Monday, August 30, 2010

A Little Late

I've been informed, through multiple phone calls and emails, that I have been slacking in my blog updating. I can't deny that. I will do my best to try and fill you in on some of the things that have happened in the past 20 days.

San Diego, CA (8/10)

Although we no longer had an official spot on a stage, we were still playing acoustic sets on Warped Tour. While Steph and I were walking around in the morning our stage manager, Stu, informed us that we would be playing on the stage that day. We were part of the special "6 Hours of Ska" that was happening that day. It was pretty unique considering every other date of Warped Tour date had only 2 ska bands (TTV and Reel Big Fish). This show marked our first show on the west coast and it went surprisingly well. The after party BBQ was definitely one of the most memorable of tour for 3 reasons. 1: Free ice cream 2: Dance Party 3: A heated dance-off that peaked when a guy got naked and poured water over himself......hilarious.

Pomona, CA (8/11)

Look at that view! I am constantly amazed out how beautiful the entire country is. Howie was saying that the background settings for most of the Warped Tour dates look like fake Hollywood backdrops. For 6 kids from CT, these mountains are awe-inspiring. But on to the show. We had two very special visitors in Pomona. The first was Steph's cousin Erin and the second was Dan Dobi (, our music video director. It was good to see familiar faces from outside of the Warped Tour family.

We didn't have a spot on a stage in Pomona but we did play two acoustic sets, one at the Girlz Garage Tent and one under the Trojan inflatable dome. We also almost died (Attn TTV moms: we didn't want to tell you this until after Warped Tour was over). The Trojan inflatable dome was a really cool spot to play, literally and figuratively. The dome had A/C and a 270 degree projector, so almost the entire ceiling was a screen. Right as we were about to start our second set in the dome, we somehow tripped the power circuit and lost all electricity. That means that the blower fan that was keeping the dome up shut off and the dome started coming down on us and the 25 or so kids that were inside. There was a bit of a panic as people started rushing out before getting crushed and stuck underneath the surprisingly heavy, collapsing dome. In the end, everyone made it out and while our gear may have been left behind, nothing was broken. By the time the power issue was worked out, it was too late to start again and we were free to live on to another day.

Marysville, CA (8/12)

Simone and I went out to the line of people waiting before the gates opened and had them listen to our new song, "Refuse the Tide." We gave everyone download cards and told them to spread the love. A surprising amount of people actually knew who we were. We even convinced a giant, die-hard metal fan to listen to it after he very angrily refused (spoiler: he liked it!). The rest of the day was spent hustling our music and throwing Kazoozles at Cory, the merch guy for Reel Big Fish. There was also my amazing encounter with a Wonka girl that Cory and Briggs saw, but that one is for the memory bank only.

Nampa, ID (8/13)

We almost didn't head to Idaho because we didn't have a stage spot or an acoustic spot for the day and we were going to have to take a loss on gas. Turns out going to Idaho was a great decision because merch sales, just by having people listen to our song through headphones, were amazing. A greater part of the day was spent creating badass handshakes including the rocketship, the Challenger and one 40 second epic choreographed handshake that I co-created with Becca ( I'll have to grab our practice video from her and post it here because it is one for the record books.

George, WA (8/14)

The Gorge Amphitheater has to be one of the most scenic and beautiful venues in the country. No picture can do justice to the view you get when you come over the top hill and look down upon the stage. The only downside to the venue was the slope that everything was on. To get down to catering and production you had to walk down a very steep slope, which is easy on the way there but a pain to walk back up. Oh, and there was also the issue of our van parked about a half mile downhill from where our merch tent was. Again, easy to load in but very tiring to load out. Briggs, Simone and I played with Sarah Saturday again (, but this time in front of Lisa Brownlee (Tour Manager for Warped Tour) and Kevin Lyman (the founder of Warped Tour), so that was a big honor.

August 14th was also Simone's 22nd birthday and the last BBQ of Warped Tour, so what better way to celebrate than with a bunch of rockstars and free beer. The Vans Warped Tour gave everyone shirts commemorating the end of tour with random tour facts on the back (none of which I can remember off the top of my head). Some of the highlights of the night includeReverend Peyton telling hilarious stories about listening to "Chinese Democracy" with Axl Rose, people dressed as vampires lurking around the BBQ and long walks around the Gorge at night. We also found out that we had won a Warped Tour superlative, "Best Band at Promoting Themselves." That was the cherry on top of the entire tour experience for us.

Hillsboro, OR (8/15)

The last day of Warped Tour was bittersweet. It was the last day of busting our asses in the sun and sweating profusely, but it was also the last day we got to hang out with all the new friends we had made. People on the tour stopped by our tent all day to grab merch and say their goodbyes. We made our rounds as well, picking up a bunch of free stuff in the process like t-shirts, Skullcandy headphones and a ridiculous amount of Wonka Kazoozles. We did our usual acoustic sets playing the Altec Lansing tent and a new tent for the Expendables movie.

When all our gear had been loaded into our trailer we went over to production and said our thank yous. 10 years ago I was waiting in line with 12,000 other punk rock kids waiting to get into Warped Tour to see all of my favorite bands. If I would have told 14 year old me I would be on Warped Tour 10 years later I wouldn't have believed myself. I probably would have laughed at that idea, but here we are.

It was an incredible honor being invited to play and incredible opportunity to get our music out to such a large and diverse group of people. Thank you Kevin Lyman, Lisa Brownlee, Damon Atkinson and the entire Warped Tour crew. You all busted your asses so we could have the chance to do something we love. For that we are eternally grateful.

And here is the last picture from Warped Tour with our new friends, Mayday Parade.

-Dunnigan TTV

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