SomeKindaMerchGirl: Burn It Up Tour

It’s 11:30pm on a Saturday, April 25, 2015. The SomeKindaWonderful Burn It Up Tour is officially done. Technically it ended a little over a week ago, but due to unforeseen circumstances the tour abruptly ended five shows early.

Some people grow up wanting to be a part of a band or their crew. Over the last few years I have met countless fans who dream of going on the road with their favorite band. I’d watch a movie about that, but it was never something I really fantasized about. I’ve always had music in my life in some way or another, but I actually only started doing the concert thing two years ago. So to say I just fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine in that respect would be a lie.

I do love to travel. I have a serious case of wanderlust. Unfortunately, I don’t get to do it often. A downside of not living near family is when you get time off work you spend it going to visit family most of the time. However in the last month I have traveled from coast to coast. In that respect I did fulfill several bucket list items.

Almost every day I have been asked the same question, and I have even asked it myself a few times… “How did I become the merch girl for SomeKindaWonderful?”

Just take a scroll through some of my previous posts and it is easy to tell I might like SomeKindaWonderful a bit. Their music is unlike anything else in my collection, but at the same time it is a beautiful diverse summary of everything I love about music. 

They are a newer growing band. That can be a tough place to be. I believe in these guys. I believe in their music. It’s not the same old shit you hear on every station. At some point during their fall tour I adapted a mission to do whatever I could to see them succeed. I don’t have a crazy amount of money to invest in them. I don’t have any magic connections in the music world to propel them to stardom. What I can give is my time and my enthusiasm for what they create.

I don’t want to repeat the same post I posted here: Pre- Burn It Up Tour. That is the direction this is going though. That post ended with me getting to do merch for their East Coast dates. That blog answers part of the big question…So how did I become East Coast Merch Girl? With creativity, passion, and persistence.

If you have been paying attention you know it did evolve in to more than that. How did I end up going on the full tour? I don’t have a clue. Something changed Nima’s mind and in less than 48 hours I took a risk and took up residency in the sprinter. The weeks to come were incredible. I did so many things I never thought I would do and saw so many things I never thought I would see. I built friendships with people from all across the US. Plus, I joined the SomeKindaWonderful family and now have a few talented, fun, and kind of crazy brothers.

I am so incredibly thankful to cross over from the fan world to crew. It is an opportunity so few get to experience. If you told me a year ago I would go on tour with a band I probably would have laughed at you. If I didn’t feel such a unique connection to SKW I wouldn’t have gone on tour with them. I would have gone to one or two shows, maybe hung out with them a bit, and called it a wrap. I am a woman who had a stable job, two dogs, a house, and two car payments. Dropping everything to join some strangers to help their career is probably one of the dumbest things anyone in my position could do. But they aren’t strangers to me. They may have (and possibly still do) seen me as a fan, but it has always felt different to me. I share the same energy as SKW if that makes any sense (no lol). It made the jump easier to do.

But since I will always keep a foot in the fan world I want to share my experience. I want to share #TourLife with people who may never get the same opportunity that I had. However there are some parts of tour life that stay in the crew. Think of tour like Vegas. There are moments both good and bad that can’t and shouldn’t be shared. Then there are some moments that are too special to share, I’m selfish that way. However I hope if you have some how made it through the word vomit that I have typed already you will enjoy my adventure…

Pre Tour

I made this jacket when Nima first told me the name of the tour. He ended up adapting it for the shirt design. While I was flattered he liked it, it made me wish I had put more effort in to it. I really didn’t expect to do the full tour. My magnet needs some updating. I love making crafts and my beer fridge is decorated with band magnets that I usually have signed after concerts.I am so lucky to live 15 minutes from the beach. However if you have ever seen my ghost-like complexion you will know I don’t really do the whole sunlight thing. One of my favorite things in the world to do though is watch the sunrise over the ocean. It is the best place to think. A week before leaving for tour I spent a morning at the beach. I didn’t know what to expect from the upcoming tour. I was nervous. Not in a fan girl “I am going to be with the band” kind of way. The guys themselves don’t make me nervous. It was the unknown. I don’t know anything about tour life or even the music industry. I didn’t know what travel would be like, how our days would be spent before shows, how often or what I would eat, if I would sleep, if the guys would accept me as adopted crew or just see me as a fan. There was so much unknown that I had buzzing around.In the weeks leading up to the show I worked with the tour manager, Jordan aka Big Red on the display. My living room was the first SomeKindaWonderful merch booth with all of my creations.  Some of the crafty gifts I made for the guys.Remember when I said I didn’t know what I would eat or how often? Apparently I thought I would starve. Those are all the snacks I bought for just one week. Took this picture for my instagram the morning I left for tour. I was armed with a temporary tattoo and my disney bracelets for good luck ready for an adventure with no idea what was ahead of me.

March 19 – Travel to New York

The day before tour started I made the 10 hour drive to Buffalo so I would get a full night of sleep before the tour started. One of the first things I checked off my bucket list was done by going a little farther and seeing Niagara Falls. After that I made a good donation to a casino across from my hotel before getting some sleep.

 March 20 – Buffalo, NY

To explain that picture the guys were very upset that they somehow missed panties being thrown on stage. They spent some time trying to figure out the origin after the show was over. This picture makes me laugh every time I look at it. A similar one was posted on their socials.

That first show in Buffalo will always have a special place in my heart. It was such a great experience from the moment I showed up. It was great seeing everyone, showing my crafts, seeing the first show set up, and just being a part of it. The show was incredible. The guys were incredible. The production was so sick! I finally got a full SKW set. After the show I had a blast seeing people fan girl at the meet and greet. I even met some incredible people!

March 21  – Philadelphia, PA

Day two was in Philly. Justin rode with me to the venue. This is one of the only selfies with the guys that I took all tour so I wanted to share. The night before Nima rode with me to the hotel. It was great talking to each of them getting some inside information. I was able to put together a lot of pieces of the SKW puzzle with the tour, their label, European success, and future plans.

Jordy was hilarious in Philly. It was the funniest I saw him all tour. I loved the Philly show, because I knew the routine. I didn’t need to stand around wondering what was next. I was able to reconnect with my first SKW friend too which was a lot of fun.

March 22 – Washington DC

So I mentioned my car rides with Nima and Justin already. One rule I had in my car was they picked the music. This song is Nima’s favorite song in the whole world. We listened to it at least 20 times no exaggeration. Maybe it isn’t his favorite song and instead it was a spotify glitch, but I can’t verify that. That car ride we talked about why I make concerts such a big part of my life. Why I was out there with SKW, exc. I don’t remember exactly what was said on either side. I’m sure it was me telling him how much I enjoyed this adventure and him telling me I was crazy. That weekend a few times one of the guys would ask why I wasn’t doing the full run or they would (jokingly?) say I should just do the full tour. Eventually it stopped being a joke. I don’t know what I did or said. What someone else did or said, but the Monday morning after the DC show I was driving home to Virginia to make sure my dogs, house, exc were taken care of.

