Hard not to be introspective and reflective on a night like tonight. But tomorrow is just another day, with no real significance at all. Funny how the future makes us look back. I’m where I’m supposed to be, and so are you. Cheers!
Did the movers and shakers of our brief history set out to change the world? Or did they press inward, leaning in on Christ, aiming only to transform their own life and please the One who gave if to them? Is the progress in science and civil rights advancement in God’s eyes? Or have we slithered only a few inches closer to his infinite glory, making “discoveries” that He discovered. Has the condition of the human heart advanced at all?
I want to believe that I aspire to be significant in a non-narcissistic fashion. I don’t crave fame, or legendary status. But if I am the center, in the spotlight or not, then where is Christ?
I am not the center of the universe, but I am the center of my life. When did I claim this life as my own in the first place? How does one take oneself out of the picture? Each morning I wake, my eyes are the camera, my thoughts are the script. Someone off screen yelled “action” before I had a choice.
How can you expect someone to react when you tell them they are important, but not necessary? Loved, but not depended upon? Delighted in, but not essential to the Master Plan?
I want to be vital to those I love more than I want those I love to be vital to me. In other words, I want people to depend on me more than I depend on them. There is much unlearning to do. So much re-wiring when it comes to my head space concerning Christ and his lack of dependence on my actions.
I’d rather have a responsibility in the kingdom and let God down than not play a crucial role at all. Is that backwards or what?
I want to train my sin, like a pet. I can’t believe I actually believe I can control it. We’ve not been called to get things under control, rather put sin to death.
Am I alone in my want to be the hinge; the indispensable connection to the door of oportunity? The one whose purpose is absolutely essential to The Purpose? Am I the only one who wants to be vital? Am I selfish?
After an eventful yet restful day in Chicago we (my buddy Jon and I) made our way to Iowa. The band has spent a lot of time in Cedar Falls / Waterloo the last couple years for several reasons. 1.) the shows are always good 2.) the people are nice 3.) Pablo’s is delicious 4.) Tim Dodd.
Tim is a extremely talented and extremely whacky friend of mine. You may know him from videos online like “How’d It Get This Nice?”, “Train Hunters”, or the epic conclusion of “Alien Hunters”. He shot and directed the music videos for The Golden State and I Wonder If It’s Me. He’s also responsible for a lot of promo pictures and stupid but funny tour videos online. More importantly, Tim is a great friend, who’s always generous and pleasant to be around. My travel buddy Jon had never met Tim and they hit it off so well!
The show was hosted by the Vandersee family. Lexi had seen AK play in town before and wanted to host the show at her familie’s beautiful home on the outskirts of Waterloo. The house was gorgeous and had the perfect space for the show downstairs. The family was very sweet and Jon and I had dinner with everyone before the show, including Lexi’s grandparents who live across the street. A lot of Lexi’s friends came, and a few of my friends showed up as well. It was a great turnout and a really smooth show. I don’t recall any weird questions, but there were some good requests and I was able to play most of them. Here’s Lexi and I after the show:
After the show Jon, Tim and I went back to Tim’s house and tried to lay down some tracks for a band we formed that same night. Every time we’d finish recording something and try to play it back it was just static in the speakers. Turns out Tim is a horrible recording engineer. Just kidding Tim, sort of.
I picked up my buddy Jon from Midway in Chicago mid morning and we grabbed some Panera for lunch. The pesto veggie soup there is one of my favorites. Jon was my room mate for one year in college and we’ve actually become much closer friends since then. He’s a college professor in Wichita and since his semester was wrapped up, and I was losing my mind, he flew out to ride along with me the rest of the tour. Jon had never been to any of the cities left on the route so I was looking forward to showing him a good time.
This was the only day without a show on the second leg, but that didn’t mean I had no band-related activities. Shine FM, a large christian hit radio station outside of Chicago invited me to come down and do an interview and some acoustic songs. I did my best to play a couple new ones for them, but my stomach was freaking out every time I took a deep breath. My face was so red Jon thought I was going to pass out! The dj at Shine, Tower, has become a friend. He’s been a big fan of Ad Astra for awhile now and was stoked to have me on the show. Our senses of humor resonated and there were lots of laughs.
