After almost a year away from touring, you gotta think that artists are probably going to have some cobwebs to shake off as they finally start to get back on the road.
Justin Moore and Tracy Lawrence recently hit the road again for their rescheduled Late Nights and LongnecksTour. And on the latest episode of The Justin Moore Podcast, Justin and his manager JR talked about one the one big hiccup they encountered before their first show in Casper, Wyoming: They got locked out of their tour bus.
According to Justin and JR, they had been taking advantage of the fact that they’re currently not able to do meet-and-greets by watching Tracy’s set backstage. But when it came time for Justin to head back to his bus to get dressed and ready to go onstage for his own set, they realized that the keypad to the bus wasn’t working.
After what I’m sure is a pit in their stomach the size of Wyoming itself, they call in their production manager, who sometimes drives the bus and Justin says is “like MacGyver” who can fix anything. But he doesn’t have any luck, so they’re still locked out.
Oh yeah, and Justin is in an Arkansas Razorback sweatshirt and shorts – and it’s freezing outside.
Their next attempt to get in the bus to get Justin ready for his show was to have the venue call in a locksmith, who finally comes to their rescue – except it was almost 9 PM by this point, so the “locksmith” they called was actually a diesel mechanic who was “just another MacGyver” and couldn’t get into the bus either.
All this time, Justin’s manager JR is trying to reach the bus driver, who’s at the hotel asleep before they have to leave after the show – and he isn’t answering his phone.
JR even tried unsuccessfully to break a window into the bus. And now they’re thinking of other options, like borrowing clothes from members of Justin’s or Tracy’s band.
But it’s not just the clothes that are on the bus: Justin’s in-ear monitors are also locked inside, so if he has to go out in borrowed clothes, he also won’t have his monitors – which means he won’t be able to hear his band (or himself) on stage.
There were a couple of small saving graces during this debacle: There’s no curfew at this venue, so they were able to push the show back without facing a huge fine for playing too late. And they also had a fantastic opener, Lainey Wilson, who was taking a nap in her dressing room after playing her own set and was willing and able to go back out onstage to play a few more songs to keep the crowd entertained and buy some time.
Well around then the bus driver finally wakes up and calls JR, who has already sent a runner to pick him up from his hotel.
And when the driver gets to the venue, he’s immediately able to diagnose the problem: The battery to the keypad is dead because a co-driver had forgot to turn the key all the way off and ran the battery down.
Turns out everybody’s a little rusty after some time away.
Well the bus driver was finally able to get a charger from the band bus and charge the keypad just enough to get Justin onto the bus, into his own clothes, and onstage for his show – about 45 minutes later than he was scheduled to go on.
Justin said that despite having buses catch on fire and having to deal with all kinds of crazy scenarios on the road, this was the first time he’s ever been locked out of his own bus before a show – and his manager JR said that he now “has 5 sets of keys on standby now” in case it ever happens again.
Man, I can’t imagine the stress that must have been for everybody. Knowing that you have an arena full of people waiting on you and frantically trying to get into your own bus to get ready to go onstage.
I’m glad they eventually got it all figured out and I’m sure that ended up being a hell of a show.
And hopefully they got all the rust knocked off before they get back out on the road.