… let's see how much I can remember… it's 9:05am… still in the van… we drove last night and crossed the border around 8am… didn't get a ton of sleep last night but I also wasn't coherent enough to actually write anything down… not because of partying or anything though… just super tired.
October 23, 2013
... bed by 4am, my alarm went off at 8am to grab breakfast… they had oatmeal which means it's going to be a good day… then back in the van for 9am.
We were only 4 hours from Sayreville but we wanted to leave ourselves lots of time just incase we ran into traffic. Looking at googlemap… we could be driving through a mess of city traffic.
Nothing too eventful on the drive… ran into a bit of traffic once we got into New Jersey but we rolled up to the venue around 1pm.
Papa Roach was there… but Pop Evil hadn't arrived yet.
… we actually arrived before one of the buses for once! Well, I think we beat them both in Winnipeg but still… we're usually the first to leave and last to arrive… not that it matters since we're the last to set up/check anyway.
We talked to the crew… asked them if we had time to go grab some lunch… we typically set up around 4:30-5pm so they kinda laughed at us and said absolutely. We plopped a restaurant in the GPS… and made our way over to an abandoned diner with a for sale sign on it…
Alright… option 2. Whatever is within sight.
I'm mentioning this because (I can't remember if I have already)… tour tip… eat what you can see, if you can.
You won't believe how much time you can lose driving around just looking for a place to eat. If there's fast food near the venue? Do it. If there's a diner or something close, do that. Once you're travelling enough, you break down time into 30 minute segments. It might seem like a short 10 min drive to a place to eat but it'll take 30 minutes once you factor in rounding up people, actually leaving, getting lost, parking issues, etc. It happens more often than not.
So what's within sight? Next door is an Italian restaurant. I've been craving lasagna for weeks now so this could work out pretty good.
We walk in… seems decent… it's the type of place where I'm hesitant to look at the menu… we're all on a budget here.
I'll keep this short since I know people love hearing about food… *cough*… I had eggplant lasagna… the portion was huge, under $10, and it was amazing. I accepted this would either be awesome or horrible since within an hour I knew all I'd want to do is sleep. Who cares though… too much flavour to worry about the consequences. Everyone felt the same way about what they ordered.
It was also awesome our waitress whispered to us what not to order. I wish more people were like this… you know… had opinions. People are filters... and it's called trust.
So... finish lunch and we all waddle back to the Green Machine… head back to the venue.
Starland Ballroom is a pretty well known place. We've been lucky on this tour playing so many wicked venues… even as an opener, you still get the experience… especially playing to 1,000 people (on average) a night.
We have a room backstage! We hung out up there most of the afternoon relaxing and waiting to check. Papa Roach was doing meet and greets all day so we were pretty quick setting up and stuff… which I don't mind. Again, we're using a digital board at FOH (front of house) so you just recall the settings and tweak from there a little.
It was pretty busy in the venue… I went upstairs to our room and took a power nap on the floor. Fatigue plus that awesome lasagna was starting to take it's toll.
… 7:30pm… I went downstairs to see how the crowd was looking… apparently this place holds over 2,000 and it's sold out. The venue is deceivingly big because it's wide… crowd/bar sorta horseshoes around the stage… which is also massive… and carpeted! Carpet is usually gross… like gross enough you want to throw your shoes and socks in the garbage after… but this place was recently rebuilt… Hurricane Sandy came through here a while ago.
Crowd is looking about half full… not just being optimistic.
I hand over our intro track to FOH… head back upstairs to get into my stage clothes… head back down around 7:50pm… place is rammed. It's now a problem trying to get anywhere… which I'm fine with for now.
8pm we hit the stage… it's sorta bittersweet... our pre show prep talk was more about it being the last show opposed to just going up there and throwing down.
Again… in my mind, it's been a really awesome practice run… hopefully pre-season is over for this 'little band that could' and it's now time to make a real push… especially down in the US. We all want to it happen, the response has been amazing on this trip… so hell or high water… something has to happen the next year!
The show went great… I was caught off guard at the beginning since the lights came on and a dozen camera bees were buzzing about at the front of the stage. I don't really have any cool drum poses/faces or anything for pics… I pretty much think all drummers look stupid in pics except Dave Grohl… Dave always looks cool… Dave could be picking up uncooked spaghetti off the floor and he'd still look cool.
Luckily, between what Tim's doing in the middle of the stage, and what Trev and Brent are doing on the sides… there's lots to pay attention to.
It was hot up there…
I have a little fan hanging off my floor tom that keeps air moving but I was sweating buckets after a couple tunes… that combined with the lasagna for lunch… and not much sleep… I wasn't feeling great a couple tunes in.
It's still fun to play in that state though… you really can feed off the energy from the crowd. I had a couple hiccups but hey… people can just assume I'd had a couple drinks before or something. Still good times. Tim actually gave a shout out to both Papa Roach and Pop Evil's crews on stage which I thought was a really nice gesture… too often we forget how many people are behind the scenes making things roll along as smoothly as possible.
I took another quick pic from my position after the show.
It's official in my books… we did it. Tour was over… we made all the shows, everyone was still alive, nothing (as of right now) was lost, stolen, or broken… well aside from a single mic stand and a couple wristbands. It was finally time to relax since the plan was to drive through the night.
We hung around until 1am chatting with the crew, taking pictures, and saying our farewells. Again, both crews have been amazing towards us and you could tell the smiles, handshakes, and hugs were sincere. In any industry, you never know who you might end up working with or working for down the road, so when you meet good people, you like to keep them in your circle.
… oh… one thing I forgot to mention… I guess someone decided to increase the level of safety on our van during our set.
Deep down I was hoping someone would prank us… as lame as it sounds… it's a sign we did good in my books. Wrapping the van is pretty tame considering some of the other pranks I've heard over the years… I was just hoping it was nothing involving liquids, creams, or powders.
So into the van for 1am… quick McDonald's stop en route. I was mega tired and although I was riding shotgun, I was nodding off constantly. I finally able to end my shift and sleep a bit around 4am.
Border crossing back into Canada was a breeze… maybe we've just been really lucky but every crossing has been hassle free… even the first one which took a while, it was only because we needed additional paper work.
It's 10:31am now (we stopped for breakfast)… just about to drop Brent off and then make the rounds dropping off gear and what not. I'm really looking forward to being in my own bed (duh), but I'm also anxious to see what management can dig up in the next while. Our VISA's are good til the end of the year…
P.S. I'm aiming to do a tour recap asap… I have a boatload of emails to catch up on today and tomorrow though. I'm aiming to get a couple projects started at the studio asap as well… but I think I'm taking the weekend off first.
P.P.S. Sometimes this is what backstage looks like.
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!