NN Tour Life

Oh Hi O is for Loving Fans

We had the really bright idea to drive straight through from Traverse City last night. I may or may not have slept in the 8 hour van ride (heavy on the may not). There’s just something about that back middle seat that kills my body, and my body I mean knee. And it also kill my opportunity to sleep because you’re basically floating in midair. Anyways, y’all don’t need to hear me complain about my long ride.

Let’s talk about the AMAZING Blue Crew who welcomed our NN team in with welcome arms. We met them at Niagara Falls and they have been nothing but amazing ever since. They let us take showers and naps in their hotel room today- greeted us with homemade cookie platters- and helped keep up with the meter for the van. All of this on top of just being plain awesome people.

Fans in general on this tour have been amazing. People watching has always been a hobby, but this tour has taken it to a whole different level. I have met so many people from various walks of life. Everyone has one thing in common and that’s their love for music, and Blue October.

Music truly changes people’s lives. It creates bonds and memories that will never be broken. It reminds me why I love this industry. Why I put up with sleepless nights and days that are a little bit smelly- and boys that I want to punch in the face. Music brings people together and getting to be a small part of brining people together makes me feel complete. It’s a passion. It’s a dream. But at the end of the day, it’s what I witness in others that keeps me going on this journey.

XX c

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BRB I’m Busy in Traverse City

OH HEY GUYS.

Sorry to all of my friends who I have neglected on this trip. It’s weird, I’m on my phone nearly 24/7 but have 39 unread text messages. I wish I was kidding. I know they are there, but there are so many things going on that I truly have only held conversations with basically 2 people this trip- my mom and Austin- yikes.

Texts here and there happen, but they could have hours in between them (and days if we are being fully honest here, sorry).

I haven’t ever been amazing at staying in touch with my friends, but I think this has made me even more neglectful. Luckily I have a few pretty stellar humans in my corner who send me texts and remind me that it’s okay to break out of my bubble for a few minutes and mix with the real world (aka home).

I’m not sure that I’m exactly homesick- and honestly not really even feeling much FOMO- but I do miss knowing what’s happening in people’s lives. Catching up after Zyn, or laying at the pool chatting it up. It’s the little things that make me remember how lucky I am at home, even when I don’t feel that lucky.

So to all my babes reading this, love you and miss you. Sorry I am being a grade A jerk and not catching up with you. I’ll be home soon.

Oh, and tonight we’re playing in Traverse City at what looks like a strip club for a venue… so this should be fun.

xx C

 

Working Woman

So today we arrive in Traverse City- after driving straight through the night from NYC. Full disclosure, today has been a cranky Casey day. The lack of sleep- annoyance with people- being crammed in a van- who knows the exact reason, but it’s a thing.

I was the first to go to bed for the afternoon and first to wake up. When I woke up I decided to go work- but the hotel wifi didn’t agree with me. I mean, first off, they claimed to have a business center but it was a desk in the lobby……. so I should have expected terrible wifi.


Next poor choice was thinking that a 2 mile walk to a coffee shop was the best way to get wifi- and some alone time. About .8 miles into the walk, I was sick of carrying a heavy backpack and looked up Uber & Lyft only to see that neither existed there. COOL. So I turned around and made the hike home- stopping by Wendy’s and discovering their wifi was also very unreliable. How’s a girl supposed to work without wifi?!?!!

So the first world problem was solved as I settled back into the hotel lobby to finish working.

Honestly, no one told me just how tricky it would be to try to keep up with work on the road. It’s not that the work isn’t manageable, it’s more that you work at odd hours of the night/day and you never know when someone might reply to your emails. Certainly counting my blessings that I’m able to keep up with my contract gigs while I’m gone. Girl has to have some money flowing in to eat!!! Any by eat, I mean the ice cream I had in New York…..

On that note. I’m done with my to-do list for today and a shower sounds mighty fantastic. So I’ll leave you with this parting thought- S/O to my mom for raising me to be a hard worker, because had that value not be instilled in me my whole life, this tour would have eaten me up alive.

xx c

I Scream, U Scream, We All Scream

These few days off in NYC have given me a few moments of joy. One, sleeping in. Two, ice cream.

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that a trip to NYC means Blacktap and other great frozen treats. This time around I passed on the Blacktap and hit up 3 new ice-cream shops instead!

