In 2015 my band Medusa’s Disco had a headlining gig at The Chameleon Club in our hometown Lancaster, PA. The venue was PACKED with fans and friends, and we brought the house down that night. Any musician who has spent countless hours writing, practicing, marketing themselves, and putting their necks out there for the sake of their passion, knows how meaningful and exhilarating it is to play a show and watch hundreds of fans scream your lyrics back at you. It’s one of those rare moments when you think “Man, it’s really paying off!” which can be hard to come by in this day and age in the music industry. We were riding the high from that show for days after.
With that being said, the next show was not too far from home in York, Pennsylvania. We arrived and were surprised to find the venue was a GARAGE nestled in the back of a tiny alley. Now we’re no strangers to DIY shows and love them dearly, often times more than the bigger venues, but this one was a flop. There was one person at the show, our friend whose birthday it happened to be. The low “attendance” didn’t change the way we played that day. We sweated our asses off and played our hearts out for him. I’m pretty sure we all ended up being shirtless by the end of that gig. A change of pace compared to the banger of a show the night before but we made it work. We’ll come back to Pennsylvania later on in the story.
Fast forward a few years to March 2018 and Medusa’s Disco is in Austin, Texas at the SXSW festival. We played shows all the way down there and spent a week in Austin performing once or even twice a day sometimes. We worked hard getting down there and worked even harder when we were there. Not only did we play every day but we weren’t resting AT ALL. We spent practically all of our free time running around marketing ourselves, catching other bands, making connections and relationships that still exist to this day. Most of the shows we played were well attended but not all of them. That’s the way it goes, even in Austin during SXSW. So at one of these gigs, on Thursday, March 15th 2018, at 5pm, we played one of the mid-level attended shows at a place called Whisler’s. I remember feeling particularly on point and energized during our set. The whole band was on fire. Unknown to us at the time, the founder of Reverbnation, Lou Plaia, caught our set that day. Looking back on it, that might have been one of the best sets of the whole tour and to imagine that HE caught it, was unreal. You learn to appreciate a mid-level venue after you play tiny garages with one person in attendance!
A couple of months pass by and my bandmate, Wynton, called me exclaiming, “Hunter, did you hear the news?! The f*cking founder of Reverbnation caught our set in Austin and he is offering us a slot on the Warped Tour!” All I could think to myself was “holy f*ck!!! This is one of the best things that ever happened to Medusa’s Disco!” And so, on July 26th, 2018 we performed our first stadium-like gig to thousands of people on the Warped Tour. Mind you, that happened to be the very last Warped Tour!
Always remember to play your heart out because you never know who is watching. From a garage gig, to a mid-level venue, to a stadium performance. It’s all connected!
Hunter Root is a singer, songwriter from Lancaster, PA, who performs a blend of acoustic rock, folk, and grunge with a 60’s psychedelic surf rock flair. He is also a member of the psychedelic rock band, Medusa’s Disco.