The Wanderer Tour: Part IV

My memory of specific details that happened on tour are starting to fade, so the next few posts will be a bit condensed!

Our next stop was Pittsburgh and it was an excruciatingly painful drive to get there. We initially missed our first few highway exits which forced the drivers to change from Myself, to Chris, to Dom. Once we got on the highway the weather was starting to get a little gloomy. I think we drove away from the clouds, or maybe we drove for such an extended period of time the bad weather naturally faded away. Several winding roads and sharp(er) highway turns resulted in us coining the phrase “Hold on to your butts”. Because we had all our gear in the RV, and our main rig was on wheels, Jermaine Dupri (the name of our main rig) kept sliding around and banging on everybody’s knees. I think at the moment we were talking about Samuel L. Jackson roles in films and how Jurassic Park was such a great movie. Since then, every time we made a turn that would fling everything in the RV around, we should shout out “Hold on to your butts, everyone!” and everybody would grab onto something. Teamwork!

The drive was a very long one, and it started taking a toll on all of us, hints of agitation surfaced and all it took was for one trigger to explode everybody. That trigger was Lauren. Because of the missed exits earlier, we were a bit behind schedule and Lauren suddenly had the urge to use the bathroom. It wasn’t a build-up or anything, the urge hit her hard, and she instantly became a 4 year-old crying to use the bathroom. Everybody was suddenly yelling in the RV. It blew up into a loud, political debate over whether we should stop for Lauren, speed on the highway, and where we could possibly stop. Dom was driving at the time and was incredibly angry. Looking back, that moment was actually hilarious. We eventually took the next highway exit and attempted to drive towards the nearest gas station, which was nowhere to be found. We instead made a turn into a neighbourhood for Lauren to find a tree. When she stepped out and ran away, we joked that we should have driven away. We realized at that very moment we wouldn’t be able to drive away even if we wanted, because up ahead was the end of the road. Instead, we had to make a 3-point turn (which ended up being a 20-point turn) out of the narrow road. I should also mention it was on top of a hill, so there were no room for mistakes! Lauren returned from her washroom break yelling “Guys let’s get out of here, I just peed on a church!” I’ll never forget the ashamed tone of her voice when she said that. Once we returned onto the road refreshed and settled down we continued to drive towards Pittsburgh. We were greeted with a beautiful sight of the city on the way in!

We arrived at the venue and parked in front of HH’s van, which was in front of the venue doors. Nobody had arrived at the venue yet so we couldn’t get in to setup. A few of us from both bands were hungry, so we walked down the street to a nearby cafe where we all had some coffee and caught up on our notifications. Shortly after we went back to the venue and loaded in. There was absolutely no space for our gear, considering we had two drum kits and a bunch of other amps/cabs with us. Jordyn and I had a race to set up our drum kits facing each other. I’m not sure who won the race but the result was two drum kits ready to be played in front of each other. We had a little drum-battle.

The performance proceeded as it did, with a guest vocalist hopping on our cover song! It was the first show that felt “right” as two days ago we were performing in a basement, followed by a venue too big to look good. We took our time packing up and at the same time had great conversations with our fans and friends. I remember getting artwork from a fan, and that was really cool! It was an image of a wolf the fan drew, with our band name on it. I loved it! When we were to clear out of the venue, we hung around outside drinking and overall having a great time. I met somebody who (at the time) I didn’t realize I was already a fan of. She’s the drummer from Dangerkids and she had been hanging out with HH for a few days showing them around and making sure they were enjoying the tour. She was also definitely drunk, but so were some of us! She kept yelling “Night of our lives!”

We had a place to stay for the night and it was with Jarett (guest vocals for the night) and Aleks, who I think booked the show? They were roommates. We were given two options to get to their place- we take the quick route which was uphill and through many narrow roads, or we take the safer and longer route. We decided with the latter. We arrived at the bottom of the final hill where Aleks and Jarett told us they lived at the top. We parked the RV at the bottom and walked to the top of the hill. Some of the members brought their clothes with them (they were planning to stay in the RV overnight). Aleksei and I, once again, decided to accept the offer and stay indoors at their place. When we got to the front door we were greeted by an intimidating, thick and meaty dog who jumped on all of us out of excitement. It was my first interaction with a pitbull and although I was initially scared (I was attacked by a dog when I was little), I immediately fell for Kingsley. He was the most well-behaved, strongest, and cutest dog I’ve ever played with! At one part of the night I wrestled with him and accidentally threw him onto the floor. He was a worthy opponent! We ordered Dominos Pizza and watched American Horror Story until we called it a night. We were amazed with how cheap it was to order the amount of pizzas we did that night in America. In Canada, the amount we ordered definitely would have been doubled, if not tripled the price!

I woke up to Chris playing with Kingsley, Aleksei talking to Aleks and Dom likely browsing Kijiji. I went upstairs to use their washroom and was hit with a heavenly smell. Their washroom was filled with LUSH products. No exaggeration. It was our day off on tour, Jarett and Aleks showed us around the city! We called an Uber and drove down. Our first stop was a record store where Jessie bought a Halsey vinyl. There was also a small ad by the door that promoted our show from the previous night. It was a pleasant surprise! We then went to a cafe to grab some morning energy, followed by a video game store where some of us spent money. I bought myself some classic DS games and so did Jessie. We then went to a local Taco restaurant where we found out it was national Taco day! There were special tacos on order and we were incredibly satisfied with the food. During the meal we were talking about tattoos and how we had plans to get tattoos in Boston. Aleks mentioned how he gets his tattoo’s down the street and that we could stop by afterwards. Aleksei was very interested in the offer, specifically because of the price point mentioned. When we arrived at the shop, with a little consulting he sat down and was about to get his first tattoo. The rest of us had our minds blown over Aleksei’s sudden impulsive decision (he never does this, and for a tattoo it was very out of his character!). He was very nervous and you could tell from the expression on his face. While Aleksei was getting his tattoo, HH were finishing their day at a casino and were on their way to join us. There was a bar across the street and so we sat there to start the drinking. When the gang arrived, we all occupied the bar and drank for a few hours. HH also went to get their band logo tattooed across the street. As they were still a relatively new band, that was a huge commitment for 5/6 members to do! It was getting late and we had to continue our tour.

When we returned to Jarett and Aleks’ place we said our goodbyes to everybody including the dog. It was a sad moment having to part with them as they’ve provided such excellent hospitality and tourism! I hope to one day return the favour when they come to our city. We found ourselves at another Walmart and spent the night there.

All photos by Jessie Lau