The Wanderer Tour: Part VIII

This was an unforgettable day.

I woke up to the sound of laughter and the smell of freshly-made breakfast. Kenny’s mother had prepared a massive meal for all of us. The signature item of the meal were her egg and cheese Pork Rolls (Taylor Ham, by some New Jersey folks). They were absolutely worth dying for (google them). The sandwiches made all the tour troubles worth the effort. And I would travel back there from home just to have another sandwich. This same afternoon we met Kenny’s father, who had just returned from work. He was a very nice man and really supportive of our musical path and this tour. He even offered us beer to take on the road.

I grabbed a few extra rolls to bring in the RV as we made our way to the next venue. HH had been raving about this venue since day 1, so we were really excited to finally the venue. We missed an exit which costed us a bit of time, but when we got back onto the highway we noticed the RV wasn’t accelerating as quickly as it was before. We decided to drive to the venue slowly for the safety of our vehicle. We arrived at our destination late; there were kids waiting outside, the first band had already set up, and the promoter was already looking unhappy. I started loading our gear in and looked for the sound guy for the usual rundown. This sound guy was absolutely clueless about the in-house rig and instead directed me to the promoter. I gave him the rundown only to have him lecture me on how we weren’t Alesana. He really liked Alesana, as if they were the biggest thing to hit the venue. This left a very sour taste in my mouth and had set the tone for the next few hours (it also definitely destroyed any impression I had of him). While setting up the drums I realized the stage also had an unreasonably unique set up, as their cables came from under the stage. The cables fed through the ground where the drum kit would usually be, which further frustrated me on the scenario.

When I stepped out I saw the RV was still in front of the doors. By this point it would have been parked away from the doors. I walked to the front seat to see Dom trying to start the RV. At one point the vehicle turned on, but made a loud screeching sound before we had to shut it off again. The RV had officially died. One of the band members from the opening act was also a mechanic, so he took a look under the RV. Apparently there had been a leak as well as a tear under the vehicle, and that it wasn’t a fresh rupture either. Chris and Dom were frantically trying to figure out a solution to all of this. The options were to rent another vehicle, to return the vehicle, to call a mechanic, or to call a tow truck. I think we called a tow truck, who was scheduled to arrive after our set. We had to clean out the RV and temporarily place it in HH’s trailer before we would hit the stage. It wasn’t the best way to preset our performance. This was the second time on tour we played the “classic” way (without our in-ear rigs) because the Alesana fanboy wouldn’t allow us to run our usual set up as punishment for being tardy.

The tow truck man arrived and took a look at our vehicle. It also turned out our dipstick was broken, which by the science of deduction, we determined we had been driving in a damaged vehicle since renting it in Canada. It was time to pack everything (literally everything) into HH’s trailer now. A trailer that was just able to accommodate 1 band now had the responsibility to fit the equipment, merch, and miscellaneous items of both bands! To begin, we had to remove everything out of the trailer. The worst item was undoubtedly Jordyn’s drum coffin- which was a large and heavy box, though theoretically convenient, was a real burden to have on board. It was really dark outside to do work efficiently, until Kenny’s parents pulled up and shined their car’s headlights onto our work space. Rob’s parents as well as Jordyn’s were also there helping us out. There was a moment I stood back and looked at what was going on. It was a beautiful moment of people banding together for the sake of music. RHD had hit the bottom and HH (along with their parents) were there to help us back up.

We received some words of encouragement from Kenny’s father before we parted ways, and we set off to Jordyn’s house for the night where Zoe, the world’s cutest pug, was waiting for us. A memorable moment at Jordyn’s was when Jordyn’s mom approached us asking for us to get Aleksei away from her husband. Aleksei is notorious for talking people’s ears off, and it was comical for Jordyn’s mother to point it out. Avoiding the snores of Chris, Rob and Dom (I think Aleksei was also there) in the basement, I decided to sleep upstairs in the living room.

All photos by Jessie Lau