January 20th-25th – Houston-Florida

Hello friends. I know it’s been a while, but guess what… I’m back in action, manning this crazy little thing known as the Mainland Tour Diary! As you know, we encountered van troubles on our way to Dallas and after a chaotic week of lost sleep and long drives cramped in a rental minivan, I confess that I fell way far behind on these tour diary entries. My job now, as your humble and guilt-ridden narrator, is to fill you in on the remainder of our tour with Marianas Trench, as well as get you up to speed on our current tour with Jukebox The Ghost!

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Where do we begin? I believe the best place to pick up the story would be the day after we played at the House of Blues in Houston. We were waiting on the arrival of Riley and our recently resuscitated van, Bertha, so we spent the day in the most Mainland of fashions: we ate tacos and scavenged vintage stores. I ended up copping the coolest find of the day, a vintage black satin Japanese tour jacket. The jacket has many factors that make it cool, my favorite being the twin dragons embroidered on the sleeves. I have now made it my personal goal to collect as many bad ass satin jackets as I can fit in my suitcase (keep your eyes peeled for a medium or large white one to match my thunderbae). But I digress.

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Riley finally arrived, sleep-deprived but in good spirits and we made our way to Atlanta, where we played one of the coolest/eeriest venues I have ever seen, The Masquerade. The Masquerade used to be an old excelsior mill, and there are three separate venues in the building. The lowest level is called Hell, the middle stage is Purgatory, and the top floor where we played is known as Heaven. The place was packed and it was snowing outside and the whole aura gave me this sort of weird apocalyptic party vibe, like a rager at the end of the world. It was a hell of a fun show, pun unapologetically intended.

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From there we headed south to Florida, which wasn’t as warm as I thought it was going to be, and we played the House of Blues in Disney World. House of Blues, for the record, also has amazing catering for the artists that roll through. The next day we headed down to Ft. Lauderdale, a special (and nerve-wracking) show for me because I got to play for my girlfriend’s parents, and luckily I think Mindi and Mark were impressed! The next day we headed back north for the Carolinas and Northeast, the leg of the tour where I really felt we began to hit our stride on stage.

-AJP

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