You are on tour. I told you it wouldn't be easy. You're tired, you had to drive the first 50 miles right after the show so you could sleep into town that morning and you kept waking up because the damned roads are bumpy and they suck. Or, you linked up with one of your show mates who put on an after party for you and the rest of the bill. You partied too hard, and now you wake up with a sore throat, still tired and you have a show this evening!
These things either make us machines or break us down and send us back home scared to try anything like that again. Even the most hardcore gangster rapper will want his mommy if he had to plan and execute a grassroots tour and succeed.
We're not saying nobody will succeed, but before the tour is over; if it's a long enough tour, everyone will want to go home at some point. Fight through it. That's all I can give for advice in that matter.
You should try to get into each
town the morning of the show, because you might be able to get into the venue mid-day and drop off your things for the show... If the owner is more about music than liquor, you'll probably get a sound check right then. If the owner has a sound guy, and he/she themselves deal strictly with the bar, you'll have to wait. But find out when that will be and be there ON TIME for it.
Try to make sure your show mates in each town can meet you during the day as well. Not everybody can do it. But it helps when you can at least act like you've known each other forever when you're on stage doing shout outs to each other. A little inside joke you can laugh at makes you all seem like you've been around the scene. And that makes the crowd respect what is going on. They understand its a tour and they now think every act they're watching is a touring act. This instantly raises your stock with crowds. Not by a mile but it goes up a little, everyone is waiting for you to mess it up, really.
Double-check the posters and online promo during the daytime and hopefully you've contacted some type of media and the lineup can all go to the interview together. Also looks good to show united fronts. Do your best to engage everyone you meet leading up to the show time. It doesn't take a flier, just flirt with the drugstore clerk or gas station attendant while your buying smokes or juice and let them know your from out of town and your performing tonight at the whatever bar. Even if they don't go, your skill in engaging people is always needing to be sharpened.
Take a short nap
Use the bathroom (even if you don't think you have to)
Be on time for the sound check.
If there's a doorman there during sound check, see if you can convince them to get emails while they check ID's, they may want money; 20 should do it.
You will need a first-aid kit (even a mobile one)
Drink plenty of water an continue to buy big cases of bottled water (especially on longer trips)
Supplementals: A lot of venues have poor lighting, so you should invest in a "wash bar", an LED light bar they cost about a hundred dollars and they are extremely transportable. If you want to be able to visually record your show, you need at least spectacular lighting going on. It really looks more professional.