Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Oct 8th 2010 2:00PM by Young the Giant
Naturally the band has been hard at work on the road, promoting their new release (listen to their first single, 'My Body,' here), but things got off to a sour start on their last U.S. run. But, if anyone knows how to turn lemons into lemonade, it's Young the Giant. Check out singer Sameer Gadhia's first Road Report from the band's tour with Marina and the Diamonds after the jump.
I can't really start to explain life on the road without first introducing you to our very own van and trailer. Spec wise, we travel in a 2006 Ford Econoline E-350 15-seater that hauls a 6'x12' single axle Interstate 'boose. We've got it all sorted out in that thing, inside and out. Like all skills worth acquiring, however, our meticulousness once began with a characteristic, rather hilarious, raggedness. Coffee spills and candy wrappers littered the van, clothes and plastic bags and horrible smells all around. It soon became apparent that we were going to have to make the van our home to get through the long haul.
With a little under thirty thousand miles under our belts in the last four months, I guess there has been a steep gradient of evolution. In the trailer, we started with those cheap $10 tether harnesses with rusty metal hooks and wretched tightening locks to secure the equipment, and then we moved up to adjustable load bars. Finally we opted to build in wooden slats to compartmentalize equipment, luggage, tools, and merchandise. Inside the van, we started traveling without much room for comfort. Four squished rows of benched seats and no sound system! Now, we have taken out two of the benched seats and roll with memory foam, sleeping bags, and blankets on the ground for full slumber mode, and at least have an iPod hook up. Needless to say, it's easy to get carried away on upgrades, as there is an endless assortment of organizational products, electronics, van installments what have you. I'd say that we are pretty content with where our van is at, and trust it to get us where we need to go. It's our white stallion; we have some mystical faith in it.
So when our van broke down in the middle of a busy afternoon street in Lincoln, Neb., we weren't quite sure what to make of the whole situation. We had been traveling the road to Boston all the way from Los Angeles for our first gig with Marina, and despite cautionary tales from many of our wiser counterparts, we had allotted only five days to get there. We were nearing the end of day two, and it didn't seem like we were going to get moving any time soon. Turns out our transmission had blown, and in order to get back running, we needed to have it rebuilt. This would take two days -- an optimistic estimate. Clearly, we had placed way too much pressure on our now stammering steed.
With a quick wash up, some important telephone calls to our now anxious management, and some tom-foolery, we were on our way to the Blue Orchid, a Thai-fusion restaurant/bar in the heart of downtown collegiate Lincoln. Our van taxi driver sensed our foreignness, and commenced a rather interesting schpiel about the local scene. University of Nebraska kids were back in school as of last week, and were looking to have a good time, even on a Sunday night! Now quite eager to get on with it, we were dropped off at the restaurant. Who would've thought that Thai food in Lincoln was so delicious?
After another drink in all of us, we began telling our tale to our waiter, who took pity on us. He recommended a bar on Q called The Brick Top. Sunday night was 80's night, and was apparently "all the rave." He didn't really need to convince any of us, because before he could finish the phrase "happy-hour," we had picked up our coats and were out the door.
At first, "The Brick Top" was quite slow. We were about to leave until we recognized a party of students who had also been dining at the Blue Orchid. By the time we realized the bar was an after-work hang for many employees and enthusiasts of the Blue Orchid, we were swept away by an enormous stream of college kids, hipsters, and pub-crawlers entering the club. We re-met our waiter and his grip of chef buddies, who regaled us with innovative spins on traditional Thai recipes. A dance party commenced all hours into the night. Afterward, we hung out with some philosophy majors at their off campus apartment along the watch tower. We talked about music, and well, some bastardized philosophy. Lost in our nighttime revelries, we had entirely forgotten about our predicament.
The next day was spent walking around the mall of Lincoln's quarters. We checked out of our hotel and relocated to one in the heart of downtown, and made it just in time for another completely free happy hour at the pub downstairs! C'mere fried macaroni and Cabernet! A couple of our friends from the Brick Top met us at the hotel, and after a hefty dinner at a distillery, we all jumped into the hotel pool and played sharks and minnows like the good ol' days.
The next morning was our wake up call. The mechanic, bless his heart, had made some of his key understudies work on our van through the night. It was ready. We needed to get our asses to Boston. Call time was in thirty hours, and well, we were thirty hours away from Massachusetts, let alone the coast.
With our stallion renewed to his chugging glory, we fell back into road mode. It was time to put our van through the real test. With the help of a new friend called 5-hr Energy, we drove through the whole night, and made it JUST IN TIME for sound check! By the time we had reached the outskirts of Boston, delirium had settled in thicker than the dust on our van. More tomfoolery ensued (VIDEO 2). A man needs to shower. Enough said.