Friday, March 26, 2010

Tour Diary #34

March 19th
The show tonight at the Mill in Iowa City was my final show of the tour, I had decided to head home since I had to work early on Sunday. It turned out to be the perfect end to an amazing tour. The show was filled with many familiar faces of family and friends such as my parents, my aunt Debbie, Neal and Jessie, John Nagel, and too many others to name. It felt wonderful to be back in Iowa, and I could really feel a great energy from the stage that felt like we were home and among like-minded people that were welcoming us home in a huge way. When Leslie and the Lys took the stage, they captivated the sold-out crowd in a way that only they can, and as I watched them I felt very lucky to have shared the stage with such an amazing, one-of-a-kind group for nearly 30 shows. Before catching a ride home with my parents after the show, I was faced with the very difficult task of saying goodbye to the four people that I had shared nearly every minute of my life with for the last five weeks, in the process becoming four of my closest friends, with whom I hope to remain close with for the rest of my life. On the drive home, I experience the last bump in the road that separated me from home when the roads became too snowy and icy for us to make it home, and we had to stop and stay in a hotel for the night. However, it was all worth it when I arrived home the next morning and began the process of settling back into regular life. This trip was definitely one the greatest experiences of my life, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to see countless amazing places, doing something that I love with some of the greatest people that I know. I am very grateful to everyone who was involved in the process for the immeasurable impact they have had on my life. Thank you.

Tour Diary #33

March 18th
Getting out of my bed this morning was one of the most difficult tasks of my life, I could have probably slept in there for about 30 hours if I had the opportunity. However, once I finally got up, I loaded up the car and went to pick up our friend Madison (who is also my brothers girlfriend) who was in Des Moines for spring break and needed a ride back up to Minneapolis. Then we snatched up Kristy from her work and headed north to Minneapolis. When we arrived, the girls dropped me off at the venue for a chaotic sound check with the new and improved Christopher the Conquered supergroup (the drummer Brandon and sax player Donny joined up with us for the last few shows, so I was now playing a stand-up auxiliary percussion kit) with Blowtorch the soundwoman behind the deck. After sound check, Kristy and Madison came back and we indulged in some delicious and extremely filling food courtesy of the Triple Rock (I had the vegan meatloaf dinner, which was mind-blowing) and hung out with Patrick Fleming, who had come up from Ames for the show. Playing our set was especially fun tonight because I had a new mobility that I had not experienced behind the drumset, and was able to run around off stage and have that much more fun. After the show, we went to Pizza Luce to get my favorite pizza in the entire world (its called the Rustler, and I highly recommend eating some if you are ever in Minneapolis) and went back to Nick and Madison's apartment to sleep. I must have been having too much fun at the show to take any pictures, but I did get a few shots of us hanging out with Consuela (Nick and Madison's kitten)... Enjoy!

Tour Diary #32

March 17th
I woke up super excited today because I was only a few hours away from hanging with my girlfriend, Kristy, who drove out to Omaha right after she got off work. She finally showed up bearing the gift of incredibly delicious strawberry cupcakes, some of which we devoured on the spot, and others of which were devoured later by Leslie and the Lys. Kristy and I then proceeded to get lost in Omaha looking for a restaurant where we could get a delicious veggie reuben (we eventually found it) and then got lost again trying to find the venue (which we eventually found also). At the show, I met up with my parents who had come out to see me, and also got to see one of my best friends from high school, Derek, who I hadn't seen in quite a while, so that was really cool. The Waiting Room is an incredible venue that was a ton of fun to play, and I even got my own drum riser on stage for the first time (which was kinda strange, but not as uncomfortable as I'd imagined). Right after the show, Kristy and I drove straight back to Des Moines, where I got to see my cat and sleep in my own bed for the first time in five weeks, which felt truly amazing and a little bit surreal.

Kriiiiiiistyyyy! In front of a magnificent portrait of a man

Chris warming up while Nate hula-hoops, no big deal

Me drummin'

Tour Diary #31

March 16th
Another boring travel day filled with the putrid stench of cow shit through nearly the entire boring state of Nebraska. I'll leave you now with a single inspiring photograph from America's heartland.

Tour Diary #30

March 15th
We all slept in pretty late today and relaxed before making the short drive to the venue (the long drive yesterday was worth it). After loading in, we had a few more hours of downtown which I enjoyed by hanging outside in the sun. The show was especially fun because I got to see a lot of family and friends that I don't get to see often. My cousins Wendy and Carrie came to see me (and seemed to have a great time) as well as my old pal Matt (who moved to Denver last year) and my friend Josh (who still lives in Iowa, but just happened to be in Denver). So this meant that I had a ton of catching up to do, and also a ton of free drinks to consume (thanks guys!). All of this resulted in one of the funnest nights I've had so far, not at all hindered by the fact that there was a great, energetic crowd. Despite the thinner air making it slightly more difficult to breathe, Denver was a fantastic time all around.

Larimer Lounge


Me with my cousins Wendy and Carrie

The gals rippin' it

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tour Diary #29

March 14th
Not much to tell about today, as it was a very long travel day with no show. We drove from Salt Lake City to Denver, where we stayed with fellow Iowans Tessa and Josh, who made us some delicious soup and cookies!

Tour Diary #28

March 13th
We slept in pretty late today and then drove to Salt Lake City. Despite the fact that it started raining/snowing (resulting in really heavy, wet snow) when we got there, it was still a sweet city. Since we got there too early to get into the venue, we went to a restaurant down the street where I ate a delicious vegan Philly cheesesteak (I'm really going to miss being able to eat things like this... get with the program Iowa!) and then chilled out at a coffee shop for a little while. By the time we got to the venue, I was in a great mood and ready to have fun, which soon followed when I got to dance to the opening band, Birthquake, who was by far my favorite opening band of the tour and I highly recommend checking out. The crowd was really on fire tonight, there was just an insane amount of energy for all the bands, which always makes it really fun to play. We met some super cool dudes named Ammon and Nick who let us crash on their floor, and Ammon turned out to be a great musician who even played us a song he wrote on piano. I must say, I was very impressed by Salt Lake City!


More mountains

The ghost of the Urban Lounge

Leslie hanging with some of her contemporaries

The 9-piece instrumental dance explosion known as Birthquake