Dessa's tour diary: Notes from the road


We are now two and a half weeks into the Every Never Is Now tour. Now, I don't mean to be immodest, but we may be the best troupe of touring jump-ropers in the contiguous United States. We've jumped at gas stations, parking lots, rest stops, backstage, on stage, and on top of a retaining wall in California. Some of our listeners have decided to join the movement, asking if they can bring their own ropes for a pre-show jump. Eh-excellent.

Hyperbolic claims aside, jumping rope really has helped to stave off some of the stiffness that comes with living in a speeding van. A lot of the tour regimen is preventative in nature. We take EmergenC in elephantine doses to fend off colds, Throat Coat tea to avoid hoarseness, and ibuprofen to dull the joint pain of jumping so much effing rope.

There is also, of course, the rap music. I've known that P.O.S has toured hard for the past couple of years. And I know he's done well—I've read the papers just like everyone else. But it really is something to see room after room of fans screaming his lyrics. I mean, he doesn't have to rap at all—the crowd could perform his entire set verbatim.

For my part, I'm starting to really hit my stride. I was a little apprehensive at first, trying to figure out how my melodic set would fit into a tour with so many high-energy performers. I'd considered changing my set, or my delivery, to try to cater to the expectations of the fans. Now I think the most important adjustment I've made isn't in my song selection or in my performance. It's in reframing the goal: My task isn't to be liked by every showgoer. My task is to deliver the most authentic performance that I can. Showgoers who like that performance are the only showgoers I have any business courting. Anything else would be silly—like interviewing well for a job you don't want.

Tonight we'll be in L.A., one of the most anticipated stops on the tour. Everyone is looking forward to seeing friends and industry folks. Will Drew Barrymore be at the show? We don't know. But we are tantalized by the prospect.

Jessy Greene, who will definitely be at the show, has agreed to play with me tonight, and I couldn't be more excited. She's been on tour with Pink, and the Foo Fighters before that, which has left relatively little time for whiskey drinking with Dessa. Tonight we make up for lost time.

Oh, rest stop—time to J the R.



Keep an eye on for more updates from Dessa, who is currently on a national tour with P.O.S.