My phone doesn’t take great pictures. I’m getting an iPhone in January though, so looking forward to that! After the interview we made our way to downtown Chicago. We caught some traffic but Jon and I didn’t mind, because that just meant more time to catch up and listen to new music we’d discovered since we’d hung out last. We rolled along Lake Shore Dr. as the sun went down. The buildings in downtown Chicago look incredible when they are illuminated at night and backlit by the sun.
We did the touristy stuff, but it was great. Nothing to see at Wrigleyfield, but we did have deep dish pizza at Giordano’s.
Millennium Park was all lit up for Christmas and had a lot of breath taking views. I had seen the bean in movies, but never in person. The amphitheater would be such an incredible place to see or play a show. There was an ice skating rink in front of the park, reflecting off the metallic bean. It was all very romantic, too bad I was with Jon. The massive pieces of art in Millenium Park were majestic and inspiring. I hope to visit the actual museum someday soon.
We wandered around Bucktown and I bought my brother his Christmas presents at Reckless Records. I almost bought “Becoming a Jackal” on vinyl, but I couldn’t justify the extra expense. We wrapped up the evening at The Pick Me Up Cafe with my friend Rachel and one of her friends. After lots of stories and laughter we made our way out. I ran straight into my friend Lauren at a different table, small world eh? We ended up crashing with a very nice family, the Hills, in Naperville. They have hosted the band a lot before and Cathy is always good for great conversation and coffee and eggs in the morning. The Chicago stop was such a relief. Felt good to have a day of from playing music and just enjoy my friends.
The flight from Buffalo to Detroit to Dayton was short, but my guts were killing me for some reason. I showed up to Cedarville a little early and spent some time at Jay’s apartment before the show. Felt good to shower but my stomach was still a mess, I couldn’t figure it out. Jay had made some cake batter cookies that were delicious and had a lasagna on the way. I was burning more acoustic cds to have for the show and trying to figure out why my stomach was gnawing at me. I have a feeling my complaints got annoying but everyone was doing their best to help. My buddy Zach drove up from Atlanta to Cedarville to see the show and hang. He’s a dear friend and fan to Abandon Kansas, he actually hosted the acoustic tour at his house last year in Georgia.
The show itself was at a different house with a big wide open living room. They had a fake fire on the tv screen next to me and I chugged through some songs. A few people from the Springboro show came again, but it was mostly Cedarville students. There were some good questions and requests and my guts were feeling a tad better. After the show I had to get some of the drive out of the way since I was due in Chicago by 11am the next day. I felt bad for the Cedarville crowd because they were very sweet to me but I was just not myself. I said my goodbyes and made my way to Fort Wayne where my friend Mars hosted me for the night. I would have been no fun to host because I was exhausted and still whining about my stomach.
The next morning I contacted my doctor and talked to a few local pharmacists and discovered I was dealing with a stomach ulcer(s). That’s a first! I bought some over the counter medicine, chugged water, and adjusted my diet accordingly. It was a few days of intense doubling over type pain that reduced to a little discomfort and eventually back to normal. The doctor made it clear that stress and diet can’t cause ulcers, only irritate them, so I’m not sure how I acquired mine. Just thankful it’s calmed down!
What a boring post.
You can send Christmas presents and cards to:
1431 E. Prairie Hill
Park City, KS 67219
:) Merry Christmas!
These are the top ten releases of 2011 in my humble opinion. Would love to see your list!
My Morning Jacket - Circuital
St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
Foster The People - Torches
Bon Iver - Bon Iver
Young The Giant - Young The Giant
M83 - Hurry Up We’re Dreaming
Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto
Washed Out - Within and Without
Radiohead - The King Of Limbs
Friendly Fires - Pala
Worth mentioning: new records from The Black Keys, Gungor, MuteMath, Switchfoot, Death Cab For Cutie, and Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s.
