Tour started off in Toronto at Hard Luck Bar. There’s always a lot going on on the first day of tour, and this time around was no exception. There are people to meet, merch to count, and things to set up for the next few weeks on the road. Driving up from Buffalo with Head North wasn’t too bad. There were no issues for any bands crossing the border, which can often delay the process. We were off to a smooth start. The opening show was sold out so the room was packed and full of energy all night. Head North and Sorority Noise started things off. Both bands set the vibe for the rest of the show with a good mix of high energy and mellow moments. Kids went particularly crazy for their fellow Canadians in Seaway. Knuckle Puck brought the energy that they’ve become known for, with a set list that would please any and every fan of the Midwest pop punk group. This show set the tone for the rest of the week and definitely got everyone excited for this tour. After heading back to Buffalo, we left the following day for the next stop on tour, and we got to bring our tour dog, Django, along. The next show was in Pontiac, Michigan, at the Crofoot, one of the bigger rooms on this tour. Playing larger rooms can often ruin the intimate feel of a show, but the bands still brought that energy in and kept everyone engaged throughout the night. There was a day off to make the drive from Michigan to Minnesota. Driving days through this part of the country are often uneventful. There really isn’t enough time to stop and explore considering such a long drive needs to be made in a day. Besides occasionally stopping for food, gas, or to let the dog out, it was a day spent in the van. I never thought I’d find myself in Burnsville, Minnesota, of all places, but that’s where we ended up. The venue was a cool space with a bit of a DIY vibe to it but still with enough production to make it one of the more interesting spots. Being from upstate New York, I’m not as familiar with these parts of the country. I often find myself curious about how this music scene thrives out in areas like this, and, ultimately, I was not disappointed. The show was just as fun and hyped as the ones before it. Next up was Iowa City, Iowa, a college town that I had been to in the spring with Head North. This is where I spent my 23rd Birthday. The venue was one of the smaller ones on the tour, and it had an intimate feel to it. The front area of the stage quickly filled up. It was awesome seeing familiar faces at this show. St. Louis was our next stop. I hadn’t been to this venue before, but I was very pleased with it. For a Monday night, the show still drew out a decent amount of people, despite our constant worries that it wouldn’t. We had another day off to make the drive to Denver. We drove about halfway to Colby, Kansas, and crashed there for the night. Denver is probably one of my favorite cities to be in. The city is cool, the culture is interesting, and the shows are always fun. Denver didn’t disappoint. We were also able to get free burritos from Illegal Pete’s, an awesome place that offers free food to touring bands. Free burritos make everything better. Salt Lake City was next. The show was at an interesting place called In The Venue. We were once again uncertain about what turnout to expect for this show, but, luckily, we were pleasantly surprised. Kids out here showed just as much energy as anywhere else on the tour. After that, we had a day off to make the drive to Seattle. Many of the bands started driving the night of the SLC show to try and get there early. We completed half of the drive throughout the night and finished it off during the day. We made a stop at Snoqualmie Pass, WA. This was where the reality of being in the Northwest began to sink in. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful parts of this country, and it truly made me excited to be out West once again.
Words & Photos by Taylor Rambo