Friday, January 7, 2011

Tour Blog, part 4.

Here are the previous 3 parts, in case you missed them:

Again, sorry if I forgot your name. It's been over 2 months now.
Day 22, New Brunswick, NJ:

Since New Brunswick was so close to New York City, we didn’t need to leave until around 5pm. We slept late; I went to the store to try to find some cheap medicine so I could try to shake this fever. At this point my throat was killing me. We hung out at Matt’s place for a bit, got some lunch, and watched a documentary about the World Air Guitar Championships. Pretty funny shit. Eventually 5o’clock rolled around and we headed out to New Brunswick. This was a house show, and there was a damn good turnout too. I’d heard things about how New Brunswick had a bitchin’ house show scene, and it seemed like what I heard was true. The lineup was Black Kites, Divider, us, and Sick Fuck. Even though I was feeling a somewhat better by mid-day, the fever had come back worse than ever by the time we had to play. I spent the whole set concentrating on playing and trying to not vomit everywhere. People seemed to dig us, so that was cool. Divider ripped, as usual. Black Kites was getting ready to load in when the fuzz started creepin’ by the house. The guys running the show decided to play it safe and end the show, so unfortunately, Black Kites didn’t get to play. Bummer, I would’ve liked to see them.

After gear was loaded up, Divider dudes wanted to go out to a bar for a bit before heading home. Originally, the plan was they were going to play for 4 days with us. But we couldn’t get a show booked between New Jersey and Virginia; some band called Ruiner was having a final show in Baltimore, and it gave us what I call “tour leprosy” – nobody will touch your show because it’s interfering with something else going on around the same time. Since it didn’t make sense for them to continue on, this ended up being the last night we were playing with them. So they all went out with the rest of the band; normally I would have been game as well, but I felt like such a pile of garbage that I went and slept in the van.

Day 23, Day Off, NJ:

I slept like shit all night in the van, if it wasn’t people getting into the van to grab their stuff, it was the drunk college kids screaming and shouting outside of the van after the bars had closed, and if it wasn’t that, it was me coughing up parts of my lungs all night. But, I must’ve coughed up something important, because I was beginning to feel better. A day off on tour always sucks, especially after having had so many in the previous week, but this is one I was glad to see. We stayed at Robert’s house (the place the show was at) all day, watched shitloads of bad action movies on his huge VHS collection (Total Recall, Robocop, etc.), relaxed and recuperated. Robert was kind enough to let us stay at his house while he was at work all day, so we spent some time cleaning has place up as well. Can’t thank you enough, dude.

Day 24, Harrisonburg, VA:

We got moving fairly early, so as to not overstay our welcome, and also so we could get an oil change. We took care of that and got on the road for the 6 hour drive to VA. Nice scenic drive through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and a little sliver of Maryland. The show that night was another house show, at a place called Crayola House. A very rad dude by the name of Michael set up the show for us. We got there early and chilled, watched some football, shot the shit with Michael and his roommates. Eventually people started showing up for the show. It was supposed to be a 3-band bill, but with Divider dropping off it changed some things; the local band was a metalcore band called The Typist, and at the last minute another band jumped on to fill the empty slot – I can’t remember their name, but they were a tech-death kinda band and it was pretty damn sweet. I was beginning to feel much better today, with only my throat giving me any real trouble. It hurt like fuck to swallow, to talk, and especially to cough, which I was doing a lot of. Show was sweet, people got into it for us. I don’t know how many girlfriends hung out outside while we played, but I have a feeling it was a lot.

Day 25, yet another day off:

I can’t remember why this was a day off. I think it was one that we had planned for. At any rate, it was a shitty one – I counted our band money after the show the night before, and I counted it in the morning when we needed to gas up the van. Money was missing. Somehow, someway, money ended up being stolen from the van. Not all of it though. Just big bills, i.e. the 20’s. We had a selective thief, apparently. To this day we can’t figure out how or why it happened. But oh well. There’s not a fucking thing you can do about it except get fucking pissed and keep going. So that’s what we did. We drove to Greensboro, NC and crashed with Rob from Torch Runner for the evening. He made us an incredible dinner and we watched the Chilean Miners get rescued on the Spanish channel, where they had it split-screened with the futbol game. I made everyone watch Home Alone and crashed out. Oh yeah, and Rob didn’t have any toilet paper so Merch Guy Mike wiped his ass with his bare hand. Fucking gross.

Day 26, Greensboro, NC:

Long day of hanging out. Phil and I walked around downtown Greensboro forever trying to find a damn liquor store. We finally did, and I bought everclear in a mini-bottle, which I thought was hilarious yet practical. Who needs a huge bottle of everclear anyhow? The show was across the street from Rob’s house, so we didn’t even have to go very far. It was just us and Torch Runner in a teeny tiny basement. I think people liked us. I definitely loved Torch Runner, that band fucking destroys shit. Check ‘em out if you’ve got a minute. Afterwards, someone took a shit on the front doorstep of the house, and the guy who lived there stepped in it – we heard him yell about it several houses down the road. Good times!

