My name is Alexi Paraschos, and I am a soul and pop singer/songwriter originally from Boston, now in Philadelphia. I just finished recording my second album, "25/8", and to release it, instead of doing a traditional tour playing at bars and standard music venues, I thought it would be cool to bring music to diners along the East Coast!
The idea originated from the theme of the album itself: "25/8" is about going a step beyond 24/7 for something or someone you love. It's about working hard, being passionate, and going the extra mile. Diners are where hard-working people can refuel. They sustain people with food and conversation, and many are open around the clock to serve people at all hours of the day and night. They are also unique places in that they bring together folks from all walks of life. At this time in our country, where division is far more common than unity, an intimate show at a diner provides us an opportunity to connect with one another in a meaningful way. And lastly, we thought what a cool opportunity to be able to listen to some smooth live music while eating bacon, eggs, and pancakes at 11:30 at night!
The idea took on added significance for me when, in researching the history of diners, I discovered that the first diners in the United States were started by Greek Americans. Being the son of a proud Greek father myself, a man who always instilled in me the values of working hard, being kind, and sticking up for the little guy, it really seemed like the perfect fit.
We plan to start in Boston on June 1, 2018, and tour the entire month, ending in New Orleans, and closing it out with a final concert back in Philly. The funds will go towards the basics of food, lodging, and transportation for a band of five people for one month.
I hope you consider donating to what I think will be a unique live music experience. We're living in a time when hatred and division are being encouraged far more than love and unity, and this is an opportunity to reconnect with each other and remind everyone what really makes us great. Thank you for considering, and I hope to see you along the tour route!
Risks and challenges
I think the biggest challenge, in addition to the basic logistics of planning a tour, will be whether this is even something diners will be interested in. While it seems like a cool idea from my perspective as a performer, will diner owners even want live music in their restaurants?
My first response is that I have already booked five diners for the tour, in Trenton (NJ), Wilmington (DE), Baltimore (MD), Washington (D.C.), and Richmond (VA), all of which are looking forward to having us come and play. (The diner in Washington is the H Street location of the iconic "Ben's Chili Bowl," which we are really excited about.) And as you can see from the video, the servers at City Lake Diner in Collingswood, NJ where we filmed it really enjoyed the impromptu performance and, when we explained to them the concept, loved the idea of bringing live music to diners.
Additionally, I have done two very successful "test shows" in Philly and Durham (NC), and am doing one more in Boston on 2/19. I put on a free concert in each city, with just my acoustic guitar and a microphone, to see whether live music would boost diner owners' business. At both of the shows so far, the owners and managers were incredibly pleased, not just with the music, but with the added business for the night from audience members buying food and drinks. It was also cool to see customers who weren't at the diner to watch me play but were listening and clapping along!
Aside from booking the diners, the other challenges are logistical: paying for the tour (wink, wink), planning the tour route, organizing accommodations, etc, which I have begun and will finalize in the remaining two months leading up to the tour.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)