The Wanderer Tour: Part VI

If I had to pinpoint the moment things started to dip into insanity, I’d easily say it started in Washington, Virginia. But first I forgot to mention Dom and I, Jordyn and Brad got really drunk in the Walmart parking lot after our Baltimore show. Dom is a loud drunk and was telling the history of his previous band and how it played into RHD’s story. There were moments Lauren would stick her head out of the RV to tell Dom to be quiet. The 4 of us were throwing a frisbee in the parking lot, while drinking disgusting (but cheap) beer.

It was a frigid morning at a Virginia Walmart parking lot. I woke up to a chill. This Walmart lot was a big smaller than the usual other ones we’ve visited, but on the bright side there were other food establishments at this lot. Jordyn was on her phone and she looked very upset. Jessie and I (or maybe it was Aleksei and I? I forget…) did our morning shopping. I remember this Walmart specifically having a uncomfortable atmosphere: The aisles were narrow, the food shelves towered over us, and they also sold guns. Looking for this venue was a bit tricky because, well, it technically wan’t a venue at all! FearCliff was an indoor skatepark located in Woodbridge, VA. We drove past this venue the first time because there was no clear sign outside- or at least not one that out-of-towners driving an RV would see. When we arrived we parked in front to let whoever was inside that we’ve arrived. Lauren and I went to see if anybody was inside. When we knocked the door on the side, we heard two dogs barking inside. It was a good indication somebody was there. It took a while for the door to open, only for the man to tell us there was no show happening tonight. We were in disbelief and insisted he called his boss to sort it out. Turns out the guy was ill-informed and was not told about our show. There was nothing prepared.

We parked at the back in the lot next to the “venue.” There was a dumpster beside our RV that we almost hit while reverse parking. We loaded-in. We were in a dead zone with no available Wi-Fi for us to use. Lauren was really sleepy and anxiety was taking over her- this was the show Lauren would be meeting a long-time contact. She was nervous, excited, and scared at the same time. Down the street from the venue was a “Planet Fitness” gym. We knew that HH each had gym memberships that allowed a guest to come in, so we took the opportunity to workout a bit and to also shower. Jessie came along to charge her electronics at the gym.

Chris, Dom, Aleksei and Myself were in the gym working out while HH hung outside (they had already did their thing). After a refreshing shower to complete the gym visit, we decided to head back to the venue to set up. By this time the other bands have already arrived and begun their setups. We were having a bit of trouble setting up our merch, as the space wasn’t very accommodating for the amount of bands on the night’s bill. I overheard there was an issue with another band on the bill and the set order was swapped, which really rubbed us the wrong way. The promoter of the show was a member of one of the night’s band. We adamantly set the record straight with the promoter and continued with our set up. There was still a lot of time before doors, so a few of us went to a nearby Mexican restaurant. The restaurant was empty for the time we were there, but the food was absolutely unforgettable. The portion was enormous and it didn’t affect the quality at all. After eating, Chris, Dom and I stopped by a Seven-Eleven next door to buy some energy drinks. By this point it was dark out and the first band had already played halfway through their set. I met Lauren’s friend- an absolutely stunning woman with the cutest personality. A few of us in the band had known about her for a long (long) while, so it was a very surreal feeling to see her in person.

After RHD and HH played their sets, the final band went on. This was the first night we weren’t headlining and it felt great to enjoy the rest of the night at the venue. We didn’t have to rush, the vibes were great for this last band, and most importantly we were at a skate park! After the show we continued hanging out in the parking lot where our RV and HH’s van were parked. It was a night we all really connected with each other. The day begun really stressful and irritable, but at the end everybody was cheerful and relaxed. We drove in almost pitch black conditions getting to Kenny’s house. He lived away from the city, and with little street lamps along the road, visibility was limited. Kenny’s mother was watching TV as we all came in. We all showered and slept for the night. I slept in the basement with Rob and Aleksei (which was a really bad idea- they’re both heavy snorers), and 3 of 4 girls slept in Kenny’s guest room. Chris slept on the floor of Kenny’s room as Kenny was on the bed. Dom stayed in the RV, Brad and Meg stayed in their van. Because he lived close enough, Sam went home.

Things were about to dark at the next show.

All photos by Jessie Lau