Thursday, May 31, 2007

Driving Day (Day Off)

We got our A/C fixed this morning. It cost way too much, but it had to
be done. We were supposed to have a show in Albuquerque, NM tonight,
but we dropped off the bill. We couldn't make the show in time (because
of the repair this morning). We've been driving since about noon

We're driving about 2/3 the way to Dallas, TX tonight (that's where
tomorrow's show is). We're going to drive for another three or four
hours and get a hotel. We'll finish the drive in the morning. Overall,
it's been a relaxing day. I hope Texas treats us well...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tempe, AZ (Day Off)

Today was our day off in Tempe, AZ. We had a laundry list of stuff to
get done. Our main priority was to get our van's A/C fixed. Matt, Tim,
and I went to the repair shop early in the afternoon. We knew we had
blown a hose, and we thought we were looking at about a $400 repair.
Well, we were WRONG.

We had also blown out the compressor and some other parts. We are
looking at a $1400 repair. BUMMER! We're getting it fixed in the
morning. We're supposed to be playing a show in Albuquerque, NM
tomorrow. Unfortunately, we're going to drop off the bill because we
won't make it in time (due to the A/C repair).

Tonight, we're just going to relax and try not to let this A/C repair
get to us.

Tempe, AZ (The Clubhouse)

Last night's show as at The Clubhouse in Tempe, AZ. It ended up being a
good show. The sound was awesome. I think this was the best mix the
guys have had yet on this tour. They sounded amazing! They killed it,
but the crowd was pretty dead.

The lights were really cool. They were complicated to run, so I let the
light guy do his thing. We did decent on merch. Overall, pretty cool
venue and pretty good show.

After the show, all the bands went to our friend's house for a party.
It was a decent time. I was really tired, so I didn't really too crazy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

San Diego, CA (Soma - Sidestage)

Last night's show was at Soma in San Diego. We stayed at Jared's
brother's apartment the night before. We slept in late and then decided
to get groceries for lunch (instead of eating fast food like we always
do). It was refreshing!

The show ended up being really good! There were over 300 kids there.
The guys played well and got a pretty good reponse. I got to run
lights, which is always fun. The venue was really cool. I believe it
was an old movie theater that got converted into a venue. We played on
the sidestage (the smaller of the two rooms there). The sound was good
and the employees were real nice. We did pretty decent on merch.

Part of the show's solid turnout was due to the fact that it was in My
American Heart's hometown They drew the majority of the kids. It was
Larry's 20th birthday. (He sings for My American Heart.) He seemed to
be having a good one.

After the show, we went to In-N-Out burger. (I told you we love that
place!!!) Then we went back to Jared's brother's apartment and watched
'Planet Earth.'

We're now on our way to our show in Tempe, AZ. California was good to
us. I can't wait to go back!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Anaheim, CA (Chain Reaction)

Tonight's show was in Anaheim, CA at the Chain Reaction. This is a
really popular venue that I always hear about. It was great to finally
play a show there. The show was really good! It ended up selling out
(400 kids). It took the cake for the biggest show on tour (so far).

We went to In-N-Out Burger with our booking agent (Andrew) and his
girlfriend before the show. As always, it was excellent. Dick also came
out to the show with his girlfriend and his niece. Corey bought a 12
string acoustic guitar at a shop next to the venue. He got a good deal
on it, so he was really stoked about it.

The guys played pretty well. Corey is almost fully recovered, so that's
good. There were a few notes he struggled to hit, but he'll have them
by tomorrow or the next day. I was really bummed about the sound during
the guys' set. Corey's vocals weren't loud enough and Matt's vocals
were too loud. I talked to the sound guy, but he wasn't very
cooperative (or helpful).

The guys got a good crowd reaction. They played a few songs acoustic in
the parking lot after the show. They had about 50 kids crowded around
them. We did well on merch. We're now driving to San Diego to stay at
Jared's (bassist) brother's apartment. We're hoping to hit a beach
tomorrow before the show. It should be a good day.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

West Hollywood, CA (The Roxy Theatre)

Yesterday's show was at the Roxy in West Hollywood (Los Angeles). We
got there right on time for load in and did the normal routine. The
club was pretty cool.

