Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Bamboozle Road Show" Tour Journal

I didn't have frequent enough access to the internet on this tour, so I just wrote all of these down in my phone as I went along and figured I'd post them all at once later. I've finally uploaded all the pics so now it's as ready as it's ever gonna get. Here's what was cool enough for me to commit to my crippled memory on this tour:

3.29.08 - 2:37 PM
Last night was the first night of the Bamboozle Road Show featuring
Saves The Day, Armor For Sleep, SYG, Metro Station, and A Cursive Memory. Jathon is riding with us for the first 3 dates and on the way up to Seattle he and Jordan ate and smoked a retarded amount of weed. Jason brought a bunch of "day ruiners" and sold them to Metro Station's merch dude, Chris V.

Check out Anthony (our merch guy) sleeping:

4.8.08 - 2:54 AM

...Jason and Chris Clark did the first few days of the tour and their last day with us was Chico, which they drove up for. Jason brought more day ruiners with him and sold them all to Chris V, at which point he proceeded to eat 5 in a row, after which he smoked a blunt in Metro's bus and shouted absurdities out the window to us while we did an interview with a guy named Matt Wilson on the sidewalk below. Jason has never seen anyone eat more than 2 of these things in a day, and says 5 is an inhuman amount. The day ruiners, as well as Jason's weed, quickly became legend among the smokers of the tour and he was missed as soon as he and his traveling weed dealership left the tour haha.

Anyway I just drove 6 hrs. on the first shift from LA to Albuquerque w/Anthony in shotgun. We've grown delirious. We almost ran out of gas and luckily made it to some bizarre gas station that I'm convinced exists in an alternate dimension we discovered via wormholes in the space-time continuum after driving 85 miles straight without seeing diesel. This place had ceramic lamps depicting images of Catholic saints and half the store was lined with fish tanks. We had the pleasure of paying the low low price of $4.89/gallon for our gas and my snacks cost me $13. What a steal! When we walked inside I grabbed a Cactus Cooler and upon seeing this, Joe immediately goes to the van to get his $ so he can buy the last one. While he's gone Dan buys it just to fuck with him and we stand in the candy aisle with Jordan and Junior, anxiously anticipating his inevitable "discovery." Like clockwork, Joe walks back in and walks over to the drink case and opens it, looks around a bit, then realizes the Cactus Cooler is gone. "Oh, god damn it!" We all lost our minds. I got some cherry M&M's which kinda sucked but Dan liked 'em. I also got chocolate Skittles which are veg and actually pretty decent.
Earlier today Rupert took us to the Urban Outfitters he works at and got us all his 40% discount. I got some Puma sandals and a heather red hoodie. Mere minutes later Joe goes into the Vans store and buys the red Vans I have; THE SAME EXACT ONES THEY WERE SELLING AT URBAN T
HAT WOULD'VE BEEN $25 WITH RUPERT'S DISCOUNT!!! Undoubtedly one of his greatest anti-survival moments yet. Keep in mind this is after he'd received a phone call to warn him not to do what he did, and after buying them I told him he should return them and go buy them at Urban but of course he ignored that too. Joseph Ray, ladies and gents. Going out of his way to make life harder on himself 24/7.
Bamboozle Left yesterday was one of the best days I've spent in the last 4 years with this band and without a doubt one of the best shows we've ever played; we opened with the Blink cover we'd been doing the past couple days on the tour w/the A
CM dudes and it went off. I already miss those guys. The whole day felt amazing but our set was especially great and The Movielife set was incredible too. I appreciated it so much more knowing it was probably the last time I'd see Vinnie sing these songs and that it was my bandmates playing them. OK time to go to sleep...

4.9.08 - 1:33 PM
The drives lately have been sucking. It's a cold Wednesday afternoon in Texas today which is strange because it's usually hot
here. The van smells like dirty laundry and none of us have showered since Monday morning. Last night in Albuquerque was the worst sounding set of the tour. All we could hear onstage was an echoey (sp?) wall of noise, it sucked. We did like $400 in merch. Lame compared to how merch sales on the rest of this tour have been. After the show we hung out with Anthony from Armor and Buck (international TM and road technician to the stars) at a karaoke bar. He was going to do No Doubt's "Spiderwebs," but they never called his name so instead we watched him drunkenly insult the fat chicks onstage, calling them Chewbacca and what have you. At some point he wandered off and we couldn't find him anymore.

