we added some visuals & i read some of this aloud & we made a video out of it. i know i already posted this, but i figured it’s worth it to attach it to the video, if you feel like reading.
here’s the blog version:
it has taken three weeks but i think i’ve finally remembered how to be on tour.
for those who have never been—
you have to get used to leaving parts of you behind every where you go & picking up new parts in places you weren’t expecting.
you have to get used to never knowing where you are.
you have to get used to spending most of your time waiting for something else to happen.
you have to get used to saying hello to people you kind of remember & saying goodbye to people you wish you didn’t have to.
so basically, it’s like life.
just in a lot of different places in a short period of time.
& once a day you get to play rock music.
chicago was a real life-shaker & reminded me why i love doing this. a great room full of great people & some old friends said the live show sounded better than it’s ever sounded before. saw some people i didn’t think i’d ever see again & they were excited, nobody was disappointed, everything was golden. some people got too drunk & a couple of us ended up searching residential neighborhoods until four am for a lost friend, but those stories will be fun to tell someday.
pontiac was cool too. pontiac is always great. they’re used to us there but they still really get down like it’s the first time every time. some shit went haywire during the show, because that’s what always happens, but it came together alright. it always does.
milwaukee was new & fun. hit a weird little emotional low before the show & found myself behind the venue, breaking bottles & trying to catch fireflies with grant & some girl i don’t really know. small show but the people there made it really count. it felt like it really mattered. i left the show completely buzzing, digging life. that’s what music does sometimes.
you have to find an interesting balance of energy when you’re living on the solid yellow-line tight rope. there’s a duality to it. you go from high energy to no energy immediately after a show. it’s careful preparation for complete chaos.
feels like we’ve got a perfect balance of shows on this tour. big & small, old & new.
the cities we’ve done before are the biggest shows we’ve ever done there. onward & upward.
the cities we’ve never done are smaller, but feel new. we’re throwing it out & they’re sending it right back.
akron, ohio was like that. it was a whole different planet to me. spent a few hours before the show walking around a huge bridge & talking to my mom on the phone. i guess i can never tell if good shows have more to do with what’s happening around me or what’s happening inside me, but that was definitely a great show.
buffalo was wild too. i don’t know why i even get nervous about those shows anymore - buffalo always brings the best energy.
toronto is a show stopper. the lights were wild & the whole room had an amazing vibe. mayhem. we always end up going a little bit too crazy in toronto. i inevitably end up by myself on some street at four am, surveying a foreign street & feeling like a stranger inside & out.
while i was on stage in akron i had a really cool moment of realization. i was watching people sing one of our songs back to us, & i realized that they weren’t mine anymore. the songs now belonged so much less to us, who brought them into existence, & belonged more to the people who were now giving them life.
nyc is always a thousand different things at the same time. i get nervous & stress terribly, & grant says “it’s just like any other show, just with worse parking.” it was our biggest nyc headliner ever. in fact, it was dangerously close to being the biggest nyc show we’ve ever played overall. it all came together. the stars aligned. all the suits, all the friends, lucas came & got some of the wild applause he deserves every day of his life.
it was the most anxious i’ve been in a long time, & that got me thinking about the nature of risk-taking. when i sit in my room in north hollywood, i’m completely content, comfortable, & hardly ever nervous. nothing could ever go as wrong as the top 50 things that could have gone wrong in new york city. but nothing could ever go that right, either. that kind of resolve can only come from a tremendous amount of tension. that kind of high only exists outside your front door.
i guess i’m learning to love being nervous.
philly felt amazing. i got to spend most of the day with my brothers & friends, checking out some classic american history. we’re a prideful country. i wonder what that’s worth. then the show was the tightest one we’ve played yet. lucas came out & i got so stoked that at the end i nearly tackled him to the ground. there’s a great photo of it.
boston, massachusetts never fails to remind me why it’s the best city on earth. we played the middle east for the first time & i already want to go back.
hamden, ct was in a basement. it was loud & people were singing & we just went out & got after it. afterwards william & i did the ALS challenge in our underwear in front of a large group of people. occasionally my brain will freeze moments into snapshots & i’ll remember how ridiculous some of this is.
girl asked me last night where our songs came from. it’s a cool way to phrase that question. i like thinking about them existing somewhere else before they ever became ours. i don’t know from where we’re borrowing these stories & notes but i know they’re not coming from nowhere. i didn’t have an answer so i quoted leonard cohen to her.
“if i knew where the songs came from, i would go there more often.”
vienna, va was two days of madness. “javapalooza,” we called it. they have a switch in the green room that you can flip & they’ll just bring you whiskey. “the whiskey switch.” it’s dangerous. on the second night, we all switched up our sets like crazy, & nick thomas played a bunch of deeper spill canvas cuts, & william even played “down & out” by the academy is… what a cool show it was to be a part of.
pittsburgh was in this enormous cave of a room, which is a pretty cool way to feel like a rockstar pretty quick. “reunion,” this new song we’re playing, finally felt right, for the first time. it takes a while to get one like that right, but when it’s the right room & the right lights & the right people around you, it just takes. it was a song about feeling lonely. i like opening my eyes after a song like that to realize that i’m not alone.
columbus was my last before the end of this first half. great energy in the room. what a show. they surround you with people in that room. everywhere i went, i was reminded by how many people were around me, smiling.
& that’s as good as it gets.