June 8, 2017

On Tour: 2nd Edition – Part 1

2nd edition

Hello all,

I told myself I didn’t want to write about tour every day on my second time out, but I can’t help but feel like I need to write here and there. You get a lot of time to yourself on tour (despite being stuck in a van with 6 other people for 8+ hours a day) and it’s important to reflect on your thoughts, priorities and the journey ahead.

I firstly want to make a disclaimer about my previous writings. As happy and gung-ho as some of the entries may have seemed, there was a looming negativity I never wrote about. It’s something that was never overbearing, but it did put a slight damper on one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I apologize if I mislead anyone with the aura of fanaticism I incorporated into many of those stories. These entries will be nothing but the earnest truth.

Seven. There are seven of us on this tour. Firstly, the Belle Noire boys, Joey (Vocals/Guitar) and Sergio (Guitar) and their accompanied touring musicians Rob (Guitar), Joe (Bass), and Roman (drums). That leaves myself and the jack-of-all-trades roadie AJ. We are the go-getters on this trip. Need ice for the coolers? You got it. No one wants to take the 3:00am shift to get to L.A. before traffic? AJ’s your man. Seriously, that man is a maniac (in the best way possible).

Before I get any questions, yes, we can sleep 6 people comfortably in this van. Joey, using his excellent carpentry skills, crafted a double bunk bed in the back of the van. It’s roughly two full size beds. I myself prefer the dungeon down under (less light, less noise, etc). I’m also the shortest on this tour too, so I fit quite nicely. We are staggering drive times and sleep schedules so no one gets the unfortunate Captain’s chair as their bed for the night.

What separates this tour from my previous one in September is quite simple really: teamwork. One of us has an idea? Let’s do it! Everyone is going with the flow and it has been serving us masterfully so far. We’re doing our best to do the 100 push-up challenge every day to keep us lose and counteract the pizza and tacos we’re inhaling every 8 hours. We keep pushing each other to be the best every day. Something as simple as finding a healthier food/drink or taking the extra time to help someone find their buried flip flops amidst the chaotic organization in our van.

The shows have been spectacular. The crowds our touring bands (Strawberry Girls & Comrades) have been drawing are interactive and enthusiastic. It’s only the first week of my 19-day stint, but it’s shaping up to be one helluva run.

As I lay in the dungeon, listening to The Other Stars discography, I’ve been thinking about the things that mean the most to me in my life right now. I’ve been regularly chatting with my best friends each day to help pass the time and give myself a brief escapism back to my home life. It has been a challenging task to keep up with my work while being remote, but the gratification in finishing projects and enjoying the night make it all worth it.

Each day has a different sound track than the last. Whether it’s the music you’re listening to on the drive or your memory sifting through your catalog to find the best tracks to accompany the situations and circumstances you end up in, it’s always something new. For me, it has been about reflection. Am I doing everything I can to truly be the best man for my brother and his upcoming wedding? I wonder if I said and did the right things on my last few dates with an amazing woman before I left. If offered, would I do this full-time and travel the country and possibly the world?

All those thoughts have initial answers and solutions, but reflecting on them and solidifying my conclusions always puts my mind at ease. It’s impossible to control everything, but that’s what makes it so damn fun every night. Adapting, reflecting and adjusting is a part of life. If your attitude matches mine though; it’s a thrill ride. Like our destinations each night, we know where we’re going, but who knows what awaits us there.

Written by: Patrick Marion

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