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Made in America Tour Journal 20: Bury Me In Arnold Palmer
I got to wake up in a bed by myself for the 2nd night in a row. As much as I love sleeping in a bed and being comfortable and all that, there’s something about doing it during a tour that can really be a trap. Being in a familiar bed, sleeping under covers and all that leads my body to believe that I can truly “rest.” (This means sleeping 10-12 hours in a deep deep sleep.) Typically when I’m on the road, even if I’m in a bed, it’s usually shared and/or I don’t feel like making a guest bed so I sleep on top of the covers with my tour pillow and blanket. 

I mean, shit, I got 12 hours of solid sleep and it took me 2 hours to be fully awake. My body is betraying me. I can’t afford to reset back to normie life. Not yet. Not when we have 2 weeks left to be on the tour. Buh. I dragged my ass out of bed, and my mother was kind enough to have some breakfast for me. I don’t have any pictures of it because I forgot my phone on the charger, and was too lazy to go get it.

My sister popped over to give me a ride down to the venue. I had to get there a little bit before the band because I was finally about to do my interview with Liz! I know Connor didn’t want me to share this, but being interviewed is something new to me. And Liz will go down in the history books as being the first person to ever interview me on camera. Follow my Twitter (@Im_Alex_Smith) or her Twitter (@busymissliz110) if you want to see the video. If you’re reading this in the future (my future, which is your present) you probably wont be able to see that video, but I reckon it’ll be interesting in retrospect!

Closer to showtime I did another interview, this one with a Brad LaPlante (@BradLaPlante), who long time readers might recognize as having interviewed Sleep On It back in May in Grand Rapids.

So that is me documenting my first 2 on camera interviews ever. I was really excited and honestly extremely nervous. I’m sure I look like an absolute fuck on camera, but hey, “no press is bad press” I guess.

So in the 2 hours between my interviews, a TON of shit happened for me. This was honestly one of the busiest days I’ve ever had on tour. In retrospect it felt really good, but in the moment I was a frazzled mess.

Right before my first interview a fan Sami (@Punkrockgoose) brought me 3 ice cold Arnold Palmers. You know I’m always down for a can of the jitter juice.

After the interview I checked my twitter to see I had multiple tweets from fans saying they had some for me. The first was my favorite Canadian family Naomi (@noomington) and her parents (all the way from Toronto)

And then Sarah (@C0untingmiles), who you’ll remember from Seattle this tour brought me not just a couple, but 2 fucking bags full. I think it was 10 total. All cans. 

Then I popped in for a minute to set up my merch stand. Caitlyn and I were sharing a space and I forgot to take a picture, but a fan was kind enough to draw me this lovely portrait of me at the table:

But for real here is Anam's pic she took of Caitlyn at our merch set up that I didn't know existed until I was skimming the dropbox for some dope pics: 

Then Teddy, Zech, Jake, Anam and myself decided to head across the street to Sweetwater Tavern. This place has the absolute best wings in the fucking country. I’ve been all over, tried wings of all-

Wait on our walk over there a fan stopped me to give me a jug of Arnold Palmer

Aly (@shmalygirling) was so kind and sweet, I stopped my (short) walk to the world’s best wings to Frogger back across the street  to grab this jug and put it in my bag. (If you’re starting to think this has gotten out of hand, you’re right. But I’m loving it.)

Alright, so Sweetwater Tavern is this dope place in Detroit. Right in the heart of downtown across the street from St Andrew’s Hall. If you’re ever going to see a show there, do yourself a favor and pop over and try their wings. They are absolutely worth it. 

I paid my portion of the tab and headed back to the venue. But not before I was stopped by Steph (@PierceThSteph). You’ll never guess what she had waiting for me:

Steph was also the one who drew me the picture. So she gets a double thank you! So by this time I’m just getting ready for my interview with Brad, but then my siblings show up. And you know what they had for me? Yeah, you bet your ass my family knew what to bring me on tour:

(note the lack of facial hair on both of us)

That’s my brother Marcus with his wife, Renee. My brother is the reason I love the music I love. Without him I woulda never heard of New Found Glory or Yellowcard or My Chemical Romance. I woulda never got Blink 182’s self titled for my 16th birthday. His burned CDs were the soundtrack of my childhood. Without him, I fear I woulda fell into the buttrock void so many of my peers fell into. So if you enjoy what I’m doing, you can thank him for being a good big brother.

