LA to Burlington in 3.5 Days
Originally posted by Digital Tour Bus on October 30, 2015.
The sun was setting in Los Angeles by the time we clambered into the van and started our journey west, U-Haul in tow. Our destination: Burlington; and we had three-and-a-half days to get there. It was Sunday, October 18th—nearly one year to the day that we all played music together for the first time.
As the light faded over the desert, all eight of our eyes were drawn instinctively to the blinding red and blue flash of the highway patrol’s lights reflecting in the mirrors. We had a long way to go.
For everything Wildling has accomplished in our first year as a band, this is only our second tour (if you don’t count SXSW). Our first was at the end of this summer, supporting Seattle-based Hey Marseilles along their west coast run. Without the capital to secure our own bus, we got creative and made it work with a Honda Element and Toyota Prius. We had a blast and saved money on gas.
But this time, we’re out for a month opening for Young the Giant. We’re hitting the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and Rockies. So we found a rental and loaded it up the night before leaving town.
Only, not everything fit.
And so, the morning we were scheduled to leave for Vermont, we scrambled and found a new van with a trailer hitch and a trailer. After a full day of calls and driving around LA, we took off on our hell-bent journey for the East Coast.
Which is when we were stopped by the highway patrol officer. He asked us how fast we were going. We didn’t know. It was fast. Faster than the 55 MPH limit tow-vehicles is permitted in California. But we were friendly, and we owned up to our mistake. We told the officer we had a long road ahead of us. He nodded and went back to his vehicle.
A minute later, he came back. He told us to have a safe drive, and speak kindly of the highway patrol. So here we are. Thank you, sir, for being an instrument of the universe. For not breaking the momentum we’ve worked so hard to build and that we’ve sworn to maintain grow. For not quelling the energy that we’ll never let die.
We drove through the night. Breakfast in Albuquerque. Midnight dinner in Tulsa. Launched a PledgeMusic campaign the next morning, and made it to Columbus at 4:00 AM Wednesday morning. Six-hour nap. Coffee, lunch. Dinner in Buffalo. Made it to our friend’s farm in Vermont at 3:00 AM Thursday morning.
During this whole time, Justin, our bass player, was hanging out in Nashville with Young the Giant. He’s filling in for them while their bass player is out the first three shows. So while we’re trekking east, he’s hanging out with our buddies in YTG and Cage the Elephant, getting a preview of their new album. He hops on the tour bus to DC, sees the sights, and the next day we reunite with him in Burlington.
Thus concluded chapter one of our tour with Young the Giant: getting there. We woke up the next morning to miles and miles of the yellows, reds and oranges of dying leaves, the deep greens of their still-breathing conifer cousins, and a cool autumn breeze stirring it all together, carrying with it the pungent smells and the hollow whimsy of the change-of-seasons.
We made it to Vermont. And we were ready for our first show.
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