Inside Mary Chapin Carpenter’s rider: ‘Healthy, fresh, low-fat’ dinner; Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the dressing room; 2 bottles of wine for the band | art and entertainment



Cover MMM 7-29

This story appeared in ‘Meeting Minutes & More’, a weekly six-page special section in the Friday print editions of the News-Gazette.


Except for the four-pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that the star kindly asks to be waiting for her in her dressing room at check-in, the three-pronged plan for eating MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER and friends, as stated in the official addendum to their concert tour, is as follows: “Our goals are healthy, fresh and low-fat.”

Hence the vegetable platter, the rice cakes, the Greek yogurt, and the multiple mentions of organic, this, and natural in the contract awarded to the Virginia Theater before Carpenter’s recent visit.

The 64-year-old, a five-time Grammy winner, brought her a little bit of country, a little bit of rock and roll show to town two Saturdays ago, part of a busy stretch that saw her play in Minneapolis on Wednesday. Bayfield, Wis., on Thursday, Iowa City on Friday, Champaign on Saturday and Lawrence, Kansas, on Sunday, then take a day-long breather before resuming at Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Continuing our ongoing series, here are just a few of Carpenter’s concert horseman finer points, obtained by The News-Gazette via an open records request.



Maria Chapin Carpenter

— Back to the dressing rooms, which must be air-conditioned, with the temperature set between 68 and 75 and “with a window that opens, if possible.”

— By 11 a.m. on the day of the show, Carpenter’s room must be stocked with a small bowl of halved blueberries and strawberries, two bottles of Fiji water, “fresh ice in a cooler or freezer to prevent melting (not in a bucket),” one 8-ounce container of skim milk, one Chobani Strawberry Greek Yogurt, and one six-pack of “PLAIN UNFLAVOURED Club Soda.” Plus, the peanut butter cups, of course.

— If possible, Carpenter’s “safe, clean and well-lit” locker room should have a couch. Must have a full-length mirror, makeup mirror, table/desk, and reading lamp, and be attached to or connected to a private bathroom with bottled hand soap; a clean, new bath mat; six clean white bath towels: four clean white hand towels and one shower that has been scrubbed prior to arrival.

— By 1 pm on the day of the show, the band’s dressing room should be ready to roll, including freshly brewed hot coffee and unsweetened iced tea “with mint on the side”; a 12-pack of LaCroix Pink Sparkling Water and a case of bottled water; sliced ​​lemons and two fresh limes; Celestial Seasonings Vanilla Chamomile Herbal Tea; plates of fresh and ripe fruits (cut and whole) and fresh vegetables (cut); a large container of hummus; brown rice pancakes; mixed nuts; pita wedges; small jars of organic peanut butter and jelly; and “ceramic cups, glasses, plates, napkins and cutlery”.

— Boz Scaggs tour, this isn’t, so no need to worry about whether the liquor cabinet is stocked — the only mention of adult beverages in Carpenter’s rider is two bottles of red wine (with opener) for your band.

— At least 11 “competent and knowledgeable” security guards are a must: eight guarding the stage area, two for backstage and one to keep an eye on the two 45-foot tour buses parked outside. Virginia uses police officers from Champaign for security, paying $65 an hour, according to the contract.

— Breakfast for eight, ready at 9 am, must include scrambled eggs, breakfast sandwiches, or breakfast burritos; bacon or turkey sausage; fresh fruit; freshly baked breakfast muffins; “everything bagels” with Philly cream cheese “or a good local alternative”; a loaf of high-fiber whole wheat bread; a “working toaster”; peanut butter and jelly jars; assorted cereals (“at least four to choose from”); 2 percent milk and a selection of natural shakes.

— Depending on the day of the concert, the lunch entrée varies, from hot dogs, hamburgers, and veggie burgers (Monday and Thursday) to rotisserie chicken and pulled pork (Sundays). Being a Saturday show, the menu calls for baked mac and cheese and a Mexican taco bar, including chicken and steak, and beans for a vegetarian option.

— Other must-have dishes for lunch, no matter the day: “fresh homemade chicken soup, really grilled chicken soup, with crackers”; cold salad options (pasta, potato, coleslaw, quinoa, etc.); fresh vegetable salad: “NO ICEBERG” lettuce, with a selection of fresh side dishes on the side and two bottles of Newman’s Own-brand dressing (ranch and vinaigrette).

— Dinner works in the same way as lunch, only with more class: “tables dressed with tablecloths and (a) a pleasant atmosphere” are required; Styrofoam is prohibited. The tour rider lists different main entrees for different days of the week: Saturday is stir fry and veg day, with Carpenter’s management noting, “Anything interesting appreciated, like Indian dishes, Thai curry.”

— And for dessert after dinner, simple works: “2 homemade desserts to choose from! Cookies, brownies, and ice cream are good.”

— Artist guarantee for one night in Champaign: $20,000.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.