Tonight is my last night on the road with Sufjan Stevens. There are more dates coming up in the summer and fall, but they conflict with some of my other commitments. Here, now: some reflections, things I've learned, just a dash of bittersweet wistfulness.
  1. Sufjan inspires me in a major way.
    The boss's talent and work ethic are insane. It has been a great privilege to observe a true artist in such close proximity for these months. Especially an artist as private as he is. A major thrill.
  2. You don't need to pronounce somebody's name properly in order to love their art.
    Sufahn? Suffjum? Sudan? Surfjams? Doesn't really matter, does it.
  3. Fans can be intense.
    This can be the most awkward thing about the job. At the merch table I'm the sole accessible member of the tour. Almost everyone is kind, and pleasant, and mellow. But there's something about the way dude's music hits people that has made for some difficult interactions. People who feel entitled to meet him, because "he understands me"... People who want to know personal information. People who give me their tooth... You get it.
  4. Alone time is important.
    Especially when you're constantly surrounded by people.
  5. Packing light is liberating.
    I used to travel with so much more crap.
  6. Bring It On Again is a cinematic delight.
    A Sufjan favorite.
  7. More and more "hip" hotels seem to be getting rid of bathtubs, in favor of big showers.
    Fuck that. All I want to do on a day off is soak.
  8. One of the best things about touring is seeing all my friends who live in far flung places.
    You know who you are.
  9. And meeting new friends along the way.
    You know who you are too.
  10. And eating all over the place.
    If you ever need a restaurant recommendation, you know who I am.
  11. But being a nomad can be rough.
    Boo hoo. I have a cool-as-shit job. How hard can it be? I'm wiped out. I have no equilibrium; nothing to ground me. Constantly being in and out of town has destroyed plenty of my interpersonal relationships. I drink more when I'm on tour. Not the healthiest lifestyle, no sir.
  12. I've been working on the road with amazing bands on and off for the last nine years. I love it so, so much. That said: I hope that this marks the end of the touring chapter of my life.
    I'm beginning to suspect that selling t-shirts and checking into hotels are not the best uses of my skill set. 😎