September 15, 2016

On Tour With Belle Noire: Day 10

tour-19-syracuse It has become part of my morning routine to wake up and see a Walmart parking lot filling up with customers to start my morning. As does stumbling out of the van and rubbing my eyes until my body is in sync. We woke up in Erie, PA next to a Steak and Shake that teased my mind all morning. Everyone but Joey resisted that urge and we set off for Syracuse.

We made good progress through the night to close the 7 hour gap from Toledo to Syracuse that would provide us with some down time to explore Syracuse. Unfortunately, the other night in Grand Rapids took a toll on some of the guys equipment. Dan’s bass and Joey’s guitar heads took a plunge. They’ve been doing their best to repair them on the fly, but there’s only so much they can do at this point. With extra time to spare, we went to guitar center to try and remedy the situation. (more…)

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September 13, 2016

On Tour With Belle Noire: Day 9

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I got to experience one night of feeling at home on this tour. That’s more than I can say for the others, apart from Rob. Despite the fact that I got to sleep in my old bed, that rest was unfortunately short lived as my brother had an early flight out in the morning and I wanted to catch up with him as much as I could. I won’t be seeing my family again until Christmas so any moments I can squeeze in I would. We devoured some sloppy joes and snacks left for us by my brother as we nestled into the couch to watch South Park and relax.

My sister came over for a quick visit in the early afternoon and showed me all the latest housing projects she had been working on. Hearing the cost of rent for these newly remodeled homes compared to the Bay area made me shake my head. (more…)

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September 12, 2016

On Tour With Belle Noire: Day 8

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It’s an overwhelming feeling of bliss waking up on a couch compared to the familiarity of the van bench. My friend Ashley made some breakfast to kill the time waiting for the guys to swing back around to Grand Rapids to pick me up. They maintained a busy morning with showering and laundry at their friend Bryan’s house by Lake Michigan.

The boys swung by in the early afternoon and picked me up. Considering the drunk texts I got the night before, they seemed in decent shape all things considered. My extended driving shift has encompassed all of Michigan and I have to say I don’t miss the terrible highways. (more…)

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September 12, 2016

On Tour With Belle Noire: Day 7

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I always found it interesting that Michigan City is in Indiana and not Michigan. It was a friendly place to wake up and get ready for the two-hour commute to Grand Rapids. I was excited about my driving shift. For someone who deeply misses the Mitten, driving on these horrifically bumpy roads brings back the fondest and harshest memories.

This trip to Michigan marked the first time for Joey, Dan, and Rob to see the Great Lakes state. Roman had ventured through here supporting A Lot Like Birds a few years back but was eager to see more of it. I thrive for opportunities to be a tour guide and Michigan is a state that’s easy to sell. With 4 hours of time to kill, I took the boys to Brewery Vivant near the east side of Grand Rapids for some poutine and craft beer. Joey couldn’t stop talking about the cheese curds all afternoon. (more…)

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September 10, 2016

On Tour With Belle Noire: Day 6

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As we woke up outside of Springfield, IL, we felt a sense of relief in knowing that the show in Chicago would be the start of an amazing run with Daisyhead and Only Sibling. Its felt like everything we’ve done the last few days has been by ourselves and now that experience can be shared.

3 hours later we arrived in Chicago. Similarly, to St. Louis our guard was up about finding parking in a good area because of stories we had heard about theft with bands coming into town. We got into the city at 2:00pm and the show wouldn’t start until 10:30pm. It was such a crazy time for a show to start, but it gave us a great opportunity to explore the city for quite some time. Dan headed off to the financial district to meet up with his Uncle who lives in town while the rest of us ventured off to a local record store and a Taco Bell Cantina. Yes, you heard that correctly. (more…)

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September 9, 2016

On Tour With Belle Noire: Day 5

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The worst sensation I’ve experienced so far on this tour happened this morning. Waking up to the van slowly coming to a halt amidst a traffic jam outside of St. Louis and feeling your body being nearly stuck to the pleather seats you’re on. The humidity continues to get worse the further east we get and it’s something I honestly forgot about. Living in California has spoiled me weather-wise and I often forget the roots in which I was raised.

Luckily we were on the road way before we needed to be this morning, so the slowdown didn’t delay us at all. We wandering into St. Louis to find some parking near the venue and scope out the area. We heard lots of rumblings about how this particular venue isn’t in the safest area and is prone to break-ins and stolen belongings. (more…)

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