The guys opened the show. They played pretty well and got a pretty good
crowd response. There were around 100 people there when they played,
and more came in throughout the night. The sound was decent. We did ok
on merch. I never expect to do to well on merch in L.A. It's often
times industry people and such at shows.

Our booking agent (Andrew) and a guy from our label (Dick) came out the
the show. It was great to see both of them. They seemed to enjoy the
set. We also got to see a good buddy from back home. He moved out to
L.A. a few months back. It was great catching up with him.

We got 2 parking tickets (toward the end of the show) while parked
outside of the venue. Bummer. In West Hollywood, meters run until 2am.
It's stupid. I guess that's how they make their revenue - parking

After the show, we went up to Dick's place. He lived in an awesome
'work space/living space.' It was really cool. We slept there.

This morning, we woke up, showered, and Dick and his girlfriend made us
breakfast. It was great! We're now at the venue (Chain Reaction in
Anaheim, CA). Tonight's show should be great!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

San Francisco, CA (Bottom Of The Hill)

Last night's show was at a venue called 'Bottom of the Hill' in San
Francisco. We got into town a little early and hung out around the
venue. Then we did the normal show routine (load in, etc.).

The venue was pretty cool. They had a board with their monthly
schedules of shows (dating back to 1997). We found some pretty awesome
bands on there [Third Eye Blind, Modest Mouse, Death Cab For Cutie, and
even our hometown buddies in Park (R.I.P.)]. It's always cool to see
that some of your favorite bands have played the same venues as you.

The show ended up being amazing! There was a good crowd (~150) and they
loved The Grad's set! They were one of the most responsive crowds I
have ever seen (for The Graduate). The guys played really well too.
Corey's voice is back in full swing, which is great. It's nice to see
them back at their 'A game'. The sound at the venue was pretty good as
well. We killed in merch.

We're now at a hotel part way between San Francisco and L.A. Our show
tonight in L.A. should be excellent. The pre-sale is already over 100
people, which is a great sign. I'll be back to let you know how it

Friday, May 25, 2007

Orangevale, CA (The Boardwalk)

Yesterday's show was at the Boardwalk in Orangevale, CA (right outside
of Sacramento). We drove overnight from Portland. We got to the venue
around noon. Unfortunately, our air conditioning broke when we pulled
into town. We took it to a shop to get it checked out. The part we
need isn't going to be available for a few days. It looks like we're
going to be roughing it for a little while!

We hung out in the venue parking lot for a few hours before the show. We
all took a 'shower' with a hose. We cleaned out the van and trailer,
played hacky sack, and just chilled. It was really fun.

The show was pretty good. There was a good crowd (~160 kids). The guys
played alright. Corey is still a bit sick, so his voice is still in
recovery mode. There were also a few mistakes in the music. It was
better than the night before, but still not one of their best
performances. They got a good crowd response and we did pretty well on

The venue was cool. There were guitars all over the ceilings. The sound
guy was pretty crazy, but he did a good job. We had catering
(spaghetti, salad, garlic bread).

After the show, Corey got a hotel room for us. We boked it through (which we had never done before) and we got a great deal!
We got a 3 star hotel (DoubleTree) with 2 queen beds for $67 (with tax)!
Pretty sweet! The Audition and My American Heart stayed at the same
hotel as well. We all hung out for a while and then went to sleep.

We're now on our way to our show in San Franciso. I've heard a lot of
good things about this city.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Portland, OR (Hawthorne Theater)

Our show last night was in Portland, OR at the Hawthorne Theater. We got
to the venue and did the normal routine. The venue was really cool! It
was all nice and clean. (Often times, a lot of venues we play are a bit
run down and dirty.) There were four bands on the show. (The fifth band
couldn't make it.)

Before the show, Matt and I went to an American Apparel store. They
have some really cool clothes. I didn't buy anything, though, I
definitely saw some stuff that I liked.

There was a decent crowd (of ~100). The guys didn't play their best.
It was a mix of Corey being sick and a few other little mishaps. They
still sounded decent, it just wasn't their 'A game'. Everyone has an
off night though. The guys got a decent crowd response. We did ok in

The sound was pretty good at the venue and all the employees were really
nice. Overall, it was a decent show.

After the show, we said goodbye to Matt's brother, Chip, and headed
towards Orangevale, CA.

