The tour is over!
We played nearly 50 shows in 28 states over the course of 60 days.
What trips me out the most about everything though is where our tour ended. Last year after I'd finished building out my camper van I drove 2,000 miles to Santa Cruz with the intention of implementing experimental tour strategies that I'd been developing in my notebook since 2016. The general idea was to spend six weeks in each place earning fans through daily engagement with the city. What happens when you spend several weeks going to open mics, battles, poetry events, supporting local shows, volunteering, and performing on the street? Could you impress fifty or more people to the point where they actually came to a show? I truly believed it would work. I'd already done it in little ways with towns around Texas so for me the whole process was something I just had to try. I called it Guerrilla Tourfare.
The trip took five days. When you drive that much your mind will inevitably wander and by the fourth afternoon I was really starting to have doubts about it all. What was I doing? All I knew about this city was what I'd read in the Wikipedia article. Still though I pushed forward. When I pulled into Santa Cruz the sun was setting behind the ocean. Nearly a full weeks anticipation had built up to this view. I parked by a lighthouse on West Cliff and watched silently as a whirlwind of anxiety permeated through my being. To be honest dude, I was nervous. I'd invested $17,000 in my van at that point as was locked into several more years of monthly payments. After two hours and a few phone calls though, my existentialist dread vanished with the sun. Once the light had fully fallen beneath the waves I drove to a coffee shop and started looking for opportunities to submerge myself in. I found a volunteering gig picking up trash for the very next day and a poetry open mic called the Word Church which would go on to be a pivotal, beautiful space where I met many friends.
During my time in Santa Cruz I'd been corresponding with Wax via email. Three weeks after arriving I took a little trip down to Los Angeles mostly to meet up with my friend Russell from Brockhampton. While I was there I also met up with Wax down at Venice beach. We got some food and I showed him my solar studio van. I also told him about those experimental touring philosophies that I'd planned to utilize as a way of coming up. It was hard for me to gauge exactly what he thought about it all but apparently it was positive because seven months later I was on the road with him as his merch guy and tour manager which brings me to the entire point of this blog.
Our tour ended in Santa Cruz, California. After 47 shows and 19,000 miles, we ended it where my adventure had begun many months prior. I didn't know what the hell I was doing when I drove out there in 2017. All I knew was that I had faith in my abilities as an emcee and that I had to try. I never knew Wax would respond to my email and actually meet up with me. I never knew if I was going to organically build fifty fans in a city by vandwelling there for several weeks. Couldn't help but shake my head and smirk after our last show on the last night of our tour when looking out at the same ocean I'd beheld with such anxiety all those months ago. I guess sometimes the details and particulars of what you're hoping for aren't important, it's the sheer act of trying that counts. If I had shackled myself or allowed those fears to prevent me from driving west, this gigantic tour would have never taken place.