Albuquerque, NM - Tuesday, May 29
Today we woke up at 6 a.m. in order to make it into Albuquerque at a reasonable time. We weren't sure what time load-in was and we wanted to be there in time in case it was early.
I drove this trip, which clocked in at about eight hours. There was a time change between Arizona and New Mexico, which we were amply warned about by 7 Horns, who had spent the night in ABQ (Albequerque). On the way out to ABQ, while we were still in Arizona, we drove right past the giant meteor crater.
We made the 10-minute drive out of the way to see this huge phenomenon. Upon arriving at the crater, we realized that there was a visitor center that charged $16 per person to go up and look at it...screw that. When you're on tour, you don't have money for crap like that unless you save up to be a tourist as well (which most people don't).
Anyway I finished the drive to ABQ and when we got there, we found out that load in was hours later, so we met up with 7 Horns at the Marble Brewery and had some beers and fun with them.
The entire tour so far, we had been arriving at the venues before 7 Horns and it was kind of an ongoing joke between us. As we left the brewery, 7 Horns jetted off before us. When we pulled up to the venue, 7 Horns was standing by their van and as we got out, almost instantly they mooned us. This was pretty hilarious actually and we swore revenge.
We started loading into the venue and this homeless guy walked up to us and started talking to us. He was trying to con us into giving him cigarettes or weed or something, so we didn't take him too seriously. We told him elaborate made up stories, just to keep him going. He was a pretty sarcastic guy, so I wouldn't be surprised if he knew what we were up to the entire time, but just wanted to have fun talking to people and joke around. Anyway, we were supposed to get a hot meal per band member from this venue and when we asked about it, the venue denied that we should get one.
The promoter wasn't there and neither was the local band. Something just didn't feel right about this venue, so we decided what to do. Obviously at that point, the promoter didn't explain the contractual agreement to the venue and the only person on duty was a bartender that had no clue of what was going on. She tried very hard to get us to stay and play, but there were only about five people that walked in the entire few hours we were there.
We decided that because of the major miscommunication, we'd just go our separate ways and trek on to the next stop. The bartender was very nice and gave us a couple free drinks for our trouble and we hung out and used the wifi for a bit.
Pueblo, CO - Wednesday, May 30
We had driven to Pueblo after the mishap in ABQ and crashed at a Walmart lot again. We woke up and decided that we wanted to find somewhere to swim due to the immense dry heat of CO. We found a lake 15 minutes West of Pueblo, and decided that we'd spend the day there. We headed out there and found that we had to buy a day pass for the park for 7 bucks.
We'd been reluctant to pay for things to do while we were on tour, but this was a wise purchase. We spent the entire day on a beach by the lake wading (NOT SWIMMING as it was against the rules and worthy of getting a ticket for) and throwing the Frisbee again. We all got a lot of sun and BBQ'ed down on the beach.
I fell asleep probably from heat exhaustion in the van for a few hours, while the others stayed out on the beach and Blake and Ben climbed a huge cliff North of where we were on the beach. After we finished at sundown, we headed out to the Walmart again, where we BBQ'ed some amazing hamburgers. We decided after that to head to Denver to sleep, since it was likely to be much cooler there.
Denver, CO - Thursday, May 31
We spent most of the day sleeping and catching up on sleep, although the sun beating down on the van became unbearable around noon. Dan and Phil went into Walmart, where they bought Yahtzee! and played for hours, while the rest of us napped. I woke up sporadically to use the bathroom and went into Walmart for food in the morning and around noon. After hanging out with Phil and Dan for a bit, we decided that we wanted to head to Guitar Center to test out a Full-Range Monitor we'd been interested in for a while. We hung out there for a bit and Dan plugged one of the PODs into the Monitor and it rocked! We'd been convinced that we need to save up for it this upcoming summer for further touring.
We have encountered a few problems running direct in at every venue. Some places were okay because they had ample monitoring, but other places had little or no monitors and this proved to be a problem occasionally. After buying a few odds and ends at Guitar Center, we headed to the venue to play "the waiting game" again.
