Tour Blog #9: Travel Days and Final Reflections

As sad as it is to say, this is unfortunately my last blog for the Manic Pixie Dream Girl Tour. This tour was transformative, and it seems wrong somehow to try to sum it up in just a few hundred words. But that’s what writers do—we take things that were never supposed to be words, and try to make other people feel what we felt. I hope that’s what I’ve been able to do with these blogs.

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My last two days with the girls were travel days, so I’ll skip over the boring driving and get to the places we stayed, which were in a word… special.

We once again stayed in France, in an Airbnb this time. We got the place for a steal, and it soon became apparent why—the place was beautiful, but not-so-functional. It looked like a castle, with stone walls and winding staircases, but we quickly realized that ancient homes also have ancient features. Our very kind host explained to us that we were the first guests to stay there after the winter, and because there wasn’t a lot of notice, 48 hours wasn’t enough time to get the heaters to actually heat up the home. She also told us that sometimes, when it gets really cold, the power will go out, and told us how to turn it back on.

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What we weren’t expecting was the power to immediately go out as soon as we started trying to make dinner. Embarrassingly, it took us a few times of being plunged into darkness to realize that we were overloading the circuit by using the oven and microwave, which were plugged into the same outlet, simultaneously. So, we moved the microwave to the living room and finished making our frozen dinners.

In order to prevent more power-outages, we decided turning off the lights may prevent the overloading. We started by burning candles for light, and then our driver volunteered to make a fire for us. Even though everything we own now smells like wood smoke, the fire was lovely, and we drank our wine and spun our tales until late in the night.

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During this time, we also whipped out Nicole’s hand-fashioned tattoo gun, and Petr gave her a stick and poke tattoo on her ankle. Never being one to miss out on the fun, I also decided to get a tiny X on my ankle (sorry mom). I look at it now and it reminds me of the way my heart grew three times on that tour. But more on that later. Alex also got an ass tattoo.

After another long drive the next day, we had to take a ferry to London. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but the boat ended up being similar to a cruise ship, with a full food court, casino, and several lounges. Most of us ate dinner, but with the wind whipping, the ship ended up being quite bouncy. I spent most of the ride fighting a headache!

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Finally, we made it to shore, and embarked on our hour-long ride to the flat for the night. I certainly wish I could’ve had more time to explore London, but the pieces I got to see at night were gorgeous!

We actually stayed at a flat the leader of the U.K. street team booked for us, which was lovely. I’m so glad I got to meet Chloe—she’s an absolute sweetheart and has shown me and the girls nothing but support on this whole tour. She also did a very cool interview/carpool karaoke with the girls you should be looking out for!

 Prague, CZ

Prague, CZ

6am rolled around, and it was finally time for me to leave the girls. Chloe had explained to me how to use the train to get to the airport, but when I arrived at the train station, none of my credit cards worked, and I didn’t have any cash. I panicked and ran back to the flat, where Dora helped me decide that taking an Uber—even for $100—was the best course of action. This was unfortunate, but less problematic than missing my flight. Things like this are why I did the print sale! You never know what’s going to happen on the road.

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I made my flight, and I’d planned on spending my 19 hour layover in Toronto camped out at the airport, working. Unfortunately, I had to actually exit the airport, and I couldn’t check in until the day of my flight. I called my mom, stressed to the max over the prospect of being homeless for the night, and she saved my ass by booking me a hotel. I’m so, so thankful she did that, as I got to shower and de-stress until my early flight the next morning.

And now I write this on my couch, back home in Phoenix. My life is currently kicking my ass after I neglected it for three weeks, so I’m not sure I’ve had time to really reflect and absorb the fact that it’s really over.

