Thank you for reading the blog, the first of many trips and stories. Enjoy some of our favorite recordings from the tour!
Thank you for reading the blog, the first of many trips and stories. Enjoy some of our favorite recordings from the tour!
We drove from Chicago to Boston to Texas and back, and everywhere in between.
Last night at the DoubleDoor marked the end of our first tour and possibly the greatest trip of our lives so far. Being back in Chicago has been great though. We’ve all gotten to see some of our friends and family and get back into our deeply missed studio. We have a ton of new music we’re trying to get out to all of you as quickly as we can. We’ll definitely be recording soon.
We spent a lot of time in our studio this weekend practicing, writing and setting up everything perfectly….only to take most of it down for the show last night. We had one last run-through yesterday before packing up. It went terribly to be honest. Sometimes it’s just hard to get the good vibes going. Nevertheless, we were still excited for an awesome show. We like to compare it to being at the driving range, sculling every shot and then going out to play the best round of the year.
We loaded up our gear and drove over to DoubleDoor. We’ve always wanted to play this venue because of all the great music that has come through. We played with three other bands and so setting up was complicated. We had to get all of our gear on stage but out of the way.
By about 9:30, we went on and started with a long, jammed out, “One in 5”. The bass was bumpingg. We got to play for a huge crowd and being Mardi Gras, it was a great time. Johnny D even brought King Cakes and so we passed out pieces after the show. There was one guy in the audience that none of us know personally, but we’ve seen him at multiple shows now, dancing this slow, lengthy crazy dance. He’s “dancing man” and we hope to see him again, but never identify him.
We’ve been recording each show on this tour, including last night, and we’ve compiled a CD with songs from all over the tour that we will be posting this coming week. We hope you enjoy the live material! ALSO, we have hours upon hours of footage from all over the country and we are in the midst of creating a documentary about the trip…you don’t wanna miss it.
We want to thank everyone who continues to support us and our love for music. This has been such a great experience and we’ve learned so much about the music, the business and about ourselves . Next tour is coming sooner than you think. Thank you.
We’ve been gone nearly 40 days now.
We got up early at the truck stop and John drove us the last leg into Chicago. We left the sunny, 75 degree Texas weather yesterday and drove into the icy rain this morning outside of Chicago. But we couldn’t be more excited to play back in the greatest city that we call home. We drove straight to our studio to unload all our gear before driving up to the Detjen house to see the family. The studio hasn’t changed a beat but our room smelled pleasantly nice for the first time.
It is surreal being back home and at the end of it all, but we’re still in tour mode for this last show on Mardi Gras. We spent the day telling stories and hanging out. We slept at the Detjen’s and will move back in our apt tomorrow. We might just sleep in the bus this weekend..we’re so attached to Hildalgo.
Well we hope you’ve enjoyed this as much as we have. Come out tuesday for the last show of the winter tour here at the DoubleDoor!
We’ll post our last blog and a re-cap of this amazing journey after the show. Thanks for reading, watching, listening and supporting us. We’ll have new music heading your way in no time. Next tour is coming sooner than you think.
3/8/11 Last gig this time around. Should be the best yet.
On the road again, making music with my friends..
This morning, we got up and started the long drive straight through to Chicago. Johnny started off the trip and drove for quite some time. We have close to 20 hours to drive to get home. There isn’t much to write about today’s journey because we just kept driving and driving and driving.
We made it out of Texas mid-day into Oklahoma. It was dusty and windy. We stopped for gas to fill back up which cost us a pretty hefty dollar..prices are getting up there as we continue north. Not to mention this process takes about 30 mins because most pumps have a limit and so we have to stop and re-swipe our cards every 75 bucks. Either way, we love Hildalgo (the name of the bus we decided) and she deserves the best gas we can find.
Back on road, Connor took over the wheel. He got lost immediately, trying to get back on the highway, but eventually, after a couple redundant U turns, found his way. Johnny took a long nap and Bryce entertained Connor in the front seat. After a couple hours, we pulled off to fill up again and get some dinner at subway. It’s amazing how many rest-stops and gas-stations we’ve seen in all parts of the country and how they are all identical. It actually nuts.
Bryce took over and drove for another entire tank. By this point it was nearing midnight and we had just driven through St. Louis. Connor decided to attempt the last leg after filling the tank one last time. He only made it two hours as the other two slept. He pulled off the road to a truck stop to spend one last night on the road. The trucker next to us was in the back of his cab watching cartoons. This was normal to us. We went right to bed. Chicago tomorrow.
