Just Like Starting Over

Breakout Tour: Day 1
Dingbatz
Clifton, NJ

So I’m laying here in my bunk thinking of writing this blog and it feels like I’m planning the screenplay for a too soon reboot of a major motion picture franchise. Kind of like when it was announced that a new Spider-Man trilogy was being made only a few years after the third one in the Tobey Maguire trilogy was completed. It almost feels like a continuation of the last tour, but lower budget, and with different players. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking this tour when we’re just leaving the gate, I’m just stating the fact that this is across the board a much more D.I.Y. tour.)

So, welcome to the Breakout Tour, feat. Dive and Man on Earth! I’m not exactly sure where we’re breaking out from, but wherever it is I just hope that it doesn’t involve me having to tattoo the schematics of a prison on my back….

This run was booked entirely by Dive, hitting many of the markets that they’ve been cultivating for the last few years.

Just a little back history, the last time Man on Earth did a run with Dive was back in November of ’08, coincidentally the first show that I met Nate at. Back then Dive was a completely different lineup, well, except for Johnny Dive, the lead singer. (Man on Earth was at their beginnings too, Nate being the only one still around now that the lineup is solidified.) I haven’t seen Dive play since their 2009 album release party for their record ‘Picture Perfect’, another show that Man on Earth played with them. Needless to say, there was a bit of nostalgia seeing them take stage again.

I spent my morning/afternoon in transit, taking the bus from Great Barrington, MA down to NYC to meet up with the rest of the guys before heading across the river to New Jersey. My bus dropped me off at the Port Authority terminal in Manhattan, so I began to walk north toward the direction of Stevie G’s house, where the band was headed from. Traffic was so horrendous that I walked 12 blocks in less time then the guys could drive as much. When I saw them pulling up I just walked into the street and hopped on without them having to stop and pull over (being that traffic was at a nearly a complete standstill!).

The club was only like a 45 minute ride away from Manhattan… when there’s no traffic, that is. Three and a half hours later, we finally pulled up to the front doors of the club. Dive had save us a spot right next to the side stage door, so we had prime load in conditions. The bar had a classic ‘metal’ club feel, with black painted walls and a plethora of band stickers covering them on every reachable surface. Since Clifton is Johnny Dive’s hometown the staff was super friendly and treated us very well.

I finally was able to get behind the light board again, which felt like a long time coming. It felt good to actually be doing something that felt productive again during the set as opposed to sitting by the merch booth the whole night. Dive had their own DIY lighting system that has given me a few ideas for getting my own cost effective show in the works.

After the show we had to wait a bit to load out so Nate and I went across the street to another pub to grab a snack. There we discovered a new favorite snack…. They were these pizza roll bites, but instead of a doughy outside these had a crunchy egg roll shell. They were so good we had to get a second order.

After we finally were able to load in we took off and headed to a Walmart parking lot for the night. Most of the gigs on this tour are within a couple of hours of each other, so that gives us plenty of time each day. Because of that we fell asleep good, knowing there wasn’t a huge rush to wake up and hurry over to the next city…