March 23- Taking Care of Business

No picture from this day. I was too busy taking care of things at home. Unfortunately I did have to make a hard decision. I went to work to request a leave of absence. That leave may have been granted if I had gotten the tour opportunity back in January or February when I first bugged Nima about it. Since it was last minute though I had to resign when the leave was not approved. It was hard to say goodbye to a job that has been so good to me for three years, but I had to make a call. I would have always wondered what if and regretted not taking the opportunity to go on tour. Ultimately I would have ended up resenting my job for being the reason I missed out on tour, and I probably would have quit for that reason anyways.

March 24- Atlanta, GA

The morning of the Atlanta show I drove the nine hours in a rental car and that night I was on the van. I was holding my breath for them to say “no, this is a bad idea you need to leave”. But that never happened. I loved the Atlanta show, because that is my hometown. My mom and her husband came out to the show as well as one of my best friends in the world. On the SKW end it was probably the worst show of the tour if I am being honest. I told you tour had its bad moments. If I remember correctly there was an issue with the sound. Jordy was fighting a funk he picked up after Europe. We had a weird situation with our openers. It was an anything that can go wrong will situation. I was also a little preoccupied with nerves from actually joining the tour on the sprinter that night so I was a bit on edge. I did meet some great people and it was so great seeing familiar faces too!

March 25- Carrboro, NC

This was our college town show. It was a lot of fun! There were several people just there for class credit, but there were also some familiar Butterfly Militia faces. One of my friends from back home came out. I was able to connect with a few friends from the New Politics fan base and I was able to meet a few people who I have been dying to meet for a few months! AND they brought gifts! Alcohol and caffeine is always welcomed btw. Before the show Jordy and I got dinner from a food truck. I didn’t expect my first food truck experience to be in NC, but it was actually really incredible! It was fun to be back at the same venue that I saw them in the fall. It was one of my favorite venue set ups too. It had a really charming feel.

March 26 – Nashville, TNI was SO out of my element on my first day on tour for real. I was trying to find my groove. Trying to learn everyones place on the van. It was the first time I felt nervous around the guys too. I was REALLY part of the crew for the first time, but at the same time it was the day I felt the most like an outsider. Guys are guys. They burp, fart, curse, look at pictures of girls with incredible…features. While I was trying to find my groove in their group, they were also trying to figure me out. I knew I was being watched to see how I would react to certain things. I swear though those guys didn’t realize I am a sub wife and submariners make musicians look like prudes. So every time the guys would apologize for being guys it made me so uncomfortable. I get it. It wasn’t my first rodeo and apologizing for being themselves just made it so awkward for me. Thankfully a few days in to tour the apologizing stopped and we were all more comfortable around each other.

So I was dealing with all of that. It was raining. It was a small bar venue and we didn’t know what to expect for the crowd since it was our first time in Nashville. I went out on my own to get food when they were sound checking. Then when I came back the group went out together. So I was alone in the venue for most of the opener and before the show. What was almost my most uncomfortable night on tour turned in to one of my favorites once I met a super fun group of people. I don’t remember how we all connected, but I found a group of SKW fans that I just adore. They were just a blast. I got in a little trouble from Red for drinking with them at their table and not where I could see the merch. They were as in to the music as I was and we all had a blast together though! To say they were my favorite group on tour isn’t fair, because I met so many different people and I love them all so much…. buuuuuut…. Nashville is crazy yall.

March 27 – Travel Day

The guys took such good care of me on this whole tour. It was work for them, and of course partially for me too, but several times they teased me that I was on vacation. One of the ways they took care of me was when they would make sure I was seeing as much as I could. As we drove by St. Louis they made sure I saw the arch and got my pictures. It was a small gesture, but it was the first time I really and truly started to feel the family vibe. I knew those guys would have my back for the rest of the tour and I wouldn’t regret coming out on the road. Unfortunately though everyone was getting the plague. We actually had to cancel our show that night because Jordy couldn’t talk. Which is really funny by the way, because if you have ever been around Jordy you will know he is super chatty. Seeing him mute is a sight for sure. It is a challenge for him.

March 28- Kansas City, MO

Woah! Two pictures today! This was a really cool show! The guys have a great relationship with the radio station. There is a family in the area who I have talked to online, because we have the same desire to see SKW succeed. I met so many great fans. I had no clue KC was so big on music! Some of my favorites aside from the family were two guys who run a concert instagram. I love love LOVE working merch, because I am able to talk to so many great people!

Before the show I explored the area. I just wanted to find coffee, but along the way I found an amazing mediterranean bakery, an awesome local coffee shop, and a house with that sidewalk chalk quote above. Talk about destiny. Just one more thing that confirmed that I made the right decision to come on tour. After seeing that I didn’t have a single doubt for the rest of the tour. I was in the right place at the right time and I knew I was doing what I was supposed to be doing as a whole.

March 29 – Travel

We took our time getting to Texas. We spent some time at walmart and some time pulling over for photo ops and for Red and Justin to play frisbee. We stayed in a small town in Oklahoma that night. When we asked our server what the town was known for she informed us that it was known for being one of the most dangerous in the state. One of our credit cards wasn’t returned to the table after we paid.

March 30 – Travel

We made it to Texas… finally. Again, we weren’t in any rush though. For dinner we went out for an awesome crawfish dinner. Justin and I did I think two pounds together. That was the night we realized that we would be good adventure buddies. Since we were the only two that stayed healthy throughout the tour we spent the most time exploring. If he couldn’t come with me he would at least suggest an activity for me. It was a good relationship. The guy is a pro at adventures since he is pretty much always on the road.

March 31 – Off day in Austin, TX

I loved this day! It was really laid back and chill. We found some great tacos and doughnuts and the spent the afternoon in a park overlooking the city. The weather was perfect and it was an awesome afternoon.

April 1 – Austin, TX

We performed at Stubbs BBQ. I was so excited to be at this show, because it was the first non-East coast date. I hadn’t planned to be there. Plus Stubbs is a must see music venue. I loved the whole experience. Before the show I had an awesome BBQ meal there. Then I wandered the city a good bit. I just put it on the map and I walked about four miles that day. I got to see the Texas State Cemetery (coffee shop I wanted was across the street), I walked 6th street and took a $2 mystery shot for fun, then I ran in to Eric (one of our openers) and we went to the capitol before going back to the venue.

It was a fun show. I had a really cool merch space. I met a couple who introduced me to the BEST vodka and in return I photobombed her picture with Jordy. Always fun. I loved Austin so much.

April 2 – Houston, TX

I don’t really remember much about this show. I think I was tired from my Austin adventures. I spent the show blogging in my personal blog about the last few weeks. I did have my very first in-n-out that night. I made the guys order for me so I would get the real experience. I can totally get on board with animal style fries.