4.16.08 - 11:48 AM
Last night was wild. The entire week since my last update has been alm
ost nonstop awesomeness.
Austin was cool, we stayed with our friend Nate and his GF at their apt. with their crazy ass deaf dog who likes to bite people/things and hung out with Ariel, Juan, Nutter, and a bunch of other friends after the show and went to Won Foo and got Dr. Pepper Slurpees at 7-11. Apparently you can only get them in TX.
In Dallas we hung out w/James K and finally went to
The Clubhouse for the first time and got a picture with Vinnie Paul, it ruled.

Oklahoma was aight, I called out the security lady working the show onstage because she was a bitch to me before our set and she was letting kids fall on their heads when they came over the barrier. I got food at this amazing Italian pizza/pasta joint down the street from the venue called Falcone's. This place had posters of every great mob movie on the wall including a poster for "Casino," my favorite mob flick, signed by the cast and crew.

I want this!

Houston was a good show too. I was stoked I got to hang out with Lucy, who is one of the sweetest people I know. We got Thai food and sat around people watching all night. Ruled. The drive after the show suuuucked.
We spent our entire day off driving and loafing around a mall in Tallahassee.

Here's a dead bird we found stuck in our radiator grill:

4.18.08 - 12:42 PM

The FL shows were ridiculous. I feel like we entered an alternate dimension when we hit the state line. Such a weird place. We started things off properly by stopping to eat at the first Cafe Risque we saw. After that we stayed in Orlando because we were burnt out on driving. Playing The Revolution was nuts as always, SoFlo loves SYG! Dan and Junior got tattooed before our set at Colorfast studios around the corner from the venue, where I would be getting my nipples pierced later that night. It was Chris V's birthday (merch guy for Metro) he turned 25 so he was drunk as hell and so were Taylor and Melissa...
Right after the show I got my nipples pierced (along with a very hard slap in the chest) in exchange for some free shirts from a very drunk Scott at Colorfast Studios around the corner from Revolution.

All in all it was a crazy night filled with drunk people, nipples, piercings, tattoos, gorgeous women who are out of my league, shirley temples, and even a fight involving Diablo FSU at the bar next door! Some dude said something to him and Diablo just knocked him down in one punch. It broke out into a brawl and everyone kept trying to calm him down but he was hopping around like a leprechaun waiting for the next person to make a move, holding his SYG shirt in his hand throughout the entire ordeal! I caught the tail end of the brawl on video with my digital camera. Wildest night of the tour thus far.
After a night like that I didn't expect much from St. Pete but the crowd went nuts for our set and afterwards we enjoyed some awesome Thai food down the street.
Orlando was cool too, a bunch of our friends came out. Hung out and talked with Rob Dobi and his wife Maggie for a bit, that guy is so awesome. Artie (ACM's merch guy/TM) was there too. All the support bands shared the big green room so it was without a doubt the sweetest backstage yet. It was like a full on frat party complete with beer pong, flip cup, and other drunken foolishness. After the show we went to BWW with Keith & his GF Anna. Chris and Ben from Armor and Anthony's friend Eddie tagged along too. Frank 3 Gun walked in while we were in there strangely enough, said what's up to him. Apparently his GF lives in Orlando. Anyway I drove from 2 - 6 AM after the show with a very high Hash Brown passed out next to me riding shotgun:

In case you were wondering, Hash Brown is the nickname Jordan has acquired somewhere along the course of this tour. This can be attributed to his newfound appreciation for smoking hash, and his last name being Brown.
Speaking of which, we're in Atlanta now and I just got a hash brown casserole at Cracker Barrel. Rules.

4.20.08 - 9:39 AM
4/20 bro! Smoke weeeeeeed! Atlanta ended up being the best show of the tour for us. 700something kids paid and went the fuck off during our set. On top of that, Saves The Day's set consisted of pre-"Stay What You Are" material only! Everyone kept buying them drinks while they were playing so by the end they were pretty trashed haha. This was the first time they'd played a lot of these songs this tour so Mikey filmed the entire thing and I got a set list from Durijah afterward, which I meant to post a picture of but now I can't find it. Instead here's a picture from the show. This was probably the best STD set all tour for me.

