For most touring musicians and their fans the “tour bus” holds an allure that is all its own. Although inquiring minds want to know, not much gets out about what happens “there” and apparently many artists adhere to the principle that what happens on the tour bus stays on the tour bus. After all, if you are traveling or touring for considerable lengths of time the tour bus is the only place than can remotely resemble home. It might also be one of the few places that you can score a moment of privacy too, for whatever reason.
However, despite the hoopla and excitement of pre- and post-game activities there is also the mundane. It goes without saying that touring band members typically spend considerable down time on the bus and what they do with that time is up to them although they are clearly limited. As you can imagine, after the newness wears off it is in fact a “bus” after all, isn’t it?
Interestingly ,a new feature on Facebook–hosted by various members of the legendary band Chicago–has seemingly put the myth and legend of the tour bus on display for all to watch….for once. The show is affectionately called “Bus #2” and as you guessed it, the name politely makes note that this is not “Bus #1” (according to guitarist and host Keith Howland, there is another impetus to the name that hails from Buffalo).
However, before we meet the cast we should probably check out the studio setting for this show which is indeed, Bus #2.
Now, meet the cast of Bus #2:
The format for Bus #2 is pretty simple; there is no format and that is what makes this show a really good watch. It’s basically a show about seasoned and very talented musicians bringing their fans “on the bus” with them while they travel between shows. Although it is in its infancy the cast seems driven largely by input from their fans which is a great concept. After all, what other show let’s the audience interact and decide where to take things? But fans will also get a special treat along the way as they get to see their favorite band member in a different light than perhaps they are used to. For example, in one episode you will come to learn that besides being a master drummer, Tris Imboden can pull off some pretty bluesy riffs on the harmonica. Also of note is Wally “Wally’s World” Reyes’ ability to turn ordinary kitchen items into percussive instruments. I particularly liked the TV show theme challenge with Lou Pardini (query; is Pardini really a jukebox? can he be stumped?).
Fans will really enjoy the bantering and also be treated to impromptu jam sessions that although done in fun, exhibit pure talent that is readily evident even when these musicians are simply fooling around. All in all, it’s a good mix and with Howland as host and Jeff Coffey as his co-host, the tandum do a great job to keep things moving at a comfortable pace. Take a second to check out Bus #2; it’s a show on the move for sure.
Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor