The Wanderer Tour: Part X

Every beginning has an end.

The afternoon in our hotel was spent eating pizza and watching Family Guy, I think a few of them went to the gym downstairs. It was the last show of our US tour, and a clearly somber tone had blanketed some moments of the day. Every time somebody started to remind us it was the last day, somebody else would interrupt telling them to stop mentioning it. By this point RHD had figured out the plans for getting back into Canada, which meant cancelling our stopover in Boston. The plan was to pick up a U-Haul mini-truck to lug the gear back home. The truck could only seat 2 of the 6 people of RHD, so the other 4 had to take a coach bus home. It took a while for us to leave the hotel because Aleksei was missing. We sent Chris in to look for him, which took roughly 10 minutes before him and Aleksei were running out of the hotel together.

Our next destination was U-Haul where Chris and I went in to pick up the keys to our next vehicle. It didn’t make sense to take the vehicle to the venue and then back to the hotel, when we could just pick it up after our performance. When we got back to the van after picking up the keys I noticed all the girls were gone. They had left into the nearby cemetery for an impromptu photo shoot- they titled it “Cemetery Girls”.

When we arrived Rhode Island, the neighbourhood was an eerie ghost town- the streets were empty, the light was dimming and the venue’s appearance was almost deserted. Turned out it was Columbus Day in America, and a majority of people were spending the day at home. We were feeling down when we realized our last US venue was a small and dirty one, but we continued our usual system of setting up and troubleshooting. There was a ticker board at the back of the venue that displayed all the performances happening in the week, and when our’s showed up it said “RED HAMPTON DENIAL”. We all laughed at the error, but then realized it was very appropriate and suitable for everything we had been through. We became one group after all these days touring together, even to the point of sharing the same vehicle and beds. The title “RED HAMPTON DENIAL” meant so much more after the laughter had finished. It was perfect. After setting up we went to Walgreens for a few snacks and energy drinks, where we ran into our long-time fans. These two have really supported us throughout the years, and even though Lauren and I have met them a year before (at a Dance Gavin Dance concert), it was exciting for me to know they’ll finally get to see us live!

There wasn’t any space to put our drum kits inside the venue, so Jordyn and I set up our kits outside in the parking lot. It would be the last time we had our kits next to each other. The night went on and the weather was getting colder. One of the bands that performed that night had Gerard, a good friend of ours, in it! Gerard had been doing vocal covers with Lauren for quite some time and so this was the first night we got to meet in person. There were talks of Lauren and I hopping on stage during HH’s last song, so Lauren had disappeared to rehearse her part. HH was going up and I was helping Jordyn set up on stage, I went to look for Lauren afterwards to let her know HH had started. She actually found me and pulled me away. She told me how she was in trouble (regarding the Baltimore night, Virginia and New Jersey) and was on point of tears. I tried to console her, but at the same time reminded her she let it happen. The show must go on… When HH played the last song on their set “Speak To Me”, it was time for Lauren and I to hop on stage. It was an emotional moment for us to participate in such an emotional part of the song. I admit I choked up a little.

It was time to set up for our set and the venue had suddenly packed itself. People were right up against us and there were people standing on the bar. The performance included two guest vocals- Gerard screamed a portion of “Collector” and Rob sang the final chorus of our “Drown” cover. It was magical. During the set I wore Jordyn’s pug mask for our performance of “Nebuchadnezzar”. The bet was to wear it for the beginning of the song, but I decided to keep it on for the entirety of it. It got hot in there really quickly. The crowd was insane and all of HH joined us at the end of “Collector”. It was the only show on tour that the crowd chanted for an encore, so we were finally able to play our (entire) set. It was the best show we’ve had all tour.

After the performance Lauren tried her best to keep from breaking into tears as she spoke to the fans. Eventually she had to step away for a bit. By this point we were cleaning up and slowly packing everything into the trailer. Our fans from Walgreen (Dance Gavin Dance show) stayed really late to wait for a photo. I really admired their determination! Gerard also stayed to hang out with us. When Lauren gathered herself and returned, we took part in a video interview (I don’t know what happened to it) and we also got the photos with our Walgreen friends (shout out to Ollie and Kelsey!) We then drove to U-Haul to grab the truck and headed back to the hotel.

The next morning was slow, quiet and warm. It was our last day in America. Because we no long had an RV, we were unable to make it to Boston, and instead had to head home early (and separately). Everything RHD was transferred from the trailer to our U-Haul truck. We took our group photo and headed to Red Robin for a grand and final lunch. After another group photo outside the restaurant, we said our goodbyes with hugs and kisses (some of us kissed) and parted ways. We didn’t really part ways- it was just Chris and I that parted with everybody else. Chris and I took the U-Haul truck back into Canada, while the rest of the band stayed with HH until their bus ride back home. Even after parting into 3 separate ways, we each had our own stories to tell. Things happened on my U-Haul trip with Chris. Things happened with Aleskei, Dom, Lauren and Jessie. Things happened with Jordyn and the rest of HH. My blog entries will end here. Perhaps I will, one day, talk about what happened to us on the remainder of the tour in Canada; angry tattoo artists, getting the cops called on us, even more dogs, etc.

I can’t wait to tour in America once again, and with Hampton Hollow. I can’t wait for them to tour Canada. I can’t wait to make more memories. I can’t wait to be [RH|HD] again!

All photos by Jessie Lau