All photos taken by the band on a disposable film camera
The Becoming Us Tour was the first "tour" I'd ever done. We booked the whole thing ourselves and let me tell you that sh*t was stressful. I spent probably the majority of my time working my desk job googling venues and promoters in different cities all across California. We managed to throw together a tour with 6 different cities. Honestly I would argue that logistics were the most difficult part of the whole experience. Thankfully we were able to crash with friends the whole time which was wonderful and saved us a ton of money. We started off in San Diego, which is one of our favorite places to perform at I think because the crowds there are always so excited and into the music. It's also just such a beautiful city, the beaches, the parks, the museums, the air, just everything. Also a ton of brunch places so 10/10. From there we went to Santa Barbara for 3 days to just kind of have a vacation type thing and just enjoy our company as a group. Ok wait I lied, Santa Barbara is actually probably my favorite city that we go to. Nathan's grandma has a house up there and she let's us stay whenever we'd like, but more on that in another blog.
After Santa Barbara we drove up to Berkeley and threw all our bags into the room of Olivia and Tanvi, who really kindly allowed us to crash with them at their vegan co-op. That place was pretty weird, or just a really different experience for me, but we definitely made a ton of memories there. Whether it was getting to know Chef Drew (pictured below) or spending hours playing on their tinkly upright piano, that co-op will forever be a special place. I actually wrote a song up there, it's called "Run Away" it has a very Beatle's-y vibe cause we listened to a lot of Beatles then. Oh shit! That reminds me, we had a tour playlist! I'll link it below. Our top favorite songs for sure though were "Champagne Supernova," "Ok Cool" and "La Villa Strangiato." Anywhooo, we stayed at the Co-op in Berkeley for a few nights, played a gig in Davis at the Armadillo Record Store and then drove out to our friend Pony's place in Taft, California. Taft is basically a suburb of Bakersfield, so if Bakersfield already sounds like the middle of nowhere to you, we were in the middle of nowhere's middle of nowhere. Pony's place is wonderful though. The houses all kind of look the same and have large expansive lots. The drive in to Taft has tons of rolling hills, lots of sand/dirt and hundreds of oil pump thingie-ma-bobbers. Pony lives in a super cute two story place up a hill deep in Taft, he super kindly gave us the whole bottom half of the house with a little living room area, a bathroom and a sick studio. We loved it there. Spent hours playing PUB-G, eating Domino's and messing around inside that little studio. There's also a really great breakfast place there called Jo's Family Restaurant that we pigged out at one morning. And I almost forgot but Pony has two of the cutest puppers in the whole world and some kittens!!
On the way back to Berkeley, we played a show in Fresno at Tower District Records and that's where we got to meet our good friend Otter. This kid drove hours to come out and see us and on top of that, he baked us cookies. We also had the pleasure of meeting his mom and thanking her for bringing Otter out. Hanging out with Otter was life changing, that kid was so cool, and I couldn't believe he came out all the way just to see us play. We had a few other lovely people drive out for us as well along the tour and I want to personally thank you so much for believing in our music that much. It means the world.
One of the last stops on the tour was very non-traditional. We played a small backyard show in one of Ryan's childhood friends home. This was Ryan's first time back to his hometown in the Bay where he lived all throughout middle school and halfway into high-school. The place was very special to him and he took us around to a lot of his favorite places. For some reason the place was hauntingly familiar and going around Ryan's hometown still sits tight in my memory. There's something about visiting a place that has such a deep history for someone and hearing their stories and their development in that place is really cool. We spent less than a day there but it was definitely one of the most memorable moments of the trip. I also met this woman there who is the mother of one of Ryan's high-school friends and she kind of predicted my future and offered a lot of commentary on my persona. It really messed me up initially and I couldn't shake the things that she had said. I still don't know why San Rafael was such an important moment of the tour, but I think everyone in the band can agree that it was a special feeling.
This was shot right after our last show of the tour in Santa Cruz. We played at this small anarchist, very liberal community space called Subrosa. It was probably one of the most diverse and accepting places we've ever played at. One of the people we performed with goes by the name BB Sinclair. They're one of the first trans people I've ever performed with and their performance blew me away. There were probably between 10-20 people at every show we played along the tour, but the number had dwindled down to like 3-4 people by the time we got to play at Subrosa. Nonetheless, we rocked the fuck out. It was probably one of the most fun shows we played all tour because we all just let it out. Everyone was so so so sweaty, hence a shirtless Ryan, and after the gig we managed to get a great snap of all us sweaty, happy and celebrating the end of our first tour (it's that first photo on the right at the top). Santa Cruz was the only place we didn't have a solid place to stay, so instead of trying to find a hotel or a couch to crash on we decided we would load up on snacks and energy drinks and power through the night to get back to Los Angeles. We talked through the whole drive, about the future of the band, our feelings, the future of our lives, what makes life worth living for, and whatever popped into our minds at 4am. There's something about that perfect balance of accomplishment and exhaustion that fosters some of the best memories in the world. I will forever cherish that tour in the Honda Odyssey even though at times I wanted nothing more than to not be with Drew, Nathan, and Ryan. At times it was waaaaayyyyy too sweaty and waaaaayyyy too hot and waaaayyyyy too loud and annoying, but it was so awesome to finally get to live the dream of being a real band and going on tour. I hope we can do it again soon.