Three Days In September
Into the Wild has been around for quite a long time. It's a slow-moving machine. After about a year's worth of what was mostly silence and a few misc shows, this Spring we finally kicked shit into gear and tried desperately to book some shows outside of Toledo. Turns out it's pretty hard to land a gig when your band is still pretty meager & relatively unknown, despite the emphatic optimism of most of what I see online surrounding people who are heavily involved with music (I am not one of these people).
Thursday was my birthday. I am old. I feel kinda old and kinda young at the same time. This is a weird age to be. My birthday present was driving 3 hours to play our first show in Pennsylvania, and also new bedding. Because I'm old.
With Hunter & I packed into his car and Wes & Caleb in Wes's car, we drove together (but separate) to Erie Pennsylvania. Hunter and I literally could not find the venue so we wasted time at Taco Bell until Wes & Caleb showed up to give us our diapers and show us where the actual venue was. The promoter of the show was super nice, she hooked us up with some great home-cooked vegan foods and a cozy couch for our bottoms. The apartment venue was hot as fuck but we didn't really care, we were stoked as hell to play a bill with a ton of new faces from the area & beyond. The show was great, so we said our thank-you's and goodbyes around 1am and took off for home. Honestly the highlight of the first night was getting the courage to sell some of my street work at the show - I set out some 5x5 prints for people to snag for $5. Someone actually bought one which felt **super** rewarding. I've only sold a handful of prints online so it felt great to put one in somebody's hands who had a genuine excitement about the print. It felt so rewarding.
Day two's drive to Mishawaka Indiana was a bit shorter, around 2 hours. I volunteered to drive since Hunter did all the driving the day before, so we cranked up the Good Old War in the gloomy weather and made our way. The drive was pretty much a straight shot on the turnpike. Super easy. I made us make one pit-stop about 15 minutes away from the venue so I could buy more plain black t-shirts: the ones I've had for awhile now kinda sucked and started to shrink heavily, so I ~splurged~ at Target on some nicer ones. Minimalism?
We found the venue, parked, and took a nice stroll for about a half hour around the town to explore a bit before load-in. The venue actually had this crazy awesome separate upstairs area for us that night. We set up, met some great people, and played a fine set. That night I also ran into a fellow photographer that was also new to Sony, so we geeked out about some camera gear for at least a solid half-hour. We ended up staying for the entire night and a little after before I started nagging about how I had to shoot a wedding the next day. The drive was only two hours home but it felt like an eternity every time I checked the clock & doing the mental math of how many hours of sleep I might get.
Saturday I woke up 15 minutes before my alarm and couldn't feel my limbs. I slept terribly. I was beyond the definition of tired. But I rushed home after crashing at Hunter's to get ready for the day. Powered through the wedding with tired eyes and lots of coffee & the wonderful assistance from Marcus all afternoon. By the time dinner rolled around I was really struggling — I had become incredibly slap-happy from the lack of sleep and food. After dinner I was fine, back on my feet and shooting probably some of my favorite reception photos to date. Once the events had wrapped up, we packed our things and scooted out of the reception so I could make my way to play our last show of the 3-day string at Holland Haus. All day I was bummed knowing that I was missing out on some fun that the rest of the band & Vestigial were having being they were in town for the show. I ended up missing out on almost every band except for Vestigial, I arrived just in time to catch their amazing set and start setting up for our own. We played a fast & sweaty set that honestly felt like peak Into the Wild. Everything just went so well and sounded better than ever.
Into the Wild has always been a weird culmination of sorts. Kinda metal, kinda punk, kinda weird. But this mini-tour run felt like we were finally beginning to create some sort of an identity. Like we were real. I want to chase this feeling. I love being on the road, traveling, photographing, and playing music in the process. I missed it dearly. I'm hoping we get something lined up in the near future and head out on more adventures. And take more photos.