The next night we played the Skate Park of Memphis which was weird because the vert ramp was gone and the layout for the place was totally different. Our set was intensely hot and my mic sounded like a cyborg when I'd sing into it. Wack but we hung out with Andy and Hannah the whole show which was cool. After the show we began driving...

4.30.08 - 6:59 PM
Cincinnati was cool, it ended up being the best set we've played there to date. It's funny, we played there on 4/20/07 on the
Anti-Flag tour which was one year before to the day. So naturally we announced ourselves as Smoke Your Bowls again haha.
The Grand Rapids show was one of the smallest of the tour because Paramore and Jimmy Eat World were playing across town that night, not to mention Grand Rapids is generally a weak area for shows to begin with (or so I'm told). Chris Mojan, Justin K, Baloni and friends came out to hang which was awesome. Jaimie and Stephanie came out too, and Hayley had their runner drive her over from the Paramore show to say what's up. After our set, Mikey, Dan, Joe, Junior, Mindy and myself went to the Paramore/Jimmy show to hang out and caught JEW's set.

This was my first time seeing them and it was nuts (I once stood outside of Bottom of the Hill on their "Clarity" tour with my friend Josh but didn't go in. Way to go, me). They were so intense and didn't say a word their entire set until they were finished playing and then again for the encore. It was cool catching up with RJ while they played and talkin' smack with him haha. JEW's drum tech is the original drummer for Suicidal and their other guitar tech is Timmy Chunx. Sweet road crew. After their show, Hayley went with us to T.G.I. Friday's and so did the Fireworks crew... It was rowdy! After that we moshed all the way back to the buses and everyone went home so we played Halo 3 on Armor's bus for a bit before beginning another overnight drive.
Our day off was kinda lame, we went to Steak 'n Shake and then hung out in Chicago and I went with Joe to a secret Myspace show Moby was playing downstairs at The Metro across from Wrigley Field. There was a huge line outside but since our friend Pete works there he hooked it up. It was kinda lame though.

The Moby show:

Wrigley Field:

St. Paul, MN was cool, finally met
Colin Strandberg who designs a bunch of shirts for us. Turns out he used to sing in Nehemiah haha. I found the coolest costume shop around the corner from the venue and we got a bunch of animal masks for our Warped promo photos, and got a Fidel Castro mask for Anthony which he began wearing while selling merch. Yes...Cuban B! hahaha. Ate an amazing veg chicken parm sandwich and then we bounced out for Milwaukee.
Milwaukee wasn't bad but the pillow room was locked! :( It was the best sounding set and the best reaction we've gotten at
The Rave to date so that was cool, plus the AL4W dudes came out to the show so we chilled with Matty most of the night. Here's a picture of the parking lot at The Rave that I took from the front of the venue before the show. Above our van you can see the sign for the Ambassador Hotel across the street, where Jeffrey Dahmer killed and ate hella fools:

Hung out with J-me and Kiki which was good times. We got Pizza Shuttle after the show with AL4W and acted like idiots, cheering and chanting and singing, making fun of people while a hired police officer just stood by and watched without doing anything haha. After the show we drove to Chicago and showered at Jenna's before rolling to the show.
Chicago's show was at
HOB so that ruled, I ate hella food and after our set I mostly hung out by merch for the rest of the show. That night we drove to Liz's house and got there early in the morning and passed out for a few hours before heading to the show.
The guy from
Cold As Life loaded our equipment into the Detroit show which was pretty weird haha. Our set was a lot of fun and Saves The Day's was even better. Chris told us that their printer was out of paper so they were just gonna do requests and they liked doing that so much they did it every night for the rest of tour. We kept holding up signs that said Third Engine until finally they played it. The surrounding area sucked and nobody ate anything but PB & J sandwiches and chips all day because that's the only food we had in the dressing room upstairs. After the show we went with Lydia to Liz's house and partied with her and Jaimie & Steph. Party.