Day 27, Greenville, SC:

Greenville, Greenville, Greenville. Holy shit, we needed you.

We arrived to the venue, a DIY spot called Suite 8, a few hours early. Didn’t feel like exploring the neighborhood we were in, so we sat in the parking lot and drank tall-boys. Merch Guy Mike broke our trailer lock by dropping it with the key still in it – the key snapped and got stuck. Good thing we got there early so now we could go try to find a hardware store to buy a replacement. So that was lame thing #1 for the day. Lame thing #2 for the day was receiving a text from Josh from the band Dead Heroes saying that our show in Sylvania, Alabama had to be canceled because of extenuating circumstances. That was a huge bummer for several reasons.
1: This southern part of the tour was supposed to be with Dead Heroes, but tragically their drummer Jake passed away over the summer in a car accident. Even though the tour was no longer with Dead Heroes, we were all looking forward to being able to see the rest of the guys at the show; a reunion would’ve been really nice.
2: Another friend of mine lived in the area and I was looking forward to seeing her as well.
3: Now we were gonna have to reroute in order to just have a place to crash on our way from Georgia to Mississippi.
4: No fucking show, and nothing anyone can do about it.

The show itself was double-booked with 2 touring pop-punk bands, and the local support was a pop-punk band. First reaction to that news: “Fuckin…goddammit.” It’s no fault of anyone’s, by any means. These things happen from time to time, and Trey who does the shows at Suite 8 is an awesome dude. But you want the situation to be advantageous for your band, of course. Our music isn’t for everybody, and you can count pop-punk fans in that group along with tuff-guy hardcore kids, metalheads, girls, and more. So I wasn’t expecting much, and I couldn’t have been more fucking wrong. People went fucking APESHIT. By far the best show of the entire tour, maybe even the best show we’ve ever played. Our energy was high – after a week-and-a-half of canceled dates, days off, money getting stolen, being sick, etc, we were fucking hungry. We listened to ‘Get In The Van’ during the drive to Greenville, which I’m sure had a part in getting everyone in “fuck, kill, eat” mode. The show even got a circle-pit going, and to that kid whose shirt I ripped in half and tore off of him while we were playing: Sorry dude! I tried to find you after the show and I couldn’t. I would’ve given you a new shirt for free, too.

What a night, it was awesome. We met these dudes in a band called Miles Apart after the show, who found out we needed another band the following night in Augusta. They were game to play. Cool. Lukas was down to let us crash at his place, so we followed him there, played with his dog Murphy, and passed the fuck out. That show wore us out. Thanks Greenville!

Day 28, Augusta GA:

High point of the drive to Augusta: We saw a high-speed police chase. The dude on the run almost hit our van. Low point of the drive to Augusta: Taking a wrong turn onto a toll road, and missing an exit on said toll road, which in turn lead us to having to pay a toll on the same 2 mile stretch of road 3 times.
I knew the show was gonna be a house show. That’s what Josh, the guy who booked it, told me. What I didn’t know was, that it was gonna be at his grandma’s house. We thought we had the wrong house when a little old lady came out after we pulled up. But no, she said: “Ya’ll playin’ here tonight? I swept out the garage for ya’ll!” We introduced ourselves, I felt awkward because I don’t really understand southern hospitality and I don’t trust the elderly; she showed us where we were playing and told us we could pull the van around when her grandson got there. After Josh showed up we pulled the van around and loaded our gear in to the garage. I was having some issues with some gear so I set everything up and tried to figure out what was going on with that. People slowly started to show up, Josh told us we could wait for awhile. We set up merch on her back patio, and hung out with Josh, Josh’s grammama, and his buddies. Grandma turned out to be pretty damn delightful. She made sure to let Josh know that he needed a roach clip or he was gonna burn his lip. My favorite thing she said was in reference to one of our shirts, the one with the snake-handling Holy Roller on it. She said “If God told me to handle a rattlesnake, I guess I’d have to do it. But not right now. Because he isn’t here.” I don’t know if she meant it the way I took it, but I thought it was genius; she’s the next Cormac McCarthy.

As the sun started to go down, we decided it was time to play even though the Miles Apart dudes hadn’t arrived yet. Apparently they got lost. They arrived just as we got done. I felt kinda weird playing that night because someone over the age of 70 was watching us. Like I said, I don’t trust the elderly. Miles Apart played their set, we hung out and shot the shit for awhile before they had to call it a night and head back home, and we went to Josh’s house and partied for awhile. Patrick complained about his feet. Patrick had been griping about his feet since the 1st week of tour. And they’d been getting worse. We all swore it was athletes foot and he’d been taking care of it wrong. He didn’t know what it was. In actuality, none of us knew what it was. Tomorrow we’d be going to the doctor.

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