As I shared with GP readers last time, in 2014, fate had temporarily transformed me from a touring guitarist backing big acts to a guitar tech for Miranda Lambert’s Platinum Tour. But working in “Miranda Land” had many advantages—many of which were centered around “The Vibe.”
While we crisscrossed the country, we had two specific areas each day dedicated to The Vibe. Heather, Miranda’s production assistant, is a late-20s, tattooed, joyful force of nature who is in charge of The Vibe Room. Here, she hangs colorful tapestries that hide the cinderblock locker-room walls at the venues, and sets up custom road cases that serve as sound systems and mobile bars stocked with every brand of booze imaginable.
There’s also “Wanda”—a one-of-a-kind Airstream trailer that’s parked alongside Miranda’s bus. Wanda provides a libation haven amid a ’70s theme with distressed linoleum and furniture. There are dozens of Polaroid pictures plastered on the Airstream’s walls, documenting four years of aftershow parties, as well as a milk crate full of classic-rock vinyl to be played on a turntable hooked up to speakers inside and out. Outside, a circle of lounge chairs under a canopy laced with rope lights provides the ultimate hangout after a hard day of gigging.
Each night after a show, we drink, chat, and listen to everything from AC/DC and Led Zeppelin to Waylon Jennings and Porter Wagoner. It’s touring “chicken soup for the soul” for the crew and band. Miranda likes to hang out, too, and she keeps Wanda open until the last crew members are done packing up the stage and gear. Then, at 2 a.m., we all get in the tour buses and roll to the next gig.
Thanks to the fact that Knoxville Catering tours with us, when I crawl out of my bunk around 9 a.m., there’s coffee, cappuccino, juice, and a buffet of breakfast choices— everything from steel-cut oatmeal with raisins, slivered almonds, and brown sugar to custom made omelets with all the trimmings. Lunch and dinner provide an impressive salad bar, gourmet soups, entrees, and sides—the kind you want to take pictures of.
Due to our culinary privileges, I started calling the tour “Fat-inum.”