Capital North have are in the middle of their debut tour, and have decided to team up with New Noise Magazine to bring a diary of their experience.
Tour Blog week 1.
The days leading up to tour are always the most hectic. The questions arise over months but are resolved in days…if you’re lucky. The week leading up to tour saw us getting loans, withdrawing our savings and purchasing a new tour shuttle that was frankensteined quite well together from an old shuttle bus into a fully functioning (when it runs) tour beast. The decision was made to invest in something a lot more livable than a van due to our past experiences and realizing that the investment is more than worth it for the piece of mind of knowing you always have a bed to sleep in at night. The days following the purchase of the bus were full of preparations and repairs, changing tires, dealing with mechanic mal practice, cutting off old locks with blurry memories of where their keys were left and lost and dealing with “rockstar” mentalities housed in arrogant shells of lesser men who think too highly of themselves for their own good or anyone else’s for that matter.
Show 1. Amplify in Hollywood CA.
If a band can have a home venue, Amplify is ours. We’ve done every album release in the past 10 years there in a slew of bands and have become, I like to think, good friends with the owners. The venue itself is nothing you would write home about but it’s the vibe, love and care that Eric and his wife pour into the place that make it truly special. You can play a sold out show at the house of blues but if the managers and audio guys don’t give a crap about the show it will still be underwhelming. Amplify went off without a hitch and was truly an amazing kick off show.
Check out- Eyes Eat Suns and Skatin Satan
Show 2. Fiftyone West in Phoenix AZ
So many adjectives that can describe Fiftyone West but I cant quite pinpoint the appropriate descriptor. Fiftyone west seems to be an old café that couldn’t quite stay in business, that was gutted and painted white. There is a leftover cooler in the back and a counter that is inhabited by kids who are too cool to engage in the show. Hidden deep within a slummy stripmall with only half of its suits occupied, it’s apparent that this is truly an unapologetically DIY venue. The staff was nice and the show was relaxed enough but it was pretty obvious that very little promotion took place on the part of the promoter or the local bands. The silver lining to this show was our reunion with our good friends in Foreign Sons (Las Vegas. NV). Overall I would say the morale at this show was subpar at best due to the heat and lack of attendee interaction. It was however great to see some friends from the Phoenix area and sometimes you just have to chalk it up to a band practice and move on. Overall it was a positive experience but probably for mostly all of the wrong reasons. Check out-Foreign Sons
Show 3. House of Bards in Tucson AZ
There is always a point in every tour where things take an upswing, as it’s natural for certain cities or regions to produce better shows. Tucson was that point on this Tour. We had an early load in with a solid sound check with one of the industry greats, Tommy Rat, who is likely one of the last of a dying breed of sound guys who is truly a master of his craft and actually cares about the sounds he curates. The show was packed full of awesome kids and bands and the owner of the venue Jonathan from the band Ashbury was an awesome host. There is also a music shop at the venue, which is a cherry on top making this my favorite venue thus far on the tour. We linked up with our good friends in the band Cement Shoes for this show and were accompanied by a slew of amazing Tucson bands such as Annie Jump Canon, Toylit, and the guys from The Abstract. AJC is a band of juniors in high school but the talent that I see in them is something really special. Enough so that I went out of my way to tell the singers mother to please foster their growth as a band and to never let them quit. I truly believe they will be big someday if they can weather the speed bumps and roadblocks. All of the bands were great and the experience as a whole was a great boost in morale for us all.
Check out-Cement Shoes
Show 3/4-A pull off on the 10 freeway in the middle of the desert somewhere in AZ
This is where things took a turn for the worse. Sometime in the middle of the night on our way to El Paso TX we heard a disheartening sound coming from our bus’s engine bay. As fate would have it, our serpentine belt had snapped and shredded and we were stranded 13 miles from the closest gas station. We called AAA but our bus exceeded the weight limit of our membership and they couldn’t help us. We started scouring the Internet for mobile mechanics to come out and help us get up and running, but nothing was open. The next day we woke early due to the extreme desert heat and started up our search again. With our phones dying and running short on water we finally found Joseph. He drove out and did a job that was quoted to take 7 hours in just under 2 with his master skills. We thought we might have a chance to make it to EP, which is one of our favorite places in the states to play. Upon starting the engine we felt a sense of extreme relief and reinvigoration but just moments later the belt snapped again. Joe started tearing out everything from the engine bay that wasn’t the motor to try and assess the root of the issue. By sundown we discovered that the culprit was a missing bolt that held on the power steering pulley had caused leeway that eventually lead to another bolt clean snapping off. The wiggle in that pulley caused the belt to become misaligned and destroy itself. Luckily the pulley was still functioning but the bolts needed to be replaced and there was one still left inside that had to be fished out. It wouldn’t be until the next day that the bus could be fixed.
The next day we were hopeful that we would be gone in time to make it to our show in Albuquerque but as fast as Joe worked, it wouldn’t be time enough to get out there. It took Joe quite a few hours to find the right size replacement bolts as the Ford dealerships in town were out of them and had to special order. By the time he got to us it was already mid day but there was end in sight. Joe was nice enough to bring us some lunch and cold bottled water so that we would have energy and be hydrated. Upon competition of the reassembly of the bus he taught us a ton about the inner workings so that we would be prepared if this should ever occur again. The night ended with yet again another show missed and us at Planet Fitness, showering. The only bright side to the whole thing was that we made a new ally and that he really went out of his way to save us and kept it cheap enough that although it did break the bank it didn’t cause us to cut the tour off pre maturely. Those last two days were truly a test of our endurance and wherewithal that I hope we passed.
Show 5 – Eagle Aerie Hall in Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas is always a blast for us and this show was no exception. Sadly, this was our last date with Foreign Sons, so we knew we had to go extra hard. It was our first show since being stranded in the desert for two, and being around friends definitely helped to boost our morale. All of the bands were awesome (The Odds, The Tongues, Outlook, Venture, and of course our boys in Sleep Eater, check them out!). Eagle Aerie Hall is an old reminder of the DIY days and that is why we truly love it. The sound is always spot on (shout out to the sound dudes), and the promotion is always on point. We did have one other minor setback that day, when we blew one of our front tires on the blistering pavement. Luckily, we were able to find someone to come out and switch it out, no problem. After two days in the desert, we had become seasoned veterans in car troubles. What else could we ask for… we grilled, chilled with good friends, and watched Foreign Sons absolutely slay it, love you Vegas!
Check out the last few dates!
July 9th – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre (Lounge)
July 10th – Sacramento, CA @ The Colony
July 11th – Fresno, CA @ Full Circle Brew