 Somewhere in France

Somewhere in France

It really feels like I put my life on a literal pause. I didn’t stay in regular contact with many people in the states, and although I did some work and homework, my world was completely engulfed in the tour. It feels like an entirely separate and disconnected part of my life—which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I wanted to feel present during this tour. I think I often got wrapped up in the day-to-day routine and didn’t spend enough time with my head up to fully enjoy the magnitude of where I was, but for the first time in probably 5 years, I actually chilled out. I let go of my need to know and control exactly what was going on all the time, and just went along for the ride. I hope when things slow down, I can get back to that version of me. She’s pretty cool.

 Switzerland 

Switzerland 

I started writing these tour blogs as a way to let my family know I wasn’t dead on tour. Then, I realized that not only people who care about my work were reading them—fans of the band were, too. I started putting more heart into them, and people really responded to it, especially on this tour. But these blogs are also sentimental for me. Sometimes I just read through them when I lose sight of where I’m going or want to remind myself why all the bad news pays off in the end.

  Parma, Italy


Parma, Italy

But I also just like the stories, both good and bad. I’ll remember the French sunsets and hearing “Happy Birthday” from 200 Italian strangers, but I’ll also remember trying to find a hotel at 5am and the airline losing guitars and cymbals. Just as memories of drinking margaritas in Spain will be accompanied by remembering the sneezing and sniffling all around, memories of the beauty of Prague are inseparable from the bitter cold. Tour is amazing, and it’s my favorite thing to do, but it isn’t just driving through the mountains and hanging out with rock stars.

 Somewhere else in France

Somewhere else in France

When life and tour do punch you in the gut, however, it makes a world of difference to be with the right people. I’ve found that touring with your peers is an entirely different experience. The girls are the sweetest, and they accepted me like family from the first day. We bonded over everything in the sun, and even when drama cropped up, their love for their jobs and each other always prevailed.

Meghan has been my personal champion and worked crazy hard to get me on this tour. She’s like a sweet, tiny teddy bear that will sometimes throw something entirely shocking into the conversation.

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Alex is so immensely talented that she constantly blows my mind. Every time I had the pleasure of seeing her play, my jaw dropped. She’s 100% the last person to stress out about any situation, and usually works to calm us the hell down.

 Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy

Sydney was the first to take me out of my comfort zone, which is so helpful for me, as I’m often stuck in my ways. It takes her about four seconds to open up to you, and her fun-loving personality is utterly contagious.

 Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Nicole made it her personal mission to make me feel welcome, and helped immensely in the planning to get me on Warped tour. She’s hilarious but organized, and stepped right into the role of TM seamlessly.

 Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy

Even before I left, I’d been struggling with the notion of what “home” means. All my bios on social media and my website say I’m “between Indy and Phoenix,” and I think that’s a fair way to put where I am mentally as well. Neither one of those places have struck me as home, but over the past year, I’ve found a place that does, and that’s tour. I wrote a letter to the girls before I left, and I wasn’t planning on revealing any of it, but I think it expresses what I mean:

 Stuttgart, Germany

Stuttgart, Germany

“To pull out a cliché, home is supposedly where the heart is. But just as a home can be a brick and mortar building, I also think home can be an idea, a person, a family—even a van. Whether that van is teal or gold, full of twenty something dudes or teenage girls, heading to Kansas City or London, or is actually an RV, I’ve been able to find a home there. More importantly, I’ve been able to find a family here. Thank you for supporting me, and thank you for being wonderful people. Thank you for accepting me. Thank you for taking me home.”

But I have some thank-you’s for you all as well.

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Děkuji to my threadbare suitcase for not bursting at the seams.

Danke to all the people in shops and venues who stayed patient with us, even though we didn’t speak your language.

Merci to our driver and our wonderful promoters, who helped us navigate and get the most out of each foreign land.

 Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Grazie to the fans and strangers who came out every night to fill tiny, sticky bars, and our tiny, punk-rock hearts.

Gracias to my friends and family, who helped me stay sane and financially stable throughout this whirlwind.

