Full Of Rage With Nicolas Cage Tour Blog 3 – TJ of The Nearly Deads

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Greetings Zombies! We’re about halfway through the Full Of Rage with Nicolas Cage tour, and we are having the time of our lives. We had a great time in the Northeast, had some amazing shows, and got to hang out in Washington D.C. for a day! After that, we plowed through an overnight drive all the way down to Jasper, GA. After sleeping all day we headed to our show at The Box. The people who run the venue were extremely nice and the kids were really excited to see It Lives, It Breathes. After the show we were treated to snacks and Sloppy Joes! Then, it was off to my hometown of Tampa, FL for our show in Ybor City at The Orpheum.

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Ybor City is my old stomping grounds, and I took a trip down memory lane finally being there again. It was a big moment for me getting to play the new Orpheum, because I used to play solo gigs at their old “sweaty box” location when I first started getting into the music scene. I also used to go there just about every Saturday night for Sink or Swim…but that’s a different story! We had tons of friends and family show up, but we also had some die hard fans come out. It’s hard to believe that even though we met and formed in Tampa, The Nearly Deads hasn’t really played a real show there besides Warped Tour in St. Pete a few years back. We’re almost a different band now. We’ve gone through so much and learned so much since we left and went to Nashville, so it was really rewarding and special to finally come back and put on a great show. It was also our drummer Josh’s birthday…so naturally we got him a body shot at Coyote Ugly… Then we danced the night away with It Lives, It Breathes! The best part, however, had to be getting to go home to my mom’s house in Indian Rocks Beach! There’s nothing like going home and sleeping in your old bedroom, and of course, I miss my mom very much living so far away and traveling so often. She made us all a big breakfast before hitting the road up to Jacksonville.

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Jack Rabbits is a really cool venue. The sound guy was amazing, and for a bar that small, it was one of the best sounding venues we’ve played this tour. There were some amazing locals on the bill, including Freshman Year, another group of 13-16 yr olds that blew us away! Their parents talked to us after the show, and apparently it was their first gig ever! It was like watching a mini Blink-182 come to life. I love getting to play with so many talented young musicians, and hopefully we can inspire them at the same time to one day start touring themselves. As long as they stick to it and practice hard, anything is possible. After the show we headed to the home of a friend of It Lives, It Breathes. We played Jenga and partied like college kids. The next morning we hit the road, after a trip to Dunkin’ of course! If you’re on tour, get the Dunkin’ app! It tells you the closest one, gives you discounts and free drinks, and most Dunkins offer FREE WIFI which, as you know, is like crack to us traveling musicians.

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Since I spent so many years living in Tampa, Orlando was like a second home. I used to drive up all the time to go to concerts. So, naturally we had another crew of friends and family, including my step-sister Erica and my BFF Meg! They both brought me girly gift bags full of travel sized-goodies, makeup, perfume, and lotions which I was EXTREMELY thankful for. We saw a lot of familiar faces, and rocked out all night long. After saying our goodbyes and catching up with our friends, we headed back to my mom’s house for our day off.

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When you’re in a band you need to use your off days wisely. Try to spend as little money as possible, get your work done early (remember it’s a job!) and then go have fun. After doing a little band work, I got to take a jog down to the beach, the guys got to hang by the pool, and we topped it all off with a trip to my favorite Mexican restaurant on the beach, Los Mexicanos! Later that night, we all watched Monday Night Football together. The next morning we hit the road for the long drive to Pensacola.

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The first thing I have to say about the Handlebar in Pensacola, is the little known fact that 2 years ago, when we were on one of our first tours, we actually played there. I think the bartender was the only one who watched us. Since then, we’ve been busy, and this time around, it was packed! We made so many new friends last night! We were signing autographs and taking selfies all night long. It’s very humbling knowing that there’s so many people out there who believe in us and want to see us succeed. We practically blew out the PA system we were rocking so hard. It was just an overall fun and positive night. We love meeting our fans, because sometimes when the road gets tough, it’s just what we need for inspiration and a little pick-me-up. Our zombies are the reason we are able to do what we do, and we are forever thankful to all of you out there who love and support us!

-TJ