San Diego – Lestat’s

Whew. The first night is done! I tell you what. I had serious goose pimples on stage tonight. I LOVE Lestat’s. There’s no where else in the world like it, and It’s so incredibly hard to explain it to someone. There are simply no bad nights there. Even on my absolute worst show, I’ll walk out feeling alright. The stage feels right. The sound is right. It’s just… home. I’ll never be able to escape that feeling. I hope it’s always around.

Tonight was the first night of the tour. I’m thinking about calling it “Josh Damigo’s World Tour of the US” because people keep calling it a “World Tour” but I’m just touring the country. Haha. Literally 3 or 4 people have said that phrase in the last week and I didn’t put it in their mouths! I’ve said, “Well… it IS ‘Merica. Best country in the world, so you might as well call it a ‘World Tour’.” 😛

Mike Isberto and his band were phenomenal. Jesse Barrera played guitar for him, and honestly, I think more artists should stack their band like Mike did. They sounded killer. He’s got this smooth voice that’s a mixture of Allen Stone and Justin Timberlake. I’m super interested in seeing what comes of his career.

And then there’s Raelee Nikole. If I could choose my looks/talents etc… I’d probably be her. She won over the crowd with her personality and gave whiplash to people walking by the venue with her voice.

Mark Christopher Lawrence got up and did his best “Josh Damigo” impression before my set. That was pretty hilarious. He’s got a great voice for a comic… (I don’t know what that means…) It’s always nice to see him at shows. I know I probably look up to him too much, and should focus on everyone else there, but he’s so quick-witted and fun, that It’s hard! 😛

Halfway through the show, I think I was playing “Portland”, I felt this intense, gripping fear. Tours can be really tough. You’re out on the road, “Starting over” in venues where nobody really knows you. We had over 100 people crammed into Lestat’s and it was the hottest I’ve ever felt it in there. I just kept thinking, “This is as good as it gets… get ready for 2 months of hell….” I just wanted to go home, crawl into bed, pull the sheets over my head and sing “Jesus Loves Me” at the top of my lungs. That always kept the demons at bay when I was a child. Maybe I’ll still do it tonight.

People think of tour as this glamorous, prestigious, “OH I WISH I WAS GOING”/TAKE ME WITH YOU/LET ME OPEN FOR YOU”, type thing… when really, it can be awful. The things that I love- the adventure, uncertainty, newness of it all can also be the scariest/most humbling experiences as well. I’ve had shows where the sound man was the only one there, and he’d leave the room. It’s been a long time since that’s happened in San Diego…. but on tour… it can happen again. It’s like I’m “starting over” on my career in each city.

I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, but I just want you to know how much it means to me when people come to my shows. Seeing a friendly face is the best feeling in the world. I think the hardest thing to swallow sometimes is that there isn’t enough time to see and talk to everyone I want to after shows, however. I wanted to talk to one of my favorite people in the world tonight, but she got put on the backburner because I had to say “Hi, thanks for coming…” to a bunch of other people, and for some reason my mind rationalizes that, “You’ll see her tomorrow… she’ll stick around…” and that’s not very fair.

This line from “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce keeps running through my head. “There never seems to be enough time, to do the things you want to do once you find them.” How do you tell someone that you can’t get enough of them and make them believe you? Especially when you have to say, “Hi!” to 71 people after a show?

I read a Tom Waits quote today that said, “Half the time you’re trying to get them to listen to you, and the other half you’re trying to get them to leave you alone…” Ha. That’s pretty funny. I totally get that.

Tomorrow night is LA. I’m playing in a pretty fantastic lineup that is totally worth the drive/flight/train ride. ImageIf you’re around, you should definitely come out. Witzend is one of my favorite venues, and This is like my LA family. I love them pretty intensely.

Thanks to everyone who came out! I hope you had a great time!

ALSO! (I almost forgot!!!) My new album “Live at Lestats” is now on iTunes! You should DEFINITELY check it out. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll hug somebody… it’ll be beautiful. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/live-at-lestats/id682191171 is the link and it’s available now. 🙂

Goodnight everyone. Thanks again for giving me the best send off I could every hope for.

-j

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About Josh Damigo

Josh will cheerfully admit that he averaged less than a dozen people a show when he first began playing San Diego coffee houses. But he garnered diehard fans in the process, sold a few thousand copies of his homemade EP, Pocket Change, and picked up few awards along the way. After a traumatic family incident, Damigo retreated inward, and he ended up writing what would ultimately become his breakout debut, Raw. The album was true to its name and people noticed - Josh picked up two San Diego Music Awards for “Best Acoustic” and “Best Local Recording,” opened for the likes of Zac Brown, Jason Mraz, Eric Hutchinson, and Matt Nathanson, and had enough money and momentum to tour the country a few times over. A few years after Raw, there was his third release, Hope. Whereas Raw was a mostly acoustic, vulnerable affair, Hope was a celebration. Pleading and poignant, heartfelt and heavy hearted, it segued effortlessly from orchestral to alt-country, eventually landing him in the top 25 on the country charts. One of the hardest working indie singer/songwriters in Southern California, Damigo spent much of year with producer Mike Butler, gathering up some of the finest musicians in town, shaping his songs and sound further still for his latest album, "Just Give Me a Call", available now, on Randm Records. From the up-tempo single, “Just Give Me a Call”, to the simple sincerity of the ballad “Tennessee”, Josh’s songwriting skills are clear, his voice rings true and his goals remain the same as when he started - to keep making the best music he can, and to share it with all.
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