 Somewhere in Switzerland 

Somewhere in Switzerland 

Thank you, dear reader, for making this possible. It doesn’t make any sense for a band to bring a photographer with them if they don’t have fans to give the photos to. If you didn’t support the band, and didn’t support me, this couldn’t have happened. Thank you for buying prints, and reading all 11,000 words (yes, that’s right) of these blogs, and sending all your support, and being splendid human beings. I appreciate each and every one of you, even if I’m terrible at replying to your tweets.

 Parma, Italy

Parma, Italy

The hard part about leaving tours is when there’s nothing else planned—when I don’t know when I’ll have my butt in a van next. That isn’t the case here—I have so much to look forward to! While I’m so sad this tour has come to an end, I’m immensely excited about the incredible opportunity I have to go on Warped Tour.

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I’ll remember the Manic Pixie Dream Tour as the beautiful, imperfect marvel that it was. The girls, the people, and the places were wonderful, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience—I didn’t even lose my phone charger. It will be a hot minute until you hear from this part of my website, but when you do, it will be another incredible adventure. Of course, you don’t want to miss it, so as always, stay tuned.

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Tour Blog #8: Tacos, Toplessness, and Venue Dogs

We left Barcelona early to get on the road to Madrid, and after stopping at a little café for coffee and croissants, we hit the road! It was about a six hour drive, and I did not accomplish nearly as much work stuff as I should’ve, but that’s life. We snacked a bit on the road, but by the time we got to our hotel, we were starving.

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I was a little nervous about staying in anything called a “hostal” after hearing horror stories of hostels, but our little place the venue hooked us up with was very clean and private. Although it was pouring rain, we ventured outside to hit up a taco joint that was recommended to us by a woman at the show in Barcelona. That woman is my new best friend (I think she follows me on Instagram, hey gurl) because the food was divine. Most of us chowed down on tacos with cooked cactus (similar texture to a cooked pepper) and queso, and got some margaritas, which we enjoyed back at our hotel. 

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Finally, it was time for us to load in, which I weaseled my way out of. Despite a maze of doors at the entrance of the building, everything went smoothly. We had the same promoter for the Madrid show as we did in Barcelona, and he was super helpful in carrying some of our heavier things in, like Meghan’s drum stuff.

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Before the show started, most of us ran BACK over to the taco place for dinner, and it was still just as good. The line was out the door but totally worth it, even in the pouring rain.

We had an opener for the night, a local band called Upside Down. They were great performers and wonderful people. And no, boys, if you’re reading this, I don’t remember your names, even though you introduced yourselves twice. Yes, I am the worst. Though the crowd was sparse when they took the stage, many people trickled in during their set.

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Finally, the girls went on, and crushed the show. The audience was super into it, with many singing along. Sydney had no problems running out into the crowd, and the lights were so hot that nearly everyone ended up topless by the end (I’m sure Nicole would’ve participated, but she had gone braless).

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Once the girls had mingled and we loaded out, we went across the street for some late-night pizza. One of the coolest parts of Madrid was how close everything is—the hotel was maybe a block from the taco place, the venue was about a two minute walk, and the pizza place was just across the street. Even though it was raining, it was so nice to not have to hop in the van every time we wanted to go somewhere. Finally, full, tipsy, and sleepy, we headed to bed for the night.

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We had to get up all too early the next morning, because we had such a long drive to Bilbao. We survived most of the day by nibbling on gas station food, but by the time we got to the hotel, we were starving. Our accommodations for the night were insane—they looked like apartments, with a full kitchen and washing machine. The hallways were filled with art that made the whole thing feel like a castle. Everyone got their own beds, and many chose to have their own rooms by pulling down an additional bed in the living room. 

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I bunked with Meghan, who unfortunately was feeling super sick. Alex is in recovery for the most part, and Nicole also seems to be feeling better. Dora and I are a little worse, and Sydney still somehow hasn’t gotten sick (witchcraft?).

