Wednesday, May 6, 2009

NWAF Tour Wrap Up

Wow. Where to begin? It's been a while since I've updated this thing and so much happened in the end of the tour I don't know if I'll even remember it all.
The Michigan show ruled. The dude from Cold as Life loaded us out just like he did last time we played Detroit, and I told him Cold as Life rules. He was not impressed. We hung out for a bit and after everyone on the tour stashed all of their fireworks/weapons/drug paraphernalia with Brett's friend, everyone headed for the border. We got pulled over by some MI cop a mere 20 minutes from the Canadian border. He held us up for hours with loads of ridiculous regulations he said our van didn't meet, one being that we needed our band name on the side of the van. Supposedly "it's the law." Yeah OK! After all was said and done he let us go without a single ticket, nice guy. He did however leave us with a laundry list of things we needed to take care of to ensure our vehicle was up to code. I think we threw it away. We ended up crossing the border problem free for the most part (well, they harassed Junior for about 20 mins. so nothing too out of the ordinary haha).
I awoke sometime in the morning at our hotel and walked inside and passed out. Water didn't work all day and we all really needed showers. Fail. I got healthy food for once at the mall across the street then headed to our off day show in London, Ontario. Before the show I went to McDonald's *cringe* with Mikey, more out of boredom than hunger. While there I discovered they had strawberry pies so I had to try them and they were amazing. It's like eating pop-tarts on crack. Backed hard. It was like a Monday night so there weren't a ton of people and I heard there was some kind of scene drama with the promoter so kids boycott his shows but all that aside, the kids who showed up had a lot of energy and our set was a good time. I drove to this guy Spencer's house who Kyleworks knows, he was super cool. When I showed up there was a rabbit in front of the van and I tried to catch it. Yet another fail.
The next morning we ate pancakes and practiced Set Your Grohls songs some more. We went to the venue in Toronto and got freaked out by all the black squirrels once again, a memory we'd buried deep in our psyches that we'd hoped would never resurface. We ate bad Thai food before the show, then hung out with a raccoon that kept walking around in the dumpster near the loading door to the venue. Check him out here. That night we got nachos with some Canadian friends after the show. Our waitress sucked. The nachos were horribly mediocre and overpriced but our Canadian friends don't know any better because most of them have never had real Mexican food so they were beyond stoked. After the show we drove all night to Albany to drop off Susie, who'd been with us since Chicago. I drove first shift through the border and bought some maple fudge (which is phenomenal BTW) at the duty-free shop, and continued driving on until morning, going insane and listening to Integrity the entire drive.
I think I started feeling really sick around the time of the CT show. Our set was a definite challenge to get through and my throat just wasn't up to par. Swine flu represent! After the show we moshed with Fireworks and we got Chadball to "open it up." We even got Jenny to mosh! Fireworks followed us to Strader's house where we all stayed up til 4 AM eating brownies and drinking tea and just being idiots instead of getting rest.
The next morning we went to SJC and had our final "Set Your Grohls" practice, which sounded surprisingly solid. I passed out on the way to the show and when I woke up Joe was moving the van 2 miles to our parking spot, at which point I had to walk all the way to HOB. Sucked. Our friend Josh Lovell came to hang out and brought us some shirts from his new clothing line, Bloodlust. The design rules and I can't wait to see more. Click here to pick one up! The show was incredible. Boston is always really good for us but this show and the CA shows were the best of the tour.
Hoodwink was kinda weird, it felt awkward playing slower songs to a crowd that expects fast & energetic music from us. Kids push moshed though, so I guess they liked it?? Either way it was a hell of a lot better than last year's. Watching NFG do Green Day was the highlight of the night for me. That night we all got food with Fubu & his friends, and Felicia & her friends at a diner, then everyone went their separate ways because everyone had girlfriends or friends they were staying with. There were a bunch of people in our room as it was so I stayed with my friend Genna at her hotel and got punished by all her drunk friends for a couple hours before passing out. Good times.
Bamboozle was a long day but it was worth it because not only was our set a ton of fun, I got to hang out with Duncan and see The Get Up Kids! Definitely didn't suck. After the fest we showered and at 3 AM or so, we began the 10 hour drive to Columbus, OH. Womp womp.
I finally got a laptop bag when we got to Columbus so Jordan P. could stop congratulating me on my "new" Macbook I'd been carrying in the store-bought box all tour haha. After the show I went to some donut shop with Fireworks then we booked it to Indy and crashed at the hotel.
The off-day ruled. Hit up the mall during the day then in celebration of the last off-day of the tour, Pete took the entire tour out to dinner at Olive Garden. Good man. We pretended it was Jordan Pundik's birthday and the waiters & waitresses all brought him a little cake and sang to him. Juan took some footage of the sweet hangs using some weird internet webcam broadcasting service with his iPhone. Somehow it ended up on youtube:

