The Nearly Deads Tour Blog: Paper Dolls Tour Take 3!

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Hola Zombies! It’s the end of the Paper Dolls tour for us and the beginning of the Invisible Tonight tour! We start off in Kansas City tomorrow night. Right now, I’m chilling with the dudes at a diner in the middle of nowhere Iowa on our way down.

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Last time we left off we had just played in Albany, NY. The next day we hit the road for Reading, PA to play at Reverb. This place is RAD! First of all, it was gigantic. They had free Wi-Fi (hallelujah!) They gave us free food and beer and treated us like rock stars. The best part for me, was having a private green room all to myself. I spread out, set up shop, and got a lot of work done. We even hashed out some future tour date routing with City of The Weak! That night was also our first of 3 shows with PA band Kamakazie Kupcakes! They were so goth and cute and everything was hot pink – a very very cool band! The side stage that we played on was covered in stickers and posters from all kinds of awesome bands that have been there before. It had a cool punk vibe, a low ceiling and a lot of pipes, and signs that said “Do Not Hang on the Pipes” and I instantly thought of our friends and former tour-mates in It Lives It Breathes and how they would ignore it and climb on everything. Super cool night.

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After that it was off to Frederick, MD. Another really cool, historic town. We were greeted at the venue by one of our new friends, Chris! He’s a superfan who has helped make our Kickstarter extremely successful. We are blown away by the fact that we surpassed our goal, and we are so lucky to have such amazing fans. There were a lot of familiar faces at this show, since we had played nearby not too long ago. Our friends from Faceplant came and started the PARTY! We LOVE those kids! They are absolutely gonna be stars someday. I think some of them are still in middle school. Big thanks to Cafe 611 for having us that night, it was really fun.

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Our next show in Baltimore was only an hour away, so we had a chance to catch up on work and have a super WiFi party at Dunkin Donuts all day with City Of The Weak. We headed to Fish Head Cantina that night and hung with Chris again! Thanks for the fried cheesecake! Fish Head has really great food, and the venue is awesome. It’s half outdoors, half covered, and we played with some awesome locals, as well as Kamakazie Kupcakes again! Can’t wait until we play together again on the Invisible Tonight tour in Lemoyne, PA!

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We had one off day to drive all the way to Akron, OH. It was a last minute show, but it was so much fun! Our friends in Stitched Up Heart were meeting up with City Of The Weak to start their Skeletour together, so we had this one super-show with all three of us plus Blindfold the Devil. Actually, the day before the show, we ended up staying at a Wal-Mart in Akron. We got there and parked next to an RV in the back of the lot. All of a sudden, like 4 really scruffy manly looking band dudes hop out of the RV and come up to us and asked us if we were in a band! It ended up being Blindfold the Devil! We hadn’t met them yet, so it was cool to get a chance to know them before the show. We had a parking lot party! The show was at Rippers in Akron, and it was so much fun! It was good to see our buddies in Stitched Up Heart again! We miss them all so much. They are a total riot! And their set was flawless. They are super talented.

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Our last show with City Of The Weak was in Columbus, OH at Turtle Creek Tavern! We rolled up and there was a nail salon directly next door to the venue. So of course, I made a beeline. There’s nothing like pampering yourself when you’ve just spent 3 weeks in a van with a bunch of sweaty dudes. I absolutely LOVE getting my nails done. They even let me sit in the massage chair for like, 2 hours. Just chilin’ by myself. I totally needed that refresher. After all, it’s a LOT of work being in charge of an independent band. We have tours to plan, interviews to do, emails to answer….it’s all worth it! We love what we do, and I’m very lucky to be able to share my music with so many people. The bar also had one of the best sound guys we’ve ever worked with, everyone sounded amazing. It was a great way to end the tour! We partied all night with COTW and said our goodbyes! We shall meet again soon! (Dead City 2014!)

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The next few days were all about getting geared up for PrideFest in Milwaukee. I love Milwaukee, and I have a ton of family there. We stayed with my Aunt Carole and got some much needed rest and relaxation. We also did an acoustic session with concertwindow.com while we were there, and I was able to sit behind the piano and play some versions of our songs that had never been heard before! After one more day off to rest and go to the beach (YES Milwaukee has a beach) we headed to Pride. We were so honored to be a part of one of the largest pride festivals in the country! A HUGE thank you to Kate Sherry and everyone at the festival for making this happen for us. What I love about PrideFest is that it’s not just about supporting LGBT culture, it’s about supporting people truly being themselves! There were people walking around in costumes, in leather, in fuzzy animal outfits…to me it was awesome to see so many young people have a place to be out in the open with their boyfriends and girlfriends and just be accepted no matter what. It was such a cool experience.

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We had an amazing crowd at the show too! We got to play the Miller Light MainStage which is one of the biggest stages we’ve ever played on. After the show, the festival had arranged a private meet and greet for us, and we were totally shocked! There was a line of kids waiting to get autographs and take photos with us! We just looked around like, we’re not famous? What’s going on here? I had my own security guard! It felt surreal but awesome at the same time. We made so many new friends that day, including the amazingly talented Beverly McClellan! She absolutely LOVED us! She played after us that day, along with Big Freedia (look up “Excuse” trust me you won’t regret it) and Macy Gray.

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Being able to play a big show and have a line of people waiting for us was a great bonding experience for the band. On the road, we can butt heads, we can get upset, get cabin fever and be aggravated with each other. It’s just a fact. But the reality is, we are so lucky to be doing what we do, and we are lucky that our music means something to so many people. Every new fan we make just reassures me that I’m on the right path. Shows like PrideFest are hopefully just a taste of what’s to come for us, and we hope to one day be playing huge shows like that all the time. It felt right, and it felt like we belonged doing this, making this music. We got treated like VIPs the entire festival! We can’t wait to come back and play next year!

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And now I’m off to start another tour with another band, in another city. Like I said, we want to be on tour forever. Nothing makes me happier than singing and making music, and I’m truly happy to have 4 dudes along for the ride with me. They allow this dream to become a reality every single night!  See ya on the road!

TJ