I originally booked the acoustic in Buffalo for two reasons: to see Niagara Falls, and because Bruce’s e-mail was just to genuinely interesting to pass up. It made zero sense in the routing; a 7 hour drive straight out to New York and back, but I wanted to make it happen regardless. A few days before the show Bruce e-mailed me saying that he wanted to bless me and my trip by flying me out to Buffalo instead. He had done the math on the routing and knew I’d be basically killing myself to make it out there in a car. I was so grateful for such generosity from a stranger and caught a flight out of Dayton to Detroit to Buffalo.
Bruce picked me up from the airport and we spent the afternoon talking music and stories from the road with his son Alex. It became apparent later that Bruce and his son had found Ad Astra Per Aspera on Amazon on release day and fell in love with the record. Alex had turned 18 a few days earlier and the house concert was partially a birthday present for him. What an honor! Alex knew a ton about new music and bands and we reviewed cds that we loved this year. Bruce has been promoting shows since college and he had so many great stories. He hooked me up with ten classic albums and his book about Big Star. Bruce booked acts like Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen for under a thousand bucks back in the day and he was with U2 in the arcade of a bar in Buffalo the day Lennon died.
The band has never played New York state. The crowd was awesome with a good mix of Bruce’s friends and Alex’s age friends. A lot of Bruce’s friends have been around live music their whole careers and I was slightly intimidated by all the music knowledge being thrown around. The Eaton’s were such incredible hosts though, I felt right at home and the set itself was very comfortable. Most of the crowd were strangers to Abandon Kansas so the stories were fresh, which makes telling them easier. One twelve year old kid in the audience asked me how drugs had influenced my life on the road. Everyone laughed, but he was very serious, and I gave him a straight answer.
After the show everyone had so many encouraging things to say. I was shocked to meet Armand Petri amongst the crowd. Armand produced all those platinum records for The Goo Goo Dolls and Six Pence None The Richer back in the day. He’s a genuinely nice guy and wasn’t pretentious about his career at all. He even bought the records! Buffalo was certainly a highlight of the tour for me. I had no idea what to expect, but Bruce and his family put together an evening I’ll never forget.
Early the next morning Bruce, Alex, and I got up before the sun to see it come up over Niagara Falls. I had to borrow a winter coat, hat, and gloves because I was not prepared for the frozen tundra. What a beautiful experience!
I grew up in Middletown, Ohio, just a few miles from Springboro. Despite the child-hood roots, the host was Jan Davis, a rad mom with some teenage kids in a rock band that I met at a full band show in Dayton back in August. They even have a full on recording studio in their basement. Jan made my favorite Ohio meal for dinner, Cincinnati style chili and provided a huge spread of snacks and finger foods for everyone attending the show. A good crowd rolled in. We have some faithful fans in that area, especially Andy, Ryan, Derek, and Annie. My buddy Joe also showed up and I enjoyed spending time with him and his girlfriend. There were some older folks that arrived and seemed to get a lot out of my stories and songs.
The set itself went smooth except for one character in the back. When Larry arrived I leaned over to my friend Joe and whispered, “I bet that guy completely takes over my show”. Joe didn’t believe me, but sure enough, for every story I had to tell, Larry had one that was better, and sometimes longer. He was cracking only himself and one other kid up, but I was so caught off guard I didn’t know how to handle it. Larry is a genius, quick-witted, and in general he’s quite pleasant. It was just overwhelming while I was trying to create an intimate atmosphere for the acoustic set. Here’s me and Larry after he bought Abandon Kansas sunglasses and mustache:
The house was overflowing with musically talented but incredibly shy teenagers. Jan showed me some of the new recordings they’ve been working on, I’m stoked to see where these kids end up. I passed out in the studio lounge and woke up less than an hour before my flight. Jan had some sausage and biscuits ready to eat on the go and I raced out. Jan was a great host, I hope the band keeps running into her and her family at our Ohio shows.