#1 Ample Hills

 

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#2 Ice & Vice

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#3 DO, Cookie Dough Confections

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My favorite was probably Ample Hills. Don’t get me wrong, they were all amazing. But the Do was a little sweeter than I hoped it would be. And the wait time/cost was a bit of a turn off. With that being said, I would go back in a heartbeat. Ice & Vice was delicious- but too much work. You pay for a scoop of ice-cream, then the cone, then the toppings (aka vices). It was tasty, but I honestly preferred the pie to the ice-cream. Now Ample Hills, the ice-cream was rich and creamy, and each flavor I tried was delicious. The cone was simple but satisfying. And it was reasonably priced. The only downside was not every location has every flavor, so don’t have your heart set on one flavor you see on IG, because it might not be there when you arrive…

Moral of the story. Another trip to NYC, another trip I spend the majority of my money on ice-cream and clothes at H&M.

Tour Struggles

I have never felt more bipolar than I have on this adventure. It is emotionally, physically and mentally draining. Somehow even on these glorious NYC days off I managed to get stressed out and at my wits ends.

Being in tight spaces with 9 people is tricky no matter what the situation, but I’m in an extra sticky place since I’m the only one of the 9 who didn’t know the group coming into the trip. I knew Kanne and Rossi, but only from brief bouts of working together on music relations. It also doesn’t help that my position on the tour is to be the responsible one, the one who manages the tour. No one likes the bad cop, amiright?

I’m pretty sure I’m losing my mind half the time on this adventure. I struggle. I want to cry (and I have twice). I want to breakdown and go home. But I don’t. I’m here to learn and here for the adventure. I’m chasing a dream that I’ve had for the last 10 years, how many people can say that?

For every time that something goes bad or I feel disrespected, there’s another five things that put me on a high! The successes, the shows, the fans… There are so many great things about this trip that I can’t let myself dwell on the bummers.

But that’s easier said than done. During the bad times, I struggle. I haven’t found my footing to really understand how to overcome it. I can usually fix things pretty easy, but not everything is fixable. And I don’t have the respect of someone who’s opinion should really matter that much. My bandaid is to call Austin and vent about everything (but honestly how much bad stuff does someone want to hear before the mute me?). But it’s just that, a bandaid. A temporary fix to help myself move on quickly without actually fixing the problem. I think things could be different with a different group, but it isn’t changing in the last few weeks of tour- and I have to accept that.

Instead of dwelling on the little stuff that drives me crazy- like checking out of hotels late, not being a team player, or taking 45 minute gas station stops- I’m making it my personal goal to tune it out and move on. It will take someone with a lot more power and reputation than me to knock some responsibly into this group and have the respect while doing it. But that’s okay. We’re young- and we’re learning. That’s the beauty of this. I’m learning to give up control, even when I am in a controlling position, because that’s not going to help move us forward as a group.

Here’s to trying to let things slide- but still do the best I can do as a Tour Manager. We’ll see how these last few weeks play out. Stay tuned…

xx c

We’re in Irving! Plaza That Is…

So we have a show here at Irving Plaza- honestly the first time I’ll be at a concert at an indoor venue in NYC (flashback to Beyonce last year at Citi Field.. RIP to my liver). I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I had heard that load in would be killer and that we would have to go through metal detectors. At least none of that was a surprise!

The venue itself is gorgeous and old. It definitely is what I expected an NYC club to look like. Our march area is crammed in the hallway, so we probably won’t sell much, and we don’t have a dressing room.

There are a plethora of music industry folks on the guest list tonight- and a few of my NYC friends! Most importantly, Rossi’s wife and sister. Needless to say tonight is a big show on all accords.

The sad part about today is it’s our last day with my Blue October pal Dylan. I’ve gotten to know quite a few of their crew and band members, but Dylan (merch) has become my favorite pal. He’s off to another tour after this gig.. so Dylan, if you’re reading this, get your butt to Texas soon!

Ready for a plot twist? I actually put makeup on today.. AND… dressed in a cute LF outfit. And the sad part is the venue is so damn cold that I have to bundle up in a couple hoodies.

Today has been pretty calm as far as TM duties go- getting load in taken care of (despite the
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Fallin’ In Love With Niagara

Sitting here watching Blue October’s set in Niagara Falls and wondering if this is even real life. Today we got to see a beautiful place, that honestly I probably would have never traveled to had it not been for this trip. Then tonight we get to be a part of an insane show. Later tonight we’ll drive into NYC and hang out there for the weekend. Road life is killer, y’all.

It’s amazing looking back at what I was doing a month ago and what I thought I’d be doing this week- lord knows it was not hanging out in New York with a couple of rock bands. Life surprises you.

I don’t think it will ever hit me until the tour is over that we are out on tour. I find myself saying we’re on the first week of the road every day, even tough we’re 1/3 of the way through. Every day I’m learning something new- about myself, about the bands, about the job- every day feels like the first day out here. But on that same note, it also feels like we’ve been out here for months, or maybe that’s just my body saying it’s time to get out of the van… Who knows.

