Being on the road for Lifehouse has always meant being a bridesmaid and never a bride; the Los Angeles threesome has spent the last year opening for the likes of Pearl Jam, Matchbox Twenty and 3 Doors Down. But that all changes when the band embarks on its first headlining tour tonight in Milwaukee. "We can't wait to play for our own fans," says drummer Rick Woolstenhulme. "We've been caught on some bills playing before Godsmack and Disturbed. That was a bit, um, unique."
Though he's used to playing five-song, twenty-five-minute sets, singer-guitarist Jason Wade promises a seventy-five-minute show. "I'm running and jumping rope four times a week to get in better shape," he says. "The fans will carry us through it. It's a lot better when everybody's feeling the love vs. everyone finding their seats."
According to Wade, the set will feature "every song we know." That includes all twelve tracks from the band's platinum debut, No Name Face, including the will-not-go-away breakthrough single "Hanging by a Moment," which apparently has more lives than Robert Downey Jr. "We're definitely looking forward to the next single," says Wade. Rounding out the show will be an unreleased song, "Walking Man," as well as a couple of songs from their early demos -- when the band was known as Blyss -- such as "What's Wrong With That" and "Storm," which Wade will play solo on acoustic guitar.
The members of Lifehouse claim they keep it pretty mellow on the road. "We don't go too crazy," says Wade. The highlight on show day is a regular stop at Subway for veggie sandwiches. "Jason and I are on the Subway diet," says Woolstenhulme. "It keeps us fit and happy. It always tastes pretty good. Hopefully, they'll sponsor one of our tours someday." Just prior to the show, the entire band holes up in the tour bus listening to classical music.
Things will stay particularly quiet because Woolstenhulme's twenty-year-old brother, Sean, plays guitar for one of the opening acts, the Calling. Having the little bro on board means only one thing: Mom and Dad. "My parents will be at every show," says Woolstenhulme. "I won't be able to get away with anything."
"It's going to be the Family Values Tour," says Wade. "The PG-rated version."
Lifehouse tour dates:9/10: Milwaukee, The Rave
9/11: Chicago, Vic Theater
9/12: Pontiac, MI, Clutch Cargo
9/14: Columbia, MO, Jesse Auditorium
9/15: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma State Fair
9/17: Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall
9/18: Murray, KY, Regional Special Events Center
9/19: Grand Rapids, MI, Calvin College
9/21: Villanova, PA, Villanova University
9/23: Rochester, NY, Palestra
9/25: New York, Irving Plaza
9/26: Boston, Avalon
9/28: Madison, NJ, Simon Forum
9/29: Annapolis, MD, Alumni Hall
9/30: Wilkes-Barre, PA, Wilkes University
10/1: Williamsport, PA, Lycoming College
10/4: Charlotte, NC, Tremont Music Hall
10/7: Dallas, State Fair of Texas
10/10: Nashville, 328 Performance Hall
10/13: Cincinnati, Bogart's
10/15: Pittsburgh, Club Laga
10/18: Las Vegas, House of Blues
10/25: Phoenix, Memorial Coliseum