February 25, 2016 - 3:37am
... I took 267 pictures today. It never feels like I take that many since there's always stuff I see where I think "I should take a picture of that!?"... but it's usually something stupid... or just feels like overkill after a while.
Looking back over everything from today though... it helps jog my memory. Sometimes it's better to just document everything and sort though it later.
I'm pretty tired... it's almost 3am and we're aiming to head out on the road for 6:30am. We're all hanging out in the hotel lobby except Matt, who's sleeping... we're doing our best to not disturb him since he's Age Of Days #1 driver. Tim is flying back to Calgary in a few hours and the rest of us are driving back to Toronto... 20 hr drive I think... if all goes well we'll miss some snowstorms that are rolling through the area.
So... lots of time to kill this morning... Matt and I went for breakfast around 9am. Part of me wanted to hit up the pool but I had visions of not being able to use my body properly after... I was a combination of sore and relaxed after swimming yesterday... I really enjoyed it but didn't want to push my luck... so my focus was to go for a walk for exercise.
Dan's is food... in case you were wondering... it's a grocery store.
Captain Jack's is a liquor store.
Menard's is like Home Depot (I think, didn't go in).
... and CVS is shoppers drug mart.
When I'm out doing band stuff/tour, I do the black nail polish thing... something I've done since I was 16, so... half my life. It's a conversation starter and photographs well.. matches my stage clothes.
So I haven't been able to find my nail polish since like, 3 days into the trip... probably left it at a hotel or venue so I've been borrowing Reid's... until we lost that too.
I'm using the word "we" because I remember putting it near his stuff in the "D R" (dressing room) but who knows what happened after that. It's often a shit show when we're packing up to head out of a venue... so it was probably left behind.
... goal this morning... find nail polish.
CVS being just like Shopper's Drug Mart back in Canada... the adventure to find nail polish was pretty straight forward... $4.99... done.
There was so much candy there... and sorta cheap... I paced in the aisle for long time... long enough for someone to ask me if I needed help... I was killing time but also trying to decide if it was worth my precious american dollars.
... I only have $9,775 left.
I'm so tired.
I passed a Golden Corral on the way back to the hotel... there's a plan to stop at one on the drive home... when our "diet no longer matters post tour". I have a feeling it won't happen since we won't see one on the way home... because we've been parked next to one the past 36 hrs... just the way things work.
We got to the venue around 1:30pm. It's a basketball arena.... I think.
We went a little earlier since Reid was helping tech guitars for Saint Asonia. Their's had to fly out early. Reid seemed pretty stoked to get the opportunity...the kid has energy, knows what he's doing, and I'm sure has been dying to poke around Musok's rig... I know I have.
It was a bittersweet day... we've all discussed it a few times... brushed over the topic at least that today is the last show of this run...
... will we get pranked?
... will we get any shoutouts from Saint Asonia or Disturbed?
... will we end on a high note?
... will we have Wifi?
We loaded in and set up back stage... spent most of our time in our dressing room to be honest... well except Reid since he was busy with fancy guitar tech stuff... but we just hung out... casually bringing up often how great things have been the last couple weeks... and how long until we're back to our "normal lives".
... the thing, even though half of us work in music full time, I'm sure we'd all like this to be our "normal life". Playing in a band/touring has it's pros and cons... and financially it's a commitment... but the experiences you get from the highs and lessons you learn about yourself from the lows... priceless.
I popped the question... tour highlights?
Tim's was every show where we ask the crowd to take a picture... the roar... the participation... the positive energy.
We've all played shows to nobody... we've all played shows where nobody claps.
That's not the case on this tour... or any of the past few really... it's surreal at times though.
Highlight for me was still that guy in the stands who waved off security, saying he was ok... and he was obviously not ok as he went on to barf all over himself and the 2 rows of seats in front of him.
That was awesome. That guy was awesome.
... so tired.
We went down to the stage for 7:15pm... just in case Detroit (production manager) wanted is to go on 5 mins early again.
Pre-show ritual and then that last walk down another vacant venue hallway.
Detroit came up to us all smiles... said it was a pleasure having us along and grabbed a quick pic with us.
It meant a lot and it felt sincere.
I imagine there's a fair amount of bands that screw things up... ask for too much, don't do enough... get in the way... that was the biggest part of our first day... just trying to find the flow of the crew and not get in the way. A few people made comments that they barely saw us... just heard us on stage... more or less that was it. Perfect.
Response has been great from (new) fans as well... the amount of people that have stopped us around the venue after we've played. I really hope we can line up some pending tour opportunities summer/fall. It feels like there's momentum again.
