Los Angeles, in the middle of the first heatwave of summer, the AC unit in our van decides to break down. No problem, we only have to drive 30 hours across the desert to Kansas City! So began our (DREAMERS') 7-show tour of the midwest with Zella Day.
After driving nonstop from LA, we're already a bit sleep deprived when we arrive in KC, but the excitement of our first show prevails and we're exited to load in and meet Zella Day's crew. Kansas City holds a special energy for us: never boring, to say the least. There is much talk of logistics, how to fit everything on stage, run and share the equipment, what's behind schedule; the boring stuff rock stars don't talk about. Zella and her crew are wonderful right off the bat. Vibes are strong. During our soundcheck a line is forming outside eager to cram into the intimate venue. From behind the bar a mounted caribou with a cig in his mouth is commanding us to "Drink". When in Kansas City, as they say, heed the Smoking Caribou. We oblige and have an amazing first show. Beautiful energy, even saw some friends from 96.5 The Buzz. We've hit the ground running... -Nelson
Up at the crack of dawn and the 7 hour drive is going smoothly until BAM, the van, by the name of FALCOR breaks down totally. Poor girl, her serpentine belt has snapped, no chance of driving. Fortunately we're only about 45 minutes from the venue. We rack our brains and deliberate as to the best way to get the gear and ourselves there in time. Tow truck takes the van all the way, but can only take two people. The solution? Tweet for help! A life-saver and fan-turned-friend named Jonny Stenswick hooked us up with a ride to the venue and we barely make it barely in time. He also happens to be a rad film photographer and aspiring tour photographer. We may have just found our man (check out his stuff on instagram @filmhooligans). The venue is amazing, and another show will Zella that is phenomenal. Our first experience with Minneapolis is that the people are rad as hell! We mark this fact in our memories and soldier on.
Sometimes a situation can present itself in such a way that you expect the worst. This night was one of those nights before we played. We had heard our sound check was not going to happen due to time and that we would have to load our gear onto the stage through the crowd. Not so easy when it's a packed house. In most cases this can open the door to things going wrong but staying true to the reoccurring theme of this tour it was quite the opposite. Thanks to the lovely and professional staff at the venue we had an amazing show. It's the last night of tour so we had one thing on our minds. PARTY. After the show we posted up at the bar and let loose before hitting the streets with Zella Day and the whole team. It was more than fun to say the least. Street lamps were climbed, rabbits were chased, songs were sung, and friendships were made.
Another sleepless night, as our album went on pre-order at midnight and the response took us back. Hundreds of tweets and snaps all night. We are overjoyed. The van repairs blew our hotel budget, but friends were kind enough to let us crash on floors and couches. FALCOR is strong again, blowing cool air as we arrive in Chicago on a sunny day. We had no idea there are beaches in Chicago, but people are swimming and boating and sunbathing under red and white umbrellas. First order of business is an acoustic performance for WGN Chicago. Fun interview and play Sweet Disaster stripped down for possibly the first time on air. Then on to Lincoln Hall. The place is packed and the audience is bringing the party. It's Fridayafter all (sometimes we forget). -Nelson
A luxuriously short 3 hour drive gets us smoothly past Wyoming, MI to Grand Rapids for show #4. The fans turn it out and it's yet another great night. It's still the weekend and that's when the freaks come out. There appeared to be a massive 80's night just next door, and some patrons who clearly have been partying non-stop SINCE the 80s. We got a chance to walk through the town and sneak a late night burrito at a hole in the wall, Menna's Joint, home of the Dubs. It seemed to be one if the hippest places in town. After glimpsing the madness of the college bars around, we settled on a pocket size bottle of whiskey to share with our friends back by the venue, and called it a night.
Detroit how we missed you. Last show there was probably MoPop, which has remained a highlight for us. We meet our FOH guy for the night, Brother Al. He's been in the game awhile, he's seen things, and rock n roll is in his blood. We're in good hands. While snapping fans and friends in the line outside we meet another character: Detroit Papa Smurf. He's a legend. Check out his Facebook page. He studies our vibe, we help him out, and then he bestows upon us magical BOOYAH BEADS. He says they will protect us and we will feel the energy onstage. We place the plastic beads in our pockets and thank him. The night is already weird in the best way, and then we get to play to yet another beautiful lively crowd. A fan we hadn't seen since MoPop brings us handmade charm bracelets after. A night of characters, charms, brotherly love and talismans. -Nelson
Rolled into Columbus late after our show in Grand Rapids to stay with our good friend April and her dog Nash for a couple nights. It's always nice to stay in a familiar place. It's a little home away from home. Last time we were in town our van got broken into so we flipped coins to see who would be sleeping in the van the first night. (We all secretly prefer the van) Nick and Nelson ended up bunking together on the bench seats of the van while Plotkin and I slept with Nash in the house. Slept most the day. I really needed it. We took advantage of the day off and hit the town for some drinks and food. We ended up staying out till the early hours of the morning at a bar called Oddfellows and caught up with friends who were in town. Woke up ready for the show after the relaxing day off. Once a week into a tour you start to feel like nothing can keep you down. Spirits are high and living in the moment. We had a lot of fun with the good people of Columbus as always. They treat us well. Shared lots of laughs with the Zella gang and to before the night to an end we make a toast with the champagne of beers before turning in. -Jacob