February 4th-February 9th – Silverspring, MD-Cincinnati, OH

The show in Silverspring was one of those rad nights where there are so many friends in town, it becomes a sort of homecoming away from home. CJ had been on the road with us for about a week already, Our friend and A&R at 300 Entertainment, Allyson, drove down from NYC to see the show, and Joey’s parents drove in from DC. The real icing on the cake was Anna Lee flying in from LA to join us on the next leg of tour through Chicago! Our greenroom after the show felt like a giddy-drunk family reunion. It was great.

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The next day we drove up to Philadelphia, where, I confess, I ate two Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. And yes, they were incredible. We had a ton of time to kill before our soundcheck, so we did what we always do when we have spare time. We rifled through all of the thrift stores within walking distance of the venue. At first we came up empty handed. We hit like four vintage stores and none of them had anything that screamed Mainland. It was extremely disheartening. We thought about giving up, but luckily we didn’t have to. There was one more store I stumbled across a couple blocks away and it was perfect. Everything was all color-coordinated and organized and shit. We ended up browsing through the racks in this shop for over an hour and each of us got some cool threads. The best find of the day (besides the dank Philly cheesesteak spot) was this white button down shirt with blue speedboats on it that we picked out for Joey.

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We bid farewell to CJ after the Philadelphia show and headed east to Mr. Smalls Theatre & Funhouse in Pittsburg. Mr. Smalls is this crazy venue built into a very steep hill, and the only way I can really describe it is as a giant haunted cathedral. I don’t know if it is actually haunted, but it looked pretty eerie with its semi-gothic architecture. It reminded me of Edgar Allen Poe.

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We had the next day off in Columbus, which worked out perfectly because it was Superbowl Sunday and we wanted to get our Buffalo Wild Wings on. I wish I was joking, but we in Mainland actually take our wings pretty seriously, especially Joey. We knew exactly what we were getting into. We held down a huge table for the entirety of the game. Each of us ordered ten wings at a time every twenty minutes or so. Don’t believe me? I live-tweeted the entire thing. Check out #Mainlandsuperbowl on twitter. Something really special happened during the fourth quarter. Joey decided to do the Buffalo Wild Wing challenge. The challenge was simple: Joey had to eat twelve wings in six minutes. The catch? The sauce was all of the hottest sauces combined and Joey couldn’t drink anything until all of the wings were gone. The reward? A t-shirt. Oh, and I forget to mention that they bring out this siren thing, like the little sirens that undercover cops in movies stick on top of their cars when they’re in pursuit. They put it right in the middle of the table. It was absolutely obnoxious. According to Joey, the stupid siren in his eyes was the worst part of the challenge. He won, though. If you’re ever at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Columbus, Ohio, look for Joey’s photo on the wall.

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Before our show in Cincinnati, we had the opportunity to go to the Revive skateboard warehouse and hang with professional skateboarder and youtube extraordinaire, Andy Schrock. We got to play life-size Jenga in his warehouse with the cardboard boxes he uses to ship skate decks. I lost because I got too confident with my Jenga abilities. Andy set up skateboards for each of us, so the next logical activity was skate-jousting with the cardboard boxes. We also convinced Jordan to crash into the giant Jenga tower on his skateboard. Basically we got to fool around for a couple of hours in an indoor skatepark with a bunch of really cool pro skaters. We spend most days of tour milling around the venue, doing everything it takes to prepare for the show each night, so our afternoon with Andy Schrock was the perfect break from our daily tour ritual.

-AJP

All photography by Anna Lee

http://www.annaleemedia.com

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