Connectivity on Tour, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the EVDO

When Honor by August goes out on the road, it’s generally on the Eastern Seaboard between Boston and Atlanta along the various stretches of I-85, I-95, I-40, I-64 and so on that exist east of the Appalachian Mountains. We, like most bands, have a conversion van. We don’t even have a trailer. All the gear fig. 1, clothes, and four guys pile into “Murdoch”, our lovable Ford E-150 Conversion Van, and head out on the road.

In the last 16 months of being on the road with the band, one thing has become abundantly clear: we are internet addicts.

It’s not just surfing DListed or Perez Hilton or checking on the Weather. We like being connected. I will put in four plus billable hours from the van per day I’m out on the road. Sometimes, on the long hauls, I can get a full day of work done just from the van. One of the best features of the MacBook Pro plus Verizon EV-DO card setup that we utilize is a nifty feature called “Internet Sharing”. This allows us to take the connection on one laptop from the EV-DO card and create a closed wi-fi network using one of the laptops as a base station.

It’s quite simple to setup. Plug the card in, open the system preferences and go to “Sharing” and set it up like this:

!{border:1px solid black;} (Screen shot from Apple System Preferences Sharing tab)!

And with that simple setup, three of four band members are online. If it were four out of four band members, there would be serious concern about the proper operation of a moving vehicle, so we shall stay firmly fixed at the 75% mark. This connectivity allows not only the guys to stay in touch with friends, but to also work last minute show promotion, route around traffic accidents (yay Google Maps drag-to-alter-this-route feature), and get some work done as well. I’ve many a time made a poster and emailed it off to our booking agent, or updated tour dates on the website, etc.

Now, this isn’t perfect, as there are some drop out areas. All the major cities are usually Broadband speeds. I-26 in South Carolina is a wireless deadzone. West Virginia into Ohio drops down to dial-up speeds for most of the trip. However, most of I-76 through Pennsylvania is actually quite speedy on the download rate.

At the end of the day, it’s about maximizing the effectiveness of everyone in the band. If you can get three people to put in a few hours of promotion a day, that equates to a lot of exposure for the band, and hopefully a better show draw because of it.

  1. Chris says:

    Google drag-to-alter AND traffic updates.

  2. Diego says:

    That is incorrect. The song cehagnd before Steve Lillywhite had even become aware of the bands existence. It was on Remember Two Things as Satellite Which was the CD that got Steve interested in the band in the first place. Also a love song seems like it would sell more than a song about satellites. I have a feeling it was Dave's decision as he is never satisfied with lyrics and is always changing them Even after they have made their way to a recorded medium.

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