We're now about 9 hours into our drive to Orangevale, CA (where we play
tonight). The venue (called 'The Boardwalk') is supposed to be really
sweet. These string of California shows should be really good. I'm
excited for them!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Seattle, WA (El Corazon)

Yesterday's show was at El Corazon in Seattle. We woke up, showered,
and decided to get something to eat. We walked a ways and found a bar
and grill called '125th Steet Grill.' It had some really good food! I
tried clam chowder for the first time (p.s. I'm 22), and it was really

After lunch, we went to an interview at a place called the 'Gibson
Showroom' in downtown Seattle. I wasn't sure what this was all about
until we got there. Well, this ended up being awesome! It was a
showroom of Gibson brand guitars and various other instruments.
Everyone was really excited to be there. The guys did a little
interview with them and then talked with some people who work at Gibson.
(P.s. Gibson is one of the most popular brand of guitars out
there....Matt and Max both have at least one Gibson guitar.)

Anyways, Gibson has a loaner program where an artist can borrow one of
their guitars and try it out on the road for a few weeks (and then send
it back). Matt and Max both decided to loan a guitar for the next three
weeks. Pretty cool!

After the Gibson showroom, we went to our show at El Corazon. The show
ended up being decent. There were about 100 kids there. The guys
played pretty well and got a good crowd response. We did pretty decent
on merch.

After the show, we had a few people back to our hotel room. It ended up
being a later night than planned, but that's ok. We're now awake and
ready to leave for our show in Portland, OR. Hopefully tonight's show
goes well.

Seattle, WA (Day Off)

We had a day off Monday in Seattle. We got there around 9am, but we
couldn't check into our hotel until 3pm. We ended up sitting in the van
and sleeping for the majority of the down time. Everyone was still
pretty tired from the overnight drive from Boise.

We checked into our hotel around 3pm. The room was sweet! It was
apartment style, so there was a kitchen, a living room, and a bedroom.

Matt's older brother, Chip, took the train from Portland, OR to come
hang out with us. It was great to see him. It's been over a year since
any of us (including Matt) had seen him.

We all jumped in the hot tub for a while. After that, Matt and Chip went
shopping for grocery supplies. (Chip is a cook for a living....he makes
some awesome food!) Anyways, Chip ended up making filet mignon and
scalloped potatoes. It was amazing!

We all decided to stay in our hotel that night. It was a nice, relaxing
time. Overall, good day off!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Boise, ID (The Venue)

Tonight's show was at The Venue in Boise, ID. We got to the show right
on time and did the normal routine. We had some awesome homecooked
catering before the show.

The venue was pretty cool. The guys played well and the crowd seemed to
like it. The sound was pretty good. The crowd was somewhat small
(~75). Unfortunately, this show beat out Milwaukee for our worst night
of merch sales. I'm not sure why. The kids seemed into the set and the
guys played well.

Overall, the show would've been ok, but I'm going to say it was bad (due
to our merch situation).

We're now driving to Seattle, WA. We have a (much needed) day off
tomorrow. Our next show is Tuesday in Seattle. I'm looking forward to
a nice, relaxing day. Only a few more days until we're in California!

Salt Lake City, UT (Club Sound)

We woke up real early and headed for Salt Lake City, UT. The drive
wasn't too bad. There was some really cool scenery around SLC. We got
to the venue and did the normal routine. The venue was decent. All the
bands hung out in the basement of the venue before the show. This was
the best backstage we've had yet on any tour!!! It was huge! There were
pool tables and all sorts of other cool stuff.

We had Chinese catering before the show. It was really good! It's great
to have something besides fast food for once.

The show started off rocky, but ended up being pretty good. When the
guys played, there were probably 50-60 kids there. By the end of the
show, there were around 140 kids there. A lot of kids missed the
beginning of the show because it got moved up two hours the day before
and they weren't aware.

The guys had like ten minutes of technical difficulties before they
played. (The sound guy couldn't get Matt's synthesizer to play out of
the PA system.) As a result, the guys had to cut one song out of their
set. They still played well and got an awesome crowd response! We did
well on merch sales.

After the show, we went to Ogden, CO and did an on-air
performance/interview for Weber college. The performance/interview was
a little rocky, but I'm still glad we did it. We stayed with the guy
who did the interview. He was Mormon.

We're now driving to our show in Boise, ID.

