Poughkeepsie, New York

So last night we played at The Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie New York. Aside from Evans blue we played with this amazing band by the name of Flat Five. The video is a little sketchy but the guitarists are both playing behind their backs and having a great time. These guys are very cool and I hope to play with them again sometime.

Video: Crazy night at the bar

After the show at Frankie’s in Toledo, some of us go to the bar and you’ll never guess what happens…

Back in Ohio – Frankie’s packed and rocking

Before we hit the road yesterday, I got to chat with my girl and my son via TANGO. Nice app. It was really good to hear Kingston saying, “Daddy!” and being so excited to see my face. My biggest fear was that because he is 2, and because I won’t see him for another 6 weeks that he would forget me. We made faces at each other, said our I love you’s. The guys packed up and we departed to Wal Mart to pick up some supplies to fix our trailer lights, which seem to be haunted and very moody. It’s kind of like having a computer that you’ve built, you hit the power button, and it drains your pool. It definitely has Matt pretty pissed off. We have it going now, and had a chance to change the oil in the van before taking off.

Back to the Buckeye State…

…and what a welcome home it was. More than 200 rock fans slammed into a room that’s rated for 195 on a heated night made for a sweaty show. Adding to that fact, the venue’s stage was the size of a postage stamp. Every movement meant you were hitting the guy next to you. Most bands would complain, but down and dirty, intimate shows are our favorite, and Toledo rose to the occasion.

Frankie’s is a tiny club, but it doesn’t lack in creating a terrific atmosphere for a great show, and just like every night on this tour, the staff treated the artists wonderfully. Just a heads up, if you’re ever in Toledo, be sure to treat yourself to some Vito’s pizza. Bands on the road eat a shitload of pizza, so we know when it’s good, trust me. Vito’s.

Every show holds a special place for all of us. I’m sure I am going to say this alot because each night, the fans are relentless. The small club made this show different. Everyone was on top of each other. I couldn’t help but sweat on the people in the front row, and though I’m sure it was gross, those few folks seemed to understand our plight, and rocked out even harder. I will continue to give so many props to the crowds sticking it out to be a part of this tour. It’s been a hot ass start to the summer, and no one is phased once the show starts. I am on an 8-show streak of saying “I feel like Ace Ventura inside the robot rhino. WARM.” Being that it was so hot and those who paid good money for a rock show are sticking it out, it pushes all of us to suck it up and give it all we’ve got. Everybody in the band looked like they had taken a shower when we got off stage. I think part of the reason I think Vito’s was so good is because it still tasted alright when it came back up after the show…

…that might be a bit of an overshare, but that’s how hard we’re going after it. I blame the crowd for being so awesome. The energy has been nuts, and we feed off of it. Thank you for making me want to go so hard I puked.

Evans Blue killed it yet again, and proved that big bands dominate, regardless of the size of the stage. Seeing them in a small club setting was inspiring. They’ve really reached out to us and made us feel like family. I’ve apologized to them so many times for repeatedly thanking them for the opporunity that they’ve given us. When Framing Hanley invited us out with them, I knew we were lucky to play before such great guys, and their incredible fans. Like Framing Hanley before us, EB is showing us the ropes, and doing so with such hospitality and love, that I feel I know where our first big brother band (FH) got it from. SYC is so lucky to be able to have their first two tours with such great people. To those of you that have supported us for the past three years while we built this thing, thank you. Without you, these bands would have never have known who we were, thus robbing of us of the great fortune we’ve continued to have.

We spent last night in a Wal Mart parking lot. We were rudely awakened by the morning sun, which turned the van into a sauna at 8 am. We immediately took off to Jackson, MI to hook up with Ron Rook at his Shirt Shack to print up new t-shirts. We’ve been at it all day and are taken back at how rad they’re turning out to be. This couldn’t come at a better time. With shows in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio coming up, we know there are some of you out there ready for some new swag.

I’ve got another day off tomorrow, so I won’t be checking in until after our show Wednesday night. Let’s see how Ann Arbor likes some Buckeyes. Looking so forward to getting back to work. A day not playing seems wrong. Catch you all soon.

Rolling through Grand Rapids – The barbershop is open.

