All Ages and Shameless Self Productions prepared 3 months in advance for the N.A.P. tour with The Pillows and All Ages... we slept in 3-4 hour shifts, worked side jobs, rehearsed, reworked and rebuilt over a long 2011 summer... only to find now, the tour has ended... and it has been worth the entire struggle.
The greatest pleasure I have known, being unmarried and not having children, has been touring with the Pillows and noodles from Tokyo.
The tour began in Los Angeles at The El Rey theater. This wasn't our first time to performing to such a beautiful house and more than 650 people, we were nervous however that Sawao and Manabe both stood side stage during our sound check. They chuckled at Tom and my banter, and enjoyed the freedom we have with our wireless systems... both of us love doing a long run of the venue with our guitars on!
Next we hit home, San Francisco's SLIMS! Thanks to everyone who came, we felt home, and we felt as we always do, that San Francisco is a second home for The Pillows and noodles who frequently come to SF to record, play, or just hang out! Our best friend here and designer for Shameless Self, Tom Gatewood a.k.a. RobotOctopus (www.robotoctopus.com) helped us with our final two songs Tsubasa and Class Ring.
Then, for us, the long drive to Seattle. The Pillows and noodles flew :) We arrived in Seattle much later than the rest of the group... so we decided to go grab a bite to eat... on the way, we see a familiar bunch coming back from a baseball game! They were tired, but agreed to meet up for a nightcap! The show was at El Corazon, a much smaller and intimate venue... very cool for us, but not quite what the Pillows expected... turns out, the crowd was amazing and the Pillows quickly decided that the venue was perfect!!
Here we said goodbye to our West Coast Staff and flew to New York. We were met by SSP staff at the airport, my brothers, Matt and Mark (tour manager for 2011 US and Japan tour). We played at the Gramercy Theater, once the Blender theater. This venue was huge!! This was the first time we ever saw such a large space... and full :) All Ages was very well received... we even heard a "We love you like we love the Pillows!" nice!! There we met a few great people, two of whom flew from Chicago... and others from surrounding New England and PA. Sawao came up to us after the show and made it a point to tell us how great the set was, and that he had a great time watching and listening to our set. COOL!
Finally, Austin... some part of me remained there! The venue, Speakeasy, a testament to the amazing music scene in Austin!! The show was amazing, great energy from the crowd, and all 3 bands gave their extra push...
The next morning Tom and I saw the bands off... It was difficult to watch them go, but we know they will come back and we will be on a tour of Japan in the Spring!
All in All, I have to say to those who can... quit your job, take up your art and pursue. Don't give up, ever... We may not have made much money or become famous and... almost no groupies!! But the experience is priceless... The life we live is our own.