This was our last time at Bryce’s. We had a great breakfast, thanked Mrs. Axelrad for everything and hit the road for TCU. Today’s drive was about 5 or so hours in the bus. We stopped once for gas and starbucks as per usual and stayed awhile to post some things and take a break from driving. Johnny sat outside in the sun with a guitar. It was another great day out.
We continued on and pulled right up to the venue, parked in front, and started unloading. Fort Worth is a cool city, we wish we had more time to spend here. The aardvark is one of the biggest spots we’ve played this tour and had a really nice PA system so we were excited for the sound to be good tonight. We were the opening act so we set-up on stage, turned on some haze, plugged in the lights, hit record and started playing. Some friends of ours came out and brought some people with and so we got to play for a small crowd for about an hour.
The show itself was a lot of fun for us. It was sort of bitter-sweet, being the last show before Chicago next Tuesday. We devised a great last set and rocked out. Bryce killed it on the drums, John solo’d like a boss and Connor danced with his keys all night. Afterwards we packed up quickly to get out of the way of the other band. We stuck around for awhile, got a free meal, listened to some more great music before loading up to leave.
Outside, we noticed that the van had been parked in front of a tattoo parlor all night.. We may or may not have gotten some art-work done…you’ll have to ask.
Anyway, Charlie A, a friend from back home, invited us to come over to his place and so we drove the bus over. His younger brothers and some friends hung out with us. We watched Due Date and it was hilarious. We spent the night on couches and a spare bed. We’ll definitely be back to TCU soon.
This first Tour is coming to an end but we cannot wait to play back in our hometown, Chicago. Tomorrow we cross the country once more.
The three of us woke up and drove back into the city to get breakfast with a friend of the Detjen’s, Rick C. He took us to a spot called Counter Cafe which was great. Rick told us some great stories about music in Austin. He is a big music fan and knows just about every venue in town, and has been to them all. We even learned a secret about ACL this year….ask us because we are definitely coming back down for it.
After breakfast, we walked down the street to Waterloo Records, a famous record store in Austin. It’s known for being a great place to find new music and just about anything on vinyl. We browsed for awhile before saying goodbye to Rick and hitting the road.
Back to Houston. The drive was about 4 hours, Johnny and Bryce split it. We stopped once to fill up the tank. Connor followed Bryce into the bathroom with the video camera rolling and a guy who was already in there thought we were weirdos.
We got back to Houston around 2pm to hang in the sun by the pool at Bryce’s house. It was yet another perfect day out. We did have big plans for night however, to attend the Houston Rodeo, the biggest rodeo in the world. Tonight was opening night, so of course, we dressed up like cowboys. Hats and all.
Bryce’s older cousin Cas picked us up and we drove into town. We started first inside the arena watching bull-riding, buckin’ broncos, cattle roping, horse racing, you name it. But best of all was the calf-scramble.
About 40 teenagers that are involved in fundraising and scholarship opportunity come out into the arena. They lined up as about 20 calves were herded toward their direction. At the sound of a whistle or most likely a gun, they all scrambled to wrestle a calf to the ground, fix a harness on its head and lead it back into the middle of the arena that was marked off with chalk. The kids that successfully did this earned scholarship towards school. Keep in mind that these calves are bigger than most of these teenagers, weighing upwards of 150 pounds.
It was a mad house. Kids were form tackling the animals, jumping on their backs, literally doing anything they could to get a calf. One girl had a calf by the tail and was being dragged all around the arena. SO many kids got trampled. Connor asked Bryce if this was legal for both the humans and animals. The yankees were loving Texas at this point. This all lasted for almost 20 mins.
After the events ended, Clay Walker, a country singer came on to perform. We stayed for a couple songs and then left to go outside and see the livestock and carnival. After a couple turkey legs, freshly squeezed lemonade, deep-fried twinkies, pizza and manure, we made our way back to Bryce’s. Tonight was a blast at the Rodeo.
Tomorrow we head to TCU to play at The Aardvark.
This morning started with Bryce and Johnny’s trek back across town to Trinity College to meet back up with Connor and Daniel, Bryce’s cousin. They were coming from UTSA, where Bryce’s other cousin goes to school.
Meanwhile, Connor had some time to kill so he drove the big rig to a nearby Guitar Center after wandering Walmart, doing the morning ritual of cleansing. Starbucks was next door, so after doodling around Guitar Center, he got some breakfast and then met up with the other guys.