This one of the most unique days of the living room tour in that it wasn’t in a living room at all, and had four cameras capturing the whole experience in a tv studio. I arrived in Westerville, just outside of Columbus at the RadioU studios around 10am. I caught the sunrise when I left Indianapolis to make it in time. I hopped on the mics with Obadiah and Nikki to record a radio interview for the future and played an acoustic song on the air. After that we got the whole crew together and grabbed lunch at Panera. I love the staff at RadioU because they are big fans of music, but that’s not all there is to talk about. We left lunch and grabbed some Starbucks so we’d have something to hold for the video interviews.
The goal of the day was to make an hour long tv special capturing the Living Room Tour 3. Jared and I sat down in front of the fire place at a local church and talked casually about the ups and downs of the tour in front of the camera. We rolled back to the studios and did a sound check and a run through.
After everything was set people started showing up. They had run some contests through RadioU and given away 40 exclusive tickets to fans and listeners. I hid in my dressing room and was actually burning acoustic cds so I’d have some to sell after the show. Before the taping started I went through the crowd and shook everyone’s hand. I let them know that it was my first time doing anything like this and if they felt weird, they should know that I felt weird too. The taping itself went so incredibly smooth. The director let me know that if I didn’t feel good about a song or a story or wanted to re-do anything for any reason that I could, but we didn’t have to stop but one time during a Christmas song at the end. I was cracking up because I hadn’t played it acoustic the entire tour.
It wasn’t fluid and intimiate like the acoustic tour had been up til then, because after each song the director would say “clear!” and cameras would move and clipboards would get checked off and my forehead would get powdered. Here’s the rundown for the shoot, should air in a few weeks:
After the taping I played a couple more songs and answered questions from the studio audience. A lot of people wanted pictures and merch but one lady in particular made me so extremely uncomfortable. During the taping she kept getting up and limping around the room. After the show she asked me to sign her neck, said she needed something to make her husband jealous. Where do these people come from!?
The Shevlot’s have become friends of the band over the last year, running into each other at various festivals and shows in the midwest. They are known for ministering to bands and hosting them at their lovely place outside of Indianapolis. We’ve never stayed with them though because the last two times we’ve played Indianapolis it’s been the last day of the tour and we’ve headed straight home (as always). My friends Jess and Mo drove up from Nashville to spend time with The Shevlot’s and myself so it was cool to have some friends to relax with.
With no drive that day I got to sleep in for the first time on the tour. My tank was running on empty. I had been doing radio station visits early in the morning, driving all day, and staying up late into the night hanging with people. When I finally did wake up we grabbed some lunch at a nice brick oven pizza place and then Jess, Mo, and I went and caught the new Muppet’s movie. I don’t recall the last time I felt so good leaving a theater, what a great movie.
The show itself went pretty well. Jane had the living room all decked out with candles and lights and snacks. They’ve hosted several house shows before so they knew what they were doing. Some people rolled in I wasn’t familiar with, and then a few band friends from the area showed up. It wasn’t the biggest crowd but everyone was polite and I shared my songs regardless. This was one of the quietest shows on the tour, with hardly any questions coming from the audience. Here’s a picture by Jess:
After people shuffled out we hit up the local Applebee’s and told all kinds of stories. Rob and Jane have hosted and worked with hundreds of bands, and Jess and Mo have done the same. My buddy Brad came with us and he used to play drums in Paper Mache, a band we toured with years ago. Between the six of us there were plenty of laughs to be had. I love that group of people, they’ve always been so good to me and my band members. Hope we can come back and stay with The Shevlot’s soon.
I woke up in Springfield to a light snow on the ground. By the people were sliding across the road you would have thought I was in Florida around people driving in snow for the first time ever. The drive was long, over 8 hours to Indiana and I lost an hour in the time zone change. When I showed up at The Brook’s house the first thing I asked was if I could take a shower and change. After that I felt like a new man and enjoyed getting to know the Brooks. These two are the cutest married couple, only married for a month, with a huge hundred year old house all to themselves. Kristina out-did herself with a huge spread of snacks and four types of soup and chili to feed all of the guests dinner. The food was delicious! I ate way too much but it just tasted so good. I have the bad habit of wanting to try at least one of everything and when there is a vast spread of treats, that strategy can backfire. I think I got that from my dad.