Columbus ruled. I don't really remember our set but Saves The Day's was so awesome. We kept buying them shots in order to get them to play the songs we wanted to hear and they ended up playing an hour past curfew! Eventually the rest of the band walked offstage (they were all trashed) and Chris grabbed the mic and said, "What is a curfew anyway, honestly? Isn't this supposed to be a college town? Nobody here goes to bed early!" and proceeded to play Three Miles Down as the venue turned on the house lights and the entire crowd screamed the words at the top of their lungs. He ended up getting in trouble with the venue afterwards but it was well worth it if you ask me. It was seriously incredible to watch, and easily one of the best sets of the tour. I wish we'd videotaped it. After the show we went to BWW with Mitch, Chris V, and the Armor dudes. They got rockegnized by our babe waitress.
The next day we stayed somewhere in VA on our day off and went to a shitty mall and hung out with Metro for a bit. It was Junior's birthday so we went to Olive Garden with some of the Metro dudes and got him a pizookie with, "Happy Birthday Audelio Flores Jr 88" written on it in frosting and a bunch of Sprite and grenadine. Afterwards we chilled with Chris V and Mitch at their hotel and then passed out at ours.

5.12.08 - 8:20 PM

The show at The Norva was our most decent show there to date. Kids were moshin' it up and singing along, and the rest of the show was pretty cool too. Keith came out to the show and hung out for a bit. I can't remember anything from after the show but it probably wasn't terribly exciting but it may have been the night we played our final game of front vs. back lounge Halo 3 on armor's bus. it ruled because they had all the best players and on our team we had all the worst players plus Ben. So basically it was Junior, Dan, Ben and myself on our team and we won every game! I think it ended up being like 6 games total. We rule. After that we definitely didn't let them hear the end of it hahaha.
Baltimore was awesome. Anton, Fubu, Joe Mitra, and all of Senses Fail came out to the show to hang and had a blast. My mic kept cutting out so at the end of the set I threw it up in the air and let it fall on the stage and the venue got a little pissed about that. I got into an argument with Junior and Joe about it afterwards in front of everyone which in turn made me even more pissed off, it was retarded. Anyway after all was said and done we talked it over after the show and minutes later a very drunk/high Chris Conley jumped the parking lot fence and ran into our van, rolling around in our bunks and ranting and raving about how much he loved them. He continued rambling on about a lot of things, like how he liked the smell of the cave and we got some sweet video documentation of this. Upon exiting the van, he left us with some slurred words of wisdom. I don't remember what it was exactly but he said something along the lines of, "Life is great but it's going to end so let's enjoy it!" Out of everyone on that tour I think i could relate to his perspective on things the most. Funny because most of the time he came off as socially awkward to others but he has a very objective approach to everything which I think is cool. Talking to Chris isn't awkward unless you make it awkward because he seems so relaxed all the time. We got some footage of everyone smoking in the infamous back lounge of Metro's bus before taking off for Kurt McGurt's house.
Thank science we went to Wawa the night before because we didn't have time to hit it up in the morning before the show.

The show was sweet, Jimmy Eat World had a day off so RJ and Timmy Chunx came out to the show and hung out. I got a GG special from Gianna's which was better than the show itself and afterwards I went with Joe, Junior and Billy Yayo to see Tragedy at the First Unitarian Church:

We made it back to the show in time to catch the end of Saves The Day's set and afterwards we hit up this pretzel factory that RJ recommended in the ghetto that sells giant pretzels made fresh and they're like 35 cents apiece! Ruled. That night we crashed with Kurt again and got like no sleep because we had to go play Hoodwink the next day.
Hoodwink is basically just a Bamboozle warm up show with like a quarter of the bands playing to about 1,500 kids. It was freezing and we sold like $90 in merch. Weak. Joe played in a bunny suit though, that was entertaining:

That night we got a tiny hotel and chilled with John Bowes, our good friend who plays in the band CDC.

...And here's John eating his own beard:

Bamboozle was crazy. There were so many people and both our set and The Movielife went off. It was one of the best shows we've ever played, and also one of the biggest crowds we've ever played to.
Hit The Lights had a great set too.

Yeah, that's an inflatable mattress they threw into the crowd that Nick jumped onto.

Later on RJ waved me up onstage to watch Jimmy as all the "cool" people got denied stage access for the first half of their set. Mwahaha suckers. They were awesome despite the crummy weather.

