MARINA CITY + SLEEP ON IT SUMMER TOUR '16
I met some of the guys in MC for the first time during their acoustic show with Emarosa on July 18th. My friend Jake introduced me to Matt and I later watched them, in awe, playing acoustically. A month later I decided to "yolo" and ask them to do a quick shoot at their CD release show at Reggies. Much like most of my photoshoots, it was 5/10 minutes tops and done.
I didn't know at the time that they were like IN LOVE with the photos (read this in Cady Heron's voice / mean girls) but apparently they really dug them which is always nice.
Fast forward to this year, I hopped in their van, hoped they didn't forget or left me at some gas station, and went on the road with them.
These past few days were nothing short of amazing. I met many incredibly humans and dogs. SO MANY DOGS. Aside from that, I was able to get to know Marina City on a whole new level. They're the realest, or as kids say: they keep it 100.
Before I continue with the photos, I just want to say thanks to Marina City for trusting me enough to take me out with them. Taking a person on tour is no easy task and it's not a simple decision to make, but they still did it and that's pretty dang cool. I'm incredibly proud of all they've accomplished and everything that's to come. Also a huge shoutout to my dudes in Sleep On It. They've always been there, literally since day 1 (they were my first photo shoot ayyyy) and are still the same incredible humans. I don't know what I did to deserve all these amazing humans in my life, but I'm not complaining.
I'll shut up now and show you some of my favorite photos and a tell you a few stories.
DAY 1 - DETROIT, MI
Hot ass day. I forgot my pillow at home so I had to make a quick stop at Walmart and the only comfty pillow around was one of the minions. It's my favorite pillow now.
We left Chicago kinda late and thus arrived late at the venue. We passed 8 mile though, so the inner 12 year old in me was dying and fangirling hoping Eminem would make a surprise appearance. Unfortunately, the venue had no AC and it felt hotter inside than it did outside. However, this venue was my favorite because it had amazing lighting. I also got to see the fam00se Teri. We went out to eat and she told me a bunch of fun facts. I miss her. Before this however, Ryan turned to me and asked "Can I call you Penelope?" I was so tempted to reply sarcastically but I held it together. He wasn't feeling my nickname "Penny," so him and the guys set out to think of something better.
DAY 2 - CLEVELAND, OH
The day before was pretty long for everyone, specially with it being such a hot one. So the guys dropped me off at Starbucks while they hit the gym and I got some work done. Brian joined me a lil later and somehow we started talking about candy and suddenly I wanted sourpatch kids. I tweeted an SOS and my pal Chelsea came to the rescue. She brought a 19LB BAG OF SOUR PATCH KIDS. 19BLS!! While setting up for merch, Ryan turns to me and says "WHAT ABOUT PEBBLES?!" And that's how my new nickname started. It took some time but I got used to it and the rest of the guys definitely caught on. Well, most. Aaron and Eric have different names for me.
Anyways, the venue today had a really old vintage bowling alley which was pretty awesome. Ohio brought out a few friends like Chelsea and Allison who are cool as heck. I also got to meet Sean O'Day which was pretty cool. TJ's best friend also came to the show and sang with SOI which was a really nice surprise. After the show we went to somebody's house (I forgot the name because I suck) and crashed. I stayed in the van with Brian and Todor because it felt pretty nice outside. Before we went to bed though, there was a small cat that actually came up to us and rolled on its back and let me pet it. I've never been happier at 3am.
DAY 3 - MARINA CITY PROM
This was one of the coolest shows ever. The guys put on a prom for the fans instead of having an off day because who needs rest? It was pretty awesome to see everyone dressed up, looking all fancy and stuff. Before we went to the venue the guys went to the gym and I walked around and tried to find something to do. I went into a grocery store where a lady complemented my dress which gave me a huge confidence boost so that's always nice. We finally went to the venue and I met Nate who is one of the coolest dudes ever. We arranged the tables inside, or should I say the guys did (I was putting on makeup because hey it was my first prom ever). Finally doors opened, the guys looked dashing in suits, and the show started. Midset they gave their friend Evan an award for "Promoter of the Year." Evan and his girlfriend, Kayla, are great people by the way. After the show and when we were loading out, I needed to get into the van and asked Ryan for the keys. He decided to throw them at me when A. I'm blind, B. It was like midnight, and C. There was literally no light outside besides a lamp post behind them. I saw my life flash before my eyes. After that traumatizing experience we went out to eat with Evan, Kayla, and their friend who's name I forgot (you'll see this pattern a lot). The food was good but I got ripped off because I had like 10 small fries on my plate. Whatever. We then went to Evan's house and crashed. He promised he had a dog and I'd be able to meet her in the morning. Guess who didn't meet a dog!! Evan you liar. Oh, remember that 19lb sour patch candy bag? This is it now. Feel old yet?