Denver, CO (Marquis Theater)

We got to the venue real early and hung out for a while. This was my
first time in Colorado. The guys did an interview with ManiaTV and then
we did the whole load-in routine. A few of us walked around the city
for a little while (before the show). I have to say, Denver is really

The show was awesome! I would venture to say it was even better than the
show the night before (in St. Louis). There were a ton of kids (~240),
the venue was sweet, and the sound was really good.

The guys played well and got a great crowd response. We did real well
in merch, which was relieving. It helps to know that we can afford gas
for the next few long drives.

My cousin and his wife came out to check out the show. It was great to
see them!

A good friend of ours from home moved by Boulder, CO that day. We
stayed at his new place. It was really nice!

Overall, it was a really good show. Denver is great!

Friday, May 18, 2007

St. Louis, MO (Creepy Crawl)

Yesterday's show was at the Creepy Crawl in St. Louis. We played this
venue about a month ago on the Punchline tour. This was our closest
show to home on the tour, so we were really looking forward to it. We
had a lot of friends and family come out to it.

The show ended up being awesome! There were 200+ kids (which is the
biggest show of the tour so far) and the crowd was way into The
Graduate. The guys played pretty well. Unfortunately, the sound at the
venue is so-so. Oh well, what can you do?! I had some relatives from
St. Louis come out to see the band (for the first time), and they seemed
to dig it! It's always nice to have support from your relatives.

After the show, we hit the road. Our show today is in Denver, CO. Talk
about a long drive (~14 hours)! This is the longest drive of the tour.
We're currently about an hour away from Denver. Tonight's show is
supposed to be pretty good...

*Parents, friends, and St. Louis relatives - thanks so much for coming
out to support me and the band. It means a lot to me!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lawrence, KS (Granada Theater)

We woke up and drove to Lawrence. It was my turn to drive, so I did the
whole thing. It was only 4 hours, so it wasn't too bad. We got to the
venue and did the whole show routine.

The venue was really sweet! We had played in Lawrence in January on the
Waking Ashland tour, but that show was at The Bottleneck. The Granada
was definitely a step up!

The guys played well and the sound was good. Unfortunately, the crowd
was small and semmed to pretty dead. Not cool.

The rest of the show was fine. During the last song of The Audition's
set, Corey (The Grad's singer) and Alida (female singer of 1997) dressed
up in sweet outfits and danced in the go-go booth on the side of the
stage. It was pretty entertaining!

We crashed with a new friend in Lawrence. Overall, the show was a bumout
(because of the small attendance), but we still made the best of the

Des Moines, IA (House Of Bricks)

This show was really good! We played at this venue about a month ago on
the Punchline tour. There was a good crowd and the kids really dug The
Grad's set. We did well on merch, which was great considering the night
before was bad news.

After the show, a few of the bands hung out at a house party. It was a
really good time! I finally got to meet/hang out with My American Heart.
I've been listening to those guys since they were in the band Nowayout
when they were 14. No joke!
Matt (guitarist from The Grad) threw down on a hotel for our crew.
Thanks buddy!

Overall, I'm a big fan of Des Moines. The shows are always solid and I
have a good time when I'm there.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Milwaukee, WI (Miramar Theater)

Yesterday's show was in Milwaukee at the Miramar Theater. The show went
pretty smoothly. The venue was pretty decent. The sound was good.
There was a decent turnout. The guys played well. The crowd response
was decent. For some reason, we didn't do well on merch. I have no
clue why. Hopefully this doesn't happen very often.

We stayed in Chicago last night with Jared's girlfriend. We're now
driving to Des Moines, IA to play a show at the House of Bricks. We
played here about a month ago (on our last tour) and the show was pretty
good. Hopefully things go well tonight!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Minneapolis, MN (Varsity Theater)

Today was the first day of our six week tour with The Audition. We left
home at 6:30am and headed for Minneapolis. We got to the venue right on
time and loaded in. This place was sweet! It was really nice. I would
say 'swank' best describes it.

There were only three bands on the bill. We normally play four band
bills, so it was a little change of pace. The other two bands (on the
tour) are meeting up with the tour tomorrow. We're driving to Milwaukee
tonight to stay with our old merch girl, Gina. She lives five minutes
from the venue we're playing at tomorrow. Perfect.

