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Okay USA Tour Journal 2
We stayed the night at Jake’s aunt’s place on Long Island. A familiar house, with familiar faces. Of course we didn’t get in until 3am so the only face we saw was that of Jake’s cousin Zack. But that’s okay because at that point I just wanted to go to sleep. 

We had to get up super early, which sucked. Not only did we have an early interview, we had to get from Long Island to Manhattan by 10:30 am. It’s about 2 hours with traffic to get to where we need to be, park, and then get to Madison Square Garden. So if you’re keeping track, we got in at 3am, had to be up at 8, and leave at 8:30. Not a lot of time for sleep, but hey, that’s the price of tour I suppose.

Allow me to state the obvious:

Driving in New York sucks.

Driving in New York with a trailer in tow is an absolute nightmare. I’m very thankful that in these situations we have Zech to drive. I’m not always a fan of his aggressive style of driving, but it’s a necessity when it comes to driving through these hellish streets. With his balls to the wall approach to driving, and then my alert cautiousness we make a pretty decent team. It almost makes up for him trying to push garbage Wawa juice on me like it’s something worth tasting. Almost, but not quite. 

After 2 hours of stressful hell we managed to get close to where we wanted to park. The idea is to get as close to the venue we’re playing tonight so we can just leave the van/trailer there. The venue itself didn’t have any type of parking (which isn’t super surprising because it’s Manhattan), so we had to park on the street and do metered parking all day. It is what it is, we got a decent enough spot with just enough time to walk the mile and a half to the offices in Madison Square Garden. T.J, Jake and Zech did the interview while the rest of us wandered a bit in the area. It was a pretty nice day out so I grabbed some food cart food and grabbed a seat on like a weird platform thing down the street from the Empire State Building. 

After the interview was done SOI’s publicist came down and joined us for a little walk around New York. I should clarify at this point that I’m not really a huge fan of this city. It’s alright to visit I guess, but the touristy stuff (like Times Square) is a nightmare. Not just because I have this foreboding anxiety whenever I’m in large, crowded spaces, but because it’s just a lot of just… stinky money grubbing… nothing. Like there’s no substance to Times Square, despite being super flashy. Companies pay millions of dollars just to be there, but there’s nothing really that original. Then there’s the people that are constantly trying to sell you something on the street, or dressed as Disney characters for you to take pictures with them. It’s odd. Anyway, we managed to snap a decent picture though. 

So we walked from the venue to Madison Square Garden, to Times Square, and then we realized we had to walk alllllll the way back to the venue. I don’t know if you’ve noticed from my pictures, but I’m a hefty dude. Plus a twenty pound backpack. Walking is not something that’s on my list of “things I enjoy doing.” The plus side was we were all together (with Natalie, the publicist) so that made things enjoyable. The negative side is literally everything else about walking, being one of the biggest cities, and dealing with people who do not have a concept of like standard walking etiquette. NOTE: If you don’t know standard walking etiquette it goes like this: Walk on the right side of the sidewalk. Not “right” like “correct” but “right” like “opposite of left.” Don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk, and don’t walk 40 people abreast, slowly so people can’t get around you. But it was whatever, I guess. I enjoy being goofy with the dudes, and I think Natalie enjoyed the goofiness as well. 

We got to Webster Hall on time, and unloaded. Oh I guess I should mention that we got a parking ticket. So we’re “certainly going to be paying that.” The venue was this multilevel old school building that seemed pretty dope. It didn’t have any fucking outlets, but I had plenty of room for the table. Here’s the set up:

Prior to the show we had some peoples show up with stuff. For me, specifically. I don’t know why I’m trying to act all coy, so I’ll just come out and say what I’m trying to say. Aj’s sister Deanna (and patron of this Tour Journal) brought me Arnold Palmer. The right kind of Arnold Palmer. And with it came another Arnold Palmer courtesy of another wonderful patron; Mrs. Khah. (Who you may know as “Aj’s mom.) While we’re on that subject, hello Mrs. Khah, Aj is doing just fine. It’s starting to get hotter out so I’m making sure he has his shorts so he doesn’t overheat!

There were a handful of other friends who swung by the show, from Ivana to Misty to my old football teammate Gabe. (If you’re a long time reader of my shit you’ll remember Gabe from our first ever show in Long Island.) It’s always dope to see friends and family. It means the world to the band when they have long time supporters coming out. And it means a lot to me that A.) People read this garbage and B.) They are enough to come out and say “hey.”

This is Gabe, by the way. He was testing out his camera tonight.

Oh shit I almost forgot about Joey.

There’s me and Joey Milewski (of Real Talk) doing a creepy little selfie. I haven’t seen Joey since the last day of our first tour (so like… 3-4 years ago?). It was dope he came out and shit, and if you don’t listen to Real Talk, you should. Go do it now. 

Alright you done? Dope.

The show went really well. As It Is and ROAM travel very well. Like, very very well. I was surprised at the number of people I saw in NJ that were also there in NYC. And then I talked to them at the merch table and it turns out that these people not only traveled the 3 hours between venues, they also flew in from fucking Europe to see these guys play. That’s sick. Oh also Dieter was there again, so here’s a pic I thought was sick from the show.

We were rushed out the venue for some rapper or something. Which is fine because we had to get going to Mass. anyway to get to Luka’s parent’s place. We were all pretty fucking tired, but Zech and I powered through it. I think it helped moral when we stopped in a rest area in Conn. and had Grayscale roll up at the same time. We goofed around a little bit, and then this happened:

I don’t think I would want to spend more than that amount of time in NYC. The touristy shit is blah, but the people were fucking awesome. I know I caught some flack for shitting on NJ so much yesterday, but today, despite the vitriol I hold for this tourist trap garbage town, I actually had an enjoyable time. Like a lot of enjoyability. What do people call that? 

I just asked around, I guess the word for that is “fun.”

I had fun.