Time to get WARPED: Warped Tour 2014 - Update 1

I cannot believe how quickly time is flying. It's day 4 of tour and our first day off in little tiny Amarillo, TX. These first three days have whizzed by, but I was in desperate need for some time off. Tour has been a whirlwind to say the least, but i'm excited to finally get some time to sit down and reflect on what's all happened thus far.

I left Denver bright and early last Wednesday, June 11th. That same day, I turned 22. My family and roommates all took the time to try and help me celebrate my big day before I left for the summer with wonderful gifts, fun adventures, and delicious food, but it all felt so surreal... I didn't really have time to focus on my birthday because of how hectic it had been preparing for tour, and that's just the way it goes sometimes. There's always another one next year, right? 21 was a huge year of life for me full of lots of growth, questions, and time spent getting to know myself better. I can only hope that this time out on the road and these next 365 days will be as good as the past year has been.

I touched down at 1:30pm local time in Houston, Texas with Tony, my Tour Manager, and Travis, Sound Engineer Extraordinaire. We spent the day running errands, picking up the band as they arrived, continually searching for our lost luggage (which finally showed up sometime around 11pm that day), and settling in to our hotel.

Tour check-in was on Thursday and everything went fairly smooth. Everyone's paperwork was good to go, all of our shipments had arrived without issue, and I got to take all the sweet time I wanted on my pre-tour merchandise inventory (completed by a dinner of Papa John's and a plastic cup full of cheap Cabernet Sauvignon). Thursday was also the day we got to meet our tour bus. I know this sounds silly, but this was a HUGE deal. The band and I have never lived on a tour bus before, so this first chance to step into our home for the next two months was met with curiosity and some anxiousness. My major concern was being able to easily access my stuff (since my luggage would be living in the bay underneath the bus), but I learned the the bus has plenty of little drawers we can use to hold daily necessities, and the bunks are long enough for me to leave my computer bag and day bag at the end and still sleep comfortably. We all picked our bunks and had the N64 hooked up in the back lounge within ten minutes of boarding; it's safe to say we are all quickly feeling right at "home". The bus is super nice and the bunks are comfortable, but sleeping while moving is still something I'm still adjusting to. I've never had motion sickness issues, but then again i've never attempted to sleep in anything bigger than a car while driving except our sprinter. I've been getting small headaches the past few days once we start moving, but they're nothing intolerable and I fall asleep within minutes of getting into bed. I have a feeling i'll adjust within the next few weeks and be just fine, but for now, I'm trying to hit the hay pretty quick before/after departure to just avoid any issues altogether.  

I think what's astounded me the most so far has been how drastically different it has felt coming into Warped tour simply knowing the basics of how this tour runs in comparison to last time. In 2012 none of us had ever worked Warped Tour before, didn't know anyone, and were essentially flying by the seat of our pants. This time we know the drill. We've been to these venues before, met the people, and understand the daily routine. It's comforting to realize just how familiar this setup is despite who is there, or what city you're in. The only huge difference between this tour and last is our living situation, and that has drastically improved every single aspect of life imaginable. I'll probably do another post about it tomorrow, but you can't even imagine how easy little things like doing my nightly inventory, or loading in/out of the venue is compared to last time. And the near guarantee that I'll get a shower every day? I AM IN HEAVEN. 

This year, the tour started in Texas. Our three dates here have a reputation for being some of the most treacherous of the entire tour, and they have certainly lived up to the expectations. Whether that's crazy weather or insane heat, the Texas shows are always hard, and this year was no exception. Houston was awful. I cannot tell you another time I've sweat that much in all my life. I was beading sweat off my face within five minutes of stepping off the bus our first morning and it only continued the rest of the day. San Antonio's humidity was a little less and more manageable, and yesterday in Dallas was the coolest day so far thanks to a heavy breeze that seemed set on destroying my tent. Every day is exhausting and very physically demanding, but I'm hoping that all of my lifting and hauling will keep me in decent shape this summer. If not, I was invited to start doing stretching and Pilates with Chris, the drummer from Bayside, so there's that. haha. It feels great to be surrounded by so many people I know and love, and to feel comfortable in cities where I don't know a single soul. I'm excited for this to keep going, and see what all the summer has in store for me. 


That's all for now, folks! Follow along on Twitter for more daily updates, but for now,