The Shadowboxers, a pop rock band which includes Goizueta Business School senior Adam Hoffman and College seniors Matt Lipkins and Scott Schwartz, will be opening for the Indigo Girls during their tour of the northeastern United States this June.
“This is really a foot in the door. Saying we’re grateful doesn’t even really cut it,” lead vocalist and keyboardist Lipkins said. “The experience of being on the road and touring and playing at venues on the scale which we’ll be playing this summer is an immense and rare opportunity.”
The tour’s first show is June 12 at the Wolftrapp Theater in Virginia.
Hoffman said that many of the 12 booked shows are already sold out, with the Virginia venue seating approximately 8,000 people.
“I’m humbled by the fact that they even want to associate with us,” Indigo Girl Emily Saliers (‘85C) said. “I’m just waiting for the world to discover them, and I believe that they will.”
The Indigo Girls consists of Emory alumni Amy Ray (’86C) and Saliers.
“I feel very proud of that Emory legacy; they’re kinda in our family now,” Saliers said of The Shadowboxers. “I’ve always wanted to tour with them.”
The Shadowboxers began as an all-Emory band with Lipkins, Hoffman and lead vocalist and guitarist Schwartz, but since then has added two members — Ben Williams from Oglethorpe University on bass and Jaron Pearlman, who attended the Art Institute of Atlanta, on drums.
During spring break, the band was contacted by their manager Russel Carter, who also manages the Indigo Girls. He informed the band that the Indigo Girls asked if The Shadowboxers would be willing to open for them on their tour, according to Hoffman.
Hoffman said that this tour opportunity was “the exact thing” the band was looking for after graduation in order to be able to support themselves and maintain the band as a full-time job.
“For about the past year, we’ve known that we were going to do this full time,” Hoffman said. “The last year has been preparing to make sure that we can hit the ground running when we graduate.”
The band members have to provide their own food and transportation during the tour, which, according to Lipkins will include reaching out to friends and even strangers.
“I’m really pumped to be couching it through the tour,” Lipkins said.
The relationship between the Indigo Girls and The Shadowboxers began at a Passover Seder that both Emily Saliers and Scott Schwartz attended.
Schwartz sang during the gathering, and Saliers took notice.
“The youngest person has to have a singing role in the Seder, and I was the youngest,” Schwartz said. “And I sang well enough to generate a music conversation with her.”
According to Sailers, she was very impressed with Schwartz’s musical talents.
“I freaked out over his voice,” Saliers said.
After meeting Schwartz, she decided to attend a Shadowboxers concert at Emory.
“I think during the concert, I called my manager and said, ‘You gotta hear these guys. You gotta manage these guys. They’re incredible,” she said.
The bonding between the two groups has only grown since then, said Schwartz.
“From that Seder, I’ve gotten to be really close friends with [Emily],” Schwartz said. “She has just been so great for us, such a big advocate for us.”
Sailers co-wrote a song with the Shadowboxers, called “She Forgives.”
Both bands performed the song at a sold-out Indigo Girls show at the Buckhead Theater in Atlanta on Oct. 15, 2010.
“I really like co-writing with them,” she said. “Adam had this guitar riff, and he just played it, and I just started singing a bit of a melody, and then we ended up writing the song I think in pretty much one afternoon.”
She said that she hopes they will sing “She Forgives” together during the tour.
She added that she believes her fans will love The Shadowboxers once they hear the band play.
“[The Shadowboxers] are going to ascend, though, no matter what,” she said. “They’ve just got that special thing.”
— Contact Christina White