So now I got so much Arnold Palmer I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do with it. For the first time in the 15 years of me drinking AriZona’s masterpiece I decided to share some of what I got on me. 

Plus there was no way the boys were going to let me bring all that in the van. There simply wasn’t enough room. So on behalf of the entire tour package to the people I named above, we thank you! 

Prior to the show there was another issue with a tour manager of another band. We made a reasonable request for a little more sound check time, even having a band forgo their soundcheck entirely because they knew we needed a little extra time for today (I’ll explain why in a second) but for whatever reason, instead of doing us a solid this particular person took a pretty shitty attitude about the whole ordeal. To the point where I thought AJ was going to square up with them. I’m not sure what the deal with this person is, and whether or not they truly get along with the rest of their band, but it’s really a bummer when people get super sassy and act like a diva when they feel as though they aren’t as in control as they once were. I mean shit, we were performing with Patty Walters on drums for the entire set tonight. We’ve never practiced with Patty, aside from a couple soundchecks here or there, and I don’t think Patty has ever played an entire set as a drummer. So this was pretty huge surprise for the fans, and we wanted to make sure we had just a smidgen of time extra to get a couple songs in. I will say, in the interest of fairness, I don’t have their side of the story, I don’t know what they’ve been told or whatever. I just know that the attitude they were giving is unnecessary and reflects poorly on them as a professional (but does not reflect poorly on the band themselves). I don’t feel like calling out the person by name, as what they’ve done isn’t heinous, just fucking annoying. It’s almost as though they realize their time is running out on this tour and are just lashing out because then they can play the victim card. I don’t know ya’ll…  I’ll keep you posted if some more drama happens.

As for the show itself it fucking rocked. I think this was our… 9th(?) time playing the state of Michigan since our tour with Marina City in the summer of ‘16.  Grand Rapids 5 times, and this was the 4th time in Detroit. Seriously, we’ve played Michigan more times than Chicago in that same time frame. And you could really tell that we’ve been there a bunch. It was honestly the loudest sing-a-long I had ever heard at a Sleep On It show (yes that includes Wednesday in Chicago). Also Anam had some of her best pictures so far on tour, including this gem of AJ:

Plus did I mention Patty Walters played the fucking drums? 

And check out the crowd.

And then the regular show pics

Sometime during the show a friend of mine by the name of Becky (@ATLbecky) brought me some University of Michigan swag. (She works the gates and gets access to all the cool shit.)

Oh and after the show she brought me back to her car and gave me something special. (It was 3 more Arnold Palmer, get your mind out of the gutter.)

When all was said and done we packed up and went back to Grandma’s house for the night. Oh shit I almost forgot to put a picture of me and my siblings:

But yeah, back at Grandma’s house we had ourselves a little Thanksgiving of our own. Remember all that food from yesterday? Well my Mama was kind enough to bring it over for us to chow down on.

I really do love and appreciate my Mom. I know long time fans are probably sick of hearing it, but I’d be nothing without her love and support. Thanks for encouraging your baby boy to be the best version of himself he could possibly be. Love you forever and always.

After dinner we had to sort thru the merch. This'll be the last time we get a chance to really sit down and organize everything. So here we were in Grandma's living room going through all these boxes. Glad everyone pitched in to help.

Before we went to bed Anam wanted to do some photograph wizardry and wound up taking this pretty sick picture (mind you, it was about 1 in the morning when this picture was taken. I couldn’t even see the boys’ faces when she snapped this pic).

It’s incredible. This whole day was incredible. Thanks for Detroit for turning out, thanks to Patty for ripping an incredibly sick gig, thanks for all my hometown fans who decided I was worth grabbing an Arnold Palmer for.