Tour Blog #7: Phoenix, AZ; El Paso, TX; Austin, TX; San Antonio, TX; and Final Thoughts on the Road

I’d have to say our stop in Phoenix was the one I was most excited about. While I didn’t have much time to show the guys the places I normally hang out, I was at least able to relive the breathtaking views of AZ.

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After a long day of driving, we killed a bit of time at a Starbucks and loaded in. The show went well, but wasn’t exactly well attended. Unfortunately, the show at Rebel Lounge was 21+, so none of my friends were able to come out.

The Rebel Lounge, however, is generally pretty cool with press, even if they’re underage. I simply told the manager I was underage, and he X’ed my hands and told me the rules. At other venues, I’d 100% be kicked out, but I’ve covered shows at The Rebel Lounge before and I knew that they tend to be more relaxed.

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Luckily for me, we were staying with one of my friends from school, and he invited several of my other friends over for a small after party. It was so awesome to see everyone and catch up, albeit a little strange to have two worlds collide. I was already excited for school to start back up, but now I can’t fricken wait.

After staying up way too late chatting, we hit the hay and woke up early the next morning. Our host, Frankie, whipped us up an amazing breakfast, and we packed up and headed out to El Paso.

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El Paso hosts this amazing little stop called The Outpost. Specifically created for musicians on tour, it’s a convenience store, studio, lounge space, and I believe a future hair salon—all for free for those who stop by. We were scheduled with two other artists, and it was great to get to know them and look around the space. I also did some of my favorite portraits to date there.

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With new goodies and a spring in our step, we grabbed dinner at a bar, and one of the girls who runs The Outpost met us there. It was fascinating to hear about the concept and logistics behind the place—it’s under the same management as the Patch houses, which are like The Outpost, but artists can stay there as well.

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We didn’t have the highest of expectations of El Paso, but it turned out to be a really cool little spot. Eating dinner at a rooftop bar, grabbing ice cream, and crashing at the hotel made for a pretty good night in an unexpectedly fun city.

After getting a painfully early start, we traversed a nine-hour drive to Austin and crashed at Cory’s brother’s apartment. Along the way, we learned that a band we all like, Vesperteen, was playing a show in Austin that night. The guys and I both have industry contacts who are involved with Vesperteen and have all been meaning to see them live for quite a while, so we hit up our contact and went to the show after dinner. Vesperteen put on a fantastic show, and I got to shoot with their photographer, who I hugely admire

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We decided to call it a night, with the blissful notion of not having to set an alarm the next morning.

Because the drive to San Antonio was only an hour and a half, we had a little time to run around Austin. After grabbing breakfast tacos, I had every intention of getting in some pool time with the guys, but ended up taking an hour-long nap instead. No ragrets.

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We arrived at Cory’s future in-law’s and set up in the backyard for a wonderful little house show. The boys were dying in the heat, but it was a great temperature for me (although I was laying across chairs and they were assembling heavy equipment, so that may have had something to do with it). Kristin’s dad and stepmother were wonderful hosts, and I leaped at the chance to have my own room.

The show went very well, and our merch sales were through the roof. We also made about the same amount in donations as we would if we’d been paid for a club show, which is certainly a rare phenomenon for TNS. We walked away feeling very good about the last show, which kind of packaged a weird mix of highs and lows up with a nice little bow.

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This tour blog is a little late because I wanted to include some reflections and final thoughts on the tour. I’m back home in Indiana and I’ve had a few days to chill out and catch up on the things I’ve neglected over the past three weeks. 

The last time I left the boys at the end of a tour, I had a prepared response to the question from family and friends: “How was tour?”. This time, I’m a little more lost. I’ve had the time of my life, but there were things that dragged me and the crew as a whole down. I loved running around the country and spending three weeks with some of my favorite people, but by the end of the run, we were exhausted, lacking five laptops, and out of money.

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This run was a lot. It was entirely different in nature from my first tour, which was ten shows in ten days. We had days off, we didn’t freeze to death, and we were able to actually explore the cities we played. But we also had frequent 8 hour drives, almost twice as many dates, and a ton of ground to cover.

My casualties currently stand at a phone charger, two pairs of socks, any chance of my hair looking okay for the next two weeks, at least 10 pens, quite a bit of money, and my sleep schedule—may they rest in peace or find happy new homes.

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[Kansas City, MO]

I couldn’t talk about this tour without singing the praises of Jessica Lamb. She was a fantastic addition to our crew, and I was so glad I had the opportunity to get to know her better. We all miss her dearly, and I hope our paths cross sooner rather than later.

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[Costa Mesa, CA]

Tour really is a roller coaster. There are highs and there are lows, but even the lows seem pretty damn high. Even when you get robbed, you get to see the beautiful lights of San Francisco on the way home. Even when you pop a tire, you create giggly memories in a Jack in the Box drive thru. And even when you’re too tired to function, you get to crash with some of your favorite people.

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[Seattle, WA]

I’ve been from New York to California with these boys, and from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon. I’ve cried in front of them at least 20 times, and they haven’t ditched me yet, so that’s some real comradery. They’re some of the kindest, most dedicated, most thoughtful, and funniest people I’ve ever met. I’m not sure I could pick a better group to split a van with.

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[Denver, CO]

It’ll be a hot minute before you hear from the tour blog section of my website. I’ll be going back to school at Arizona State in just a few days, and winter tours are very, very hard to come by. If you’re on the East coast, TNS are heading out there in September, so make sure you check those shows out, even though I won’t be with them. But no matter where I am, just know that my heart is on the road. It may be awhile, but stay tuned for what’s to come.

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