I'm really stoked for this tour! We're going to see so many new places
and meet a ton of new people. I'm sure we'll have a few stories by the
end too. Haha. Only thing I've got left to say...let the games begin!

Monday, May 7, 2007

THE BAMBOOZLE - East Rutherford, NJ (The Meadowlands)

We spent the past two days at the huge indie music festival called 'The
Bamboozle.' Saturday, we went to the festival as spectators. We
watched a ton of bands, hung out with some old friends, and got way too
much sun. It was a great day! We had a signing at the Ordinary
Clothing booth that day. (This is how signings work: the band sits at a
table, kids come up to the table and the band autographs a poster and
gives it away to the kid.) This was our first ever signing, so I was
curious to see how it would go. It ended up being successful! The guys
probably signed fifty or sixty posters.

Overall, Day 1 of Bamboozle was great! *Highlight performances: MC
Hammer, Muse, Bayside

Days 2 was a whole different vibe for us. It was the day of the guys'
big performance! We got up way too early because we had to be at the
performance grounds by 8am. We got there, checked in, and got equipment
and merchandise loaded in right before the doors opened (to the

We were stationed inside this big dome called 'The Bubble.' It was kind
of cool because it kept me out of the sun (I was a little sunburned) and
it was air conditioned. At the same time, we were a little bummed to be
stationed there because we missed a ton of foot traffic from the
festival. I think this definitely affected the size of the crowd there
when the guy performed (and our merchandise sales).

Anyways, we hung out most of the day, saw a few bands, did a few
interviews and a signing (at the tent), and the guys
got ready for their show. Their set ended up going really well! There
was a pretty good crowd there (300+) when the guys played. The kids
really got into the set! This was one of the best crowd responses I've
ever seen for the band! All my friends from Fueled By Ramen came over
to watch, which was awesome. They finally got to see what I left FBR
for. They seemed to really dig the guys' set! It's safe to say that they
approve of my new venture :o)

After the performance, we loaded everything out and hit the road. We're
now about half way through our 17 hour drive back home to Illinois.
We're only home until next Sunday morning. That's when we hit the road
for six weeks straight!

Day 2 of Bamboozle was a success! *Highlight performance: The Early
November (it was their last show EVER!)

This weekend was awesome. We hung out with some great friends, saw some
awesome bands, and
had a really good time doing it all! Hopefully we'll be back next

Saturday, May 5, 2007

New York City

We are up in the northeast this weekend. The guys are playing a huge
festival in East Rutherford, NJ called 'The Bamboozle.' The festival is
on Saturday and Sunday. (The guys play on Sunday..)

We spent all of yesterday in New York City. It was a blast! We hung out
with the label, went shopping, went out to eat, and soaked up the city.
This was the first time I've been able to spend a relaxed day in NYC.
It was great!

We left the city late last night and headed to a hotel at The
Meadowlands (in East Rutherford, NJ). We met up with all my buddies from
Fueled By Ramen. I hadn't seen them since I left Tampa and FBR in
December. It was great to reconnect! I know that we'll be hanging out
a lot this weekend, and I'm looking forward to that After their hotel,
we headed back to our hotel to get some sleep.

We are just going to the festival today to hang out. The only
responsibility we have today is a signing at the Ordinary Clothing
tent. Besides that, we're going to hang out and check out a ton of good
bands all day long. It should be sweet!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Pittsburgh, PA (Diesel)

The last show of the tour was at Diesel in Pittsburgh, PA. This was a
special show on the tour because Pittsburgh is Punchline's hometown.

The club was really nice! It was actually a really swank dance club that
lets bands play there every once in a while.

There were a lot of kids there (~450). The guys played first. They
sounded awesome! The lights and sound at this place were superb. The
guys got a good crowd response. The rest of the show went pretty well!

After the show, we went to a bar called 'Michael's'. We hung out with
some of the other bands for a while. We left Pittsburgh at about 1am and
started our trip back to Illinois. I ended up driving the entire

Overall, this was our best tour yet. Everyone got along really well and
the whole vibe was great. This makes me even more excited for our
upcoming tour (staring May 13th)!!

We got home around 10am Sunday. We're only home until Thursday because
we're playing a huge festival (called 'Bamboozle') in New Jersey this
weekend! It should be awesome.