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I didn’t really know what to expect from Bilbao, considering I’d never heard of it before the trip. It wildly exceeded my nonexistent expectations—the city and the venue were clean and super fancy. Although I still have a few travel days with the girls, Bilbao is unfortunately the last show I have with them. I fully plan on getting sappy with my last blog, so for now I’ll just sum it up by saying I’m incredibly grateful to have been able to join this tour, and I’m so sad to leave it. But I have school and a boyfriend and a job and a family that I’ve put on pause to be here, and it’s time to attend to the needs of my everyday life.

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During sound check, I sat on the floor with the venue manager’s dog, Murphy, and did some homework. Murphy is 14 years old and he’s my new best friend.

Most of us had dinner at a place that I can only describe as Spanish Chipotle. And although it was great, it did kind of remind me how much I miss American Chipotle.

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The show went great, as it always does. The girls have been playing and touring together for so long, they’d have to TRY to have an-off show. Although the crowd wasn’t the moshing type, the girls did get invited back for an encore. They also pulled me on stage to explain that it was my last show of the tour, and I did promise about 30 Spaniards that I was going to drop out of college, so I guess I kind of have to do it now.

We made it back to the hotel pretty early, so of course I stayed up to make a sappy twitter thread because I like to make self-destructive choices. I went to bed with a smile on my face, but a heavy heart.

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My last blog will cover our two travel days plus my reflections on the tour, and fair warning: I’ll likely cry while writing it. But for now, I’ll leave you with this: I feel like one of the luckiest people on the planet to be where I am now, even though that place is leaving some of the coolest people and places I’ve ever had the pleasure to encounter. If you’re really in the mood to cry, definitely stay tuned!

Also, y’all have GOT to stop asking me, “wait, so why are you still in school?” because the answer is increasingly becoming I DON’T KNOW.

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Tour Blog #7: Illness, French Grocery Stores, and Tattooing Boobs

We had another free breakfast at our hotel in Parma, but I was so tired that I wasn’t able to take much advantage of it. I ended up going back to bed until we had to leave at 11, then sleeping for almost all of the three hour drive to Milan. It’s my birthday and I’ll sleep for 12 hours if I want to, okay?

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Originally, we’d planned to get to Milan early, drop our stuff off at the accommodation, and walk around for a little bit, but our host wasn’t ready for us. These plans were also complicated by rain that lasted nearly all day. We ducked into a little restaurant that looked like it was run by a family—there were older men playing pool, and collections of Barbie clothes on one of the dining tables. As someone who grew up with my family running a business, the scene was very familiar to me.

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We had wonderful pizza that left us stuffed, and we headed to the venue. Unfortunately, we had to load in the rain, and through giant puddles. At least it was warm!

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Club Legend is currently tied with Keller Klub for my favorite venue on this tour. Club Legend had a great green room, a killer food spread, and arguably most importantly: a barricade. I truly couldn’t ask for a better birthday present. While it can be very fun to spend time with the lovely people in the crowd as I try to shoot, sneaking between the barricade and stage means my gear is safe and I don’t have to worry about being in the way of people trying to mosh. If the venue had working WiFi, I would’ve stayed there forever. They also served us a massive plate of pasta for dinner, which needless to say, I was really into.

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There weren’t 200 people at the show, but the girls prefer to play to smaller crowds if they’re more engaged, which Milan was. The venue also took the initiative to change the lights around after each song, which really helps my photos have more variety. It’s a simply luxury I’m not usually afforded.

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As if barricades and nice lights weren’t birthday presents enough, Doll Skin pulled me up on stage (or, perhaps “over the stage” is a better term as I was already hiding behind Meghan’s drums to shoot) to have the crowd say “happy birthday.” I think she would’ve had them sing, but we weren’t sure what the birthday song in Italian sounds like, so she kept it simple.

