Daylights No Reverse Tour – Chicago

Ever get hold of that last bastion of reserve energy your body has somehow been hiding away despite almost 3 days of little to no sleep and it feels like you’re cruising around in some kind of harness being held up just enough so that your feet still touch the ground?

That’s me right about now. Rocking out in the van to Temper Trap while barely being able to keep my eyes open. If the above depiction didn’t make any sense, that’s probably because you’re rested with a brain that’s actually functioning normally.

Currently in between India-no-place and Chicago en route to Packer country, Ran is at the wheel again cutting Blanche through a mix of cow pastures and post-harvest winterized corn fields.

Ah the sweet aroma of the Midwest..

Last night’s show in Columbus was surprisingly upbeat and fun despite the COLD COLD bite from the weather outside. We thankfully had had a quick little two hour window for a nap at the hotel beforehand though following the 11 hour drive out of NYC.

Every second was needed too

This having been only my second excursion through (and first real visit in) the Big Apple, I’ve learned one thing for sure: existing and moving through that town is taxing.

From the train to the subway to the cabs to walking 3 full miles with my luggage, I feel pretty confident in saying that I’ve done the New York thing at least for a hot second. More power to the people that love it, but I’ll take Texas, the Dixie Chicks and their wide open spaces thank you very much (or at least just Texas and the wide open spaces).

I had flown to Corpus during the weekend for some time with the family while the fellas took off from Nashville to West Virginia and on to Philly. In the span of about 10 hours, my world went from little coast community to concrete jungle of noise.

The Mercury Lounge show was quite the surprise with a great crowd and stellar stage vibe. The guys had gone to see a couple of their buddies in the Foo Fighters play the night before and it seemed like everyone was in the mood for another all out rock show. They got it too.

Then things got really real with one of the most insane load outs I’ve experienced yet being on the road. It’s probably not something you’d think about much, but if you can imagine CARRYING a trailer full of gear half a city block to an illegally parked van while dodging hundreds of people and cranky bouncers at 1am in the heart of New York City, you’ll get a rough idea.

I’m still stressed out just thinking about it.

With seven people now in our tour party, we had pieces of the group scattered all over Manhattan and the lower east side that night as well.

Ricky and I crashed at a friend of a friend’s place, spent three hours parking and re-parking the van, and slept until 2pm the next afternoon. I probably could’ve stayed in bed until next week but we had places to go and people to see.

Thankfully the band had the night off with our only obligation being a meet up with the Katy Perry crew for their show at Madison Square Garden and their “almost end of tour” after party.

Lost would too strong of a word, but Ricky and I definitely took our sweet time navigating the subway system en route to meet up with some friends for a couple drinks before heading to MSG.

One thing I can really appreciate about NYC is the sheer volume of variety in people we passed moving around town. Millions of faces swerving left, cutting right, and weaving through each other en route to their individual destinations.

I love to observe and people watch. Every person has their own story, concerns, loves, struggles, and joys. Some people stare at the ground when they walk, some hold their face up. Some smile, some frown, some stare blankly off into space.

Few actually seem to make eye contact or treat you as much more than an impediment to be navigated around and the funny thing is I totally understand it. In a place like New York, there are just too many foreign stimulants encountered in a given excursion for the brain to process all of them with concern and consideration.

Thousands of little decisions to step left around this person, take the 6 train, grab this seat, hold this pole, get off the 6 transfer to the L, remember your wallet in the cab, listen to the cello player in the underground walkway, step on to the crosswalk, nope - step back on to the sidewalk to avoid getting run over by another overly aggressive cab driver, let the old woman go through the door first, act like you can’t hear the homeless guy yelling at everyone that they’re all now under arrest, hold your breath while passing the trash bags on the curb in front of the Thai restaurant, and on and on.

Everything becomes part of one big obstacle course. If you watch closely, you can actually see people concentrating on their next move. I think folks in NYC are less friendly than other places almost out of necessity if that makes any sense.

That alone is one of the biggest reasons why I enjoy the South. Living life is flat out EASIER which makes it more accessible to having the option of consideration for others and being a little less stressed with the everyday. You just don’t have to deal with so much of the overload.

Alas, all this to say that we finally made it to the KP show to jump around an arena like a bunch of idiots with thousands of teenie bopping 15 year olds decked out in blue wigs and glow light necklaces. It never ceases to amaze me.

Once the show was done, we shipped off to the after party to hang for a bit, dance for a bit, and stay up way too late for no good reason. At around 5 in the morning, Svend managed to pull the van out from the other side of the island and get everyone packed back in the box on wheels to high tail it out of the city.

With an aggregate of MAYBE eight hours official sleep time over the past three nights, my brain is really a bit on hiatus. Not to be deterred though, I’m stoked to power through these last two or three shows.

Tomorrow is our last day off before heading home for Thanksgiving. Going to recharge and try to come up with a solid end of tour prank to pull in Chicago. Any ideas are welcomed…