But anyways, the experiences I am having are rocking my world. I am crossing so many things off my bucket list- and hopefully many more things still to come. Looking back at how I got here, I’m really glad that it worked out the way it did. I don’t think I was ever quite ready for road life until now- and I don’t think I would have been satisfied hopping on as a PA. Diving head first into this life has been such a blessing.

I know I’ve been on the road awhile because my mind is going 100 miles an hour in different directions. This post is no exception. My ADD is at an all time high.

Like now, I just got distracted by an adorable couple that put their arms around each other in front of the march table. They have to be 60s, or older. Rocking out together. Loving each other. So cool. I love people watching here.

I guess it’s time to go back to living in the moment. Until tomorrow, xx c.

Rockin’ In Rochester

Today can be summarized by 3 things.

  1. Lunch.
  2. College Roomie.
  3. Killer show/venue.

Honorable Mention:  We got to sleep in until noon.

We wandered down to a local hole in the wall Italian place in Rochester called Giuseppe’s. 10/10 would recommend you going there and ordering Chicken Parm. The bread and garlic spread started us off strong, a house Italian salad kept it going and the Chicken Parm brought it up. The encore, Canolis, were the perfect treat later in the day. The helpings were crazy big and the flavor was incredible. And it was cheap. A big thank you to the entire team there for making us feel at home.

Since we were in Rochester, of course Elise has to come by and hang out! Thank goodness she did, I missed that girl. It’s weird going from living most of your college life with someone to living in separate states. She’s off in NY kicking ass – and studying to go back to school next year, lord knows her study habits didn’t rub off on me. Elise was a kickass addition to the team last night- and a good breath of fresh air for me. I hadn’t seen a friend in over a week, I needed a little of that taste of home. I know she’s reading this- so E, thanks for coming and hanging. Love you long time.

The venue itself was so modern and neat inside. We loved walking around in the neighborhood and seeing the city. The owner, Phil, made us feel at home, and so did the fans. They were energetic and very happy to have us there. A huge thanks to Rochester for a great experience. This is certainly one place I cannot wait to visit again. And high five to my guys for playing their hearts out.

xx C

Photo by Abby Stanford

Beach, Please

You know when you’re with the same people 24-7 and in tight quarters? Think family vacation circa middle school. You’re old enough to be annoyed easily, but young enough to get sent to the back of the car. Yup, now that you’re cringing thinking about being stuck in the middle seat in the back of the mini van, you have a small idea what road life is like.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the travel. I have always wanted to road trip and I think that life on the move has been calling me name, well, for forever.

But sometimes it gets a wee bit overwhelming and I really want to strangle everyone. I mean, hug them, really tight, because I love them…

Well lucky for us we had a double dose of days off and decided to make the trek up north to Virginia Beach for a little R&R in a resort (that wasn’t a typo, no Motel 6 for us today!!!!!!!). The break couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. We were starting to get on each other’s nerves and our bodies were hating us for sitting in the van.

Sleeping until 10:55 might have been the most magical thing I could have ever done (woulda slept another hour but real world work woke me up for a 10am show announce..). After catching some desperately needed zzz’s on a comfy bed, I immediately felt more rested than I have all week. I had to be an adult and spend the next 4 hours in the business center working, but after that I met up with the crew at the beach.

The nice thing about the beach resort was that we could split up and do our own thing, or stick with the crew. We weren’t all forced to be in a van all day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The beach was gorgeous, the water was a little cold but felt nice. After that I made my way to the pool where the other boys were getting their flirt on. Too bad the girls’ had boyfriends, suckas. I got my tan on and enjoyed a little of what I’m missing out on in Dallas. Even made it to the gym before we loaded up for the 10 hour drive up to Rochester. I needed today. We all needed today.

Now we’re sitting in a van again, but instead of cranky and smelly boys, we’re happy and clean (I washed my hair for the first time today… so there’s that). So cheers to another 3 days of shows up in New York.

Still Vrooming

Sometimes you realize how lucky you are at the weirdest times, today is one of them for me. I have someone back home who means the world to me and cares about me. No matter how hard life gets, on the road or anywhere else, I know someone has my back.

*cue the sap*

I needed the couple hours of removing myself from the group and talking to my rock to help get my head back in the game. He knows exactly what to say to help reassure me that chasing my dreams isn’t silly- and he also knows exactly how to push my buttons and make me laugh (cackle) like a hyena.

It’s really weird going from seeing someone every day to not seeing them for a week- and not only are you away from them, but you’re in a high stress, no sleep environment. AKA when you need your bff to be there. We’re definitely still adjusting and trying to learn how to stay up to date in each other’s lives while I’m busy doing tour things and he’s busy living his normal life, but a long phone call makes everything better.

As much as I miss my two dudes, I know they’re keeping each other company. And a few weeks isn’t much time at all in the grand scheme of things.

xx