The tour began like any other, rushing to get everything organized and cramming as many things in the van as we could fit. We had to leave behind a couple things: Ben's golf clubs, Dillon's 10 gallon cowboy hat, and Steve's sex kit that included scented condoms, rope, and a saddle. Sorry, Steve!
We drove over to our home away from home away from home, Peoria, IL, where we played with our good friends Centralia and Wind and Sail. We got some to see some old friends. And Sarah was the first person to talk to me about 9/11 without making fun of me! Kurt's sister made us so many pizzas that Steve had his worst break out since high school.
The next day we drove to St. Louis, where we hadn't been since 2007. We had a bad experience there. But with Josh's new bar, The Heavy Anchor, plus our friends from the ex-kings of underage parties, the once life-altering jam masters Eagle Scout. So we were looking for a nice change in the Show Me State. But we soon found out that Jeremiah was caught by Chris Hansen in Florida with one of the old groupies, and Ben Helman had the most intense and fun family reunion the world has ever known. So it was a little more fun that the down time on C-Span. But to each his own!
The day began with Kyle being attacked by a rabid dog with three working legs. When he approached the house to explain what happened when the child who lived there threw a firecracker at me. Good ol' St. Louis! Well, the show was tight. Reel tight. We played with an amazing band called Palace. So many good jams and tight harmonies. Reel tight harmonies. Just before we went on, I was accosted outside by Mikey, a homeless man who was an Elvis impersonator. He sang to me "Jailhouse Rock" and "Ain't No Sunshine" and "In the Middle of the Night." He also told me that he was Sarah Branson's 5th husband and that she just ruined him. He wanted some change to stay in a hostel and also to jam with us because he is an "amazing acoustic guitar player." Needless to say I gave him whatever I had but he took off before we could work on our setlist. We played so well that night that bros in the bar were smashing shot glasses in their jubilation.
I drove us the next day to Arkansas. It was a rough drive because Kyle was whooping Steve in Tony Hawk 4 and Steve was howling in desperation. We got to Alma, Alaska, Arkansas, where there were NO RESTROOMS ANYWHERE. I ran two miles down Main Street until I found a sufficient place to open the flood gates. We played a sweaty show in the Swap Shop and got everyone in the room dancing, including a very feisty young man in a wheelchair. After we played, a very nice metal band played, complete with choreography and calisthenics. At the end of the hottest night in recent memory, our good friends and southern boombastic-fantastic-slop rock boys, Half Raptor put on a wild show. They covered Blink 182 and Kyle lost his mind and kicked that kid straight out of his wheel chair. So he's dead.
Those dudes in Half Raptor really know how to treat a body. They put southern hospitality on a whole new level. We can't thank those guys enough for being so rad.
Now we're chilling in Austin, TX, about to watch Independence Day. I LOVE AMERICA!