Smile Politely

On the road with Carly Beth, part two

Carly Beth is back again with part two of their tour diary. Ready part one here for the full story.

Editor’s Note: While some edits are made on this type of piece, we like to leave them alone as much as possible. It’s kinda better that way, anyhow.

DAY FOUR: Saturday, June 1st, Madison, WI

We had a beautiful morning on Saturday in Chicago. We stayed the night with Isabel’s aunt, uncle, and their two cats in Logan Square, and I met up with my parents for brunch mid-morning. All three Carly Beths met up after brunch to go to CAKE, an alternative comics expo in Chicago, on our way out of town.


The short drive to Madison reunited us with two good friends from Champaign, Isaac and Megan, who were kind enough to let us stay in their lovely home. It makes such a difference to be able to stay with friends on tour, especially when their home is as nice as Isaac and Megan’s. We walked around the lake, drank some tea, played some UNO, and listened to some Joni Mitchell. Our show at Mickey’s wasn’t until 10 p.m., so we had plenty of time to relax and enjoy our time in Madison before we played.

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Mickey’s is a rad neighborhood dive bar. After the kitchen closes, they clear out all the tables and the bands set up in the corner of the bar. Bar shows can be hit or miss, but Mickey’s treats its bands well and there was a decent crowd. We were sandwiched between two local bands, the German Art Students (who apparently opened for the B-52s awhile back) and Proud Parents (who passed through Champaign last summer and are friends of ours). We were all exhausted after: our show in Chicago the night before ENDED by 10 p.m. and our Madison gig STARTED at 10 p.m.. But I was happy with our set, saw lots of friends, and got to play with a couple of sick bands, so it was well worth staying up past my bedtime for.

— Christine Pallon

DAY FIVE: Sunday, June 2nd, Naperville, IL

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We woke up in Madison to a beautiful day and lots of time to kill before out 2 hour drive to Naperville.  Our friends Isaac and Megan suggested we go kayaking on one of the lakes, so we did! It was gorgeous and sunny, and we had so much fun getting way more soaked in lake water than we expected to. Once I paddled back to shore completely exhausted and sunburned, one of the teens helping kayakers out of the water asked me if I went out on the lake or if I just stayed in the bay, making me realize that what I thought was this huge body of water that I was barely able to navigate was actually just a small bay off of the lake.

Our show that night in Naperville our show was with Peach, I Was My Biggest Mistake, and Long Birds (friends of ours!). Having never played or attended a show in Naperville, I really didn’t know what to expect. Once we made it into town, we eventually found the 105 tucked behind some restaurants through a small alleyway. After loading in our gear down some precarious steps into a basement that we were thankfully informed was “no longer quarantined”, we parked the van and walked around a bit to soak up the sun and stretch our legs.

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The people at the 105 ran a very tight ship. We were allotted a healthy 20 minutes for our set like everyone else, which happened to be how long our planned set was anyway. The show ran on time and ended early, which I personally loved! Everyone got to go home early and Carly Beth got to get a head start on our drive back to Champaign (after stopping at Taco Bell on our way out of town, of course).

— Isabel Skidmore

LAST SHOW: Thursday, June 6th, Bloomington, IL

Our last show was at nightshop in Bloomington with Acquaintances, WitchFeet, and Thoughts Detecting Machines. This show was a few days after we had returned home from our 5-day stretch of shows. It felt really nice to engage in the comforts of home before reuniting one more time to round out our tour. Another benefit of being home for a few days was getting more shirts quickly printed since we had almost sold out. Isabel did an awesome job with the design and it really showed!

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Usually, the drive to Bloomington only takes about 50 minutes and is a straight shot west on I-74. However, we checked Google Maps and found that we needed to reroute off of I-74 to avoid standstill traffic. We later found out that this traffic was due to 5 horses that were loose on the interstate! Central Illinois is wild.

We had a really great time at nightshop. All three of us were sipping on ginger ales throughout the night and we felt super happy with how we played. A big part of our success was due to the sound engineer, Eric! He was super kind and approachable, and everything sounded great on stage. We could hear each part perfectly, which brought out our confidence and resulted in a great set. It was the perfect way to end our first tour!

— Kamila Glowacki


Top photo by Aaron Schults from Carly Beth’s Facebook page. All other photos courtesy of Carly Beth.

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