April 3 – Dallas, TX

This was a fun show. I was able to see a few familiar faces and I got to meet a few people from the world of social media. It was our third and final show with a band called Flor. Super sweet guys, I liked their music and I really enjoyed having them with us for the Texas dates.

GOOD NEWS – This is where I am getting sick of typing so my recaps are getting more brief! Thanks for sticking it out this far… of there is even anyone still with me.

April 4 – Lubbock, TXThis was a crazy town! We got there and this down was DEAD. I walked the streets and the only person I crossed paths with was a homeless guy. It was the night before Easter so we weren’t expecting a huge crowd. It is a college town so a lot of the students went home for the holiday weekend. It was a special show for the guys, because they got to meet two very special contest winners. The girls were as sweet as can be too. We hooked them up with some merch and then Jordy performed Shine on Me for the first time on tour for them per their request.

Here is where the crazy comes in…. after the show Lubbock was a party town! There was an awesome outdoor BBQ taco stand. All the spaces by the venues were bars. One bar had a go-go dancer, there were some with live bands, techno music, metal music, a little bit of everything! It really was wild.

April 5 – Travel New Mexico 

This was a good day off. We did some traveling then we found a hotel with a hot tub and a pool. The guys noticed I had been acting weird and I had to explain to them I was just fueled by some PMS. Definitely a downside to being the only girl. We had a great night though. Just relaxing, enjoying the hot tub. We had dinner at a place across the street who had Easter eggs. That was a nice touch. The food was really good too!

April 6 – Off Travel/Denver

We got to Denver in the early afternoon. A few of the guys went off to hang out with friends locally. The rest were sick (i’m telling you, there was a plague curse thing on this tour). I took the opportunity to adventure out and see a concert! I had a blast! I loved the venue. The show was Kiesza and Betty Who, both artists I LOVE. I met some INCREDIBLE people too. It was a great night.

April 7 – Denver, CO

I was in Denver guys. I have always wanted to go to Denver, but I don’t think I ever would have vacationed there. The guys usually rest before a show, but I wanted to explore. So I went to a museum before we had to go to the venue. It was a great afternoon.

This was a great show! I saw some familiar faces of course. Denver loves their SKW. The line was forming before we even got to the venue! We had a fan ask their girlfriend to the prom during the show. We had a local opener with an awesome merch set up that I totally geeked out over. Phenomenal show, wonderful evening!

April 8 – Off Denver, CO

Remember the plague? Well it hit Big Red really hard. The guys were feeling the effects as well. Big Red stayed in Denver to go to the Doctor. The band all flew out to get some rest at home. We had to cancel our next two shows which really upset them. I was bummed to miss out on seeing those cities too. Since we had an unexpected break and I was kind of in limbo they did something really special for me. That night they put me on a flight to Vegas so I could have a vacation for real! These guys spoiled me!! I spent the day in Denver before my flight making my plans. I decided to spend two days in vegas. I had a few MLife comp rooms at MGM and Mirage that I could use. Then I decided to spend the weekend in San Francisco. I had a lot of planning to do so I could tourist it up when I got there instead of figuring everything out.

April 9 – VEGAS

I had so much fun in Vegas! I stayed at the MGM Grand the first two nights. I slept in and took my sweet time getting ready. It was my first time truly alone in a little bit. It was both weird and relaxing. I missed everyone for sure, but at the same time I wasn’t complaining. I left my room a little before 1pm and went to NYNY. Sat down at a lot machine and made enough to pay for lunch! I cashed out and went to Gordon Ramsay Burgr. It was incredible. I spent the afternoon walking the strip. Took a nap in the late evening and then went out again for a little more lot play that night.

April 10 – Vegas

If you are reading this and saw the band snapchat from vegas and thought they were having a vacation instead of resting, sorry, that was my vacation! I had another fun day exploring the strip. I had some good luck at blackjack and ended up breaking even for the trip.

April 11 – San FranciscoI LOVE this city! I got in around 11am. In the spirit of bucket lists and adventures I had booked two nights in a hostel. Once I dropped off my stuff I spent the day on one of the hop on hop off tours of the city. I ended up doing the main loop twice, then I did the night tour too. I still can’t get over how beautiful the city is. Hard to believe that people really live there and see it every day.

April 12 – San Francisco

So Saturday was my general overview of San Fran. I went more in detail on Sunday. I saw Alcatraz which has always been on my bucket list. I loved it. I went and checked out some of the landmarks and neighborhoods in more detail. I spent a lot of time exploring Haight Street. I loved all the local businesses. People watching was prime too. I got some incredible socks too! My only souvenir all tour. I had chowder in a sourdough bowl and a penis cookie from Hot Cookie in the Castro neighborhood. That night I got to know my roommates in the Hostel a little more. It made me wish I had just one more day to get to know them better. I had a really good experience in the hostel for sure!

April 13 – Still San FranciscoThis was my favorite day of tour for so many reasons. In the morning Jordy and Justin picked me up and we met up with one of Justin’s friends. She was a total sweet heart. We had espresso at her house before venturing out to a fantastic local diner for lunch. We spent the afternoon walking around the city and we ended up in the park with a six pack, pug, and new friends. The weather was perfect and really everything about the afternoon was perfect. The show was a fun one. We spent time before the show making slow motion magic hat videos (check their instagram). We had a super fun opener, Kiwi Time. They were crazy and a freakin blast! During the show Jordy performed an acoustic version of Wait for Me. It was the first time they ever did it. They have only released it in Europe, I love it. I was able to meet a few girls who I have been talking to on socials for a few months. I didn’t get to talk to them as long as I would have liked though. I learned when I drink at shows I am a little slower breaking everything down haha. Definitely going to use my drink tickets earlier in the evening next tour. Hands down favorite day though.

April 14 – LA/ Santa BarbaraJustin had a rehearsal in LA that morning. We got about two hours of sleep at the hotel then I hopped in the car with him to explore LA while he was rehearsing. I never miss an opportunity to explore. It was a win win, because I was able to take the wheel so he was able to get some rest before the show too. I’ve gotta take care of my guys when I can! He dropped me off on Hollywood Blvd. I loved seeing all the stars and the handprints. I saw so much then haggled my way on to a bus tour of the city. I saw some landmarks and some celebrity homes. It was so great!

Santa Barbara was interesting. I want to start by saying I never got more than the two hours of sleep…. so it was going great! We went to this bakery in a little market by the venue and had this dessert called “The Thing” and something called “Cupcake Pudding” both just incredible. My snapchat videos from that are to funny!