At Trinity, Daniel swiped us all into the cafeteria to get some food. What a guy. Afterwards, heading back to the bus, Bryce commandeered a campus golf-cart we found sitting alone. He took it for a short spin but got scared.
For the drive to Austin, Daniel and Bryce’s friend Andrew joined us. We hit the road after lunch for the hour drive. The ride was uneventful…we made it there fast. Today was one of the nicest days out because it wasn’t as hot, but sunny and breezy. Austin is such a cool city, we park the bus and walked around for a little before finding the venue, The Parish on 6th street. It wasn’t open yet so we sat on a bench in the sun for almost an hour. Our exhaustion is really catching up with us.
Next, the plan was to drive up to UT’s campus and find a park. As we were pulling away, Bryce ran out of the door and down the street, while on the phone. None of us knew was going on, but he yelled for us to meet him there. It turns out that he was meeting a long time friend who lives in town. The two of them grabbed food while we made our way to the park.
By this time it was 3pm. We drove through campus and found a perfect park for us to kick around a soccer ball and just lay down. There were no spots to park so we pulled into a campus bus lane and left it there. Several busses stopped to pick up passengers in front of the Asthma III. They didn’t seem to mind the space we were taking. Most everyone thinks we have some sort of a government vehicle that is always parked somewhere for a reason and so they don’t question it.
Bryce arrived shortly after and we all sat on a hill. The drama club was practicing a scene over and over where one guy ran down the hill sprinting to the rest of the group reciting lines. Bryce and Andrew decided to run with him the next time around. We got it all on film. They sprinted after the actor and the drama club stopped in their tracks, wondering what was going on. Bryce said to them “what are we doing?” while laughing hysterically. He gave out some CDs which they all graciously accepted.
Also while we were in the park, we saw a security guard giving parking tickets. Our bus wasn’t even in a spot. The guy examined the Asthma III on all sides and then just passed on by. This confirmed our belief that no one will ever ticket this charitable vehicle.
We drove back to The Parish to unload. The stage was huge and the sound system and provided staff were best yet. We were the headlining act tonight so we got to set-up first and sound-check. At one point, we were told that a stranger outside tried to donate 20 bucks to the Mobile-Care Foundation. One of the staff told the man that it was actually a traveling band using the bus, at which point the man insisted on giving the 20 to the us for gas. This was the highlight of the day. What a cool dude. We’re going to add it to our donation back to the foundation.
After sound-check, we walked down the street to grab some food with Bryce’s aunt who is the sweetest lady ever. We had to eat quickly to get back to the venue, but it was a lot of fun telling stories at dinner.
We went on at 10 and it was really great. A good number of people showed up and we played a fun set. It was really hot on stage and we were sweating bullets. Connor said at one point there was so much sweat in his eye, it must have looked like he was crying on stage.
After the show, we packed up as quickly as we could and went out on 6th street which was extremely busy for a monday night at 1AM. One guy on a street corner insisted on telling us that, “if anyone ever makes you mad, tell them to make you a sandwich.” He screamed this to a lot of people. He was kind of crazy. We got a couple nice slices of pizza at the end of the night, watched some cops break up a fight, and drove the bus out of the city to Bryce’s cousins to spend the night. On the way there we got sort of lost and so we argued the entire way. However, we were very thankful to be able to stay the night and get out of the bus. Austin was unreal. We will definitely be back.
Woke up this morning to pack for San Antonio. Bryce’s uncle Bobby brought over some bagels for us all. Also to our surprise he gave us each a Starbucks gift-card. He must be reading this blog to know how often we go. Well it’s time to let you all in on a secret as to why we hit up Starbucks as often as we have. The wi-fi, bathrooms and caffeine are great but the real reason.. gift cards. We have been living off of a handful of Starbucks cards that we so graciously received before we hit road. We are happy we did this now that gas prices just went way up….we have a million gallon tank to fill, and we’ve saved big on food.
Anyway, after all this, Dr. D came back over to say goodbye and then we all hit the road. Bryce’s cousin Daniel and Detjen brother Paul came along with us for the ride to San Antonio. On the way there, we stopped at a famous truck stop called Buc-cee’s. This place had everything imaginable and was pretty hilarious. It was like a Texas superstore. Some of us ate, others just walked around and looked at all the memorabilia.
We made it into San Antonio with a couple hours to spare before load in and so we looked for parking so we could check out the river-walk. There was nowhere to park so we decided to illegally park in an ‘employee only’ paid parking lot. It was sorrrt of near a hospital, so we figured the Asthma III wouldn’t get towed.
