I've been pretty bad about updating this thing with all the madness that goes along with touring. I'll try to recap this week's events as best I can recall...
Rockford, IL was a great stop for sure. Kryptonite Bar was a really rad place. The staff were all really cool and we were really well-received, especially because the owners are into comic books, so our concept definitely appealed to them. I'd love to stop there again next time we tour the midwest. I imagine that place gets pretty rockin on a Friday or Saturday night.
Chicago was amazing as always. We stayed at my friend Kyle's place and it was quite luxurious. We took over the basement, which is super lush. It's even got a cribs-style movie theater for when we had some downtime. We also got to stop at Portillo's for some Italian beef sandwiches. I've been craving them for years since I last was in the Windy City, so it definitely satisfied my urges for that succulent feast. The place we played at in Forest Park was so-so, but we got to share the stage with a rad band called The Sweeps from Chicago. They tore shit up. Especially when they busted out a cover of Arcade Fire's "Wake Up." Dominant.
After the Chi we headed off to Columbus for the Mid Ohio Comic Con. We were lucky enough to stay with a couple at their place in German Village. The neighborhood was amazing... cobblestone streets, tall old style homes, awesome local shops (my favorite of which was "The Book Loft," a 3-story maze of walls of books, dozens of themed rooms, each with their own ambiance).
The couple we stayed with, Phil and Deanna, pampered us all weekend long. They put us up in their attic, which was actually a dope lounge / bar / entertainment area, decked out in sick vintage furniture and 60's style antiques. They cooked for us, fed us beer, showed us around town, and overall were just plain amazing.
The Comic Con was fairly small, but it was a great way for us to get our sea legs for that type of thing.We are all super new to the comic world, so we needed some practice for the big events. We definitely made an impression on anybody that came near us, and we got to do a pretty badass acoustic set in the conference center. Everything was well-received and fun was had by all.
The Monday after Comic Con we hit the OSU campus up to promote for our show that night. The students were all pretty nice, and we met some good people that came to the show. Great day indeed.
Cincinnati was the first hiccup of the tour. The afternoon started off lovely. We found an amazing park in the woods to play some cornhole and had a very relaxing time. However, we arrived at the venue to find that we had been booked to play at 1:30am on a Tuesday with all hardcore bands from out of town with no draw. As we roamed the area outside the venue, the streets were completely empty, with the exception of some extremely seedy looking characters. We all got the same dark feeling in the pits of our stomachs, and mutually agreed that this was probably a dud. We later found out that our show was in the most dangerous neighborhood in America. No joke. Our hotel was pretty ridiculous too. Scott and Anthony went outside the room to have a cigarette and were approached by a crackhead looking to borrow a spoon. I'm sure Cincinnati is a great place, but the area we were in was just plain wretched. To make things worse, a little flu bug descended upon us as of that night.
We headed for Baltimore with much anticipation, ready to get far away from Cinci. The drive was lovely to say the least. It was my first time driving through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland, and I wasn't prepared for such breathtaking scenery. Loved it.
Baltimore is a very unique and fun city. The convention center for the Baltimore Comic Con was right by the harbor, which was loaded up with shops, restaurants and scenery. The Comic Con was much bigger than Ohio, and we got to premiere The Apneist Comic Book. It ended up being a very successful weekend. Over 8,000 people passed through on the first day alone, adorned in wild costumes, armed to the teeth with bags of comics, toys and freebies. The typical fare of Star Wars, Predator and Ghostbusters costumes were present, of course, but my favorite, hands down, was Powdered Toast Man (from Ren & Stimpy). Brilliant.
After a crabcake dinner at the harbor (an absolute must), we settled in for the night to rest up for New York. It wasn't a very far drive. Pulling up to New York City was an unforgettable experience. It doesn't even seem real. We saw Manhattan and the statue of liberty as we drove across the bridge. It felt almost overwhelming. We navigated through the city streets and found the venue, The Delancey, which was actually a really badass place. It is three stories high. We played downstairs, some very eclectic acts played in the middle floor, including a very talented cellist, who had a wicked loop station set up, and built songs from the ground up... big, swelling symphonies. Amazing. We also got to have some bomb New York pizza. Score. Gotta have each area's trademark cuisine. Got to.
Today, we drive out to Buffalo, New York, to play with some hard working bands from our same genre, who seem genuinely nice. Can't wait to rock out with them. It's starting to get pretty cold around these cities, so we are wrapped up in many layers. Today's drive might be the loveliest so far. Dense forests of multi-colored fall trees, bright yellow, burning red, forest green. Just amazing. Stopping for some grub now, then time for my driving shift. Ciao.
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