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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