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We loaded out to the van with no rain but sizeable puddles. Our accommodations for the night were a little strange—we think our host was a friend of the promoter, and we were mostly on air mattresses on the floor. We aren’t ones to complain, but it just gave off some weird vibes.

Our next day was kind of a day off, but we spent pretty much all day driving. We managed to stop at a pharmacy—the headcount of the ill includes Meghan, Alex, and Nicole, with Dora and I having scratchy throats. We’re loaded up on Sudafed and cough drops, at the moment.

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One of the coolest culture shock moments was visiting a French supermarket—it was about the size of an American Walmart, but only food. There were fish markets and massive produce sections, and it took us about 20 minutes just to figure out what we wanted for dinner! There was also a miscommunication about who was buying wine for the night, so we ended up with four bottles.

After a long day of sitting in the car, we arrived at our Air bnb, which was hosted by a very nice French man who tried his very best to speak English. There was more than enough space, and we all got our own beds. Many got their own rooms.

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We made a simple dinner of spaghetti and roasted broccoli, and attempted to make a dent in our wine supply. A little while after dinner, the girls surprised me with a belated birthday cake and song (I’d like to mention that Meghan lured me upstairs, looked me in the eye, laughed, and said “I was told to keep you up here.” Do not tell Meg secrets). I was so touched—with all the chaos of the day before, it didn’t 100% feel like a birthday. I can’t wait to celebrate with my friends and family when I’m back in the states, but the little party made me feel so appreciated.

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After a couple more glasses of wine, Nicole actually fulfilled a running joke we’d had on the tour—she’d been offering to give our driver a stick and poke tattoo, and by god, they actually did it. Petr now has “IWM” over a pair of boobs on the back of his arm—signifying two of the inside jokes we’ve had on this tour.

After a simultaneously exhausting and restful day, we called it a night and headed to bed.

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We awoke the next morning to sunlight streaming from the balcony, and left our air bnb. Despite the long drive yesterday, we still had a long way to go to get to Barcelona. Petr was raving about Spanish gas stations, and our lunch was worth the hype. The food in truck stops is insane—fresh pizza, fruit, parfaits, tarts, salads, and pasta, plus everything you’d find at American gas stations.

We arrived in Barcelona with some time to spare, so we headed to the hotel to drop off our stuff and take a breather for an hour or two. The venue for the night was just a few blocks away, but we drove over to unload the gear. After sound check, we ran over to a sports bar nearby, where the food was surprisingly tasty.

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When we came back from dinner, we found a line of people sitting outside the venue before doors open. This was really touching for the girls, as that hasn’t happened for them a lot while they’re so far from home. The crowd still ended up being small, but they were happy to see people in the audience singing along.

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The set went well, and was a little more casual than most, with Sydney taking a little more time between songs to chat. The stage was pretty tiny, so I struggled to shoot a little, but I’m happy with how the photos turned out nonetheless. I’m still impressed that the girls can shred like they do even while they’re sick.

Finally, we loaded up and ended up walking the quarter mile to the hotel. Alex even took her guitar all the way back with us because we’re all kind of nervous about getting robbed.

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The tour is winding down! I’m so sad that I only have two shows left with the girls, but the magic hasn’t faded yet—I still feel star struck to be here, even though I consider myself to be friends with the girls. Thank you all for the birthday wishes, and stay tuned!

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Tour Blog # 6: I Promise I'm Not Dead

So sorry this blog was so late! I've had zero wifi and four crazy days-- I promise I tried to get this up sooner!

After six straight days of touring, we needed a day off! When we pulled into Veronique’s at 3am, there was a giant spider (about the size of my palm) on the wall—normally I wouldn’t mention it but I’m proud of myself for bringing my suitcase up the stairs while it was about two feet from my head. She was later knocked off the wall (almost onto Meghan) and escorted outside.