DAY 4 - WOODBRIDGE, VA
I was finally able to meet my pal Jake which was awesome. He brought donuts and I didn't eat any because I'm dumb. We got to the venue and realized there was no place to park, and it was just an indoor skate park. It was the weirdest place I've shot at and I'm not too content with the photos but nonetheless, it was a pretty great day. Honestly, it was a weird day. The guys were very affectionate with each other, but I got to eat Nandos, or at least a bite of it. There were two dogs at the venue which were super cute. Nugget (short cutie) was used as a bait dog in a fighting ring and is the most happy pup ever. Bubba was shot in the head and is now an independent lil dude who loves punk music. They're a perfect example of how the breed of a dog has nothing to do with their "violent" outbursts. A little bit of TLC goes a long way. Anyways, after the show we went out to eat and I dropped my water because of who I am as a person.
DAY 5 - AMITYVILLE, NY
Let's just get it out of the way now: I hate New York. Ok, so I don't hate the city itself but traffic can be a pain in the ass. The drive before was pretty long so we slept in the van in a parking lot. We ended up arriving just in time for load in but since none of us had showered they did a mini shower in the parking lot. We loaded in and set everything up. Apparently there were two kids that traveled for easily an hour (because it's NY) to the show but couldn't get in because of their age (15) so the guys played an acoustic song for them. Still, MC didn't give up and were able to convince the venue to let them in. Before the show, Nate kept giving himself weird hairstyles which was surprisingly entertaining. I saw a few friends including Gina and Carly and Gina made me very emo after the show. I love and miss her already. I wish I could put her in my pocket and take her everywhere but alas.
DAY 6 - CAMBRIDGE, MA
After the NY show we drove to Nate's house and crashed. I woke up to two dogs. How great is that? Today's show was a matinee, and personally it was stressful. I completely missed Sleep On It's set because I went to edit like usual and wasn't aware they were literally right after MC. I was pissed and sad to say the least. BUT, I did get to see Leah and got to meet Kelly finally! So many friends! I also got to take some quick pics of Amanda outside of the venue. I should note that Amanda is the best.
Because the show ended so early, Amanda held a BBQ at her place. Her backyard is literally out of one of my dreams so I took some portraits of a few of the guys. I got to meet Nate's girlfriend who is such a cool lady and we talked pretty much the whole time. Ps. Nate and Katie are some of the the greatest people I've met. The guys played a game of "Stump" which is super dangerous but also fun to watch. As the night went on everyone left except for us since we were crashing there. I got to meet Jason Cox, and Amanda offered to take me to a golf course so I could see the stars. Most of us went and it was so beautiful. I sound like a nerd but I've never seen that many stars, so it was incredible for me.
DAY 7 - HAMDEN, CT
I usually wake up before everyone else and today was no different. Amanda asked if I wanted to join her since she's a dog walker/carer and of course I said yes. We got some much needed Starbucks and went on to see some dogs.
When we got back, it was almost time to go so I said goodbye to Amanda even though she was coming to the show. We beat her to the venue and we both ran to the bathroom because we had Starbucks, and well, you know. I began to set up merch with Ryan and once we finished Amanda and I hung out. Some of us were hungry and there was a Chipotle nearby so we went. This was the first time I've ever had Chipotle-- I wasn't impressed but it wasn't terrible. I'll definitely have it again, but I don't think I will ever crave it. Amanda and I then went to find some trees to take some pics and I really dug them. Amanda is such a great model.
The show was pretty fun. There were kids dancing pretty weird and having a good time, plus lighting wasn't terrible. Amanda made me take a photo with her but I actually like it? Cool. After the show we had to say goodbye to her which sucked. Miss u. To be honest I don't really remember much after this.
DAY 8 - CLIFTON, NJ
AH YES I REMEMBER. We arrived at Hope's house pretty late from what I remember and before I even got out of the van I heard someone say something like "Pebbles you're going to die when you see this." I don't know who or if it that's what they said because I was half asleep but all I see is this TINY dog. It's true, I died. We ate pizza and played with the pup for a bit but I was so tired, I didn't stay awake for too long. The morning after felt so long because we were so close to the venue we had nothing to do so it was pretty uneventful.
This was another venue with no AC and it was hell. But my friend Dieter was coming which was very exciting. He's ridiculously talented and a great person so I was very stoked. We loaded in and hung outside for the most part because of how hot it was inside. While we were loading in a puppy came in and she was the cutest lil thing ever. Of course I was ecstatic. AJ came along and being the dog whisperer he is, he stole her from me. *eyeroll* Also, I don't know what got into the guys but they decided to put on model faces whenever I tried to do my job? Getting "candid" photos was almost impossible because of this so this is what we're left with.
I felt bad for not watching the local bands but it was too hot inside. I couldn't take it. Instead, I hung out with Dieter outside. We talked with the bartender (who's name I forgot because I'm the worst) and she was pretty cool. She was dying inside and I took pics of it happening because that's my job. During SOI's set people moshed and did a wall of death which was pretty awesome. Marina City killed it per usual. After the show it was raining/drizzling the funniest part was that the guys were soaking from being inside in the heat (look at picture of Eric below for reference). We loaded everything when the rain stopped and went back to Hope's because we had a super long drive the next morning.
