Emerging Dallas indie rock group Valise spent most of the last year touring and on the festival circuit with Death Cab For Cutie, Iron & Wine, Local Natives, Dawes, Copeland, and Lord Huron. The quartet now finds itself in the enviable position as the opening act for Macy Gray on her 16-date U.S. theater tour. The tour began on Nov. 6, and ends Nov. 25, with a multiple-night engagement at New York’s City Winery.
“It definitely seems like an interesting match-up – but we all love it,” says Valise lead vocalist Vince Penrick, who along with high schools friends Jared Travis (Guitar/Keyboards), Casey Newton (Bass), and Ricky Johnson (Drums) formed the band in 2011. “The opportunity landed on our doorstep via our wonderful booking agent Eva from FATA,” Penrick explains. “We all scratched our heads for about 10 minutes trying to connect the dots, and then just popped the champagne and went for it! Touring with a talented Grammy winning artist like Macy will provide some opportunities to learn, but at the same time I think it adds to the narrative that we’re trying to create, which is that we go well with any meal, if that makes sense. We’re lucky to share the stage with her.”
Describing their music like Coldplay through a VSCO filter, Penrick says they’re trying to find the line between “this huge, up-beat sound and intimate emotion. We don’t want to be a ‘themed’ band, we just want to create music that takes us to each corner of our musical influences.”
Those influences include Coldplay, The National, Phoenix, Beach House, The Flaming Lips, “and probably 20 more,” he says, which can be heard on their debut 11-track album, Young Bloomer. The album was released this past spring and was financed through a Kickstarter campaign that began in September 2012. The band also released an EP, Dreamcatcher, in 2011, which garnered a good deal of attention.
This social media savvy group recognizes how important an asset social media is for bands. Valise can be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Tumblr. “It’s important to us to interact with anyone who is willing to interact with us,” Penrick says. “Every day you get a chance to share more of yourself, and with every relationship we develop, the more we can find a more substantial purpose to Valise than just being the popular kid in school. The goal is to create a seamless experience from the moment you leave our show until the next one comes around.”
Following Macy Gray, the group has plans to release a deluxe edition of Young Bloomer on vinyl, and will be back on the road touring in 2016. And if you find yourself in Dallas, Valise recommends: Pecan Lodge for BBQ, Oddfellows for brunch, and the 6th Floor Museum if you’re into conspiracy theories about JFK.
Valise on tour with Macy Gray:
12 – KS Wichita, Crown Uptown Theater
13 – IA Sioux City, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
14 – KS, Mayetta, Prairie Band Casino & Resort
15 – MO St. Louis, The Demo
17 – IN Bloomington, Buskirk-Chumley Theater
18-19 – IL Chicago, City Winery
21 – CT Hartford,Infinity Hall
22 – DC Washington, Howard Theatre
23 – MD Annapolis, Rams Head On Stage
24-25 – NY New York, City Winery