... a few more crew came up to us pre-show to somewhat say their goodbyes... Corey... Scotty... I actually helped Scotty patch in the mics for my kit today... he didn't seem surprised or anything, more appreciative that I took the initiative to help him and move things along. it's not hard plugging cables in... it's all labeled and colour coded.
... 7:29pm... 1 minute to show time.
Go house lights. Go intro music.
... I was nervous so I brought my practice sticks on stage... just incase mine were... missing.
... you just never know what might happen.
We hear our intro music fire up... it's game time... we walk on stage.
... then it switches to (I think) Ace Of Base - Beautiful Life in our monitors... thanks guys.
(It's a good thing... and it put us at ease... they're leaving the van alone!)
... now we were sorta wondering when to start since we couldn't hear the intro... they cut it off just before the end and the show went along as usual... blur.
As you know by now, we have a spot where I can take a pic of the crowd... I was back and forth about it all day but... the one thing about being behind the camera all the time is it's tough to get in front of the camera. I see photographers at the front of the stage most shows and they snap a few pics of me... but I haven't seen any yet. I think there's 1 pic of me so far on stage... so I thought maybe there'd be time to try and go for a selfie... as lame as I'd feel doing for it... there are moments you want to capture... what would make me feel worse... taking a stage selfie in front of 2,500 people? Or wishing I had'f got one with the crowd behind me.
During the 2nd guitar change, I went for it.
"HE'S TAKING A SELFIE!!!", I heard from the crowd.
I laughed... I was going to enjoy the moment... it's been a blast... and in a way, as much as we're getting paid to entertain, tonight was more for us. We were having fun. Being in a band can really suck... tons of lows... but tonight was one of those payoffs. We really were up on stage having fun for 30 minutes... for us... as a band.
Tim chimed in while struttin' across the stage with something along the lines of "hey man... fuck that selfie shit, live in the moment!!"... the crowed cheered... I laughed.
... I figure he had no idea what was going on behind him and I'd give him the gears for it after... throwin' me under the bus WHEN I know the first thing I'll see on my phone after the show is "hey man, can you send me the crowd pic?"
Tim... I'm probably standing beside you... you don't have to text me... and basically I'm sending you a pic of you (selfie) in front of the crowd... that I took while still playing drums... you're reading this and probably laughing because you know I'm right! :-)
It was worth it though... and amazing as the pic turned out *cough*, I think it's perfect.
Reid ended up jumping off of my kick drum today... he brought it up the other day... I said "rental drums" and that was that I guess.
... I tossed a few sticks into the crowd after we finished too... and our gear was off stage 2 minutes later.
... it's that quick... it's over.
... pack up... ask catering to stay open for another 30 minutes so we can load the trailer and eat.
... we always miss most of Saint Asonia because we're packing/eating but I try and catch King Of Nothing if I can... love that tune.
Watched most of Disturbed in between band duties... wanted to bask in the warmth of the pyro and "wall of fire" one more time.... for now at least.
This really has felt like a tour of bands who enjoy playing together... sometimes it takes a while to find that feeling again... as lame as that sounds... it's the reason I stopped years ago... but I really enjoy playing with Age Of Days... it's fun... we have good songs... and I feel we're all pushing in the same direction.
We'd sniffed around to see if we could grab a photo with Disturbed... and post (their) set we got the word.
Seeing them around the venue is one thing but they were open arms and smiles when we went into their dressing room. I ended up beside Draiman in the huddle... he put his arm around my shoulder and pointed at the camera... I threw mid level horns with my right hand and didn't know what to do with my left. I wasn't about to put my arm around him... didn't feel we were there yet.
They were really nice to us though... cool guys... I think the crew liked us too... people talk I'm sure. It was great to get a pic with them though... more for us really... like I'm sure it'll get shared on social media and people might think that's the motivation... but even though "you were there", it's nice to have a picture... with smiles.
We responsibly partied in our dressing room for a couple hours after... veggie/fruit trays weren't going to eat themselves and I was determined to make a dent in our cheese/cracker tray.
... I'll leave it at that... it's just after 4am now and I think I might be getting my 3rd wind. I should lay down for at least an hour (already showered) but I'd like to thank everyone for the words of encouragement and motivation to keep this tour blog going. These are long days and late nights... and while I'm still relatively young, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Sidenote... I did bring a rig to do an audio/video blog/podcast... maybe next time...
Long drive back tomorrow... we'll see how close we get to our 6:30am departure.
- Mike :-)
P.S. Rock ain't dead. ;-)
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!