Orlando, Florida's YOU BLEW IT! (Topshelf Records) is currently touring the US with fellow Floridians DIRECT EFFECT (Get Outta Town Records) and will be sending us updates from the road whenever they can find Internet access. These updates are a collaboration between guitarist/vocalist Tanner Jones and drummer Tim Flynn. Check out the remaining tour dates here. The band's Topshelf debut Grow Up, Dude is expected out in April.
(Photo: Jordan Shroyer)
“Dude, watching bands is SO not punk.”
Day 1: Atlanta, GA
I don’t know if anyone ever really wants to admit it, or maybe it’s just me, but the first day of tour is always kind of nerve-wracking. Personally, I’m always anxious for the road and the van and its mechanics, the well-being of the dudes, whether or not shows will be canceled, et cetera. Maybe I’m just a worrier. We were lucky enough to play with Featherweight, our Florida buds, on their first out-of-state show at this really rad space called Wonderroot. We were supposed to play it on our tour last summer, but our van broke down about three hours away in Cordele, Georgia. Dark times.
If I’m being honest, as far as our set goes, the show was a little discouraging. We played to 25-30 people, and of that, maybe 15-20 people stood outside smoking cigarettes or doing whatever those people do (or don’t do) at shows. Not to speak ill of Wonderroot. It’s just unfortunate when a select few spoil such a great place. I guess it’s pretty essential as a band to have that reality check sometimes though. That aside, the show went really great for Direct Effect, and it’s really cool to see such a new band getting that kind of attention.
(Photo: Jordan Shroyer)
Phat is NOT the same as fat.
Day 2: Birmingham, AL
The Heat lost. What the fuck. Besides that, today was a great day for food. I’m pretty sure collectively we consumed four slices of French toast, quesadilla leftovers, four bags of peanuts and some pretty good mango-peach tea. That was it. We’re trying to save money. Sue me. Also, we bought twelve mortars and 288 bottle rockets. Like I said, we’re trying to save money.
We were lucky enough to be contacted by Ryan Russell of Nervous Energies for a brief photo shoot and acoustic session. We didn’t have acoustic guitars, so we bought some from the swankiest dude at Guitar Center. His name was Skriv. We met Ryan behind his friend’s tattoo shop in what had to be the world’s biggest syringe heap/wind tunnel fusion. Birmingham is weird. Tim dropped an egg shaker over the fence and then we saw a weave in a trash can. We brought the guitars back to Guitar Center and I don’t think Skriv was too happy. All in all it was a success.
The show went pretty well I’d say. All the bands were pretty great, and Jeff accidentally referred to one of them as “banjo boy.” Oof. Highlight: we found a book called The Dictionary of Confusable Words. Who knew that pornographic and obscene weren’t exactly the same word? You learn something new every day, I guess. Also maybe it’s worth mentioning that when a band writes something like “don’t fucking sit on this” on their plastic Walmart-bought head cases, you wouldn’t sit on it, right? Apparently some guys are above that kind of stuff. What the heck.
Though we were initially apprehensive about being located in a tornado warning area, we collectively searched for our inner Bill Paxtons and took the risk to play and hang out in Birmingham. Eventually we made the decision that we (read: Tanner) were going to make the drive to Nashville after the show so that we could sleep in a little bit. At least I think that was the reason. Maybe it was because we are all seriously afraid of tornadoes. Remember how I said we hadn’t eaten much? Well, Andy started the “What’s your favorite food” conversation (yes ladies, we’re already out of things to talk about). That led us to a Wendy’s. And what. The. Fuck. They didn’t have chili. Didn’t they know how cold it was outside? All I wanted was to feel the warm rumblings of yesterday’s hamburgers in my tummy. NOT ONLY THAT but I ordered chicken nuggets. Guess what wasn’t in the bag when we got the food? Yeah, you guessed it, a Title Fight record, and my chicken nuggets. Fuck. Anyways, we eventually made it to Nashville and went to sleep next to a cat named Meatball. So yeah, that was Birmingham.
This woman is currently trying to take our picture. She ended up taking her own photo. Twice.
Day 3: Nashville, TN
You know that awful sound cats make when they’re throwing up? That’s what woke me up this morning. Meatball almost puked on Tanner’s head. Andy can sleep through anything. And I’m pretty sure Nick still hasn’t gotten a full night of sleep. Load-in for the show tonight didn’t begin until 9 p.m. so Andy’s friend Ellice gave us a few ideas for things to do while we were in town. We first checked out the Parthenon replica outside of the downtown area. Since you had to pay to get inside and we could only form $3.47 between the four of us (weren’t fireworks a great idea?), we decided instead to snap a few photos and throw our junior-sized football around the park area. Punk rock jocks.
Oh and hey, Andy’s aunt Lara is the raddest gal. Listen to me. She made us baked ziti and cookies, but wait. She has a Grammy in her house. Yeah, a real Grammy. It says “Livin’ La Vida Loca” on it. Her boyfriend did the instrumentation on it. WOAH.
The promoter didn’t ask us to load in until 9:30, so we spent all of that time on Music Row. Woah. Country solos at every single bar (Matt Koerber eat your heart out). We stuck out like a sore thumb.
Earlier in the day, we stopped in at a bar called Crossroads (read it with a drawl). All-around country gentleman Jason Link asked from the stage if the four of us were in a punk rock group. What an eye. Maybe that or he could see how greasy Nick’s hair was underneath his beanie. Jason addressed the audience again and informed them that he was going to invite us up on stage to jam with him. It was weird. We all pretended to improv “Hope It’s Not a Deposit Bottle” to a bunch of Spring Breaking bachelorettes. I’m going to tell all my friends that I got their numbers, so don’t tell them that I just drank water instead. Halfway into the song Jason decided that his lyrics “Party like it’s 1999” were going to sound way better over the rest of the song. Dude’s a party rockstar. LMFAO style.
After that it seemed almost impossible to follow up the rest of our night with something better than what just took place, and it turned out to be true. Two words. Cigarette smoke. We did end up having a fun time playing a show for Direct Effect and vise versa. The band that opened up the show jammed hard and we had fun singing along to the covers of the last band and dancing around like high school. alt