Newark

HstryQT said...

yay! sounds awesome! that's SO many shows - can't wait where in the country they end up taking you. you're doing awesome!

oh oh and on KLOVE the other day I realized that they're now using "Empty Me" in one of their little promo commercials that's like "this is what we sound like... *insert clip of song* insert another clip of song * etc." I thought that was great :) - they're using your song to represent what they "sound" like. Woo hoo! ... did you realize that? :)

risalea said...

You go, GDA. Maybe you'll get him in your neck of the woods!

Chris said: Another rookie mistake was taking crazy-butt drives between shows. Kansas City to Greenville, SC?!!! Stupid! We will try to keep those shows to a minimum. (Uh, you should have asked your blogger girls their advice on that one. We were like, "what is he thinking?" LOL)

I consider myself extremely lucky to have caught two of these Back to School shows, and look forward to more in the future. One more time, for those of you who haven't been able to catch Chris live, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! I am sad that it looks like I am not going to make the OH shows that are close to where my sister lives in Oct. I'm not finding seat availability with my free SW ticket on the days I need to travel to accomodate my family and my work. (drat those priorities! LOL) But I hope that my sis will be there with her family. Anyway, congrats, congrats, on a great tour!

Anonymous said...

The Year at a Glance thing is a rather awesome prospect! Congratulations tho, on all the good stuff both past and future.

As a side note, Jason Walker sounds really really great as part of the Chris Sligh group. It's good to know he'll be aboard for more.

Melody said...

Yep, August was a tough month. I tried to find a way to get to your show in Austin, TX, but couldn't work it out with the kids activities. Hopefully, you'll come back through here and I'll be able to get there this time.

I'm LOVING the album, and I'm really looking forward to hearing what you and Luke Menard have come up with as well!

Cathy Storms said...

Wow...I am so excited for you. Things just keep getting bigger and better everyday and that is awesome.
I know it's to much to ask if there is a California date in there somewhere...Please...Please....
I had actually planned on going to Colorado and attend both of your shows since I have family close by. But I start treatment on Friday so I'm not going to be able to make it.
It's beginning to look like I'm going to have to wait till Nashville next year.

I am really excited that things are going to good but I knew they would.

DJ in AL said...


Mistakes are my favorite way to learn! Ok, so that's crap, but it is what it is, right? Considering what it takes to make it in your business I'd say a few mistakes are expected. As long as you continue to be excited about getting up and going to work every morning, you're doing good dude.

Looking forward to seeing the new tour schedules, hoping you get close to AL.


risalea said...

OK, I just had to try out my new avatar with a pic that us crazy girls took of ourselves in Sylacauga. Here we are with these expensive cameras and it's one of the few decent pics we took all weekend! LOL I was going to use the other one, DJ, but I didn't want you to have to come to AR to kick my bootie. : )

DJ in AL said...

Risa-I noticed you used the "best" pic of you and the worst of me! You're still in trouble girlfriend!

Anonymous said...

It seems like you've been going nonstop for so long now but I know that's what you need to do as a new artist.

Lori-Teddy's getting so big & is so cute! I'm on your facebook. I'm so glad his surgery went well.

Amelia's 7 months now, time flies! Here's a picture of her trying on her ladybug halloween costume tonight :)

gdahimself said...


Your hypercritical on this photo thing. You look fine.

Hischild said...

Just reading your schedule exhausts me, Chris. I pray you stay healthy and not too stressed out.
A few weeks ago I was remembering when you were writing what seemed like a new fantastic song every other day and then coming here and telling us all about it and posting a demo and we were reviewing and discussing back and forth w/you and it was just SO exciting and cool. I was missing that with you being on tour and busy out of your gourd. So this post really makes me smile.

Can't wait to hear some new stuff from you and see the concert dates.

I'll be praying for ya Friday w/treatment starting. A close friend of mine came through it all 2 years ago and she is doing wonderful now. Be encouraged, sweetie. You are loved.

Carmen said...

Wow looks like you have a lot of shows planned for the near future. I seriously can not keep up. At least my wallet can't! (even if Risa thinks I have trust fund dedicated to Sligh concerts) LOL
Seriously dude, I am so glad that you are building your fan base. Mistakes are expected but I am glad you are able to look at them and see them as growing moments.
Looking forward to Murray Hill in Jacksonville.

Risa, I love the new avatar!!!


EmilyBoo said...

I can't wait to hear more about the Newsong tour! I tried to find some of the dates but no luck.

Chris, I asked this a few posts ago, and not to nag, but I was wondering if you could tell me anything about the October 24 date in Monroe, Michigan. It's the closest to me yet, but still a long drive, so I hope you're headlining!

Cathy, praying for you as you begin treatment on Friday!

DJ in AL said...


I'm hypercritical about everything, you should know that by now:) P.S. Risa mailed me the postcard you sent, too funny. You crack me up.


Cathy Storms said...

Thanks all for the prayers.
Risa~I love the new picture. You guys are so cute....

Anonymous said...

All the concert talk is merry-- I sure like that. :-)

DJ-- I much prefer being the photographer, than the one photographed! Still, that pic of you and the other girls is a "keeper"--
You all look smiling, and cute there. Happy! Some pictures just gotta Be.

DJ in AL said...


Oh I kid alot about pics and such. As my friend Audra like to say, it is what it is!

Anonymous said...

Cathy, sending positive thoughts your way !