After that we were all just hanging out and one of my friends from back home said something that just set me off. I was so upset and so I reached out to one of my friends from the high school days to vent. Venting turned in to a total breakdown. Y’all, I lost it. I was bawling. I tried to hide it, because I didn’t want the guys to think it was something with them or with tour. Unfortunately I passed Justin when I was going to the parking lot which lead to Jordy coming to find me. They were worried about me and they were so sweet about making sure I was okay. The problem is my breakdown was mostly sleep deprivation, so I didn’t really have an answer for what was wrong. It was a combination of so many things once I started venting. Plus I am better about talking things out the day after the breakdown. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to open up to them when they were trying to get me to talk it out, I just didn’t want to break down again and I didn’t have any one big reason to explain it. Ugh I was a disaster. Great show though!

April 15- LAI got to not only see, but work a show at The Troubadour. So cool! This was a bittersweet show. It was a home town show and the band was on fire. The room was filled with so much love from fans, friends, and family. It was unreal! It was our last show with Marc and Eric which was sad. They had another tour to join. I enjoyed working with them and selling those funky t-shirts. It was also the last show night in California. I loved my time there, it was sad to see it come to an end.

April 16 – Venice Beach and Malibu This day was just as perfect as that Monday in San Fran. I told you Justin was my adventure buddy. We spent the day with him showing me the beautiful California coast. The weather was perfect. We saw sea lions and whales. We went on a little trail then he took me to a few cool spots off the beaten path. That afternoon we met up with the group and spent some time in Venice before going to film something for Snapchat. (Look for it on discover. It is going to be so cool.) After Snapchat we parted ways. Justin had a gig that he was staying back for and Jordy had some business to take care of too. The plan was for them to just fly out to the next date. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out that way. The last five shows were cancelled. I am still so sad that that was our goodbye. It was too soon. It just killed the guys to cancel the dates too. Remember the plague…yeah. It was our curse. It was for the health of the guys that we called tour a wrap early.

April 17-20 Travel

The last few days of tour were a blur. We were headed east and north. Our next show was in MN. On our way back east we stopped in Vegas for six hours. That was a lot of fun for me. I got a comped breakfast and made a little money. Unfortunately everyone in our group wasn’t so lucky. I really don’t remember much about that weekend, I slept most of it. I was really accustomed to sleeping in the sprinter at that point. Eventually it was conformed that the MN show was cancelled and we changed out gameplan. Getting to Ohio was so bitter sweet. I got to see the studio which was pretty cool for me. It ended up being my bedroom. It was sad though, because I wasn’t ready for tour to be over. Health ALWAYS comes first though. These guys would do anything for their fans. They truly love the butterfly militia and thankfully their fans are understanding and forgiving. I reached out to a lot of the people whose show was cancelled, understanding how upsetting it can be. It is a really great group of people. I really really hope I will be with SKW when they revisit those cities, I have some people to meet!

Tour was incredible. I hope that you enjoyed my recap. I hope that I was able to share enough for you to get a taste for what it is like on the road. There are some hard times, but the good times outweigh those days. I get a smile on my face every time I think about what I just did. I am so thankful that these guys adopted me in to my family. It is a wonderful group to be a part of! These guys are hilarious and they have the biggest hearts. They are passionate about their craft and I want them to succeed so badly I can’t even explain it. I can’t wait until they are healthy and have the support they need to hit the road again!

If you are reading this and you aren’t a fan I hope you are intrigued enough to check them out and catch them next time they are on the road. This is an exciting year for them as they continue to grow. They are doing incredible things in Europe right now and personally I am keeping my fingers crossed to see them in the Fall.

I want to end with a few thank you notes-

Thank you to my friends and family who encouraged me to chase this crazy adventure and who supported me along the way. Y’all are amazing, truly! All of the likes, comments, and other ways you supported me meant the world to me. Thank you for giving me the courage to go on this adventure.

Thank you to all the amazing people that I let along the way. I wish I could name everyone who had such a positive impact on my tour experience. I loved getting to know each one of you and hearing your stories. I loved the drinks shared, the dances danced, and all of the fun times at each show. You made each show unique and I can’t wait to see you all again one day!

If you are a SKW fan, thank you for your support. I hope I got to meet you on the road, if not I hope I will meet you one day! Continue to share their music and your experience with them or with the album if you haven’t seen them. It is critical we keep the US Butterfly Militia growing while they are taking over other parts of the world. We have to give them a reason to come back!

Finally if you are part of the SKW family. Once again, THANK YOU! People say all the time that a band or artist changed their life. It is hard to top the way you changed mine. From the first time I saw you in DC until now my life has been changed for the better. You have brought so much love and positive energy in to my life. Y’all are some of my favorite people and I am so thankful to call you my friends and family. Thank you for adopting me. Thank you for taking a chance on this crafty little Navy Wife from the East Coast. Thank you for being candid with me and letting me in to your lives. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live my life the way I want to live it instead of living it in a way that is expected of me. Thank you for making sure that I just had one of the best adventures of my life. I really hope that it won’t be the last. I am so proud to have played even a small part of your journey so far and I hope that I will continue to have a part of the future both with SKW and in “real life”. Thank you so so much.

Rejoining the concert community

The music world isn’t the same after being on tour. After a few shows I lost the thrill of seeing the venue empty before the show. Soundcheck became a routine instead of like a private show I felt privileged to see. (I usually took that time to explore whatever city we were in.) After a few days the guys went from performers to friends.

I used to travel hours for shows, wait in the cold after the show to meet the band just for a selfie, I never missed a show. Since coming home I had tickets to one show for one of my favorite groups, and I couldn’t get myself to do that four hour drive. Then I had the opportunity to see a band locally for free, wasn’t worth giving up a girls night in.

Wow.

That all sounded really pessimistic! Not my intention at all! I still love concerts and being a part of the concert community. I still have twitter alerts for several of my favorite groups. Music still has my heart and live music will always make me swoon. Things are just different going from life behind the scenes. I have significantly more respect for the artists and their production.

Things are just different now. I’m thankful for it. I am so thankful that I had such an eyeopening experience. The concert community is largely populated by teenagers. I always stuck out as a twenty something. It works in my favor, because thats how I could meet the bands and on a few occasions hang out with them before or after the shows. I have had a blast being involved in the concert community in that way. However, I am thankful for my new prospective and I am excited to start experiencing the music experience in a new way.

Things will never be the same. I have learned several sobering truths and I have become desensitized to some of the magic. At the same time I have found magic in new areas. I have new appreciation and respect. My heart still beats a little faster when I hear the hype song and the first few notes of a set. I am definitely not going to stop going to concerts. I just might use my time in different ways instead of traveling three hours or more every two weeks for a show.

Lunatic Tour: Kongos, Sir Sly, The Colony House Band

10923259_10203964257483020_1078949154642387105_n

On Monday I had my first paid VIP experience. Usually to get back stage I just get to know the acts on social media before the show. I have been wanting to see Kongos for months, so when this tour was announced last year I immediately bought my tickets. When I saw they had a VIP option I jumped on that too. I even got one of the “better” packages so I could see the acoustic set before the show. Fancy right?