There are some serious fans of rock in Grand Rapids, MI. The temperature has seemed to continue to rise without relief during the first part of this run, and sure enough, a few hundred people waited in line to see The Graveyard of Empires tour in their city in 100-degree heat. That is dedication, and if you were at the show, we’re truly grateful that you gave us your time while anticipating Evans Blue’s performance.

What a night it was. We arrived at the venue to find that our boys in 7th Cycle had their transmission go out on them as they pulled into the city. Once they got to the venue, we were directed to our dressing rooms. I might never get to say this again, so I am going to put it out there. Be jealous, our dressing room had its own Fountain Pop station (sponsored by Pepsi, thanks y’all, even though Coke is better). Needless to say, we took the stage with Mountain Dew induced highs, as opposed to the normal beer buzz.

Prior to the show, our photographer (and my cousin) Justin and I finally broke in the cornhole boards. I took three straight games on his ass (that’s right son) before retiring into the AC to escape the heat. The Intersection is a wonderful venue, with a stellar and helpful staff to match. It’s confusing to me that all of us touring acts bitch about not getting to take showers. The venue was equipped with a shower that went unused. Most likely due to it being the early part of the tour, or we’re just lazy and enjoyed our fountain pop too damn much.

I was also given the privilege of giving Dustin of 7th Cycle a sick mohawk (for which his wife will likely castrate me for once the tour runs through Columbus, OH). Shortly after, the opening band No Resolve (who had one HELL of a vocalist) played “Boys of Summer,” robbing us of our favorite cover. I rushed the stage and started beating each member repeatedly while Deepan peed on their drum kit…

…okay, that didn’t happen, but we did give them “good game” slaps on the ass, and jokingly told them we hated them for making us adjust our set. Well worth it though, they were great dudes, and terrific musicians.

We took stage and were greeted with another INCREDIBLE Michigan audience. The screams were loud and the participation was passionate. The “Woah, woah” section of our tune Digital Complexion was definitely moving. Being Buckeyes, we are so glad you all can put down our football differences and show some love, and for that I will say this – Ohio better bring it, because our home state is at risk of being owned by the Michigan crowds. Let’s see what you got Toledo, we’re in the house, show us what you’ve got…

Browse the photos for Grand Rapids / The Intersection.

The Graveyard of Empires Tour kicks off at Machine Shop

What a way to start a tour. There are few venues in this country that are famed for being as pleasing to the fan as well as the artist. The Machine Shop in Flint truly is as advertised. Through State Your Cause’s travels, we’ve met amazing people, amazing venue owners and amazing bands, and all that have attended or performed shows at the Machine Shop have raved about the club. We walked in, and I called our manager, Nixon, to tell him how right he was about the vibe. He laughed at me and said, “Wait until you perform.”

Our boys in Seventh Cycle ripped through their set, and the crowd gave so much love, and was so responsive, I was literally salivating at the opportunity to shred with my brothers on that stage. We gave our hearts last night, and the crowd gave theirs back. I will never forget last night. Our first time at the famous Machine Shop, which had previously eluded our ever growing schedule. Now that it’s in the books, I can’t wait to get back.

The icing on the cake is the absolute honor to support such amazing guys, and an equally AMAZING band in Evans Blue. They put on a clinic on how it’s done, and all of us are looking so forward to learning so much from them. We’ve been anticipating the start of this tour for so long. At times, it seemed it was never going to get here, but to kick it off at the Machine Shop with Kevin and his staff (which exudes so much class, you feel like royalty being on site), our hometown boys in 7th Cycle, and a group that we look up to in Evans Blue and their amazing fans. Last night was truly special.

There’s something in the water in Flint. When Nixon said, “Wait until you perform,” I didn’t give the comment the weight it deserved. Nixon was nodding to the fact that, while the place has such a good vibe, the people that come to support artists are the heartbeat. The fans at the Shop are ravenous, and fun, and caring, and awesome, and I coud go on and on. Sometimes fans and clubs don’t get enough credit for hosting all of us musicans. Thank you Flint. It was our pleasure to hang with you. Seriously. If this is any indication on how the rest of the tour will go, I am beyond stoked. Let’s see how Grand Rapids gets down tonight.

Browse the photoset for Machine Shop 7/6.

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