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File: In The Face Of Loss – A GoFundMe for The Empty Pockets 

| March 27, 2023


The Empty Pockets (Photo by Philamonjaro)

Over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, Chicago’s Empty Pockets returned home from a string of tour dates. As was their usual routine, they had secured the trailer in their studio lot in the city. Monday morning, they were alerted their trailer had been stolen. 

This was a massive blow, and the band was devastated. After more tour cancellations and a brief Instagram hacking (they got their account back), it was pretty demoralizing. 

Most of the items in the trailer are worth more to the band than any thief. Custom in-ear monitors, tour clothes, limited edition merch, and more. 

Fronting the band, husband, and wife Josh Solomon and Erika Brett explained by email interview.  

IE: Did the thieves take the whole trailer, or was it broken into? 

JS/EB: They took the entire trailer! We got to our studio lot the other day, and it was gone, only our spare wood trailer tire blocks left.  

IE: What all was taken? What are your estimated costs?

JS/EB: We’ve been doing an inventory as best we can, and it looks like it was about 70k worth of gear, instruments, clothing, merch, and the trailer itself. It’s frustrating because lots of stuff in there is worth more to us than to anyone else.

IE: Where was it located? How did you find out?

JS/EB: Our studio is near the intersection of North and Harlem in Chicago.  We’ve been parking in that lot for almost 15 years. We will be booting the tires in the future as an added precaution!

IE: You mentioned that you have filed a police report and insurance claim. Anything else to help address this loss?

JS/EB: Fans, friends, family, and even some brands like Shure and Sennheiser have come in big already.  We’ve already replaced some gear, other stuff, like specific keyboards and sound gear, takes more time to get ordered and delivered. Any financial assistance is really helpful.

IE: When are you going to go back on the road? 

JS/EB: We are literally on the road right now as I write this. Advantage Trailer, where we buy our trailers from, has loaned us a spare (for free!), and we’ve cobbled together enough gear to make our current tour work.  It’s been a crazy few days!

IE: How will you continue? What is next? How will you move forward?

JS/EB: Nothing to do except play shows, tell our story, humbly accept people’s gracious assistance, and keep on keepin’ on.  We aren’t gonna let this get us down too much.

It’s very demoralizing to have anything stolen.  A trailer packed with gear is sort of central headquarters for an indie band, so having the entire thing suddenly taken has been a blow.  But… the support that’s come flooding in has been powerful and unexpected. It’s given us life beyond the simple replacement of gear. We’ve been lifted up, and it’s a good reminder that people are mostly good. 

It’s better to move forward together.  It takes a village, and that’s never felt more true than right now.

IE: How can fans and the public help?

JS/EB: Financial contributions, large and small, are huge from both a replacement perspective but also from a band outlook perspective.  Contacts at music brands have also been helpful.  Fender, Gretsch, Musicman, Korg, and Yamaha are all brands of gear that were stolen.

Come see the band when we head to a town near you…

Our full tour schedule is here:

A cash gift of any amount and reposting this message makes all the difference. Let’s collectively let’s get them back on track.   


Editor’s Note: Philamonjaro is administering the GoFundMe for the band. 


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