10983402_10203966584301189_4784744113559909919_n

I got to The NorVA at 5:30, as per the instructions on the VIP e-mail. I was gridded by one of the spunkiest guys I have met in the music world, Mo Gordon. Mo was super sweet and holy cow spunky! He lead us inside and we hung out at the merch booth for awhile. I talked to Jordan, the Kongos merch guy. (Why is there always a Jordan included in every tour group?) Talked to him a bit, got some tips, found out how he became their merch guy. Always good to make some connections. I also went over and talked to two of the guys in Colony House. A few weeks ago they posted that they needed merch volunteers so I made sure they had my information for the DC show. I ended up getting one of the Kongos tour shirts, because I liked the way they displayed the cities on the tour. It looked like a constellation. It was pretty cool!

10986702_10203964257443019_7151838438905088762_n

Mo lead myself and the two other VIP participants backstage. It was a little weird having a crew guy escort me considering how comfortable I was with the backstage area from just a few weeks ago hanging out with ForteBowie and Cherub. It was a really intimate experience. It was cool hearing them play a few songs acoustic. They told us not to take pictures or video. Naturally I got a few videos on my phone. They make me look like a super creeper, but whatever. After they played a few songs we talked a little bit, they signed my magnet, and we took some pictures. They are all significantly taller than me so some of my pictures I am standing on the couch behind us. It was pretty funny. I got my classic gather around selfies. Then we went back downstairs. It was still about 45 minutes until the doors though. We got to watch Colony House Band soundcheck which was nice. I love being one of the only people in the venue before doors. It is like a private show. Eventually more VIP people came in. and I started talking to a girl who is in the area for college. Before doors we took our spots on the barricade and we were joined by another concert enthusiast. Y’all know how much I love the concert community. We spent the time before the show talking about some of our best and worst concert experiences and just music in general. I definitely look forward to reconnecting with them at future shows.

10858569_10203964260523096_1518918452727324603_n

The opener was Colony House Band. I have listened to their album a few times since the tour was announced. I really like their stuff, so I was excited to see their set. They were great! I would definitely see them again! They could have interacted with the crowd more, but I guess that can be risky when you are the first opener.

 10985521_10203964259203063_2163639177546716119_n

Next up was Sir Sly. I first heard of Sir Sly when they got in a fake twitter war with Bad Suns around the time of the Everywhere I Go Tour. They have a really cool sound. I have had more than one occasion since this tour was announced where I have put their song “Too Far Gone” on repeat for a few loops. I am a little confused by their band make up. I think there are three of them with two touring members. I can’t really figure it out, google has failed me. They had a great set! At the end in true Anne concert fashion the two people next to me got set lists. THANKFULLY a few minutes later I also got one. I was pretty annoyed at first though. It is a running sad joke on me that the people by me always get the pics, set lists, exc. I should just get used to it.

10991229_10203964259083060_9097757327320664857_n

Kongos is pretty amazing! They are so unbelievable talented! Their lights and set were on point too! One of the coolest things they did was have smoke rings during “I’m Only Joking”. It was such a cool and unexpected effect. I love this band, because they don’t stick to the typical band dynamic. They all sing, and their drummer of all people is actually a primary vocalist! Not something you see and when you hear his voice you would have no clue he was drumming away the whole time. So talented. They really stick to the music, they don’t really try to make a connection with the audience, they just kind of do their own thing. I don’t know if it was intentional or not. This is one reason why I decided not to go to the DC show the following night. It was an incredible show, but it wasn’t worth a three and a half hour drive to see it twice back to back. 10959649_10203966580981106_9092168090330302146_n

After the show I went and got my Sir Sly set list signed. I talked to them for a little bit. They knew who SomeKindaWonderful was since they know Bad Suns, so I had them throw up the Butterfly Militia sign for a quick pic. Talked to Colony House again, they are a really nice group of guys! Then I got to do another meet and greet with Kongos. I talked to them again about SomeKindaWonderful. They said they would check them out, not sure if I believe them, but whatever. Since I decided I wasn’t going to DC I decided it would be a fun idea to make an ass of myself and get them to do the Butterfly Militia symbol with me. They were really nice and good sports about it.

10978699_10203966584821202_5680855427979191681_n

It was a fantastic night and I definitely look forward to seeing those bands again in the future! I have to take a break from concerts for a little bit to save some money.

Check out all my pictures here!

1509243_10203964259163062_1717109172525863471_n

10994243_10203964259963082_4474391502144991978_n

Ingrid Michaelson: Lights Out Tour

  IMG_6072

Wow! I was really slacking! It has been two weeks since this show and I never sat down to write about it! I kind of forgot about it honestly. I guess that kind of tells you how the concert was. Okay, that sounds really bad. It was a wonderful show! Keep in mind for the three weeks leading up to the show I attended three back to back Cherub shows. Every night was a party in the crowd. I made friends, I drank, I danced, and I sang screamed along. Ingrid Michaelson’s performance, as you may have guessed, had a very different energy than Cherub.

IMG_6041

I started out my day in New York City. We were out until almost 5am that morning so getting on the road by noon was tough. I made it happen though. I even made it on time for my dinner reservation next door at Coda. Y’all I can’t speak enough good things about that place. If you are seeing a show at The National check it out!

16410285186_d756fd10b3_z

The crowd at this show was just so chill. It was several groups of girls nights and couples. I had some polite conversations with the other people on the barricade, but I didn’t make any connections worth remembering.16248592148_a8b51eb7a4_h

Greg Holden was the opener. I had hard of him, but I wasn’t too familiar with him. He is a cutie though! His set was great! He is extremely talented and also had some talented back up. I have actually heard him on the radio a few times since seeing the show!

16410309076_e1bfc0e947_k

Ingrid Michselson is easily the funniest performer that I have seen! She was fantastic! She didn’t take her show too seriously. She had a great group backing her up. And again, I can’t stress enough how funny she is!! I really enjoyed her performance, she is so very talented.

IMG_6059

After the show I got to meet Greg Holden at the mercy booth. I went out to the busses where the tour manager informed us that Ingrid wouldn’t be coming out, because she wasn’t feeling well. She took some things on the bus and ingrid signed them. She even took selfies of her with our phones. It was a sweet gesture. I wish I could have met her, but I am not a super fan or anything so I wasn’t heartbroken.

IMG_6069

IMG_6049

This is easily the worst blog I have ever written. I guess it is better than rambling. It was a great show and I am so thankful that I went. There just wasn’t much to it. The crowd was relaxed. The opener and headliner were good. There wasn’t anything fancy or overly memorable. Plus I am writing this two weeks after the show so it is a little hard to recall details. When I was talking about the shows I have went to this year I actually forgot to count this one. Oops. She was great, I will see her again is she is in my area, but I probably won’t road trip to see her again.

You can see all my pictures from the show here.

