Elise Trouw to Perform at Covington's Madison Live as Part of First-Ever D Tour

D Tour is a collective of independent music venues and promoters across the country created to make the booking process more efficient for new and emerging artists.

click to enlarge Elise Trouw will be performing at Madison Live on April 2. - Photo: Courtesy of Elise Trouw
Photo: Courtesy of Elise Trouw
Elise Trouw will be performing at Madison Live on April 2.

On April 2, multi-instrumentalist Elise Trouw will bring her dreamy, live-looping performance to Madison Live.

That performance is thanks to D Tour, a collective of independent music venues and promoters across the country. D Tour aims to make the booking process more efficient for artists by presenting a united group of independent venues and promoters. The Elise Trouw tour is the first to be booked entirely through D Tour.

Madison Live, or Madison Theater, is the only D Tour venue in the Greater Cincinnati area.

“With D Tour, collaboration amongst the different promoters and different markets is the main mission,” says Frank Hulefeld, talent buyer for Nederlander Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Nederlander Organization that schedules live events at Madison Theater. Hulefeld has an extensive background in booking and venue management, and serves as the regional affiliate for D Tour. “Competition is very tight to get artists to come play venues. And independent venues especially need to be very strategic about getting programming in the room.”

D Tour functions through the power of network and collaboration. If a D Tour affiliated venue in one city has a contact with a particular artist and books that artist for a show, they can then pitch other D Tour venues to that artist. That way, the other D Tour venues are getting new programming opportunities, and artists are getting a streamlined booking process. 

“It’s really an opportunity based thing,” Hulefeld says. “It’s really just about what makes the most sense for each affiliate. And there’s affiliates all across the country and it’s continuing to grow.” 

Independent venues and promoters provide a local expertise that big corporations don’t have. The small businesses know about the local scene, what music people want to hear, what venues would work well for certain acts, and what local bands to book for support. D Tour affiliates are using that knowledge to give touring artists better shows, while also providing growth opportunities for local artists. 

“That’s something I  believe in 100 percent, which is trying to help local acts get bigger opportunities to perform with national acts,” Hulefeld says. “That’s something that D Tour believes in, and that’s something that we’re trying to do more of moving forward.” 

Touring independent venues via D Tour is a natural fit for Trouw, who releases all of her music independently.  

“That’s definitely important to me,” Trouw told CityBeat from the road. “It’s been really cool working with independent venues and kind of being linked up that way.”

Trouw is on her first tour in three years, and is promoting her new EP, Losing Sleep. She performs her pop songs through live looping, moving gracefully between drums, keys, bass, guitar and airy vocals. Sometimes live looping can feel crowded, but Trouw leaves the right amount of space in her performances.

“My main goal with the live show or any kind of arrangement is to get the song across first,” she says. “Keeping the parts just like how they need to be for the song is important to me.”

Trouw’s live looping videos have millions of plays on YouTube, where viewers can watch her songs come together piece by piece. But live looping wasn’t the focus initially. Trouw, whose primary instrument is the drums, says she began the looping in order to cut down on touring costs. 

“I mainly really got into the live looping  and stuff because I couldn't afford to go on the road with a full band,” Trouw says. Where a guitarist could easily play solo, it’s not such an obvious transition for a drummer. “I was like [...] I need to figure out a way I can play drums and have there be a song happening.” 

Live looping has become a hallmark of her live shows, providing an extra level of engagement for the audience.

“[I] kind of dive deeper and deeper into what I can do with the looping each time I play,” Trouw says.

Trouw’s April 2 performance at Madison Live will be her first time playing in the Cincinnati region. She says that about half of her D Tour affiliate dates are in cities that are new to her. Which means lots of new regional cuisine for her to try. 

“I love getting to eat different types of food in different cities,” Trouw says of touring. “I love the traveling aspect of it, getting to see different places, and getting to meet people.

“When I'm not on tour I’m just kind of working in the studio and, you know, it’s cool to just kind of get out of that for a bit.”

Elise Trouw plays Madison Live April 2. Find tickets and more info at elisetrouw.com.

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