We walked the River-Walk for awhile and made our way to the Alamo. This was such a cool site. Bryce and Daniel gave a brief history. We got some flavored ice and just walked around. The weather down in Texas was perfect. Afterwards, we all sat on the river-walk and listened to a jazz trio before heading back to the bus..it was still there.
Momack’s, the venue, wasn’t too far and so we pulled up to unload. We set up and went on as the sandwich (middle) act around 10. We didn’t expect such a great turn out, being a Sunday, Oscar night, in a town where we don’t know anyone, but there was a great turn out which made it really fun for us. We met some great people.
However, after the show was the single most fun part of the day. The bar was basically closed, but the five of us and Kris, a good friend from Austin who came all the way down for the show, stuck around outside to play a juggling game. We found a bouncy soccer ball and started kicking it around. Then John challenged us all to get 20 hits in a row without letting the ball hit the floor. Everyone had to get at least one touch.
We played for 45 mins laughing non-stop as sweat dripped down our faces. Bryce was diving into bushes to save valuable hits, Paul was parkouring off the walls making remarkable saves, John was a mad man running around non-stop and Kris was ducking constantly.. Finally we did make 20 in a row with Bryce kicking the ball 100 feet in the air on the 20th hit as we celebrated. After, some of us went back in the bar shirtless to “shower” in their bathroom. The bar-tenders really appreciated this.
The night wasn’t over yet. We drove across the city to meet another cousin of Bryce’s and some of her friends. Daniel went back to Trinity U at this point, where he goes to school. Paul had a 6AM flight and it was nearing 3 AM so Connor and he drove back to the airport and Bryce and Johnny slept at Bryce’s cousins.
Connor dropped off Paul at the airport and then slept in a Walmart parking lot alone. He says it was oddly peaceful… “Nothing like boondockin with a nice texas breeze and the sweet smell of mesquite,” he tells us.
San Antonio was a great stop. Austin, here we come.
We woke up the girls this morning with the dogs to get the day going. All of us had a couple donuts and then Bryce took us back into the city to show them around. Kate and Clare were thrilled to be in the warm weather.
We pulled up to a big park an walked around for awhile. Bryce brought a frisbee… his number one choice of park activity. Johnny led us onto a Japanese garden where he and Bryce pulled off a cross pond frisbee pass that was pretty daring. Next thing we know, Clare D is playing with a tail-less squirrel in the corner. Connor joined in to feed it some sweet-tarts, and the squirrel obliged.
Bryce’s cousin Daniel then met up with us at the park and we all went to pick up Dr. Detjen, who had just arrived. Bryce took us to a BBQ joint directly across the parking lot from an enormous gun store…just the kind of Texas we’ve been looking for. We had some pretty amazing beef-brisket lathered up in their special bbq sauce and then went over to check out some guns of course. The guy behind the counter let us pose with some guns and take some pictures. We all pretended like we were avid gun collectors.
Back at the Axelrad’s, yet another Detjen arrived, Paul. Paul surprised half of us by not telling all of us that he was coming down. He is the oldest Detjen and one of the main reasons FinleyKnight exists. He has been playing, teaching, filming, recording and influencing the music of John and Connor since all three of them were young. He has passed down more music equipment than Guitar Center even has to offer, and he has given countless support and advice to us that we deeply appreciate. He’s the man.
In the afternoon, we all hung by the pool for awhile and caught up before heading out to the show. Tonight’s gig is at a cool place called The Last Concert, right outside the city. We all hopped in the bus and drove over. The new-comers rode in terror, as they have not experienced the constant sway and rumble of Asthma III. The farther back in the bus you are, the more it feels like you’re constantly crashing.
We dropped the others off for dinner and drove up to the venue with Paul to unload. The stage was awesome. This was an outdoors venue with a covered stage and a huge sand pit as the dance floor. The sand was filled with hulu-hoops for people to dance with. We were told that drugs are legal here in the sand….and it really seemed so. It’s a pretty psychedelic place.
After setting up and sound- checking we were ready to bump. We hazed up the stage, grabbed some food inside and then came out to start as a bunch of people were showing up. We played for a little over 2 hours and had a blast. The fans, friends and family at this show made it great. Afterwards, we met lots of people before loading everything back into the bus to do it all over again tomorrow. We said our goodbyes and made our way back to the Axelrad’s to go to bed.
San Antonio tomorrow. Paul and Daniel are joining us for the ride.