After that we all hung out in the hotel parking lot with some Hooters waitresses some of the NFG and Bayside dudes had met earlier, and they brought along Pauly Shore. I felt kinda bad for the guy, the entire tour punished him! Don't believe we hung with Pauly? Well here's a blurry picture to (kinda) prove it!
The next day we played the Egyptian room in Indianapolis. This place was nuts, it's like an opera house with tons of huge empty rooms and the whole place felt haunted. Didn't know what to expect from IN but we were pleasantly surprised, but kids brought the mosh and the set was a lot of fun! During NFG's set, a car parked a couple spots from our van caught fire and the fire dept. had to come put it out. Pretty nutty. Hayley and Hannah were both out visiting their BFs so after the show we all went to BWW. Here's a picture I took on the way over. Hayley is wearing my sXe beanie and looking very non-edge while doing so... hahaha

St. Louis was a sweet venue called The Pageant, which was owned by some dude who owns like half the town or something. There were pictures all over the kitchen area of him with every artist who's ever played there, among other countless celebrities (Obama, Clinton, and Bush to name a few). Our friend Kyle from Reno tattoos down the street so after the show a bunch of us went bowling and he came along and hung out.
Kansas was a good show but the real fun was afterwards. Most of the tour went to BWW after the show and started chanting things at the punishers who followed us in there. After our meal we were in the mood to dance so we all went to find a bar with music. The first one we walked into was playing some music so instantly the Fireworks dudes took their shirts off and started dancing with each other. Apparently this kind of behavior doesn't fly in Lawrence, Kansas, because they instantly turned off the music, turned on the lights, and told everyone the bar was closed. We left and went to another bar. Last call, no dice. So naturally we started chanting, "We fucked up! We fucked up!" and moved along. This dude wouldn't let us in either so we started chanting, "This place sucks! This place sucks!" and kept walking until finally we found a place with a country band and some square dancers. We dominated the dance floor with some circle-pitting and general badassery. The band liked us so much that when they finished their last song, followed by our "One more song!" They were nice enough to do it for us. We got really ridiculous for the last song and we were even running onstage and yelling things into the singer's mic but he didn't care he loved it. He even joined us in a "USA" chant! As soon as they finished the last song we all sprinted out of there just to be weird. The rest of the night was filled with harassment of the drunk locals, dives off of unconventional objects, random circle pits around people and cars, laughing at drunk girls falling, and chanting anything and everything we saw around us. We even happened to see Batman and Spider-Man running down the street! So naturally, we circle pitted around them while chanting "Outweird the weirdos!" as well. All in all one of the best nights of the tour. Check out a video Steve made here.
Oklahoma sucks. Sorry if you live there, but there's really no way around the facts. The venue was in the middle of nowhere and so we went to the mall before the show to kill some time. The only cool thing was the weapon store, where we found blowguns, ninja stars, butterfly knives, switch blades, and Nazi knives. Yes, Nazi knives. Only in Oklahoma my friends. When we got back to the van it wouldn't start so we called Mr. Chris Mojan to save the day. He gave us a jump and when our van started up again we started moshing around the parking lot in celebration. It died again when we got to the venue so Mikey and Junior took it to Auto Zone and replaced the alternator like true savs. Got the van working again and made it back to the venue and ran onstage with literally no time to spare. Played to one of the best crowds of the tour. Kids went off. It ruled. After the show I rode with NFG to New Mexico because I was sick and needed rest.
Before the Albuquerque show a bunch of us went and got pizza down the street. I got anchovies on mine just to do it. I actually kinda liked it. Then we saw the new Star Trek movie which wasn't half bad, and I don't even like Star Trek. The Trekkies walking around town in their spandex suits were also pretty entertaining, I must say. The show sounded like crap onstage but it was probably one of the more decent reactions we've had in NM to date, despite all the fighting.
After the show we drove all night to AZ where were to meet the tour at 9 AM for the tour paintball battle royale. It RULED. I got a couple people out and raised 2 of the flags when we did team capture the flag games, and left with only a couple bruises. Chad & Anthony had made a hit list and somehow they all ended up on my team so during the last game I betrayed my team (who, by the way, had lost every single game) and tasted sweet sweet victory for once. Here's one of the group shots we took:
The last show was full of pranks. During Fireworks, Chad played the audio to the "Britney Pig Squeal" video in between songs. Hilarious. If you don't know what I'm talking about, feast your eyes...

During our set, Chad (and his unknown accomplices) lit these huge smoke bombs onstage and they would not go out, suffocating us with smoke. It was intense! There were a couple fights and after our set these dudes fought a couple security guards out back, pretty gnar. During Bayside, Chad and a few others brought cornhole boards onstage and had a full on game for a couple songs, which was pretty entertaining to watch. During NFG's last song we all got shirtless and danced/moshed onstage with glowsticks. Saying goodbye to everyone sucked more than usual because the tour was so much fun and everyone on it was just awesome. As you can see, goodbyes were long and drawn out, but it was well deserved...

Pete is a Father figure to Chris & Kyleworks

Nightbeast & Me
Definitely one of the best tours we've ever done in the states. I hope to tour with everyone again someday!

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