DEATH VALLEY HIGH wrap up the Mindless Self Indulgence support
Catching word that Mindless Self Indulgence were discussing the notion to take Death Valley High on a 2014 North American tour felt much like we’d been entered into a properly suited raffle. When we first got a SMS saying that we were accepted for an entire half of the tour, I felt like we’d won the lottery from Mr. Urine himself. I’d been very proud of DVH acheivements up until this point; but with this news, I was slam dancing inside.
Fast forward through travels and warm up dates and we’re driving through Michigan. All of that triumph had devolved into last minute stress that we won’t be making it into Canada for our first date of the run. You may know that Canada’s border crossing can be pretty hairy. Depending on the officer; or the weather; or the way the moon is shining in the sky, you may not be entering the country as planned.
On our way to the Sarnia/Port Huron border, a white rabbit crossed our path; just skipping across the road as it had probably done a million times before. I quickly point out this happening to a van full of bleary eyed passengers, “Hey, aren’t rabbits good luck?”. Adam (A-West) answered, “Let’s just go with that”.
I can now vehemently say that that little rabbit pulled through. We had absolutely no issue getting into Canada. I mean, aside from the po-po pulling us over for roaming the streets at Death O’Clock in the morning… At any rate, we get to the Phoenix Concert Theater for our first gig and are not only greeted by a friendly MSI and crew, but by a raucously welcoming Toronto crowd. We even met a lad who was experiencing his first show ever! Talk about an honor! Huffy’s good friend from San Francisco made an appearance. By the end of a long night drinking, and dining on late night Chinese, he became our new legal advisor! Our stay in Canada couldn’t have gone much better.
Day two of the tour, just past the US border (thanks little Easter Bun Bun); and we’re making our way to Detroit. Much like Toronto, a healthy crowd is already lined up outside of St. Andrews Hall to get in. We meet our new touring mates, The Bunny The Bear, who appear to be nice enough gents. Things go just equally as smooth as just across the border. We rocked the fuck out and afterwards were signing butts and bosoms and what have you… We’re not even allowed to leave town without having some drinks and laughs with much of the audience. Thanks to all of you who bought us shots, pizza, and a jukebox spin just around the corner.
Driving into Chicago was slightly daunting but radical to say the least. We were nicely ahead of schedule and I must’ve been possessed by the spirit of The Batman because I sub-consciously took a wrong turn off Franklin Street onto Lower Wacker Drive, aka The Narrows of “The Dark Knight”. Our Tour Manager, Lance, had been quick to point out that MSI fans seemed to be fans of Batman as well. Well, I couldn’t be more at home with that! Sure enough, I see a female patron donned in a Batman shirt in the crowd of House of Blues that night. This tour is coming up bat-tastic! The night ended up with us running around the underground parking lot like characters of The Dark Knight. Us, is predominately defined as just myself, I admit.
The next night was a Friday, and yeah we were all ready to “get down”. There was a little snow that made its way onto our path to Milwaukee but with that said, it had come and gone within just a few short hours. The roads never even got wet. Just as suspected, people were ready to “get it on” at The Rave/Eagles Club. If you’re in the know, this venue is IMMENSE and equipped with just about every sized room imagineable. Even the upstairs room was holding a show with The Used and Taking Back Sunday. Seeing that MSI have a completely different vibe and draw, we were way more suited to rock the stage and audience we had the honor to. So many compliments were thrown our way that night and we had so much fun at our merch booth with all the new friends and fans, we now call “new EUTH”.
Saturday night was poised for some “Purple” success as we made our way to First Avenue in Minneapolis. The hospitality in this venue was just amazing. We caught a glimpse of MSI bass player, Lyn-Z, hanging around our van and it dawned on us that MSI were way more bashful than you’d think! They’re such maniacs onstage but are really down to earth when you get to hang out with them. Our green room was cozy with tour mates The Bunny The Bear and this is where we really bro’d down. All the new EUTH were so cool and easy going here. Afterwards, it was hard for me to get the song “Minneapolis” from That Dog unstuck from my brain but it subsided after I’d passed out on the van’s front bench.
Showing up to The Granada in Lawrence was a VASTLY different experience than our previous time through here. Instead of brutal cold/snow, we were ushered in to near California weather. Sunny and warm, we pulled into the venue parking lot. We quickly learned of some repercussions from the previous night at The Granada, and we almost had to cancel the entire thing. Luckily, the show-must-go-on attitude prevailed, and the staff and crew made sure that all the bands could adequately perform. The show turnout was a little slow but by the time we went on, things were packed and lively. We met several awesome people – who like VINYL! – and Sean even kissed a girl for buying the lot!
