We wrapped up the City Mouth Traveling Petting Zoo Tour over the weekend with two small but very cool house shows. On Saturday, we played our friend Tyler’s house in Aurora, which meant that we shared the bill with Mighty Ships. It was a nice respite from the parties and punk houses we spent most of this tour at, and the first act of the night dropping meant that my new band, also featuring Tyler, Dan, and Katie, could make our live debut. The first Pelafina show was short and a little sloppy, but we’re all excited about what we’ve written so far.
On Sunday, Mighty Ships joined us once again for the most rural show of the tour, in the tiny farm town of Elburn, Illinois. The house was hard to find, but the show was really cool. We surprised our tourmate, Pat Egan, by jumping in for a full band version of his last song. He’s been a really fun guy to have on the road with us, and I’ve watched him improve as a performer every day. In typical fashion for this tour, the City Mouth set was sweaty but a lot of fun, I have to admit that it was strange not doing it again last night.
Looking back on this tour, I’m filled up with pride for the rest of City Mouth. We’ve become a tighter, stronger band over the past week and a half than we ever were before, but it’s more than just musicianship. It’s seeing Reece put together something really special for Pat’s last show of the tour. It’s watching Dan connect with these songs and sing along every night behind the drum kit. It’s seeing Erik happier and more confident than ever on stage. It’s catching Matt’s eye in the middle of a song and smiling, knowing that everything he’s been building with this band for past three years is finally coming together.
There’s a part in one of our new songs where Matt repeats the line, “I don’t know if I’ll make it past twenty.” I remember when Matt sent me the first demo of that song. It was Christmas Eve, or maybe Boxing Day, or New Years, some holiday in December of 2013. Matt had decided not too long before that that he wasn’t coming back for his fourth semester at ISU, and the song made me tear up. I’ve never wanted anyone to succeed more than I want him to. The song scared me, but it also helped me see more clearly than ever that success means such different things for different people. The most cathartic moment of this tour for me came on the first night, when we closed our set with “Dropout.” An older, stronger Matt than I knew in 2013 added a line that he had never sung live before to the end of the song, and I can’t express how much it meant to hear him say it.
“I don’t know if I’ll make it past twenty, and I don’t know if I even want to.
But I fucking did.”