Although there are always problems that arise along the way, the current Bad Luck tour has been plagued by, well…..bad luck. In fact, the show I attended in Cleveland had been called off, days before. But for Dominick Fox (guitar/vocals), Evan Blaine (guitar/vocals), Joseph Fox (bass), and Jake Kneer (drums), the show must go on…no matter how many things go wrong.
The van broke down. When Bad Luck announced that due to unforeseen circumstances certain shows on the tour would have to be eliminated, fans took to social media in protest. One group of fans from Chicago, Illinois, had planned to attend the show in Cleveland, because it was the closest to them. Not wanting to miss a live performance of their favorite band, they pooled their resources and began planning a 345 mile (each way) road trip. They reached out to Bad Luck, telling them how much the individual songs meant to them. The Chicago fans even cited lyrical passages in songs from the debut album, Cold Bones, that helped them through tough times. These were fans that the band could not disappoint. Bad Luck recognizes that fans who buy music do so for a reason. Fox explained, “When people buy your record, it’s because they actually want it. They could just as easily steal it, so it’s more gratifying when they support our music”. If the Chicago fans were up for a five hour road trip, Bad Luck was going to be there to entertain them.
The show was cancelled. Bad Luck scrambled to make the show in Cleveland. Since it had been cancelled, they agreed to play for free, with no formal stage or set-up from the venue. Doing a show this way makes it more difficult and involves extra work on the part of the band. However, hard work is something Bad Luck welcomes, because it motivates them. Fox said, “Those are the things that we have been inspired by lately, seeing our hard work finally pay off, but knowing that we all have to keep working harder”. Band members appreciate the opportunities they have had, because each one was earned through hard work and dedication. Still, the show in Cleveland was a challenge of epic proportions. There was no time to advertise and travel time would be tight, but Bad Luck made it and gave a stellar performance to a small audience of enthusiastic fans.
There was no power to the stage. Discovering that the stage would be unusable did not stop Bad Luck from playing on the floor across from the bar. The fans from Chicago stood a few feet away from the microphones and sang each song with as much fervor as the band. At the end of the set, Fox followed the group into the parking lot with an acoustic guitar, sitting in a campfire circle on the hot asphalt, and continued singing with his fans. Most touching was when Fox asked the group what song they wanted to sing with him, which took a while because no one was able to choose just one.
The show was too short. The impromptu parking lot party was a rare glimpse into why musicians make music and why we listen. Without props, stage, sound or lighting, Fox engaged his audience, laughing and sharing like old friends passing time on a hot Summer night. It was apparent that Fox loves what he does and pours his heart and soul into each song he writes. Long after the band should have been on the road to the next gig, Tour Manager Erik Pierce handed out posters and trinkets to the Chicago fans, while the band members thanked (and hugged) each person. It was by far the best ‘cancelled’ show I have ever seen. Signed to Tragic Hero Records, Bad Luck has just released Cold Bones which was reviewed by Craig Roxburgh. They will continue their current tour, but are always looking to the future. Fox said, “We like to be ahead of things. We are already working on the next album now.” Growth is the plan for their upcoming music as they continue to learn from experience along the way.