photo diary: Calicoco
words + photos: Andy Baker
Tour: some venerable, mystical being that eluded me for 29 years of my life, now fading away in the rear view mirror. Quite literally, the tour van that carried us faithfully for some 1685 or so miles, a relatively short Northeastern tour by tour standards, rolled away carrying two greatly talented folks dear to my heart back to their home-town of Rochester, New York. For the preceding six days, vocal powerhouse and rhythmic guitarist Giana Caliolo combined with Matt and myself played the music of Calicoco through four states alongside some wonderfully talented and passionate musicians. The three of us grew quite close over the duration of the tour with many hours spent in the car together, loading in and out of house and warehouse shows, and meals shared in Trader Joe’s parking lots. I’d have gladly spent that time with these two humans regardless of occasion, and I’m so pleased to have had them to shepherd me through my first touring experience.
Something I could have never anticipated after playing out was a renewed feeling of hope for the human experience. It’s often all too easy in this day and age to fall into the belief that the world as we’ve known it is indeed ending. While there are definitely grains of truth in that statement, it’s much harder to argue that wholeheartedly when you force yourself into new spaces, interact with people of all types, and experience youth culture firsthand. I came away with an all too familiar feeling of “the kids are alright;” by which I mean that I honestly believe that if what I saw, felt, and heard on tour from a swath of musicians and music lovers younger than myself is representative of even part of their generation, we may just have a shot at keeping the massive experiment that is modern society alive a little longer (for better or for worse).
I was warned of “post tour depression,” something inevitable that afflicts all those who travel under the guise of musicianship and camaraderie, and while I can admit my return was plagued with a foggy mind and lack of drive to carry on my daily tasks, I’m mainly filled with fond feelings of nostalgia and gratitude. Nostalgia is a funny thing after all, certainly a common life thread between myself and Giana, of whom I owe this fresh experience. Photography, another commonality, has bonded us for as long as we’ve known one another and is deeply, intimately associated with nostalgia for us both, and as such seemed the best way I knew how to document my first experience as a touring musician. These photos, a drastic step away from my day job of wedding photography, are documents of an experience as visceral as they come and true to my interpretation of life on the road. My hope is that they fill in the gaps between the words I can’t formulate, the experiences I can’t faithfully retell, and the space between it all that doesn’t exist any longer.
Thanks for reading, thanks for looking.