Noblesville High School graduate Dave Elwert began playing drums for the band Runaway June in early 2020 — not exactly the best time to start a new job on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The drummer made the situation work, though. Runaway June is the opening act for Luke Bryan’s tour, which includes an Aug. 20 stop at Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville.
“Runaway June is a female country trio and they’ve been a band since 2015,” Elwert said. “They’ve had some pretty good success. I plugged in with them in the beginning of 2020 and played with them up until the world shut down, and then we all sat and waited. Right now, we are just starting to pick back up. The Luke tour starts in mid-August.”
Elwert, 36, said his job is to reproduce the drums, in a live performance, written on the label. He said he already feels welcome with the band.
“They’re all really nice people, and it’s easy to feel at home in this gig,” he said. “They have that family environment, and you get along with everyone on the road.”
Besides playing, Elwert enjoys the travel aspect of touring.
“With the fall tour, we are out west a lot, so we’ll play Thursday, Friday and Saturday in California and then have a few days before you play another Thursday, Friday, Saturday in Washington or Colorado,” he said. “So those days in between, all the band guys are trying to figure out how to use those days. We might rent a car and explore the national parks and just get away from the bus for a couple days.”
Runaway June has 50 to 60 shows scheduled, but Elwert will continue drumming even when the tour ends.
“This is full time. It’s my main thing,” he said of playing the drums. “When I’m home (in Columbus, Ind.), I have a home studio and produce artists from Indiana or record my own stuff. My family still lives in Noblesville.”
Other artists Elwert has worked with include Corey Cox, Christine Nicole and Levi Driskell.
Elwert began playing drums when he was 15. He performed in the Noblesville High School Marching Band, the jazz band and participated in various rock bands in high school.
“It was kind of cool because one of the bands I was in never did anything, but we rehearsed in a friend’s garage who lived a few miles down the road from (Ruoff), and when we would practice in the garage between songs, you could hear the thump of the amphitheater down the street,” Elwert said. “All of us dreamed of one day getting to play there.”
Although comfortable in front of audiences after several years of performing, Elwert said something about coming home ratchets up his nerves just a bit.
“I honestly don’t really get nervous anymore playing music. I’ve just done it for so long, but when you come home, I get nervous playing in front of my family, but I don’t get nervous playing in front of a bunch of strangers,” he said. “It’s kind of weird.”
For more, visit daveelwert.com.