Belmont expands fan base with Midwest Tour

Nick Moran, asst. a&e editor

Seven guys, one minivan and plenty of shows to rock the Midwest with their sound. Belmont, a band featuring South seniors Joey Legittino and Brian Lada, spent part of their summer touring states such as Iowa, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The band, also featuring members Taz Johnson, Sam Patt and Matt Fusi, took the tour head on, all with the hopes of taking their music to the next level.

Since the release of their first album, Vicissitude, Legittino says the band has gone through a metamorphosis.

“We have a new guitarist, Matt Fusi,” Legittino said. “We have sat down and really practiced our songs until they’re tight and second nature to us because we can’t afford to be [not giving it our all].”

After releasing their album Vicissitude at the start of the year,  Legittino decided that the next step for their band was to grow their music further. With the help of their Tour Manager Megan Kraemer, Belmont worked to set up shows and take off with the goal of spreading their music and progressing further than being a “local band.”

“You just want to get your music out,” Kraemer said. “I’m always up for telling bands to tour, because that is how you get out there these days. And wanting to work for it is super important.”

According to Legittino, the start of the tour was far from perfect, especially their first day on the road. However, the band still performed and remained optimistic about the trip overall.

“Everything that could have went wrong the first day went wrong,” Legittino said. “It was definitely a weird first day, but it was all really smooth sailing from there.”

On their summer tour, Belmont hit cities such as Madison, WI and Nashville, TN, where they stayed with a band called Carry Me Solo, who showed the boys around Nashville. According to Patt, it was an amazing experience being able to see their fans’ involvement in other states.

“It’s really cool to meet people from other states that know your music and love your music,” Patt said. “In Nashville and Madison, a lot of people were singing the lyrics and moshing and stuff which was awesome.”

Lada claims the tour led to gaining a lot of attention for the band, propelling Belmont out of Illinois.

“Now that we went on tour, we gained some national attention – even a little bit of world attention. But I’d say we’re more of a national act now,” Lada said. “For our next shows, a lot of them are going to be out-of-state.”

On top of their Midwest tour, Belmont also played on the Vans Warped Tour. Their performance was voted to take place on-stage by fans online. The band played on the tour which also featured prominent bands such as Carousel Kings and The Wonder Years.

“Our fans actually voted us on to the Chicago date and that was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Patt said. “It was so cool. There were a lot of people watching our set, which was awesome, and I got to see a lot of really cool bands play.”

Also growing in strength with Belmont’s online following has been the music released from their first Extended Play Album (EP). According to Johnson, their music, especially their most popular song, “Empty Shelf”, have continued to accumulate online publicity.

“We just broke 4,000 views on our YouTube with pretty much every song,” Johnson said. “[On] Spotify, every song has over a 1,000 plays. The EP is up for free but multiple people have, on their own, paid for it.”

Belmont has been steadily accumulating fans around the Midwest from their online music prior to their tour. According to  Kraemer, she learned about Belmont from word of mouth.

“A couple of my friends live [in Wisconsin] and listened to Belmont and wanted to work with them,” Kraemer said. “I enjoyed their music […] and the guys were really cool.”

According to Belmont, their next two steps are to record their next EP and plan their West Coast tour for the upcoming winter. According to Lada, these next two steps will be pivotal for the future of Belmont, basing the survival of the band on the success of their next album.

“Once everything is planned, and we release everything, we’re just going to grind on that EP for the rest of the year,” Lada said. “We’ll see where it is by May, and if it’s somewhere where it’s not much of anything, we’re just going to go our separate ways into college. If [the album is] amazing, we’re just going to tour right out of high school.”