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We slept hard, with most of the girls sleeping in until 2pm. But alas, there was laundry to be done and town to explore. Like most places in Europe, Veronique’s house had no dryer, so we had to hang our clothes on lines, which was kind of charming. Dora went on a walk earlier in the morning, and Sydney, Meghan, and I went to the top of a tower on a mountain with Veronique. The view was also breathtaking, and I also had an asthma attack on the way up.

Finally, we treated ourselves to dinner at a small pizza restaurant that Veronique’s parents used to own. We had a cheese pizza with onions, cheese pizza with onions and mushrooms, and a meat pizza, all with a wonderful cream sauce. When I eat in the U.S., it’s my first instinct to pick and choose what goes in my food, meaning I’ll tell staff to leave things off that I don’t like. It’s been a process, but I’m starting to just trust the establishment’s recipe and take what’s coming my way. I just make sure it doesn’t have meat, and order it as is!

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After bringing our laundry in, we stuck around talking in the kitchen for a bit. Alex still wasn’t feeling well, so she tried to drug herself to get some sleep, but we all went to bed early!

With a long drive ahead of us, we embarked off to Switzerland at 11, after saying goodbye to Veronique and her parents. We were originally told to start loading in at 4, but because the show didn’t start until 11, we asked if we could push it back.

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We’ve learned that shows in Switzerland and Italy just start later—our promotions guy told us people really don’t head until the bars until 11pm at the earliest, and the bars don’t close until 5am. For some reason, however, load in times are still weirdly early. This doesn’t work out so well for people who are sick and need sleep like Alex, and now Meghan isn’t feeling good.

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The venue provided us with a delicious homemade-looking cabbage and carrot soup for dinner, and the girls killed some time by getting business done on a conference call. This show was actually the public debut for the opening band—their very first show ever. They had some critiques for themselves, but we thought the performance went smoothly.

 

Unfortunately, the same could not be said for Doll Skin’s set. During the first song, Alex’s pedal board blew a fuse—because the outlets are different in Switzerland, we had to plug like four adapters into three extensions cords, and it just wasn’t happening. The girls fixed it quickly and with level heads, swapping the fuse with extras they’d brought. Watching them made me question why anyone could possibly say women aren’t cut out for the music industry. A lot of guys I know are fairly useless in crisis situations.  Girls are superheroes, and they’re prepared to do an entire makeup look AND supply their best friends with tampons while they’re operating out of backpacks—you really think they don’t have extra fuses?

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The rest of the set went on without incident, and because I talked to the lighting tech ahead of time, I’m pretty happy with the photos. The crowd wasn’t huge, but they were really into the music, which is what the girls prefer. They’d rather have 10 people who sing with them and pay attention than 200 who talk and drink through the set.

Sleepy and hungry, we loaded in quickly and headed to McDonalds. We were surprised to see they offered veggie burgers (5/7 of our merry crew eat meatless), but they still hit the stomach like anything else on the McDonalds menu. Finally, we headed to bed.

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The next morning, we arose to the promise of free breakfast. Everything in Switzerland is super expensive, so any meal we could get for free is a huge help. Equipped with croissants, orange juice, and coffee, we went back to bed until it was time to check out. We hit the road, anticipating another five hour drive to Parma, Italy for the day.

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We stopped to grab lunch at a gas station, and after battling toilets from the future (Europe is a strange place), finally made it to the hotel. Hotel Campus is a very cute little place, with wonderful showers and a lobby that made me want to stay there forever. The girls had to sound check, but with five hours between load in and doors, Dora and I stayed at the hotel. I’d love to say I worked on homework or caught up on my tour blogs, but I watched Netflix for most of the few hours I had to myself, in addition to a spiritually transformative shower. Sometimes you just need a break.

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Sound check took a lot longer that we’d anticipated, so the girls were worried we weren’t going to be able to eat a full dinner. Rather than the venue providing us directly with dinner, they worked out a deal with a local restaurant, so we just had to show up, and they had plates ready for us. We started out with a strange flan-like puree of peas, which was unexpectedly delicious, and we all tapped out after eating a spinach crepe. Given that the restaurant was accessed through a back alley, we really felt like we had an Italian experience.

