Hundreds of concert tours breeze through the Triangle each year, but few tour packages have the ready commercial appeal of “The Girls Night Out, Boys Can Come Too.” The tour, co-headlined by pop stars Colbie Caillat and Christina Perri, brings to mind lawn chairs, glasses of wine and a night away from the kids, and it makes a stop at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary next week.
Like many young women, Caillat is familiar with the concept of a “girls’ night out” concert. Her first?
“I’m pretty sure it was Lilith Fair, and that was the one and only all-girl tour that I ever went and saw,” she says. “I went when I was very young, when Sarah McLachlan first started it, and it’s funny because I was able to be a part of Lilith Fair five years ago when it came back. It was really fun to see all of these amazing and inspiring female artists and musicians when I was first beginning to really get interested in music.”
With more music lovers making hard decisions on what concerts get their dollars each summer, artists have to offer their fans more than just a greatest hits package and a couple of songs off the new album to get people to show up. Musicians must put together the perfect combination of supporting acts to get the turnstiles moving.
Variety of styles
Although Caillat and Perry are an inspired pairing on paper – Rachel Platten will also perform – the singer promises that this tour was more a case of mutual necessity than long-term planning.
“It kind of just happened,” Caillat says. “Usually what happens is every year when you are getting ready to go on tour, you begin to look into who is available to come out and play the show, to just put the full tour together. This time when me and Christina found out that we were both available, we both said yes and were super excited about it. When we heard that Rachel was available, we just thought it was so perfect and everything just fell into place.”
Even with all of the pieces perfectly aligning for the tour to take place, any stylistic similarities between the three performers are superficial. Caillat has had tons of success on the pop charts with her effervescent acoustic pop stylings, but Perri’s songs largely have a more melancholy base to them, and Platten’s style leans more toward stadium anthems.
Caillat says the meshing of these styles must be working, as the audiences on this tour are some of the best she has ever played for.
“Me and Christina have totally different styles of music, our songs are way different, but it’s really cool because our fans are there for the whole time,” she says.
“No one leaves early, and it doesn’t matter which of us is closing on a particular night, the fans stay. It’s either that they really like our music, or they are just excited to hear someone they haven’t heard before. We have found that we have a very loyal audience.”
A few stumbles
It didn’t take long for Caillat to find an audience once she began seriously pursuing a music career, but like any other performer, she had stumbles along the way. One misstep was an attempt to audition for “American Idol.” Pushed by family, including her record producer father Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours”), she failed to connect with the producers of the program during the early stages of tryouts for the show. Looking back at the experience, the young pop star takes a live-and-learn attitude.
“Honestly, I wasn’t ready for it,” she admits. “I wasn’t prepared for the audition because I had never auditioned for anyone before. I was really nervous and uncomfortable, and at that moment I knew that I wasn’t really right for the show even if I did make it. I wasn’t a big personality type that liked being on camera. I was kind of talked into showing up because my friends and family thought I should give it a shot, but I didn’t really have any desire to be on it. The producers didn’t really give me a great opportunity to audition, either. Secretly, I was probably relieved when they didn’t pick me.”
From that experience, Caillat realized she needed to be ready for any opportunity. After a friend posted a few of her songs on MySpace, the largest social media platform at that time and one that was responsible for breaking many performers into the social consciousness of young people, Caillat was quickly signed to a record contract. Looking back, Caillat says many young aspiring performers can learn from her debut.
“When the whole MySpace thing happened I was only 21 years old and I had no idea it was about to happen,” she says. “I just had a friend that uploaded some songs onto MySpace and the next thing I knew it just spread like wildfire. Right after that I was offered a record deal and it just came out of nowhere. I wasn’t ready or prepared for it. It was something I wasn’t working toward; it just happened.
“Even with it being such an incredible experience, I found that I had to just roll with it even though I wasn’t ready. I had to take the opportunity as it came. When my single ‘Bubbly’ came out, I had to go and perform on TV for the first time, which was something I had never done before. The summer rolled around and I had to go on tour with the Goo Goo Dolls and Lifehouse, and it was all just a crazy learning experience. It was a huge surprise, and honestly, it was really terrifying too.”
Who: Colbie Caillat with Christina Perri and Rachel Platten
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Pkwy, Cary
Info: 919-462-2025 or boothamphitheatre.com