Monday, May 12, 2008

U Mad?

So far, this trip to Europe has been amazing and brutal at the same time. The flight over to London was wack. Ben (our driver) is pretty much Phil's twin so that rules. His van is a lot smaller than we'd anticipated so the entire time we've been sharing our leg room with a mountain of merch bags and luggage which sucks but luckily the long drives are over. Upon being picked up from the airport, we all decided to go to Amsterdam on our day off and party. Good idea. We took a pretty weak ferry across the English Channel to France and drove to an overpriced hotel in Belgium in the early morning and slept all day. We hung out with the horse and the Shar Pei that were running around the hotel's back yard during the day, and that evening we got amazing food at what seemed like a truck stop diner on steroids on our way to Amsterdam. Once there, we walked around for hours just drooling at hookers in between stops at cafes where everyone except for Junior and myself got high eating and smoking various THC-containing products. As with every other visit to Amsterdam, every ten minutes or so we would walk by guys asking, "Coca? Ecstasy?" so I started saying it to them first haha. All in all it was a fun night and at the end of our excursion a baked Ben drove us back to our hotel where the butter-toothed old man let us in at 3 AM.
We woke up early and headed to Groezrock. This thing was way organized. I was tired and hot so I slept in our dressing room until the fest started. We opened the fest at 5:30 PM but our set was awesome and the sound was surprisingly really good despite the fact that we were playing on a gigantic stage in a massive tent. There were so many friends at that thing that it felt like we weren't even in another country across the ocean. Anti-Flag, Silverstein, and All Time Low were all there. We got a chance to see ATL kill it and hang out with Fubu (who showed up way late) before taking off for London. I felt bad because we didn't have room for Fubu but there was nothing we could do. Luckily he made it the next day.
The drive back sucked even more because we were already so tired and sleeping for like 20 minutes on the ferry was just a tease. There was no point in getting a hotel since load-in was so early, so we attempted to sleep in the van in the parking lot of a Tesco down the street from the venue. We were so tired by the time we got to Give It A Name fest that we all just immediately crashed on the concrete floor of our dressing "cubicle" the minute we got there. Luckily we had Ben and Phil to save our asses, taking care of checking us in and getting merch sorted out in the morning while we slept. I Woke up more tired than I was when I'd fallen asleep and we all played exhausted to about 20,000 people. Unfortunately everything that could've gone wrong, did. Mics and guitars cut out and the camera guy stepped on a power cable at one point, causing half the stage to lose power for the second half of "Flight of The Navigator" which caused the rest of us to lose track of where we were in the song. We should've just stopped playing but we continued on, further embarrassing ourselves by completing the song... no big deal, it was only the biggest show of our career to date! Keith was there and unfortunately witnessed the entire disaster. After that I tried to sleep some more but I was so stressed and tired already that I couldn't. All Time Low were awesome and so were Paramore.
When we got to Annie's I went to get food down the street with Dan and Joe once we got there and we witnessed the craziest brawl ever. There were like 5 dudes with their girlfriends being kicked out of a bar and fighting with security, and security was fighting back! I got a couple seconds of footage with my camera. That night we got like 4 hours of sleep. So pointless. Oh well, at least we got to shower.
The Sheffield fest was about half the size and way more laid back, not to mention our set went over way better. I was so bored all day before we played. I was relieved to see Fubu though, he'd made it alive! Alex from ATL came out during our set and did a song with us, then Hayley came out and did the end of "To Be Continued" with us too (it sounded so good!) so all in all it was a fun set. ATL owned as always and the rest of the show was great. After the fest we walked with ATL and Paramore to look for food but after walking 15 minutes in the wrong direction, we realized that T.G.I. Friday's, and everything else, were closed due to it being 12:30 AM on a Sunday night. Stupid England. Apparently you can't do ANYTHING after 6 PM on Sundays here, not even eat. Not to worry though, there are always plenty of Kebab shops! We went to one near Leeds on the way home and got pizzas for ₤2.50 at a place called "Simpsons Pizza." The outside of it was decorated with characters from The Simpsons (I guess they don't have copyright laws in the UK), it was amazing. Junior and I hung out in the kebab shop while everyone else got high in the van. The ride to Helen's house until we went to sleep was undoubtedly one of the funniest hours of my life.
Today we got Popina's in the morning and I took it easy at Helen's with Phil while everyone else went to Movielife practice. Ruled.

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