As Cities Burn Tour Journal

Road hard…

The journey is taking a toll on everyone. Minds are weary and bodies are aching. Flying out on the weekends to play one show definitely spoiled me and being back in a smelly van with water bottles filled with urine is bringing back the awful thoughts of Alesana. The shows have been fun, some better than others, but we have been able to meet interesting people and see new sites. We just woke up in Scotland and enjoyed tea and toast with a sweet Scottish lady named Hilary. Her husband, Spike, was more of a quiet soul and kept to his cigarette and game of solitary. I saw a few moves he missed but felt it was better to hold my tongue. Having a show every night has made site seeing more difficult than we imagined. Chris has been the most outgoing and even got to explore this creepy vampire cave/hole in Manchester. We heard it is a normal stop for touring bands. We are headed to Glasgow and might stop to see the William Wallace statue. Hope everyone is having a great Sunday.

The Green Man

We have only been in the UK a few days and have had a blast. We have seen some sites and met some people. Some will be remembered and some already forgotten. After checking into The Green Man, our hostel, we downed a few pints and hit the streets in search of London’s finest cuisine. Fish and chips were on the mind of most but no luck. We settled into a random Indian restaurant and find delicious food with horrible service. Everyone being frugal with their pounds order on the cheap end except As Cities Burn CFO, Aaron Lunsford. In the back of his mind he knew this meal was going to be a company expense and didn’t share with the rest of the board. We headed back to the hostel for a quick power nap so we could be sharp for the hostel social event which happened to be poker. The little sneaky Italian, Mikael, beat Cody in the last hand of the night. As the night winds down we all mark day one in London a success and head to our bunks.

The next two days were just as exciting. We soaked up some culture at the Tate Modern art museum and tried street food with the locals. We shopped at second hand stores and thought about all buying leather jackets from a merchant who kept saying, “Don’t worry about the price. I will take care of you.” After offering him 40 pounds for a 300 pound jacket, I think he realized we were not serious. But seeing Cody in a full on biker jacket was worth the pit stop. Chris, Stephen and myself got caught in conversation with a guy from New Zealand and missed our rendezvous with Aaron at the hostel. We disrespected Aaron’s time and wanted to make a public apology for it. That night we went out for pizza with a crew from our hostel. We had Esther the Spanish girl who is working hard to learn the English language. She has a way to go. My favorite line from her was, “Penelope Cruz does not like me.” After finding out she does not know Penelope Cruz she really meant to say, “I do not like Penelope Cruz.” We had Thomas the Frenchman who the night before had found love at the hostel pub and wasn’t shy of his public display of that. Karen the twenty-one year old world traveler from Poland/Jersey Shore who documents her journeys and was kind enough to take some photos of us. You can check that out here. We also had Dabi a guy from Basque Country who is very quirky and Bruna the quiet girl from Brazil. A wonderful group of misfits to have dinner with. Except in my case if you are the tour manager and have to try to split the check with 5 people who barely understand you. I think Dabi stiffed me a pound or two but we will call it even. After dinner our crew headed to London’s CroBar and tried to fit in with the underground rock and roll scene. We did not fit in so we headed back to the Green Man for their midnight happy hour. We met a crazy Australian who only wanted to shoot jager and try to freestyle. He only had one line and kept repeating it. He was like a drunk Australian version of Andy Milonakis. The Green Man could not have been a better place for us to stay. We were sad to leave but excited tour has finally started. We played an awesome show last night at the Bang Bar. I will give more updates later. -Brian

The Beginning

Yesterday afternoon Cody, Chris and myself finally made it to Nashville. It was not an easy journey. We had to overcome the wrath of mother nature, the horrible quality of Loves Travel Stop radio transmitters, and the misconception of the definition of avocado in Pedal, MS. Aaron and Stephen were anxiously awaiting our arrival. Sure practice was on the agenda, but Aaron flexed his employer power and sent me on my first tour managing task of getting beer. After a half ass run through of the set and twelve empty beer cans we set our sites on the nearest happy hour. Being the culinary expert that Aaron “Bourdain” Lunsford is settle into our table at Eastland Cafe for some light appetizers and martinis. The portions were a little too tapas for my taste but over all a good experience and we take to the streets for Trivia Night at 3 Crow. Since they would not allow our team name to be “Black Wiggers” we settle on “DD2 Yummm” and immediately lose the respect of our hipster waitress who had zipper like tattoos down the back of her legs. We started trivia off with a bang going 5 for 5 but I took a gamble on the cost of a vowel on the wheel of fortune and lose 10 points and we drop to 13th place. It was only downhill from there. The drinks kept flowing and the night was turning into something special. We were all full of life, so full of energy with the excitement of the UK tour just days away. We were like the guy from 127 hours right before he gets his arm stuck. We get hooked up with some fries for the road and decide to class up our night a bit by going to 308. I was a virgin to 308 and it reminded me of a bar that would be in any Vin Diesel movie. We fill our bodies to the brim with calories and regret and tried to keep the good vibes going. After a few laughs and some tears Chris, Aaron, and myself end up at The Red Door for a night cap of a hotdog and one final beer. We have been together for less than a day and our bodies feel as if they have been on tour for a week with Alesana, just ashamed and damaged. Tonight we have a show at the 5 Spot and tomorrow we head for the mother land. Good times are sure to come and I will do my best to keep a log of our adventures and everyone say a prayer we do not lose Chris in the UK.