UTG TOUR BLOG: Kiros (Week 4)

Kiros-8

Under The Gun Review is excited to bring you the third of many exclusive Fall tour blogs today with an entry from Ain’t No Grave Records’ Kiros.

Currently out on the “Music With A Mission” tour, Kiros will be giving UTG readers exclusive access to their life on the road over the next few weeks, as well as details on their forthcoming Outlaws and Prodigals EP (Out September 27).

Click “read more” to view the group’s full entry and be sure to check back in a week for another installment!

Sept 19th  Middlefield Ohio:  Day off 

Our bus is back in the shop, as the mechanic addresses all the new issues that have popped up over the last couple days.  The mechanic doubles as a pastor at a church in town on weekends, and has done work on our bus before.  He starts on all the repairs needed on both our bus and trailer.

Other than that, today is very low key.  It’s been a lot of long drives, and we’re happy for a couple days before a whirlwind week.

Sept 20  Drive Day

Today is mostly spent eating.  And playing video games.  I go to pick up the bus at the mechanic shop, but when I go to pay him, he refuses to accept payment, saying this one is on him.  Grateful doesn’t even begin to explain the way I feel.

Then we drive all night to Boston.

Sept 21  Boston

Today is a big day for me.  My mom and my 85 year old grandmother are driving down from Nova Scotia Canada to come see the show tomorrow, but they’ve come down a day early to meet up.

I wake up in the bus is Boston at our the Andrews Family’s house.  This family has been close to the band since we first met them after our set at The Vans Warped Tour in Quebec city back in 2004.  Since then, we’ve kept close touch.  Larry, the Dad, has been one of the most influential people in my life, helping me become a better person.

After breakfast, and a quick errand run with Sharry, (I get new sandals, a burrito from Chipotle, and the Thrice Album (love it)), Larry drives me the 2 hours up Freeport Maine to meet up with Mom.  The other guys are staying in Boston until tomorrow.

The 2 hours in the car talking with Larry is exactly what I need.  I consider myself so blessed to have people like him in my life who push me, encourage me, and challenge me.

We meet my Mom at a restaurant called “Jameson Tavern.”  I live on the other side of Canada from her, so it’s rare that I see her, and with my Grandma into her 80s, it’s even rarer I get to see her.  They have driven 12 hours to meet up here.  It’s so good to see them.

Side note: I have a bacon wrapped filet mignon topped with crap and

asparagus.  Unreal.

Freeport Maine is a popular outlet store town, but it’s really known for a store called “L.L. Bean”, an outdoorsy type place.  It covers an area equal to a large city block.  Nothing really there is something I’d wear or want (except for maybe a kayak, but they are impractical for tour sadly), but this place is famous, so it’s fun to walk around.

We spend the night at a Bed in Breakfast in town.  Mom and I stay up late just talking and catching up.  So good to see her.  I’m grateful to have the good relationship with her that I have now.

Sept 22  Biddeford Maine

I wake up early and walk to Starbuck for a Pumpkin Spice Latte.   I was craving it when I woke up.

We leave for the show, and my Mom and Grandma get their backstage/all access passes, and make quick use of them meeting everyone in all the other bands (Mom is a fan of a lot of them haha.)

This is a great area for us, having played a lot of great shows and festivals up here.  The room is full, and we see lots of familiar faces, and the whole night is memorable.  At the beginning of our final song, my white guitar strap, (which has been faithful for 3 years) ripped apart.  Roadie Bing ran onto stage to try and fix it mid song with duct tape, but the fix only lasted a couple seconds.  We still made it through the song and finished the set.

Security guards at the show threaten to kick me out twice, for crowd surfing during Hawks’ set, and for starting a push-mosh pit.  I show my tour pass and am told it’s no excuse.  Come on man,  It’s a rock show.

A long goodbye at the end of the night to my family is followed by the short 2 hr drive to Massachusetts.

Sept 23  Shrewsbury Massachusetts  

About a week ago I was looking online for disc golf courses in this area, and I found a championship calibre one where an annual national tournament is held.  It lives up to the billing, although we only get to play about 9 holes before a torrential downpour ends the activity. Jason and Dan from Hawk and Dan’s wife came along, but Jonny was the winner.  First time he’s ever won a round!

Back at the venue, free massages were provided for the artists.  I took advantage, and enjoyed 15 minutes of bliss.  For tonights show, friends have driven from as far away as New York City for the show.  Over 800 people are in attendance.

Ryan lends me a new guitar strap he had for back up.  Once again, I break it on the final song of the set.  Bing doesn’t even try to fix it this time, laughing the whole time from side stage.  Tonight break is far more painful, because earlier in the day I had cut my finger on a metal plate.  Not a big deal, except that without a strap, i depend on that part of that finger to actually hold up my bass by the strings.

The weight of my bass on the string digs into the cut for 3 minutes.  I suffer through the final song with a smile, but the pain is shooting up my arm for the rest of the night.  I find some sweet florescent bandaids and get to make a fashion statement for the next couple days with them.

After the show, we hang out in a Mcdonalds parking lots eating mcnuggets with some friends from the area.  We make the short drive back to our friends place in Boston.

 

Sept 24  Day off Boston.

I go on an errand run to guitar center, where I pick up the most durable guitar strap they have in stock, along with new light stands, and a new bass guitar case.  My old one is on the verge of falling apart.

We head to downtown Boston, hit an Urban Outfitters, Jonny buys shoes, then we go out to dinner at an amazing asian restaurant in the famous Boston Market area.  We watch a couple street performers do their thing, and walk around the downtown core.  After that, we head south of Boston for a marching band competition that the Andrews daughter is competing in.  They do renditions of some Aerosmith songs, which come across pretty well as marching band songs.

Tonight is an all night drive to Maryland.

 

Sept 25  Reistertown Maryland.  

We wake up in the parking lot of the church we’re playing at tonight.

Today is a solo/headlining show.  We attend the morning service.  I think the highlight for me was the choir.  They were really good.

Today is the churches’ annual picnic.  We form a flag football team, and compete in the tournament, winning our game.  Jordan gets volunteered for the dunk tank, and a long line of eager kids take turns hitting the target and dropping him into the cold water.   Bing volunteers and gets dunked a few times as well.

Tonight we play our full set, and set up all our lights and equipment.

The PA system in the church isn’t really meant for what we do, but after a few hours of tweaking, we get the best out of it.

Often at shows like this, I take a lot of time to talk and engage.

Tonight, after the show I was approached by many people who related to a lot of things I went through in the past and shared with them.  Some of

the stories I heard back are hard, but it’s so good for others (and truthfully myself) to know they aren’t alone in those things.

We go out to eat at a little pizza shop (the only place open this late) with our friend Monica.   Then we drive all night to Greenville South

Carolina.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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