Fiona Silver shares the thrill of opening for Gary Clark Jr.
Shortly after Gary Clark Jr.’s two-night Boston tour stop, we had the chance to connect with supporting act, Fiona Silver for our latest edition of ‘Tour Diaries’. Silver is an incredible and soulful artist from New York City who with her band, put on highly energetic show that perfectly compliments the electricity that is a Gary Clark Jr. experience.
When do you learn you would be opening for Gary Clark Jr.?
On these shows… about two weeks beforehand.
Had you ever played together before?
We did a full Northeast/Canada tour together last summer, and four nights at the Fillmore in San Francisco in October.
What was the experience like?
Opening for Gary Clark Jr. has been an incredible gift. Every time there is a bit of nerve-wracking preparation because I don’t get a lot of heads up, and I am an independent artist, so I do everything myself (like make merch, tour manage, promo, etc. on top of writing songs and rehearsing with my band) but it’s completely worth all the effort. Gary has allowed my band to play on stages in front of crowds that I had only ever dreamed of before- and I really appreciate that. Our bands gel really well together because we’re very different, but we’re also very alike in certain ways. We both like to explore different genres of music, but we have our own distinct styles. I think there’s a mutual respect, and in a way, he is like a mentor to me, because I get to learn how to be a better pro by watching him, and everyone around him.
Gary Clark Jr. brought you out to perform “Low Down Rolling Stone” with him, how did that come to be? Did you rehearse?
Haha, we did not rehearse, but I wish we had because I couldn’t hear myself on stage very well. After our second show at The Beacon Theatre in NYC, Gary asked me if I wanted to sing with him in Boston. I’ve joined him on stage in the past for his cover of “Come Together”, but I really wanted to be a part of something he wrote. “Low Down Rolling Stone” is one of my favorite songs of his. It’s just one of those jams that moves you emotionally because it comes from a place of pain, and yet there is a trace of hope woven through it. So, I just asked if we could do that one, and he said yes.
Do you have any other favorite moments from the tour?
In New York I had a horn section play on the last few songs of my set. On the second night we changed some things around last minute, and as we’re in the middle of this song I’m thinking “Shit! They’ve missed they’re mark, they forgot to come out for this song.” and then all of a sudden I heard the horns like a wave over me. They were very stealthy and made their entrance as a surprise (apparently to me as well!) right before their part came in. I usually play with just a four-piece- so to have an eight-piece band and be able to hear our sound be so full is the highest level of joy for me.
Overall, what did this experience mean to you?
This run was three shows- two at the Beacon Theatre in NYC (which is an incredibly iconic venue, and my hometown), and one at the House of Blues in Boston, which was very special to me because it was my first show in Boston ever. Boston ended up being the most fun, not only because I got to perform with Gary, but also because there were no seats, and the crowd was rowdy and wild and that’s Rock N Roll! Being asked to be a part of this tour means so much to me, because it isn’t a connection from some person in a suit- it is an artist-to-artist connection… not just for me but for my whole band, with his whole band. We love all those dudes, and they’re so down to earth and giving. It’s a beautiful thing to see someone who is successful reach out their hand to help other artists up. This experience is really about building community and giving back- I hope that’s something I can do for others one day, the way he has done for me.