The venue was a pretty cool place with really nice people, which was a nice relief after a few days of mishaps on the tour and not playing. This venue had the best monitoring of all of the venues that we'd played so far and a lot of it was due to the awesome sound guy.
After we played our set, we hung out and talked with him a bit and he expressed a lot of interest in being our touring sound guy. We let him know that our guarantees were probably too small to accommodate that and he replied that he would love to do it just for the experience. What an awesome guy! After we left the venue, Dan and I prepared for the longest drive of the tour by stocking up on energy drinks and 5 hour energy shots. None of this seemed to help either of us after about 4:30 a.m. We eventually pulled into a Love gas station and slept for a few hours before continuing on to Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City, UT - Friday, June 1
High altitude can mean lots of nosebleeds. The past two days of the tour Phil had suffered from chronic nosebleeds and in result had slept through almost everything due to exhaustion. We pulled up to the venue and checked it out. It was pretty neat for a little place. The stage was about 4 feet high and there was central air that was on pretty high so it was nice and cool. We headed down the street to eat before playing and found this tiny taco stand.
We all spent our change on food there and enjoyed amazing true Mexican food. Load in at this venue was a little different than the other venues we'd played because we weren't able to pre-load anything into the venue. To add to that, the door woman was a complete and utter rude ass. She tried to get us to cut our set and we did not comply...this could be why she was pissed at us. Overall it was a funny situation and we just kinda went with it and poked fun at it. Fun show in the end and we made some new friends. Oh yeah, someone stole our display shirt off our merch booth while we were playing. Someone must have really liked us.
Boise, ID - Saturday June 2
Today we stayed the night at a buddy’s house in Boise. Got some much needed showers and naps. We barbequed in the the evening and got stuffed and played xbox most of the night. Pretty uneventful day, but nevertheless a much needed break from the sun and driving.
Boise, ID - Sunday June 3
Today was crazy. We got to the venue and were informed that they had a foam party the previous night and the sound guy didn't want us to use the PA or stage. We were completely shocked and debated leaving, but the guy there said he would set something else up for us to play. This turned out to be 2 single speakers that wouldn't even make good monitors by themselves. We then were informed that the sound guy wasn't coming.
After much deliberation we told the guy that we were just going to leave and this was ridiculous, but he said we could use the stage and PA regardless of what the sound guy said...the only catch there was that we had never touched any of the gear that they had there and we would have to run our own sound. We finally got everything turned on and working, and spent a while setting up the PA for the other bands.
Dan and I then proceeded to run sound for every band that night. I was the stage hand and helped set up mics and get everything set up while Dan and Aaron from 7 Horns handled the mixes. Blake and Ben got the lightshow working in the meantime. We learned very quickly how to mix live sound and actually got everyone sounding pretty awesome considering the poor acoustics of the venue. Upon finishing the show, we went up to receive payment and the guy didn't want to pay us anything.
Dan then asked him what he was planning on paying the sound guy because we did his job and deserved that money. The guy said the sound guy is paid a salary and wouldn't have made any money off of the show that night. We got upset and left the venue in a hurry.
Spokane, WA – Monday, June 4
Last day of the tour! We arrived in Spokane starving, so Dan, Phil, and I went over to Riverpark Square and got food. This was all very nostalgic for me since I used to live near Spokane. Upon getting back to the venue, friends of mine were showing up that I hadn't seen in a long time. It was great seeing them again and they showed amazing support for all the bands. The venue was different than any we'd played up until this point. The stage was downstairs and the main bar was upstairs and everyone was sitting on a balcony.
They were looking down at the bands and it really made the venue seem sort of empty, but they were loud! The crowd was great and very responsive to the music.
Everyone hung out afterwards and 7 Horns and us and our buddies in Odyssey (Spokane locals) took a bunch of pictures together! It was a great night and we hit the road towards home arriving at about 8 AM. Great tour overall. We had a few scuffs along the way, especially the second half of the tour with several of our shows getting cancelled, but overall we had a great experience.