Gulfport native Sarah Hewes just completed her first extensive road trip as tour manager for the indie band AJR. The tour started in Florida with We The Kings and made its way westward, ending with a legendary show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. And while that task may seem daunting in its own right, Hewes, who recently graduated from NYU with a masters in music business, was also trying to complete her senior thesis along the way.
"Every night, she would say, 'I need to go write three or four more pages on my thesis' -- sometimes it would be at like 3 a.m.," said Jack Met, who makes up AJR along with his brothers Adam and Ryan.
Hewes said it was a large project to take on while she was driving AJR across the country.
"The biggest stressor was the driving," she said. "We had two really long drives, but they were so fantastic to be in the car with because there was never a time when everyone was asleep and someone wouldn't stay awake with me, but doing that on top of the thesis was a lot, but I'm so glad that we did it and we did it together."
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And Hewes' hard work and determination paid off.
"She got an A on her paper, and we couldn't be more happy for Sarah," Ryan Met said.
Coast show canceled
AJR was one of a handful of bands that was scheduled on Saturday to play at Fort Maurepas Park in Ocean Springs, but the show was canceled due to the chance of severe weather.
But Adam Met said they were glad to have another day on the Coast.
"This is our second time to come down here, and it's such a blast to have Sarah take us around," he said. "Last time we were here, we went to the Half Shell Oyster House, and we had a great meal."
The band is currently on a short tour promoting its new single "I'm Not Famous."
"We're doing mostly a promotional tour through the summer because 'I'm Not Famous' just landed at radio, and we are really excited about that," Ryan Met said. "We're hoping to do a bigger tour this summer and maybe even do some international dates."
'Best tour manager ever'
Hewes, who made a name for herself as part of Mississippi State University's Music Maker Productions and was part of the team responsible for bringing 2 Chainz to Starkville, said she is adjusting to life on the road with AJR.
"The tour with We The Kings was great, especially the show at the Troubadour -- Guns N' Roses had just played their surprise show a few days before we got there."
And there was a famous guest in the LA audience.
"Louis (Tomlinson) from One Direction was there, and he came back after our set and congratulated us and that was awesome," Ryan Met said.
And while Hewes said she enjoys working with the band, the feeling is apparently mutual.
"We love working with Sarah Margaret," Adam Met said. "We've been through a lot of tour managers, and she's the best tour manager ever."