16410298026_3e19cffc03_k

Pre- Burn It Up Tour

10352140_10203505565896017_1569518499171500078_n

I go through phases with music. I will find an album and listen to it non stop for weeks then not touch it for a year. I will still enjoy the artist and their music, but it won’t be fresh on my mind getting stuck in my head. My friends have seen these trends for the last seven years that we have been together. That is why they is a little shocked that I am still as in love with SomeKindaWonderful as I was when I first started listening to them. I have said it countless times, there is something different about SomeKindaWonderful.

10599611_10203477108944611_411734229239143982_n

There is something special about these guys and their music. Maybe I just discovered them at the right point in my life. Whatever the reason is, I connect with them. I care about them and want their success more than I thought was possible for me to want for a group of almost strangers.

10391044_10203505571576159_5464936121924054315_n 10409723_10203505558095822_975958634253448927_n

I am fortunate to have gotten close to a few of them over the last few months, since I last saw them. The rest I am sure I will get to know soon enough… BECAUSE they finally announced their Spring tour! I was fortunate to get a few dates leaked to me before the big reveal which helped with some pre planning, but now with all the dates posted I am ready to map everything out!

10958296_10203925035582497_1750760083879009262_n-1

If you remember a few months ago I started my great campaign to be a SomeKindaMerchGirl. I know it is kind of ridiculous for me to drop everything and go on the road with some band. Really though, I don’t give a shit. It would be one of those once in a lifetime things to travel the country with them. (Well, twice in a lifetime. I did that whole travel the US by bus back in 2007) I don’t know how much longer I will be able to jump on an opportunity like this since we will probably start having kids within the next few years. Well, last week I got up the nerve to ask the SKW Manager, Nima, for the chance to join them. His first response was just a flat out “you’re crazy, no.” After about four hours of texting I ended up with the most vague “probably not now but maybe one day” response. A big step up from him calling me crazy, but still not the “yes” I was hoping for. At least I have the idea in his head for him to consider down the road. I’m not giving up all hope. Too bad I don’t remember how to work a lighting board from my days in high school theater, that would be my next pitch…

1622865_10203925035622498_2812695046200966186_n-1 10959545_10203925035542496_2138732967472342581_n-1 10952568_10203925035502495_5982128671627106445_n-1

So since I won’t be joining the crew this round I am planning another solo road trip to see them as many times as possible. My hope was to take about two weeks off, but they will be too deep in to the US at that point for me to drive. Plus, driving myself that far for such a long time would be pretty dangerous since I don’t sleep (or eat) much on these adventures. So right now my plan is to start on either the first or second night of tour in Rhode Island or New York. I haven’t really decided if I will make the trip all the way to RI yet, but I am tempted since it is a place I haven’t visited yet. That is the fun thing about all this road tripping. I m fueled by wanderlust the whole time. After that first show I will be able to follow them to the other NY show, Philly, DC, Atlanta, then my last stop will be North Carolina. I should actually know people at each show since I have been to all of these locations before. I love the concert community so so much! I am hoping to get some of my friends from back home to make plans to go to the Atlanta show.

15614_10203925042062659_5992140552184622728_n-1 10968506_10203925037302540_2010262441807574809_n-2 10968506_10203925037302540_2010262441807574809_n-1 10246669_10203925035662499_3918620282113080734_n-1

Seven shows doesn’t seem like enough for these guys, but the closest they will be coming is the last two tour dates when they come to Ohio. I’m not ruling it out, but I am not counting on it either.

1456621_10203505537215300_5989952295626518031_n

This tour announcement has been so exciting for me, because I helped come up with the concept. When I pitched it to Nima at first I wasn’t sure if he would take it seriously. But he did and for the last few weeks he has kept me in the loop on it. It has been a lot of fun. I am a huge dork when it comes to marketing and social media and an even bigger dork when it comes to SomeKindaWonderful. I am so thankful that he let me in on this experience. They executed it really well too. I’m a little bummed it will only be up for 24 hours, that’s the whole point of snapchat though. You can read about the announcement in a blog I wrote for promotion reasons here.

1622655_10203505573656211_2807124237504961144_n 10845963_10203505573456206_4855982843909763792_n-1

Today I took the job of “SomeKindaWonderful/Nima’s bitch” Haha! I had the day off and I spent several hours promoting this tour. There isn’t anything I would rather have been doing though, don’t get me wrong. I was e-mailing, tweeting, and making youtube videos. Pretty much anything that I could do to help spread the word. There is very little I wouldn’t do for these guy’s success.

10959296_858367840891542_9208649381342771288_n

I had a few people ask if I was upset that I wasn’t getting any credit for my idea. So I will answer that right now, no. I am just so thankful to have been involved on this journey and to get the inside information that I have gotten. I am not helping them for my benefit, it is all for the Butterfly Militia and making sure these guys are successful in the US so I don’t lose them to Europe forever. A tweet mentioning me isn’t going to do anything for them and really it isn’t going to do anything for me in the long run. So no, yall are silly. I am not in the slightest bit upset that they haven’t publicly announced. Haha!

1450114_10203505556015770_4808920468574303396_n 1458523_10203505502734438_8521353504707093855_n

I am having a blast with SomeKindaWonderful though and I cannot express to you how excited I am to be a part of the tour and their overall success in any way that I can. There is still about 12 days until I will need to get my March/April schedule request to my boss so if anyone wants to campaign to Nima to let me at least ride with them for the first half of tour (Or just shut up and hire me for the whole tour) please be my guest! It would be way safer if they can find room for me in their van even if it isn’t for the whole tour. Whether Nima somehow changes his mind and hires me, I can convince them to let me tag along in the van, or I just end up driving solo I am so excited for this tour!

10624786_10203505536415280_5301937136433735322_n

(PS This is Nima, the man you need to campaign haha)

I can’t freakin wait for March!! Is it too early to start a countdown??

10924692_858705297524463_7462741345101476955_n

UPDATE Feb 7, 2015: Passion and persistence paid off. I will be doing their merch for the first 8 shows of the tour. I am so excited!

OH SNAP! SomeKindaWonderful announced a new tour!! ON SNAPCHAT!

Back in December SomeKindaWonderful announced that they were going to be doing a Spring Tour. They first announced their upcoming tour in an e-mail following their Fall 2014 tour supporting Bad Suns and New Politics.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 10.44.03 AM

All over social media their fans were dying to see more of their fun performance and to hear more of their genre-defying setlist…

2014 ended with the guys visiting Germany to prepare a few teasers for their upcoming world wide album release. Meanwhile fans from across the US were waiting with increasing anticipation. Finally in January everyone’s prayers were answered…sorta…

That was enough to keep up hope! Then they even started playing games to guess the tour schedule getting everyone hyped up for their upcoming tour…

It wasn’t before long that people started questioning SomeKindaWonderful’s definition of “soon”

They insisted that dates were coming… soon….