Early in the morning, Lance was chomping at the bit to get to Pops in Sauget, IL. We knew of this little gem of a town from all of the stories we had heard from other bands. Lance, having been there with the band †††, was raring to get back. The weather here was quite a bit colder but the vibes in Pops were about as hot as it gets. The people in this town bet the farm when it comes to partying. Chris’ vegan pals came out and made us buy them drinks. We also met the son of Daryl Strawberry which was a trip. This place was a hot mess! We all had a great time in Sauget, but of course it was Lance who lost his pants! They got ripped up pretty bad but we had a proper funeral for ’em.
Over the next couple of days of long-haul driving to Denver, we arrive at the becoming Bluebird Theater. We always really enjoy playing in Denver, but this was the most special night there yet. Friends had come out; new EUTH were made; a wedding proposal went down on stage; and this was the last night with our new friends and family, The Bunny The Bear. I was sure to grab Nathan, their guitar player, and sharpie some warpaint on his face! We’re for sure going to see them down the road.
Another big haul to Seattle, and El Corazon was a spectacle we hadn’t anticipated. This was one of the smaller venues of the tour and it was packed to the gills. For our money’s worth, this crowd was unmatched in participation and energy. Our new touring mates, The Iris, opened up and got the El Corazon nice and warmed up. By the time we went on, it was like a bomb going off with bodies exploding with dance pits and crowd surfing. The energy was still great for us even when MSI took the stage. New EUTH made themselves present at the Merch Booth and by chatting us up at the bar. A big thanks to Seattle, we will be back!
The next day was a short drive into Oregon and we’re starting to feel like we’re home on the West Coast again. The Roseland Theater was great to see again. I had been seeing so many familiar stops on this tour from TINFED days and I felt like this was going to be yet another awesome reunion. It was just as I anticipated and the people here were just fantastic. Being a Saturday night, we knew great things were abound; but this was off the hook. We love the crowd participation and when they chant along “DEATH – VALLEY – HIGH” with us but this one guy grabbed the mic and did a perfectly audible and awesome Cookie Monster “DEATH VALLEY HIGH”!
We came back to our hometown of San Francisco in quite a stupor. We had to drive all night to get to The Fillmore on time the next day. Entering this landmark venue felt like a rush and we were all given a second wind. The crowd were so ready for MSI, so we gave em our deadliest, pull-out-the-stops best to show SF their local boys made good. We had our cheerleaders out to cheer and rally with us which was chaotic but fabulous all the same. Risa who had recorded a lot of backing vocals on PØSITIVE EUTH, was out to perform with us on “Commit to Knife”. Local EUTH were present throughout the show, and afterwards, hanging out. This show was the stuff dreams are made of.
One more stop before our last show in Hollywood, CA leads us to a live chat with DJ ASRA and Ray Blanco of Baptized in Fire on TradioV. You can catch this right here: http://tradiov.com/la/videos/baptized-by-fire-with-eken-is-dead-and-death-valley-high-4-14-14/
We even got to catch the “Blood Moon” that night on the roof of Ray’s apartment complex. Not bad, but we all felt it could have been a bit BLOODIER!
The next day was the bittersweet end of our run with MSI at the House of Blues Sunset. Chantel Claret joined us for this final show and we were able to finally get a soundcheck. That always makes for a better headspace when we play! Again, we were joined by DVH cheerleaders, and this time, one porn star celebrity friend joined us for some pompom fun! This was the shortest set of the tour but we could really feel the love from the crowd. Dancing and many smiles were caught. Such a great way to end the tour. We got in a little chat with MSI and crew before we trekked it back to the hotel for a celebratory drink and bite to eat. A long day of travel awaited us, but we felt triumphant in a tour well done.
Wrapping up the rap, we’d like to thank everyone involved in making this tour and making it totally awesome. From our management, to our record label, to the EUTH and new EUTH, and of course to MSI, we thank you. This is the stuff we live for and the times we’ll never forget.
And… Until this very day, that little white Michigan bunny has no idea of how much luck we were showered with. Mark my words, little Bun Bun, the next time we come through Michigan, you will receive a DVH CARE PACKAGE with barrels of carrots and rabbit porn DVDs.