SINCE NOVEMBER, Savannah psych renegades Omingnome have been on the road in Phase One of their Year of Healing Tour: The Caterpillar Phase.
Their 11–week tour has taken them all across the US, from skyscraper-lined metro streets to open desert to the glitz of Vegas to the humble quiet of small, suburban towns. It’s not just the gnomes crammed into the Kickstarter-funded van – they’ve taken live painter Lauren Schwind and Savannah projectionist Planetary Projections along for the ride to create inspired, colorful ambience while the band performs.
The Gnomes have made a point of stopping to take in the sites and natural beauty on their trip, camping and exploring along the road.
“In Sedona, we went on a hike,” they shared. “There are different energy vortexes around the area that have certain magnetic pulls when you’re hiking; they’re really beautiful.”
This was a first trip west for many of the East Coast natives. Even the nights have been enchanting experiences.
“You could see the creaminess of the Milky Way galaxy,” the band excitedly told us of their stop in the Mojave Desert. “Just a blur of light and million stars.”
“We are lucky to have such a magical group of people,” the Gnomes share. “Everyone is loving and caring and some of the easiest people to get along with – but we surely have learned how real you have to be with each other to keep things healthy. If you let even the smallest thing pass, it snowballs up really fast in such tight quarters. We have learned that keeping it real with each other – no matter how hard or uncomfortable it may be to bring up – is always worth it and helps propel the group forward.”
During some down time in San Diego, the Gnomes filled us in on some of their most memorable tour stops.[image=1]
Dec. 3, Jackson MS
In Jackson, we played with some of the most soulful musicians we encountered all tour – Young Valley, Fides and the Tallahachies. We ended up trapped in Jackson the next day when our bus was blocked in. It happened there was a monthly art market, similar to the Savannah Bazaar or First Friday Art March in Savannah. We met the organizer and he let us set up a little gnome merch table. People loved our gnome hats and prints by our singer Melissa (MothaBug) and our live painter Lauren Schwind. We felt so welcomed by Jackson and its people that we have set up two shows on our way back to Savannah – one in the city of Jackson with Young Valley and one in Starkville, Mississippi with Jackson natives Fides in which is one of their regular stomping grounds they insisted we play..
Dec. 16, Phoenix AZ
In Phoenix, we played this tiny art district – houses converted into bookstores, bars, coffee shops. It felt surprisingly homey there, and definitely different than the big city feel of Phoenix that you’d be expecting.
Dec. 10, Corpus Christi TX
“In Corpus Christi, we were able to relate with the local musicians, artists and the scene that houses them on the regular and us for the night. Corpus Christi, much like Savannah, is a town that many touring bands overlook, being only a few hours from Austin and San Antonio – just as Savannah has Atlanta, Athens, and Asheville as neighbors, places many bands opt to book. The whole scene was so supportive. They had us play last, which is usually quite undesirable as a touring band for fear that after the last local act many people will leave. But in Corpus Christi, more and more people came out as our set began.”
Dec. 22-23, Las Vegas NV
In Las Vegas, we experienced both extremes you face as a touring band – an empty bar on a Monday, as well as a packed house show at a gorgeous space known as the Womb Room with great local bands supporting us such as Candy Warpop. We also reunited with our saxophone player John Benarducci, who just happened to have a situation arise that forced him to head to Las Vegas from California (where he was spending that past several months) just in sync with our arrival to Las Vegas. He joined us during both our sets on saxophone. He had a beautiful jacket and left us with some very kind words and wonderful feelings.
Omingnome return to Savannah on February 6. They'll celebrate their homecoming with a show at Barrelhouse South with XuluProphet before they hit the road again; stay tuned for details.