I did daily updates here during the last tour, but this year I’ve slipped to an entry every two or three days. There’s a couple reasons for that. The first is that we don’t have Harry from Mighty Ships to do literally all of the driving on this tour, so I’ve been behind the wheel every day for the past week. I don’t mind it, but I have ended up with less time to read and write. And second, I’ve been fighting sickness and trying to rest as much as possible. My lingering cold felt like it was getting even worse last night, so I spent most of the show in Colton’s thankfully air-conditioned house in Dekalb laying the couch, listening to the bands through the walls. Fortunately, I was able to gather up enough energy to play with both City Mouth and Movies About Animals, and the sets were a lot of fun, even though it gave Normal a challenge for sweatiest show so far. Colton, Sergio, and the rest of the Dekalb kids that we’ve become friends with over the past year always show us a great time when we come through, and this was no different.
To backtrack a little bit, the preceding two days were spent primarily at my parents’ house in Bloomington, catching up on sleep, laundry, and real food. This tour would have been a lot harder on all of us if we didn’t have those couple days in the middle to relax in a house that gets cleaned more than once a year.
Bloomington is just a short drive from Peoria and Champaign, where we played for nights five and six of the tour. We caught up with some friends that we hadn’t seen in a while, like Alejandro and the rest of Arcade At Midnight, who put on a sweet show for us at a brick-oven pizza place called Mud Puddle Pizza in Peoria. We reminisced about the Modus Aurora days and then played frantic back to back sets since the show had to wrap up by nine. Another highlight of the Peoria show: Terribly Happy, whose bouncy tunes, Blink cover, and hilarious shirts brought smiles to all of our faces.
In Champaign, we reunited with The Phantom Broadcast and Ocean Glass, two bands that I thoroughly enjoy seeing every chance I get. Evan from the Phantom Broadcast is one of the most impressive guitarists and nicest guys I know, and he put together a really solid show for us at the Cowboy Monkey. But first we had to get there, a task that became non-trivial when Matt locked my keys in the trunk of my car. Fortunately, State Farm’s roadside assistance came through, and we made it to the show without too much delay. Still, I’m pretty sure he won’t live that one down for a while.