The California Beatdown Tour

Day 1 - Jerry's Pizza, Bakersfield, CA

There is no tour flyer, because the show was very poorly promoted, you can read the paragraph below for more details. I also wasn't able to get any pictures/video.

We left Cypress, CA around 3pm, stopped at a food 4 less to grab some snacks & drinks for the long drive to Bakersfield, CA. I had the go pro set up on the dashboard to record us & the long drive so I could make a cool time lapse for the tour video. The drive took a little over 2 hours to get to Jerry’s Pizza, our first venue of the tour. I had never been to this venue before & I was a little skeptical at first, because it was in Bakersfield & there’s really nothing out there. Once we arrived we checked out the venue before the show so we could get a feel of what the vibe was going to be like. It was about 4 or 5pm when we arrived & the show started at 7pm. It was a cool pizza place, the venue part was at the bottom of the place, it was like a basement type room, but it was cool none the less! We hung around the venue waiting for people to show up & that’s when we learned 3 of the 4 bands playing that night had dropped. We weren’t sure what to do, we called the other guys who were still on the road & they wanted to play regardless of how many bands were playing. There were 2 bands including First Degree & no one showed up. The guys decided to just use the “show” as a practice. The show was poorly promoted even though it was booked for 4 months in advance. The guys & I were not happy. It felt like a waste of our time after driving 2 hours away from home & not being able to have a good tour kick-off. That night we got a motel room & let me tell you, it stunk! I’m not sure what died in there, but it was horrid. Once we got over the disgusting smell we had a great time just hanging out in the room. My stomach hurt from laughing so much. I think we fell asleep around 1 or 2 am I can’t quite remember.


Day 2 - The Workshop, Ceres, CA

After sleeping in motel 6 for the night & getting roughly 4 hours of sleep we checked out of the motel at 12pm & tried figuring out where to get breakfast at. It’s hard deciding on where to eat with 7 people that’s cheap, quick & just downright good. After talking about it for like 10 minutes we decided on Denny’s. Thankfully it was close to the motel & right by the freeway. Sadly, breakfast sucked as well! We were just super bummed out by this point, the drive was only 2 hours to Ceres, CA from Bakersfield so we weren't sure what to do since we would get to the venue 4 hours before the show even starts! We got to the venue & were kind of shocked by what we saw. It didn’t look like a venue; it was almost like a house/shack in the middle of nowhere! Once the other guys came we were like, let’s go get our room for the night & just hang out there until the show starts, so we went to Quality Inn & it was all booked up. Free WIFI, Free HBO, & Free Continental Breakfast for $45 or something like that; no wonder it was all booked up! So we tried a Howard Johnson which did have a room & it was SO nice! When you walked in the room smelled like roses, the beds were like clouds, there was FREE Wi-Fi, a mini fridge, a microwave & a TV that didn’t look like it was from the 90’s. We hung out in the room for maybe an hour & then we had to head to the show. We had been looking forward to this show the most because it was promoted so well & the line-up was amazing!

We got to the venue & it was packed with cars & people, what a relief that was! We parked the car & looked for Nick Kott the promoter of the show, talked to him for a bit & then set up the merch.

 

The show hadn't started yet, but there was a secret set or something happening before the show & people were getting down for them, the night was off to a good start! Everyone was hanging out at the show, having a good time when an Ice Cream truck blasting hip hop pulled into the venue. That just made the night even more awesome! After the show finished, we got invited to a party by a band called These Streets; we wanted to grab some food first because we hadn't eaten since breakfast. We went to Taco Bell & it was closed. Sad Face. There was a Carls Jr. across the way so half of us headed over there & they were still open, thank god! We got our food & just hung out at Carls Jr. after talking to everyone we decided to not go to the party so we could shower & try to get some sleep. Of course we didn't get as much sleep as we wanted & checkout was at 11am so that made things even worst! 


Day 3 - Chinatown Youth Center, Fresno, CA

We were all awake by like 9am since checkout was so early, after everyone finished getting ready & showering if they needed to, we started packing up our stuff & then a firetruck & an ambulance showed up, we weren’t sure what was going on, but they were blocking my car so we couldn’t leave just yet.  Jake (the fill-in drummer) found this weird door that lead to an underground storage area? I’m not really sure what it was, but Jake wanted to pose in front of it so  we took a bunch of pictures of him & I busted out my Polaroid camera that I forgot I brought on tour. I gave him one of the polaroids & I kept the other. 

                                                                                                He called it 'The Rape Dungeon'

We tried eating at a Denny’s near the hotel, but it was crazy busy, so we tried a different one & it was cleaner, smaller & nicer looking than the Denny’s we had on the first day of your. The drive to Fresno from Ceres, CA was a little over an hour so we didn’t wanna leave too early, but of course we got there 5 hours before the show was supposed to start. We contemplated on going to a Zoo, Museum, Laser Tag, Water Park, anything that would kill time. We drove up to the venue & it was completely empty & sketchy looking. We decided to drive to somewhere to hang out at for a couple of hours. We ended up at a Jack In The Box & hung out there for a while, once the other guys came, we headed to Walmart & wasted a LOT of time in there.

Jake took a scooter & was riding around the store with it.

                                                                                Zack & Nick trying on some new duds before the show.

                                                                                Zack & Nick trying on some new duds before the show.

This picture doesn’t do it justice, it was so funny watching them try to pose & look hard, it took a good 5 minutes. Once we finished our Walmart shenanigans we went back to the car & watched Zombieland on my laptop until around 5:30. We had agreed upon meeting back at the venue so we could set up the merch & what not, but when we got there, it was just like before, a ghostown. The promoter was a no show & we were just sitting in the parking lot waiting. A car finally showed up after about 15 minutes & it was one of the bands on the bill. We waited another 20 minutes & decided to go get some food. When we came back there was still that one car from before. Around 6:40 the promoter showed up & opened up the door so we could check out the venue. It was pretty cool! There was a ramp on the wall, couches everywhere, posters plastered on the wall, not to mention ‘KISS’ was tagged on the wall & couches. It was a real punk venue. They gave us a door to set up the merch on, that was definitely different! 

                                                                                                    Door table for the merch.

Since i had my polaroid out now i decided to take a picture of every guy in the band & gave them a polaroid as a tour gift saying thank you for letting me tag along, they all seemed stoked about it!

 

The guys in First Degree were setting up their gear after the 1st band finished so by the time they had to go up they could be done quicker, the drive home was about 4 hours so we didn't wanna waste anytime. The 2nd band that was supposed to go on had some trouble, because their guitars player car broke down. Luckily we were ready to go & the guys set up on stage.  

One guy showed up just for First Degree & he bought a shirt even before the show started, that's a true fan right there!

A weekend of touring with my bestfriends doing what we both love to do is an amazing feeling. I can't thank First Degree enough for taking me out on my first tour & just being awesome the entire time. I hope the next tour is soon because i'm ready to get back out on the road! 

Here's the tour video i made from the weekend:

I hope you guys enjoyed the video & this blog!