DAY 9 - COLUMBUS, OH
This was a pretty emotional day, and it was Eric's birthday! We arrived at the venue a bit early and immediately made our way to Chipotle. I didn't eat because I had eaten chicken nuggets while the guys worked out. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
We loaded in, I got presentable before fans arrived, and learned that there was a girl named Ivy who wasn't feeling too well and wasn't going to be able to stay for the show. You see, Ivy has leukemia. The band wanted to play an acoustic set for her at her hospital so she wouldn't have to leave but they weren't allowed. So when they heard she wasn't feeling to well, they decided to surprise her with some merch and a song. They played a new song, which is my favorite song of theirs by the way. The moment she realized they were going to sing for her her eyes lit up so big, I don't know how I held it together. After they played, they said their goodbyes and she left. PS. Ivy is an awesome human, she has a GoFundMe set up to help her pay her hospital bills so it'd be really cool if anyone reading this could donate any amount of money.
Afterwards, or was it before? I don't know. Anyways, Eric saw the surprise birthday cake that his mom bought. It was HUGE because it was meant to be shared with the whole venue which is pretty dang cool. I went out to buy plates, utensils, and balloons because Eric is the best. I mean worst. He's the worst. Everyone was phenomenal but shooting here was a pain. I hate going in front of fans when it's not in a photo pit, and I hate using flash. I shot at 25,600, used flash, and still hated pretty much everything. Oh well. It happens.
DAY 10 - TOLEDO, OH
This morning was easily one of the most boring we had. We stayed in the same parking lot for 4(?) hours or so. While the guys hit the gym, Ryan, Eric and I stayed in the van and slept. Later on, Matt and I decided to go get ice cream, Eric and Ryan joined. It was so worth it. Matt and I then went to get chinese food which was an A+ choice. After that we just hung out again, I blasted Cher and made the guys dance, I begged them to play "Goodbye Ilene" but they weren't too convinced. Divas. Matt, Aaron, and I decided to get slushies before we left which wasn't a great idea because they weren't that good. We finally packed up to leave around 4:30 I think.
The venue had some cool games and a pool table so I challenged Todor to play. He was winning but spoke to soon, and yeah, I won. I beat Todor at pool. hehe. Anyways, a while later an ice cream truck drove by and obviously Zech, TJ, AJ and I had to buy some. I was stoked. Ice cream twice in one day? Heck yeah. Matt and I took some pics, then I was trying to take pictures of the sunset and everyone jumped in front of my camera so guess who didn't get pretty sunset pics.
Marina City began and everything seemed normal. Then they decided to introduce me to the crowd which was weird since they've only done this once at Prom. These nerds decided to tell everyone I wanted them to play Goodbye Ilene, and they actually played it. I was so emo I didn't even take than many pictures. That song is my favorite by them and they actually played it. #1 fan right here. When they finished the set they hung out with fans like usual. SOI went on and their set was awesome. There was butt touching, fangirling by Eric and Brian, the usual. The time to load out came, we said our goodbyes, and made our way back to Chicago. What a bittersweet moment.
DAY 11 - CHICAGO, IL
We got to Matt's house around 3am I think. I got to sleep on a bed after 10 days which was amazing. When I woke up I realized Matt was also up and decided to join him in making breakfast. I didn't actually help, I just provided motivation. At least that's what I'm telling myself. Slowly everyone began to wake up, we got ready, and a crapton of good news began pouring in. AP mag named them the #2 band to check out at Warped and compared them to JT, their song "The Alley Capital Masquerade" hit 101k plays on Spotify, and the new van was now in their possession. All on the same day as their sold-out hometown show, and it wasn't even noon yet. A few days before this, their spread in Rocksound had finally released which was also pretty cool specially since Blink 182 is on the cover.
We decided to leave early to eat in the city, and got pretty lucky with parking. While trying to decide what to eat, someone suggested Dimos to which I told the guys it'd probably be free since they have over 500 followers. This is where Popular Pays comes in. I told the guys how it worked and I'm pretty sure I've changed their lives. Essentially, if you have more than 500 followers you can get free things from businesses, mostly food. So we went to Dimos and saved money. After this we began to look for parking by the venue so we could start loading in. It was the most hectic day because Double Door is on a busy street and there were lots of friends/family around. After load in I saw my pal Anam for the first time in weeks because she was on tour with The Millenium and I left with MC after. I was ecstatic and emotional. Plus Katie was there and she's awesome. I later stole Aaron and Eric for pictures.
We went back to the venue because Embracer would be starting soon, and I realized I hadn't backed up any of the photos from tour. So instead of shooting Embracer I was stuck doing what I should have been doing all along. Shortly after, MC was set to begin and I almost left a used memory card in my camera and a low battery. I don't know what was going through my mind but I'm glad I caught it before they started. This show was perfection in every way for both SOI and MC. MC played their cover of MCR and SOI played "Cope" as their encore which is awesome. Afterwards we hung out while loading out, took a tour photo, and went our separate ways. Saying goodbye to the SOI dudes sucked because I adore them and I want to listen to them everyday. Luckily I get to see the nerds MC in a few weeks for Warped Tour. What an amazing time I had. Seriously, I'm so lucky to have the guys in Marina City in my life. They're some of the most supportive and genuine people I've ever met, and their friends are equally as great. Thanks again for being great people and friends. And for putting up with me and my dog obsession. #blessed