After their set I checked out some of Snoop Dogg before heading over to the Red Bull VIP tent, but all I could see was smoke.

The Red Bull VIP tent was exactly what I thought it'd be at first: a ton of "industry elite" types schmoozing about, mooching free drinks from the open bar and "networking." That type of get together doesn't appeal to me at all and events like these are usually what make me hate the music world, but HOLY ASS things got awesome fast! We knew almost everyone in the tent after about an hour of people trickling in when word spread that everyone was hanging out in there. My time in the tent went from making fun of people, throwing drinks, degrading women, and uttering racial slurs at increasing volumes w/Mikey and the HTL dudes... to helping Fubu get drunk... to dancing with Lydia to the surprisingly decent mix the DJ was spinning... to laughing at Nano drunkenly falling on girls with Keith... to chatting with the Red Bull guys, who for some reason treated our band like royalty and allowed us go in and out as we pleased with as many guests as we wanted, even though everyone else had to stand outside due to the tent reaching capacity... to playing Rock Band with Mikey... to finally running into Chris (high on shrooms at the time) and listening to him tell me about how sweet his shoes were as he proceeded to hug (and kiss!) every member of my band he saw that night, and tell us how much he loved our band and that he wanted us to write out a set list for them for the show the next night. After I said goodbye he resumed his solo dance session in the middle of the room with his eyes closed. Chris Conley everyone, best dude on the planet. We went to a diner with Keith, Craig and Fubu afterwards, and ran into Chris V and his friends. Bamboozle was another one of the best days I've ever spent with this band and I hope we can play again next year. We took off but we were all so tired from sleeping like 3-4 hours/night for a week solid that we had to pull over and sleep at a rest stop about an hour into the drive.
In the morning we made a few pit stops in MA to buy sombreros, a pinata, candy, and a bottle of Patron tequila for the show that night. I figured that since we wouldn't be on tour together on Cinco de Mayo, what better way to end the tour than by celebrating Quatro de Mayo?!
Tom and Brad Rheault came out to the show and so did Strader, so it was good hanging with them for a bit.
Valencia was on this show which was cool too, those guys seem pretty sweet and Ollie Mac was TM'ing them (in his limited all-over print myspace hoodie) which ruled.
During Metro station's set, Jordan, Dan and myself all went out on stage carrying bass guitars and rocking out pretending to be their missing "mystery" bassist that comes through the PA every night. They actually thought it was funny which was good haha. For our set, we all came out wearing the sombreros and Metro Station booty shorts (except for Jordan who had fallen victim to fear's tight grasp). We had some trouble breaking the pinata ("Of course this giant plastic toy bat will work!" -Mikey) but we ripped it in half and threw it, and the bat, into the crowd. The set was incredible up until the last minute and a half, at which point a fight broke out, died down, started up again, and was then broken up completely...But not before Jordan decided to PMS about it and run off the stage and hide in the van for a good hour sleeping in the cave. This pissed the rest of us off because there was so little time remaining in the set and it had been so great up until that point.
I'd written our band's song requests on a paper plate and placed it in STD's dressing room and to my surprise, Chris walked onstage carrying it and actually used it for their set! This night was the most drunk we got them the entire tour and by the end of the set they'd killed the whole bottle of Patron. For one of the last songs Manny just laid down on the ground and remained there, playing the entire song that way.

After the show I hung out by merch and listened to Chris V's weed and alcohol induced ramblings about life. I told him he ruled and he said something so funny I had to write it in here: "Matt, I don't rule. I am just a weakened version of your reflection, bro!" He then admitted he'd stolen it from of a DMX song hahaha. After that there was a full on rager on Metro's bus.

Everyone on the tour made an appearance with the exception of Manny (who was puking, which Dave informed us was a first for him), Durijah, and Ben, Nash, and PJ who were hanging out with their ladies.
Needless to say we were all bummed when we rolled away that night and everyone agreed The Bamboozle Road Show was one of the best tours we've ever done and we will always remember it that way. I learned a lot as a touring musician and as a person on that tour and got to know a handful of great people who I hope to remain friends with for a very long time and hopefully tour with again at some point.

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