My buddy Adam and his girlfriend drove down from Fort Wayne to hang out. He hosted the show last year and it was good seeing him again. The Brooks are good friends with Mike Mains and The Branches and big fans of House of Heroes so we had plenty in common to yak about. The set itself went fine, I was just hoarse from having no days off and running on very little sleep. Here’s a picture from Jake’s phone.
Only an hour away from the next day’s show, I decided to just make the drive to the next town on the other side of Indianapolis. If I wasn’t so exhausted I would have liked to spend more time with Jake and Kristina. I’m positive I’ll run into them again though!
Originally this was supposed to be an off day. A few days into the second leg I connected with Tyler, a student at Evangel University. Daniel, a fan of AK, had been keeping up with the tour and asked Tyler, who is involved in student activities, to bring the tour to Evangel. It was last minute but since I was already in town I played anyway.
I spent the day in Springfield with my friend Katie who just moved to Missouri from Minnesota for work at a booking/talent agency. I hung at her work and had a great time connecting with her co workers. We had lunch at the Springfield Brewing Co, delicious fish and chips and local beer brewed right there in the restaurant. I have so many great pals in Springfield, it was rad seeing a lot of them over the two days I was there.
Tyler had a ton of donuts and coffee available for free in the lobby of the second floor of the guy’s athletic dorm. Certainly not the first spot you’d expect to see me play and acoustic set, but it worked. People wandered in from their dorm rooms or on their way to and from practice and study sessions. A few people even found their way in off campus. It was good to see some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile and a few people even had requests.
After my set some students shared how much my stories resonated with them. That’s always crazy for me to hear. I never know exactly what stories I am going to tell. I mean, many of them are the same each night, but not all of them, and even the way I tell the same story is different. I don’t over-spiritualize it, but at the same time, I know that when a bunch of thoughts rush my brain and I feel like I have to say it out loud then God must have someone there that needs to hear it. It’s always affirming when someone comes up after the show and says “that one thing you said about such and such really spoke to me” or “man, that was tough to hear, but I really needed to hear that today”.
Back in high school I visited a few colleges to check out the football programs and campuses. I tried out at Southwest Baptist University, even kicked some field goals in the cold. I’m glad I didn’t go to SBU for a lot of reasons, but the every time the band plays in Bolivar everyone is super cool. My buddy Neal (you may know him from “I Wear Your Shirt”) hosted the show at his house and invited some friends over. We went to a mexican restaurant before the show. I had a quesadilla and this guy next to me ordered chicken tenders and french fries. What?
Neal’s younger brother’s band opened the show with some hilarious original songs about robots and role playing games. They had a banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, and hand drum and everyone was on the very of cracking up the entire time, in a great way.
A car load of my friends came up from Springfield and everyone else in the room was pretty new to me. I shared my songs and took a few requests. When I played some worship songs everyone joined in and sang with me. I love when that happens! This doesn’t have to be my show, and an acoustic tour is the perfect time for sing-a-longs. Originally the show was going to be at SBU, but they wanted me to do all Christmas songs in the background of a gingerbread house decorating contest. Neal is the man, I’m glad he hosted the show.
The entire drive to Tulsa it rained. I cruised along pretty slow and by the time I rolled into Jenks where the show was, it was already dark. My buddies Christian and Austin hosted the show in the band practice barn behind Austin’s house. It’s a great setup for a band. Fully carpeted barn with a loft upstairs with futons and a tv. The Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma game was the same night so I was convinced the turnout would suffer but 50-60 people packed into the small space. After Midnight opened the show with a slick acoustic set and then I did my thing. I felt really comfortable with the crowd and thought the show went really well.
After most of the crowd took off, a crew of us went to Buffalo Wild Wings. There was a boxing match on and I watched a fight from beginning to end for the first time. Christian did “Bye, bye, bye” and Katie and her friends did some Keisha and Hall & Oates for karaoke night. It was a hilarious group of college kids and I was very entertained. After the after party we had another after party and Christian and I watched Elf at Katie and Melanie’s house. I love that movie. I know that everyone else does too and I’m not being original. I just really like almost everything about that silly little movie.
