12/05/10 – The Late Great Tour Blog (2nd half of tour)

Ok, well here is part 2 of this tour blog. How I wish I had the time to do more blogs throughout this tour but this tour was just as brutal as expected. So many times we had to cut out of the shows early just to make the next one in time. It was a true test of health and stamina under the worst weather conditions and little to no sleep.

The good news, continuing from where I left off last time, I did not have to cancel any shows. It was a very close call after the Mesa, AZ show but I rested my voice, got some medication and really held back from pushing myself too hard when I was singing. I pretty much had to be careful for all the shows up the West Coast, from San Diego to Seattle.

As I’m writing this, I’m thinking back on the fact that we’ve pretty much avoided any major catastrophe’s on this tour regarding our transportation. I mean, there was the one incident when I woke up after playing El Paso. We stayed in Albuquerque that night and I wake up to a text from Konstantine saying, “did you see the van?” A number of things ran through my mind but this has to be one of the oddest incidences. The story goes that at about 2:30AM, a truck pulled up behind our van and trailer in the hotel parking lot and a man quickly got out and started hacking at the back of our trailer with an axe. Then the hotel security yelled at him and he sped off. So now we have these dents and gashes in the back trailer doors. And it looks like the lock was pretty badly damaged as well. But fortunately for us, it was an unsuccessful attempt.

Another major happening on this tour is that it’s the first time we had to compete a tour without the four of us being together. It was strange, but after the first show of the tour, Cameron started mentioning pain in his wrist. I took him to an emergency room on a day off in a small Texas town. They determined that he had tendinitis but not before they questioned him about drug use and why his pupils were dilated. It was pretty ridiculous. But they gave him a splint to wear and instructed him to alternate hot and cold compresses on the affected area. But Cameron managed to push through until we made it to San Francisco. Once there, he stayed behind to get himself back to full strength and and we picked up our good friend Chelsea. Chelsea is an amazing drummer and anyone that has managed to catch her on this tour has witnessed something quite special. She has been working with my friend & collaborator on all things Dommin, Lucas Banker. Her project has yet to be named but I think it can only be described as something like Bjork meets Depeche Mode with a bit of a Fiona Apple influence. I had the pleasure to sing on one of her songs. It was pretty crazy considering we never practiced with her at all. She was already a Dommin fan familiar with our music. She just listened to everything, took some notes and jumped on tour and played perfectly. I’m definitely thankful to her for having helped us out and I’m very excited for her project to come out. She has certainly been getting a lot of praise from Dommin fans on this tour.

One interesting story that really blew me away is that we visited a radio station in Merced, California on the way to the San Francisco show. The DJ there has been someone who has been spinning Dommin excessively for a little while and we’ve been trying to work out an in-studio interview for a while. When we saw we were heading up that direction, we made sure to work it all out. I met two DJ’s there and both attributed Dommin’s music to them getting married. I will refrain from revealing their personal stories here, but it was pretty mind-blowing.

The day before the Seattle show was the first day off we had that we were able to spend some quality time with our good friends in The Birthday Massacre. The tour had been so hectic that we really felt like we were missing out on this opportunity. So most of the band members and their tour-mates on the bus from Aural Vampire joined the Dommin crew for dinner and an all-nighter on the bus. It was bittersweet because it was the first time we were really getting to take advantage of the tour we had been dying to be on since the first time we toured with them in ’09, yet it was so far into the tour that we were already sensing the end of it all.

From Seattle to Michigan, we experienced some seriously cold weather and treacherous road conditions. There were a couple of times we hit black ice and slid across lanes and then there was the time when a semi ran me off into the shoulder of the road full of snow and ice. It definitely wakes you up.

This was the first time I had experienced my Thanksgiving holiday on the road. And while I wasn’t with my family by blood, I was with my family on the road. Our tour manager/merch-girl/lighting-lady had invited us over to spend the holiday with her wonderful hospitable family. We also invited the other bands on the tour. I think they all had a really great time and it was nice to spend some time in an actual house with really good food. It’s weird how much you appreciate a nice clean and comfortable couch as opposed to the busted, ripped and stained furniture we usually get in the cold and dank backstage rooms we are accustomed to.

Any way, the last few dates of this tour went by too quickly. The shows were great. We had a lot of fun hanging with the fans at the shows and meeting all sorts of new people that were turned on to the music. I think the most memorable thing about this tour was the song ‘Closure.’ It’s a song that has meant a lot to a lot of people. And it’s also a song that allowed us to connect emotionally with people who had never heard of this band called ‘Dommin’. Getting the crowd to sing “goodbye” with me every night felt powerful. And it’s something I’m considering making a part of every show that we play this song. There’s something special about making a Dommin show a therapeutic experience that people leave feeling stronger than before the concert. I don’t know…it’s just a thought at this point, but it sounds attractive to me at the moment. I know Konstantine and I have a whole lot of live footage to go through from this tour as well as all the ‘Closure’ submissions we’ve yet to see and receive. Between the videos we are putting together and pre-production for the next album, we’re going to be arriving home with a whole lot to do.

I’m writing this as we are making our way through Texas to Tucson, Arizona. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get to do a full headlining tour to support the ‘Love Is Gone’ album. But I’m certainly grateful that we get to close out this support run with two headlining shows, one in Tucson and one in Hollywood. I’m not sure what to expect from Tucson. But I think The Viper Room in Hollywood on a Friday night with Dommin headlining is going to be a night to remember.

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