So we’re on this ridiculous tour that we probably don’t deserve to be on, but we’re trying not to ask a ton of questions and just go along with it. I’m just going to say that the tour started on Monday when we picked merch dude / life organizer extraordinaire Dan Case (Chicago’s finest) from the Philadelphia airport. We should have been taking it easy, carefully doing merch counts, maybe making a sweet playlist featuring Fugazi and Embrace for our drive to D.C. the next day, resting up for our 50+ day tour that we are fairly unprepared for. We ended up having a going away party for the Menzingers and ourselves, were introduced to a new friend Rodino (half robot / half Godino) and gave our old friend the “Philadelphia Hangover” one last chance to visit. After packing the van in the rain, hopefully not some kind of omen for the rest of the tour, we found ourselves on our way to the capital of these United States. First show of tour was at the Black Cat, let me tell you, if you ever play at the Black Cat I seriously suggest the BBQ Seitan sandwich and a side of black bean dip. D.C. was a ton of fun, got to see The Menzingers kill it (not a surprise) and the Bouncing Souls play songs off of their new record Comet (it came out last week, grab it if you haven’t) and to top it all off, got some quality time with our friend / g.g.t.k. Mark Beemer, the generous man behind Shirts for a Cure and SSE. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I love Richmond, Virginia. Any time in RVA is a good time. We drove a couple hours south after the show and stayed with the disputed “Prince of Richmond” Brett Adams. Not only is Brett a great musician (see: The Riot Before) and a fantastic cook with impeccible taste in Podcasts, he’s pretty damn handsome. We slept. While we slept this dude gets up incredibly early and cooks us breakfast ‘burritos with potatoes and home made tortillas and onions and some kind of pork thing for the meat eaters and a vegan option and a home made loaf of sour dough’ also, he let us take showers and showed us a band from Germany that sounded like the Postal Service, get this, BEFORE the Postal Service was a band.
We hugged, teared up a little, and made our way to North Carolina. Everyone at the Cat’s Cradle was so nice. Rad venue and really glad we got to see our friends Rickey, Scotty and Heather. After being taught by Pete Steinkopf that Corona’s crisp and light taste is the equivalent of summer in a bottle the night becomes a bit blurry, though I remember it all being positive. That damn Corona. The harsh light of morning greeted us with aching heads and a few hundred miles between North Carolina and Atlanta. We drove, and drove. Stopped and looked for any sign / memorabilia of The Rockford Peaches, my favorite fictional all female baseball team, found nothing. We arrived at the Masquerade and found that the nick name “Hotlanta” finally made sense. I was sweating like a Yankees fan in Boston but, since 90% of the time we play in basements, we found ourselves in our element. Everyone was very sweet at the venue, and we got to play a new game with the Menzos and the Souls, “Throw the Knife,” it was not exactly a game of skill. Then something slightly unexpected happened. I walked in to the magical room with tons of beers and waters and potato chips in it, and who is standing there? CM PUNK.
If you’re not familiar, CM PUNK is the current world champion of professional wrestling. Not only is this guy a huge Souls fan, and a huge wrestling star, the dude is just fucking huge. I’d say comfortably 9 and a half feet tall. I awkwardly asked him to have a picture taken with him, he was more than happy to, however things got a little strange when I asked him to choke slam me through the catering table. Every night we finish playing, we load out, we chill, adjust, pack the van, sell some merch, then we usually all freak out and realize that we’re on tour with two of our favorite bands, and usually end up watching them and try to not embarrassingly sing along way too loud and stage dive and get kicked out the show we just played. Maybe it was the heat but Atlanta was certainly a night that reminded us to be very grateful and excited that we are on this tour and that everyone involved has treated us like family from day one. Up until now being on tour with The Bouncing Souls and The Menzingers has most likely been what you would expect - fucking cool. Last night we played at the State Theater in St. Pete. That’s where we’ll pick up next time.