Christian is a great dude and a really good fan to Abandon Kansas. He has lyrics from The Earth Falls Asleep tattooed on his arm. He suggested that anyone with lyrics or artwork or the band name should get into the concerts for free. I think he’s onto something.
My buddy Steve works at Stroker’s bike shop and pub in Dallas so I met up with some friends and him for lunch. It’s a heavily themed biker bar, but had great burgers and a pretty radical atmosphere. The show was in Denton, less than an hour away, so I set up an “office” if you will, at a Starbucks on the way. By the time I made it to Michele’s apartment, I was exhausted and took a snooze on the chair in her living room. I woke up to a full on Thanksgiving meal with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pumpkin bars and everything. Michele is a crafty, hilarious, awesome girl and her boyfriend Ashur is the same, just the boy version. They are going on a mission trip to Greece and the show was also a fundraising event for their travels.
The show got started much later than most shows on the tour and a band opened up, which was also a first on this tour. A couple members from this rad instrumental band called Across Waters played a few songs from their newest project. Part of the concept behind their music is providing a soundtrack to the narrative of the creation story. Very cool tunes and friendly guys. I played my set to a crowd of mostly strangers, who were friends supporting Michele on her trip. One fan, Brittany, drove up over an hour for the show. This is a picture from her phone.
Ashur makes jewelry out of antique silverware he was selling at the show and Michele had baked goods in the kitchen. They are such a cute and creative couple, I enjoyed being around them. I spent a little time getting to know a few people from the show but since we got started so late and the huge Thanksgiving meal, I was exhausted and headed back to Dallas for the night.
I woke up in Austin and busted my car out of car jail for $200, bummer. On the way up to Dallas I was driving with the cruise on, zoned out listening to Death Cab. I stepped on the accelerator to pass a slow car in my lane and the car started slowing down instead. I was singing along with “What Sarah Said” and didn’t even miss a word as I coasted down the nearest exit ramp. I had run out gas and there wasn’t a filling station in sight. I parked in an abandoned K-mart parking lot and spotted a Shell maybe a half mile away. Most gas stations have a loaner gas can they will let you borrow to get a few gallons in your tank and then come and fill up. This station was in the most ghetto of ghettos and being the only white person in the station, I felt like wasn’t supposed to be there. The clerk said I had to buy the gas can, and since I was already late for an interview, I reluctantly bought one.
I made it to Dallas in time to hop on the air with my buddy Adrian on PowerFM. This station plays AK pretty often and has been great to our band. I played an acoustic version of “Like It Or Not” on the air and Adrian played the remix of Heaven Come My Way. Radio interviews can be really awkward, especially live, but Adrian has always made it like we’re just hanging out talking.
The show was in Irving, the same place as the Dallas Cowboys stadium. Lindsay and her room mates Tabitha and Priscilla hosted the show at their house. They had a nifty purple Christmas tree and plenty of baked goods for everyone. A girl that I went to elementary school with in Ohio showed up with a friend. She moved to Dallas for work and it was awesome to see someone from that chapter of life. I haven’t kept up with anyone from elementary. I used to have the biggest crush on Carrie, ha! Adrian from the station came with his lovely wife and my friend Katie who had moved to Dallas from Kansas came as well. Even my friend Christina who works at The Door and her boyfriend Jared came! It was a smaller show, but very cozy and people at good questions. One fan, David, had some great questions and requests, he’s the man. This picture is from is twitter account:
After the show me and a group of eight from the show went out to Caves Lounge in Arlington. This bar is from the 70’s, and I don’t think they’ve renovated once. The crowd was mostly 20 somethings though and the karaoke was bangin! I don’t think most people would post a video of themselves doing karaoke but it’s just too funny, enjoy.
Thrice - Alchemy Index 1 & 2
Sleigh Bells - Treats
Radiohead - Kid A
Foster The People - Torches
Anathallo - Canopy Glow
The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow
Augustana - Augustana
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Jonny Greenwood - There Will Be Blood Soundtrack
Idiot Pilot - Wolves
I spent the day in Houston with my friend Anne. She knew of some great spots in Chinatown so we went on a little trip to that part of the city. We got a $20 hour long massage and it was unbelievable! Then we had lunch at an Indian food buffet. It was a very ethnical afternoon and a much needed vacation.