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The show that night was billed as a “pop punk mosh party,” and we quickly realized it was similar to the American Emo Nite. At both events, venues bring in a few punk/pup punk/emo/hardcore bands, then end the night with a deejay set focused on old emo anthems. This was by far our best attended headlining show—I’d estimate there were about 200 people. Unfortunately, there was no barricade, so a lot of my shooting was done on the stage. I don’t mind shooting from the stage, and it’s often way less stressful, but it can be hard to get photos of the girls’ actual faces.

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Because the girls didn’t go on until after midnight, it was technically my birthday! They pulled me up on stage and had the crowd say happy birthday, which was so sweet. I feel so lucky to be able to do what I love with such an amazing group of people, but I’ll get really sappy on the next blog.

The show ran super late, and eventually, we decided to try to load out. Unfortunately, this meant pushing and carrying all our gear through the crowd. People were not all that happy with us, but they were so drunk that they kept their concerns to themselves.

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At around 3:30, we made it back to our hotel, and I think it took me about 30 seconds to fall asleep.

As of this blog, I only have a week left with the girls! It sounds like a long time, but the days are really starting to go quickly now. This has been such an insane adventure, and I wish it never had to end (although that probably wouldn’t be great for my academic situation. I can’t wait to tell you wonderful readers all about my birthday, so stay tuned!

 

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Tour Blog #5: No one Knows What a Scorpion Is

Bonjour from France! I’m writing this tour blog from a little house in Northern France, where we’re staying on our day off. We need it, too!

 

We had another long drive to Muhlheim Am Main, so we woke up all-too-early and promptly went back to bed in the van. I don’t 100% remember what we did or ate, but I’m guessing it was a gas station breakfast followed by a lot of napping. We managed to get to the city early, so we stopped by our hotel to unload our stuff.

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When we got to the hotel, I video called my mom, who had some bad news. My childhood dog had been sick for a long time, and the day before, her little puppy kidneys had given out. I’d seen her a few days before I left for Europe, and she perked up considerably—she started eating again, and even went on some longer walks. Having her whole pack home must have been her last duty before she left us. I teared up several times during the night, but I’m feeling pretty okay about it now. I’m surrounded by wonderful, supportive people in a beautiful place.

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We finally left the hotel, after I’d been trying to post my last tour blog for the last hour. I’m so, so sorry the photos and blogs have been a little late. WiFi is a precious commodity that we don’t stumble on very often here, so going days without it can mean I have content done and ready to go, but no way to get it to the girls, or to you.

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At the venue, we made quick friends with the bartender—his English was excellent, and he stayed patient with us as we tried out all the fancy cocktails. The bar had a sort of specialized deal where you could choose a syrup like rhubarb (and many other flavors we’d never heard of), and they’d add it to soda water and lime juice. We requested he also add some booze, and the drinks turned out to be a wonderful way to prep for the show. The venue also fed us the biggest salads I’ve ever seen.

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Two bands opened up for us, both fantastic. Who’s Mary and Mind Blowing played wonderful sets, and were so nice to us. Something that has struck me at these venues is how kind everyone is. This isn’t to say U.S venue staff are rude, but… well, sometimes they are. We haven’t had any bad experiences in Europe, and the staff always do their very best to speak English and accommodate us well.

 (Mind Blowing)

(Mind Blowing)

The girls played a fantastic show, complete with literal swinging from the rafters. The crowd was super into it, and we sold the most merch at that point in the tour. I started an Instagram live as a spur of the moment decision, and the reaction was so cool that we decided to try it again later, next time with actual promotion.

The lighting wasn’t too bad, but certainly no cake walk. Blue and yellow lights are ideal for photographers, but there simply wasn’t enough of it, especially on the edges of the stage. 

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