But how soon is soon when you are SomeKindaWonderful…

At this point I think they were just messing with us. Finally last night they gave us what they have been teasing for months. They made it well worth the wait too.

SomeKindaWonderful is known for having a unique connection with their fans. They have gone above and beyond connecting with their “Butterfly Militia” by sending hand written letters, video chatting, tweeting and retweeting, and one of the easiest ways they have connected is through SnapChat. So it makes perfect sense that they use social media to announce their upcoming tour!

10959296_858367840891542_9208649381342771288_n

Last night Jordy Towers took to SnapChat and announced each city in a video. Viewers were encouraged to screen shot their city and tag SnapChat, the venue, and of course SomeKindaWonderful to get the word out! Immediately the tweets started pouring in for what has to be one of the coolest tour announcements in social media. The videos were posted around 8pm EST so there are still a few more hours for you to go check it out and screen shot your city! I know I’ll be at an obnoxious amount of East Coast Dates so say hey if you see me there!!

Hover over this next image with the snapchat icon to add them or just search somekindawonder

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 11.55.55 AM

Keep up with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too! Who knows what they will do next…

15614_10203925042062659_5992140552184622728_n 1558531_10203925042102660_8495932682222452622_n 1622865_10203925035622498_2812695046200966186_n 1795493_10203925042142661_6670092295245237312_n 10603574_10203925045982757_4593193868040005965_n 10612799_10203925042662674_413481836660743005_n 10646629_10203925048382817_5897835058896393441_n 10931009_10203925042022658_8478891204276677445_n 10952577_10203925042822678_5589817071905530511_n 10953185_10203925045422743_8085833075620025837_n 10958296_10203925035582497_1750760083879009262_n 10959879_10203925042702675_8619867909659956845_n 10959907_10203925046022758_731237949843994231_n 10978564_10203925045942756_2577744896610755646_n

Strip To This Tour

Yall, music is freakin amazing. Just a few short weeks ago I had no clue who Cherub and ForteBowie were, now they will always have a special place in my heart.

10421418_10203869960125645_3205520114521018393_n

If you know me you know I am always down for a show. A few weeks ago I posted an image on instagram with all my 2015 concert plans so far. I had mentioned that on January 23 I was either going to drive to see Moon Taxi in NC or I was going to stay local and go to a Cherub concert. Between all my social media profiles I received several people adamant that I check out Cherub. People talked about what a blast their show is and how nice Jason and Jordan are. I hadn’t really heard of them before and I wasn’t familiar with the opening acts. Enough people convinced me that it would be well worth my time though. I looked at Cherub’s tour schedule and saw they were actually playing in Richmond the week before. I decided to buy a ticket and check them out. Then if I loved them I would get to see them again in Norfolk instead of driving to NC. It seemed like a win win!

10959393_10203910950550380_4853603653464710565_n

I listened to their music and as soon as I heard the song ❤ (Heart) I fell in love. They are a little more electronic than my usual style, but their songs make me want to dance. I knew it would be a good show based on that alone.

I am addicted to crafting right now. When I am home for a night I am usually making things with no real end game. I have so many random magnets, stickers, and apparel I could almost open a shop. I went to target one day after work the week of the show in Richmond. In the dollar section they had these baskets that were PERFECT for the booze arrangements I love to make. I don’t make every band booze arrangements, but I was feeling crafty and those baskets were so cheap! So I sent Cherub a snapchat asking what their drink of choice is and their favorite candy. If they responded great! If not, no big deal I just wouldn’t make an arrangement. I didn’t even get out of the dollar section and I had a response. It was on.

10407263_10203869959645633_7436088960841890643_n

Once I start crafting I can’t stop. I made them an arrangement with gummy bears, chocolate, whisky, and some coke for a chaser/mixer. Then I decided to also make a t-shirt for the show. I had just gotten some new vinyl in and hey why not. Go big or go home right? So I was looking at lyrics and 90% of their songs are either about sex, drugs, or a break up. Sometimes they just combine all elements. This made making a t-shirt tricky. I am a young professional. I see my tenants all over the place. Plus I am a military wife. I really don’t need to be walking all over the place with a shirt that says “Champagne and Cocaine”, ” Let me find out if pussy pay your bills”, ” I’m gonna take a sledge-hammer to your car and Break everything apart”, ” Teach me things I never knew I like it when you work it harder Freaky me, Freaky you”, exc. So I went with “Chocolate Strawberries with a, vanilla smoothies.” Yeah, not a typeo, the song says “smoothies”. I posted a pic of it on instagram and added a caption that Cherub doesn’t give a shit about grammar. (That will come in to play later)

10953982_10203869962965716_6077076580265470731_n

It was finally the day of the show. It was pretty chilly outside, it is January after all. I made a reservation for the restaurant next to The National so that I could get early entry. That way I would be one of the first people in and I could get some food and a drink before the show. Always important since it is a two hour drive for me to get up there.

10940556_10203823261158200_2671716141069844910_n

The last time I went to the National it was for MOBS 2014 Night 1. The early admission line was crazy long. For this show I was actually the only one who did early entry. That was a little odd, but whatever. I had a few minutes to myself in the venue to get another drink so heyyy!! Really, the early admission wasn’t necessary, because when the doors opened there were barely enough people to fill up the barricade. Time went by and I started talking to the few people around me. None of us had ever been to such an empty show. It was so weird.

10259834_10203869951565431_7362036090820782310_n

ForteBowie was the opening act. He is pretty active on social media, a quality I value as a fan. I checked out his tweets in the days leading up to the show. He seemed pretty chill. I found what I could of his music, before the show too, but I spent most of my time focusing on learning Cherub’s music. I got good vibes from Forte though. I loved his set! Then when he introduced himself to the crowd he said he was from Atlanta. My chill was gone in that moment. Always gotta get excited for a hometown act on the road.  He had a great set! It was fun, he was very interactive with the crowd, highly impressed with ForteBowie.

1977180_10203910950390376_2465606219406717296_n

Next up was Mystery Skulls. I have only seen one other DJ set, about a year and a half ago when DJ Pauly D opened for Backstreet Boys. I had a lot of fun during this set though! I danced the whole time. The girl next to me was REALLY in to their music which got me in to it more. I do love the concert community. These girls behind me kept whining that they wanted Cherub to come out, not gonna lie it made me dance just that much harder and I might have “accidently” stepped on a few toes. Don’t heckle the opening act, especially when they are doing such a great job! I loved his set!