I got to the Austin show a tad late, partially because of all the Houston funtivities and partially because the apartment was hard to find. I always know that if I have a hard time finding it, then other people will. The show was at my friend Meghan’s apartment north of downtown. 7:30 rolled around and no one was there for the concert so we were tossing around ideas of what to do instead. Then all the sudden a good fifteen people showed up out of nowhere, some faces I recognized and some I did not. Either way, the crowd was great and the apartment was cozy. I told quite a few stories in Austin and played some songs I hadn’t played yet on the tour. The cat was stealing the show half the time.
After the show I suggested we should all go downtown and eat at the Kerbey Lane Cafe. Ten of us made our way down there and hung out for awhile. I took a call outside and was pacing up and down the sidewalk. I am definitely a pacer on the phone. I walked around the corner to find my car had been towed from the Jack ‘n The Box parking lot. It wasn’t THAT clearly marked, but I wasn’t supposed to park there. Instead of freaking out I couldn’t help but just laugh at how weird my day had been.
I have some awesome fans in Austin. Bethanie, who booked my acoustic tour last year in Austin, brought me a gift bag with several things off the list. People are far too generous on this tour, I’m very grateful!
I grabbed some drinks with a few new Austin friends at some really hip spots on Rainy street and crashed for the night. I figured the car was just as safe in car jail as anywhere and decided to just deal with that in the morning.
The show in Stafford Texas, just outside of Houston, was hosted by my new friend Justin at his parent’s house. It was a private show so there weren’t a ton of AK fans, just a lot of Justin and his fiance’s friends and family. Before the show we met up at Tornado Burger and got to know each other. Justin booked me at his house but had never actually seen the band play before. We hit up the Galleria mall just to kill some time and stretch our legs. Apparently Brittney was walking around the mall with her kids but we never ran into her. Here’s a new one for ya, Justin is ranked nationally in air hockey. I had no idea there was an underground professional world for air hockey!
The show itself went pretty well. There were some punk stoner kids that were throwing off the vibe for me. At one point I was answering a question from someone in the audience and one of those kids goes “Booooo, play a song….”. So that was awkward. After that passed I started getting more comfortable and actually connecting with the crowd. Some people had specific songs they wanted to hear and I was able to play a few of them. This show was on the same day the remix EP came out so we listened to them on Justin’s studio monitors in his room after the show.
When everyone had gone home a few of us hit up a TexMex place and shared some stories. Justin and his fiance Ashley have an awesome story and it was so cool hearing their plans for when they are married. I can definitely consider them friends now!
Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism
Death Cab For Cutie - Codes and Keys
Death Cab For Cutie - Plans
The Vines - Highly Evolved
Spoon - Transference
Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times
I’ve played Arlington all three years of the living room and it’s a highlight of the tour every year. This year my friend Cynthia hosted the show at her parent’s house, a beautiful place to have an acoustic show. I had lasagna with the whole family before the show and we started re-arranging furniture to accomodate for the show. People started rolling in early and I could tell it was going to be a packed room. My buddy Paul Demer from Second Story Feedback opened up the show with four or five songs of his own. I’ve known Paul and his bandmates for 3-4 years now, it’s crazy to him starting college and just getting better at songwriting every time I come through tonw. By the time I started singing there were 50-60 people in the living room, kitchen, and balcony above the room.
There were some great questions and a lot of requests from the first record. After the show a handful of people spent some extra time hanging around talking. I hate it that people think they are supposed to leave right away after a show. I’m much easier to talk to and actually feel like talking after the performance versus before, especially on this tour. Mrs. Thorne made a big batch of hot apple cider that resonated well with the rest of the Christmas decorations around the house.
Cynthia’s parents had me set up with a large bedroom/rec room to myself. I caught up on a couple episodes of The Walking Dead while burning more acoustic cds.