The Wanderer Tour: Part VII

I woke up to the noise of somebody playing the electric drums upstairs. I thought it was Jordyn but when I went upstairs I found out Brad (guitarist for HH) was also a drummer, and a surprisingly good one as well! Everybody was lounging around either in the basement having conversations or hanging at the backyard enjoying the sunlight. After freshening up I went to the backyard where Dom, Kenny, Meg and Jordyn were. There were two dogs at Kenny’s house- Maci and Fenix, two beautiful dogs who were both so playful. Dom was completely content with their presence. Our nightly set included a cover of Bring Me The Horizon’s “Drown”, in which both Dom and I also sing for it. We were practising our harmonies.

Most of the day was spent at Kenny’s place; we played on our 3DS’, watched Luke Cage, drank, and made some music together. Jordyn also spent a lot of time teaching Lauren how to play drums. The venue was nearby, so our drive over was a short one. Lauren and Jessie rode with HH in the van, leaving the RHD guys alone in the RV. It was dark when we arrived at the venue, and the streets felt ghastly. Rob warned us that we were playing in a, somewhat, dangerous neighbourhood and that we should be on high alert. We parked a block away and around the corner from the venue, where we decided to first walk to the venue to scope out the setup. Before exiting the RV we made the decision to not separate from each other. The walk from the RV to the venue was a bit uncomfortable, the streets were worn down, and the loitering groups of people intimidated us. Aleksei had forgotten something in the RV and decided to run back, which was a bit comedic now that I look back- but at the time we were really angry he did that. By this point in the tour we were a little annoyed with Aleksei’s inability to follow directions (in one ear out the other) and while we explicitly mentioned it would be dangerous to walk these streets alone, he did so anyway.

The venue was small and under a restaurant. It felt like a dirty show was about to happen and we were right! The holding area/”green room” was upstairs at the back of the restaurant. It made me uneasy knowing all our gear was in a room easily accessible by the public, especially from the outside sidewalks. In order to make load-in easier, we moved the RV to across the venue’s holding room. Dom was reverse parking as I was guiding him. While backing up we realized the rear of the RV hung into the turning intersection, so Dom had to pull forward and re-park. After getting all the gear out, Dom decided to park around the corner. While preparing to drive out, a loud snapping noise was heard. Everybody was startled including the residents hanging out across the street. Dom stepped out to see what had happened. Neither myself nor Dom found what the loud snap was. We thought it was a damaged street light but nothing was visible. After parking around the corner, Chris and I found out what had happened- the upper rear corner of the RV was torn off. This had damaged the ladder attached to it as well as the lining of the vehicle. I’ve never seen such a shocked look on Dom’s face. The next few hours were spent figuring out how to solve it, and what to tell the person we rented the RV from.

A few familiar faces from previous US shows came to this show- Lauren’s friend from the Virginia night, as well as a few other people she had befriended from our show in Baltimore (they were Jordyn’s friends). This night I met Rob’s father, who initially made me uncomfortable. During HH’s set this man was standing my the merch tables and kept looking over at me. I couldn’t understand why and was getting antsy from it. It wasn’t until after their set I figured out who he was! The sound at this venue was surprisingly good for a (somewhat) low-grade DIY-feeling venue. During our set, something had happened between the two groups of Lauren’s friends. I didn’t see what happened, but I saw the aftermath. As we were packing up after the show I noticed Lauren disappeared. I went looking for her to get her help with cleaning up. I then received a text from Jordyn saying she’s by our RV with Lauren and I needed to give her the keys ASAP. I got the keys from Dom and went to the RV where I found Jordyn patting Lauren’s back. Lauren was crying. During our set an altercation had broke out between the two group of friends. It involved hurtful words and alcohol being poured on each other. What a mess. The Virginia friend was really inebriated, and her friend (who came along to the show) had to apologize on her behalf. I didn’t see where the Baltimore friends went.

The RV was damaged, our singer was in tears, and something had even happened between a few of the HH members (but I won’t get into that detail). This might have been the night we made another pit stop at Wawa’s (or maybe it was Sheetz this time). We made a stop to get some food and had all done it at our own pacing. Jessie and I were walking back to the RV when we noticed there were a group of bikers outside. When we got to the RV the lights were off and Dom was eating silently in the dark. We asked him why he did that, and he quietly told us the reason: The group of bikers had Nazi logos on their jackets, and Dom (alone at the time) didn’t want to call attention and somehow get us in trouble. It was a quieter drive back to Kenny’s place. To avoid Rob and Aleksei’s indescribable snoring, this time I slept upstairs in the guest bedroom.

All photos by Jessie Lau