Tour Blog #11: Rochester, NY

I was under the impression that Ottawa was going to be the worst day of the tour weather-wise, so I was not emotionally prepared for the snowstorm that was Rochester. Luckily, the weather is really the only thing I could complain about on my birthday.

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We’d gotten a deal on the Marriott hotel stay in which we got continental breakfast on the rooftop of the hotel. It was a perfect way to officially start off 19. The guys gave me a gift bag with a TNS t-shirt, a super sweet note, and—you guessed it—a phone charger. We then bolted out of the room after I filled said gift bag with water bottles, juice, pears, and bagels. You can take the girl out of the van, but you can’t take the constant scavenging for food out of the girl.

After filming the unplugged version of a music video in New York City, we decided the feel of it just wasn’t quite right. It conveyed the theme of the song, but didn’t quite have the right vibe. We decided doing it in the hotel room was more authentic, so we set up and ran through it a few times. They’ll likely be releasing it in a few weeks, so keep your eyes out for that!

We then loaded up to head to what would be my last show of the tour. I tried not to dwell on that, and rather focused my negative energy on complaining about the unexpected snow and freezing wind. Although Rochester was warmer that Ottawa, the wind was a killer.

We loaded in and set up, and I had a chance to relax a bit before the show. I’d been wanting to experiment with a certain technique that uses flash throughout the tour, but had never found a good place to do it. With Rochester being our last stop, I decided it was then or never, and gave it a shot (sorry). I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out, as well as thankful to the band for letting me use flash at all, especially at a Sofar show. The lights were pretty typical for Sofar, although I did have fun trying to shoot through a plant. Can’t say I’ve done that one before.

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Right before their last song, the boys pulled me over to the stage area and sang me Happy Birthday with the whole crowd. I’d considered recording it, but got lost in the moment and didn’t want to detract from the experience. And yeah, I cried. Did you expect differently?

During every set the guys have played, I’ve taken about 5 seconds to myself during the last time they sing, “everybody feels a little lost, why can’t I feel a little found?” to just be truly present and etch into my memory where I am, who I’m with, what I’m doing, and that vast incredibility that has been this trip. After hearing Happy Birthday from 100 strangers following an international tour of doing exactly what I love for 10 days, I think I can report that I’m feeling more than a little found.

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After packing up, we went to Cory’s mom’s friend’s friend’s friends’ (truly) about a half hour away to crash for the night. Michael fell in love with their dogs, but what else is new?

I’m honestly not even going to try to throw anything super heartfelt into today’s blog, because the one from Cleveland is going to be so horrendous. I’m going to cry while I write it, the band is going to cry while they read it, it’s going to be so bad. So stay tuned if you want to cry a BUNCH.