February 10th-February 14th – Chicago, IL-Grand Rapids, MI

Chicago is one of my favorite cities in America. It’s one of those places that I love visiting because I can’t see myself living there. Not to say that I don’t think it would be a fun place to live. I honestly just hate wind and the cold. NYC gets cold obviously, but it’s a different cold. NYC cold is tolerable. You feel the Chicago cold in your bones. That being said, I spent most of my day in Chicago inside the House of Blues doing show stuff. I only had to brave the cold whenever I wanted a cigarette. I realize this paragraph makes me sound like a total wuss.


The next day we had a Daytrotter session in Davenport, Iowa. We did a Daytrotter session years ago, but this one was a lot more fun because we are way better than we were the last time, and also it was our first experience with Joey in any kind of studio environment. We also never get to hear what we sound like live. I mean obviously we have monitors and amps and stuff on stage, but we never get to hear what it sounds like for the crowd. It was so cool to play Outcast and Not as Cool as Me in a live studio session, and to hear that it sounds exactly like it should. We get pretty damn close to the record with our live show, but we also get a lot more raw. That’s just the Mainland way


Detroit was even colder than Chicago. Jordan and I got really great haircuts before our show at the Fillmore, which in retrospect was a bad idea because I got my sides cut really short. I thought my ears were going to freeze off on the walk back to the venue. The next day we drove down to Indianapolis and played a show at the legendary Egyptian Room. That day was a treat, especially for Jordan, because his step-father flew in to see the show and it was so nice to have such a supportive presence around us before and after the show.


The following day was bittersweet. It was a day we had known was coming all along. We were both dreading and looking forward to it. It was the final show of the Marianas Trench tour. We had gotten to know and admire each person on their team and it was hard to part ways with a band and crew we had seen almost every single day for a month. We had learned so much from watching them perform every night, saying goodbye felt like sending a sibling off to college. It was more of a “see you later” than a “goodbye.” We had seen twenty-nine states in thirty-four days. We saw family all over the country. We made new friends, spent time with old friends, and had great friends join and part our tour along the way. It was a month of living out of hotels and our van. A month of seeing the ins and outs of venues we had only dreamed about playing. A month of never knowing what comes next. It was a hell of a time and it wasn’t over quite yet.



All photography by Anna Lee



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