Morgan Wade, the breakout songwriter HITS described as “Kris Kristofferson as a Gen Z female,” has spent the last 18 months burning up the road. She’s been on tours with Chris Stapleton, Lucero, Brooks & Dunn with Jordan Davis and Luke Combs’ stadium dates with Zach Bryan and Cody Johnson. She’s been to Europe, scalding the Country Music Association’s C2C Festival in the UK and Ireland; going back for a headlining European tour that included dates at the Academy in Manchester, a second show added at the Garage in London, as well as Hyde Park.
The in-the-know-musico’s secret hand-shake, everyone wants the cred of the young woman hailed by Time, Rolling Stone and Rolling Stone Country, The New York Times and NPR who writes about the most gutting moments of desire, drugs, bottoming out and trying to maintain one’s dignity while trying to claw your way back. With an Americana Best New Artist nomination, she’s done everything but her own tour. Until now.
The “No Signs of Slowing Down Tour” is official. Kicking off Feb. 24 at Louisville, Kentucky’s Headliners Music Hall, the 31-date tour will run through April 16 with a demi-homecoming show at The National in Richmond, Virginia. Along the way, Wade will disembark at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club, Philadelphia’s World Café Live, Seattle’s Neptune Theatre, San Francisco’s Fillmore, NYC’s Bowery Ballroom, Dallas’ Kessler Theater, Madison, WI’s Majestic Theatre, Denver’s Bluebird Theater, Los Angeles’ storied Troubadour and the legendary Ryman Auditorium.
Special 24-hour ticket presales begin Sept. 28 at 10 a.m. local; sales to the general public start Sept. 30 at 10 a.m. via morganwademusic.com.
For the young woman who’s forging a community out of pain recognition and the joy of being alive, this moment can’t come soon enough.
“When you’re opening… it’s the hit stuff, get the crowd going,” Wade says. “They’re not my fans, but I want to make them my fans. I’m there to do that. But when you’ve got 30 minutes, there’s not a lot of time to talk – and you’re not playing deep cuts.
“We’ve had a lot of fans coming out to those shows to hear these songs, and they all say, ‘Man, I wish there was more.’ Soon there will be.”
With WME agents Jonny Insogna and Hayley Riddle previously sprinkling in headlining dates – including crashing the system for Knoxville, Tennessee’s Bijou Theater with a four-minute sell-out and her headlining UK dates selling out so fast dates were added – on Wade’s incredibly busy road schedule, they were able to test the waters in a way that powered the leap of faith.
Mary Sparr, Wade’s manager, watches the velocity and intensity of the social platforms, DSPs and reaction at the shows. A bold indie artist navigator, she says, “All signs point to ‘yes.’ Her fan engagement is the roof. People are coming to every single arena, stadium and amphitheater – and making their presence known.”
“We didn’t want to skip steps. We recognized the opportunities of these tours. But we also wanted her to experience many of the rooms that are booked. Artistically, she has so many songs – so the timing couldn’t be better.”
Given Wade’s genre eschewing reach – traveling with just an electric guitarist, bass player and drums – she is as close to stripped down rock as she is Americana or country. With a melodic sense that veers from yearning to pretty, her instincts to avoid labels torpedoed conveyor belt marketing, but built a fanbase that listens to everything.
As Insogna notes of the team’s strategy, “We wanted to be incredibly sensitive to the fact that Morgan has fans from all walks of life. She has mass appeal. She blurs the lines between Country, Americana, Rock and Mainstream/Contemporary music. We didn’t want to choose rooms that would alienate one set of fans for another.
“We chose rooms we thought country fans, pop fans and Americana fans would all attend. We also wanted Morgan to have the opportunity to play historically significant venues like the Troubadour, the 9:30 Club in D.C., and The Ryman.”
Insogna also inadvertently named the tour on a team call. Looking at the lyrics to the title cut of her Reckless album, he landed on the line “I see no signs of slowing down.” To laughter, a tour got its name.
“I’ve been going hard since Reckless came out,” Wade says flatly. “And we’re not stopping. If people want to hear this music, we’re gonna bring it, but now we’re gonna bring it all. … And I think it’s good I haven’t done this ’til now. There’s that demand from people who haven’t been able to see a whole show. They want this music, and we’re gonna give it to them!”
Produced by Sadler Vaden (guitarist with Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit) and Grammy-winning engineer Paul Ebersold, Wade’s approach is play hard and lean into the songs. Keeping things lean, the woman who rocks Balenciaga’s Croc boots in both black and tan is expanding her aesthetics, looking at backdrops and lighting set-ups.
“I remember several years ago, trying to book my own shows. I’d send out a hundred emails and might get one response. Now that this is happening, I’ve got a team that’s making things happen, I’m ready! For all those fans who want the deep cuts, want to hear where these songs came from, even a 10-minute story, that’s what this tour is all about.”
Box office reports submitted to Pollstar for Wade include her Aug. 14 headline show at Rose Music Hall in Columbia, Missouri, that sold 697 tickets and grossed $10,830. Earlier this month she supported Luke Combs when he played Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Sept. 16-17, which sold a total of 19,282 tickets and grossed more than $1.3 million.
Morgan Wade: No Signs of Slowing Down Tour
Feb. 24 Headliners Music Hall Louisville, KY
Feb. 25 A&R Music Bar Columbus, OH
Feb. 26 9:30 Club Washington, DC
March 1 Bowery Ballroom New York City
March 2 The Sinclair Cambridge, MA
March 3 World Cafe Live Philadelphia, PA
March 4 Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, OH
March 5 El Club Detroit, MI
March 7 Hi-Fi Indianapolis, IN
March 8 Majestic Theatre Madison, WI
March 10 Joe’s Live Rosemont, IL
March 11 Fine Line Minneapolis, MN
March 12 Wooly’s Des Moines, IA
March 14 Bluebird Theater Denver, CO
March 15 The State Room Salt Lake City, UT
March 17 The Coop Columbia Falls, MT
March 18 The Neptune Theatre Seattle, WA
March 19 Aladdin Theater Portland, OR
March 21 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
March 23 Troubadour Los Angeles, CA
March 24 BarrelHouse Brewing Co Paso Robles, CA
March 25 Lobero Theatre Santa Barbara, CA
March 26 Crescent Ballroom Phoenix, AZ
March 28 Meow Wolf Santa Fe, NM
March 30 The Heights Theater Houston, TX
March 31 Historic Scoot Inn Austin, TX
April 1 The Kessler Theater Dallas, TX
April 13 Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN
April 14 Buckhead Theatre Atlanta, GA
April 15 The Grey Eagle Asheville, NC
April 16 The National Richmond, VA