10929141_10203823255118049_3840531850162274732_n

When the stage was being set for Cherub shit got real. I suddenly understood why there was no one there in the beginning, everyone was pregaming! People were so obnoxious trying to get to the front. I was able to hold my own on the barricade. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for the girls I was talking to before the show. The ones who were jamming out to Mystery Skulls were solid though! Cherub had a fucking incredible set. They were energetic, interactive, and just so much fun! Even the songs I didn’t know well I was able to rock out to. At one point Jordan came over to me on the barricade and told me he liked my shirt! Then when he went back to his place he quoted my “Cherub doesn’t give a shit about grammar.” comment from instagram. OH SNAP, they do pay attention! That was pretty freakin sweet. After the show Jason got my attention and I met him on the side of the stage. I was able to talk to them a little after the show. Some of the nicest guys I have had the opportunity to meet. I was pretty crushed that I had to dip out early to get back on the road. They hooked me up with some free merch, selfies, and told me they would put me on the guest list for the next show in Norfolk.

1798235_10203823262558235_3276641175764039978_n

Throughout that next week I thought of and created another gift idea for the guys. I also reached out to ForteBowie and his manager Ty to get lunch before the show Friday. I was shocked, but they actually responded and plans were made! I met up with them before the show and grabbed some juice from The Juice Bar across the street from the venue. Then they let me come back with them to chill before the show. Backstage at the Norva is one of the coolest places I have seen! I went back stage with SomeKindaWonderful for a few venues, but they didn’t compare to this penthouse! This place had pool table, pingpong, basketball court, sauna, hot tub, and probably a bunch more I didn’t see. They had a ton of cool signed memorabilia everywhere too. So I was there for a few hours before the show just chillin.

10947310_10203869956845563_1632116534308789478_n

10422951_10203869954605507_7811254322753059608_n

10603646_10203869953405477_3241080515926642900_n

My friend Katrina got to the venue around doors, I had Forte put her on the guest list when I realized we may not be entering the venue together. The pre show in Norfolk was just as odd as the Richmond show. Total ghost town before the show started. I am used to shows where if I don’t get there 2-3+ hours early I will be a few rows back. It was trippy.

10847937_10203869950245398_4374313626015944963_n

The show was incredible from start to finish (again)! ForteBowie had some fans in the audience requesting songs. Mystery Skulls again had a few fans (with face paint even) who were there just for him. Then Cherub is always a blast to watch. Jordan hurt his wrist the night before so he couldn’t play guitar. He was so upset about it when we were talking backstage. But the show must go on! They pulled it off and it is kind of a fun fan trivia thing to say you were at a show where he DIDN’T play guitar. If I hadn’t seen the show before I wouldn’t have known something was off. He had some really funky dance moves for sure!

10931288_10203869955485529_2985148254529579161_n

10917286_10203869947365326_7619018316603023321_n

After the show we again exchanged gifts and this time I had my friend with me backstage. There were some other girls this time who were all pretty cool. I exchanged instagram names and snapchat with them. I would totally hang with them again! It was an awesome day and evening and hopefully not a one time experience. That backstage area is too cool not to see again!

1378325_10203869953885489_6218908802528840382_n

10420257_10203869952805462_7071404012975037448_n

Just a quick minute for a personal note. I am was exhausted and completely burned out. I have been going nonstop for weeks. I volunteered for overtime. I have been frustrated with my job performance and other job related issues. Just burned out. I previously signed up for overtime the Friday after the Norfolk show. After talking to a few of my managers I decided not to take that day as overtime.

10945591_10203869949085369_3912259538082572327_n

When we were hanging out at the Norfolk show everyone kept talking about how sick the New York City show was going to be. It was their biggest headlining venue and they were expecting to sell it out. Everyone was stoked for it. I decided to take my day off and take a road trip to NYC. During my discussions with my managers I decided to devote February to work more than music. This would be my last hurrah. Plus I would get to visit a girl I met at a show last November who I have kind of adopted as my little sister!

So after work on Thursday I made the six and a half hour drive to NYC. Caught up with a few friends on the phone, drove through some funky snow, but arrived safely.

10530952_10203910964910739_6777647367145051060_n

Not getting the overtime pay and the long drive was totally worth it! My time in New York was a BLAST! I got all caught up with the little sis. She showed me parts of the city. It is always cool seeing things through a local’s prospective instead of a tourist’s. We got some great Greek food, spent some time at starbucks, and froze our asses off! I wasn’t able to meet up with the guys before the show, because they were doing press around the city. Totally made sense, but kinds sucked.

10689990_10203910943750210_4296163952091100562_n

The show was the best I saw! The energy on stage and in the crowd was so intense! I loved the people around me too! I met these two great guys from New Jersey. So bummed they left after Mystery Skulls, I would have loved to dance with them more! I will be a little heartbroken if our paths never cross again. The crowd was a bit instese, but everyone was having a great time. Forte fucking crushed it. It was by far the best I have seen him. The crowd loved his energy and it was such a great way to start out the show. During Mystery Skulls I gave up my spot on the barricade to one of his dedicated fangirls. I had so much fun dancing with everyone around me it didn’t matter if I was barricade or not. Concerts are such a cool experience when you can be surrounded by strangers but feel so comfortable. At one point one of the guys grabbed my hand and held it above our heads as we jumped and danced together. It was just a fucking blast. (I shouldn’t have to point this out, but since I just mentioned the hand holding I will… the guys were gay. I promise I am not going to all these shows hooking up with strange men lol). Cherub was just beyond words. I wish I could relive that concert 100x. You could feel how pumped they were to be on that stage. They changed their set list a little and added a cover song at one point which was so great. Jordan was back on his guitar. I really can’t imagine a more perfect show from them. It was just WOW! After their set there was an afterparty DJ set at a local club. Unfortunately, the little sister wasn’t able to participate since it was 21+. It was pretty cool going in with the tour manager and crew and being included with the headcount for that group. It’s the little things. I didn’t stay long, but we did give Ty a ride to his friend’s place in exchange for stoping by the bus to drop off more gifts for the guys and their crew. I wish I had gotten to know the tour manager (didn’t even get his name) and their merch girl Maria more. I could totally hang with them! I’m SURE the rest of the crew was just as fantastic, I didn’t have much opportunity to hang out with them though.

10934013_10203823260958195_5496354466822214847_n 10945020_10203869955525530_3648286628192225032_n

10436160_10203910954790486_7794563805529338515_n

I am so heartbroken that my time following the Strip To This Tour has come to an end. There is SO much more that I can write about my experience, but I think I covered the important parts pretty well. I am so long-winded when it comes to these blogs. This whole experience following the tour was so amazing from start to finish. I am so thankful for ForteBowie, Ty, and the guys from Cherub, Jordan and Jason, and their kindness. Like I said before I had no clue who ANY of them were just a few weeks ago now I will be a lifelong fan. I DEFINITELY hope I will see them again in the future. If you get the opportunity to see them, just do it! Even if it isn’t your genre, their show is good enough where I am confident you will have an amazing time!

10394039_10203910954870488_4021906828716854198_n

936691_10203869962285699_152774072224245657_n

10955679_10203910965310749_6631306554503014298_n

10958067_10203910953910464_5482106685661592344_n10968450_10203910954830487_2669524238881095128_n

Concert adventured fueled by wanderlust