Editor’s Note: The featured picture above is courtesy of Walfredo Reyes, Jr., and it depicts the soundstage at First Ontario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, which will be shared between Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire. (October 29, 2016)

In our ongoing feature which follows Chicago on its current tour (featuring Walfredo “Wally” Reyes, Jr.),  a lot of what Wally talks about is done to give fans a behind the scenes look at tour life with Chicago. However, as Wally tells us in this installment, there are some real educational tips that he would like to share about tour life and touring in general. Let’s check it out.


First, Wally tells us that nutrition and eating the proper food is critical while on tour. In his words, you need to eat right to keep up your energy and stamina in order to perform at your very best. Said Wally:

“One of the most important things when we are on the road is eating well before the show and after the show and this catering tonight is the gourmet of caterings. It’s like going to a gourmet restaurant so we feel really good and appreciate it tremendously. Needless to say I’m full!!!”
(Photo credit Walfredo Reyes, Jr.)
Photo credit Walfredo Reyes, Jr.

Editor’s Note: We asked Wally which caterer impressed him this much and he told us it was Capers Catering. Capers’ reputation precedes them as they are one of the preeminent caterers around. Please visit there website here to learn more.


A second tip is to always employ a great sound crew. In Atlantic City Wally told us that when Chicago hits the stage their volumes and monitor levels are perfect virtually every night. Rarely does Wally have to ask for adjustments on his monitor mix which is a huge factor when you perform in a show which is the size of Chicago’s which involves numerous musicians over a large stage area. Thus, as Wally tells us:

“The sound department and guys running it are crucial maybe more than you know. You can be an amazing band but without an equally amazing soundcrew it doesn’t come out there to the audience. Our soundcrew is amazing and they help us deliver our great sound night in and night out. These guys are VERY important to us.”
Photo credit Walfredo Reyes, Jr.
Photo credit Walfredo Reyes, Jr.

Wally’s final tip is that warming up and stretching is always important and that you always have to make time for both. Thus, before each show Wally takes the time to loosen up and he always gives himself plenty of time to prepare for that night’s performance.

Wally warming up in Hamilton, Ontario (Photo credit Walfredo Reyes, Jr.)
Wally warming up in Hamilton, Ontario (Photo credit Walfredo Reyes, Jr.)

Preparation for each show also includes taping his hands. On that point Wally offered this advice:

Photo credit Walfredo Reyes, Jr.
Photo credit Walfredo Reyes, Jr.
“I tape my hands before our shows. Tris Imboden and I use Nexcare First Aid Tape to protect hands from skin cracks and cuts that happen when dry weather sets in. After show the best healing cream I’ve found is Bodyshop Hemp Hand Protector.”

Editor’s Note: Wally advises that you can find out more information about Hemp Hand Protector here.

Awesome tips from a master musician who has significant touring experience.

Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor