Well I’ve been back now for two weeks and I’ve finally gotten around to posting a recap of the tour. It was really hot (recurring theme) and really fun (also a recurring theme) and I can’t wait to do it again. The following is from a journal that I brought along to record random stuff. I didn’t start it until Friday the 30th of May, it may seem a little scattered but then again so am I, whatever. So without further adieu, here is The Party Downers 2008 Summer Tour Recap and what not.
05/28/2008 Tulsa Here We Come – We left around 5am, I only got about three hours of sleep but I was so wired about leaving I didn’t really notice. The trip to Tulsa actually went pretty fast, Grant was a machine and drove almost the whole way before Bryan took over for a few hours. The trip was pretty uneventful but we did happen to spot a fun little ditch in Missouri. We got out and sessioned it for a little while.
It was really rough but still fun. Lopez and I think Grumpy found ticks on themselves afterwards. That’s how things go down in the field, good times.
When we got in to Tulsa we went straight to the Mercury Lounge to meet up with Frontside Five and check out the scene. FREE BEER for the bands! Not a bad deal at all. It is here that I should note that the aforementioned impromptu skate jam in the parking lot did not happen BUT, we did happen to chat with one of the local bar flys and it turned out that he worked at the local shop called The Board Shop.
He said they had some mini-ramps in the back, so he called over there and hooked up a session. The ramps were really fun, one was 6 feet tall and the one next to it was 4 feet tall with a 2 foot cement coping
extension. The locs Brian and Chris were really cool and definitely killed it. We had a great time. After the sesh we headed back to the bar only long enough to get Robdogg and BollTroll Matt and get a slice of pizza at The Pie Hole. I have little faith in pizza from anywhere more than 20 miles outside either Chicago or New York City but they actually had a decent slice much to my surprise. An added bonus was that they had some really fun silver painted flat bars out front that we got to skate while waiting for our slices. Afterwards we hit the shop again for mini-ramp session number two, ruling. It was now show time. We played first, it was a good set but I felt a little winded. Then Frontside Five took the stage and rocked.
Everybody in Tulsa was really nice and the night was going great, until someone accidentally knocked down a fire extinguisher. Things got weird, things took a turn. The owner of the club made things worse and basically picked a fight with the rest of the bar accusing everyone of foul play. Tulsa after dark is strange and after a few drinks is not to be fucked with. We got a hotel and left the next morning.
We took off for Dallas and saw lots of ditches and things that looked pretty fun to skate, unfortunately we had a schedule to adhere to. However, we did stop at The Edge Skatepark in Allen, Texas just outside of Dallas. It was a Site Design park and it was great. It had just about everything you would want both transition and street-wise, the only downer was how hot it was.
When we got back to the van we found out that Chuck Treece would not be making it to Dallas, due to lack of getting a flight and just general lacking. At any rate we pressed on and found the Red Blood Club. It turned out that it was going to be an early show. The first band played and they were a goth/metal type of thing, interesting.
We ended up having to stretch out our set, because the 5ers were delayed enroute. This made for some very interesting stage banter. I met an interesting fellow from Nashville, an iron worker, drinker, crystal meth addict, that thought I was half black, half white and that my mother must have been a Supremes fan because of the way I sang, wow.
After our set we got offered to play another show the same night, just down the street at Reno’s. The promoter felt bad for not promoting, so he wanted to make up for it. That set was really fun also but much tighter.
05/30/2008 Keep the Weird Party in Austin Started – (This entry will be in the present tense) We got up today, hit the road and stopped at IHOP.
I did 25 push-ups after we ate, not a good idea. We’ve been playing “Spot Check” as we close in on Austin and the Round Rock Skatepark, it looks really fun and we are going to hook up with our old friend Texas Bryan. Yee haw!
(After the fact) Well the Round Rock park did not disappoint, the street course was probably one of the funnest I’ve ever ridden, the designers seem to be trying to trick kids into learning how to skate transition. After that we went to the Mabel Davis skate park, which is a Grindline creation. Mabel Davis was really fun also but kind of crowded, so the session was not so heated.
From there we stopped and got food at a local spot called Super Burrito and it was super delicious, next it was on to the Broken Neck warehouse to rock and skate one of the best mini-ramps ever. This show was great because there were some serious rippers going at it while we were playing and I witnessed some great stuff go down. We’ve never played while people were skating at the same time; it brought a whole new intensity to the set. Afterwards we stayed at our friend Al the Pal’s place, so much thanks to him and his lady.
05/31/2008 Houston Bound – We arose and left for Houston, bleary eyed and dazed from the unrelenting pace of the road (pause for dramatic effect). We hit some hellacious traffic, compounded by construction heading into H-town. But things got really fun when Grant suggested that we stop at one of his old haunts Speedy’s Go-Karts. That was just what we needed to shake off the oppressive heat and highway hypnosis we were feeling.
Refreshment however, was short lived when we finally made our way the legendary EZ-7 ditch. It was really hot and everyone told me I “ain’t seen nuthin’ yet”. Houston heat in the middle of summer does not sound fun but regardless, the ditch was and the locals were really friendly. Afterwards we got smoothies and then checked out the new Houston Skatepark. It was massive and Grindline did it again, another flawless park.
From the park we headed over to Walters on Washington to get set up for the show. The club was pretty simple and the stage was a perfect height. We ate at a really good Cuban restaurant before the show called El Rey. I forgot to get photos of the place but if you are ever in Houston, definitely hit it up.
I can’t really describe the show as anything less than killer. Valiomierda played their best set of the tour, we had a great time, Frontside Five destroyed and Bark Hard was on fire. That does not even begin to describe the mayhem that the crowd whipped up. Young uber-shredder Ben Rayburn was in the crowd and sang some Minor Threat. This was definitely the craziest show of the tour.
We got to stay with Grant’s sister and husband that night so, much thanks to them. The next day we went and got some food at a great place called Onion Creek, I also strongly recommend this place if you are ever in their neck of the woods.
After our top notch meal, we decided to check out the opening festivities at the park. It was jammers, wall to wall people and the ultimate orb continued its pummeling. I could not believe how packed it was. That is until I saw all the pros that were there. There was some serious ripping going down. Chris Gentry killing, Omar Hassan killing, LINCOLN UEDA KILLING (sorry no pics of him). Here’s Omar though.
All I managed to catch Christian Hosoi do was a smith grind and I would trade every trick I’ve got to be able to one half as good as his. I even fanned out and got a photo of myself with him and Cab. Laugh if you want, I couldn’t resist.
06/01/2008 Rockin’ Little Rock – We then headed off to Little Rock AR. We arrived that night slept at a hotel, then got up and checked out one of the local shops called Nomad. Coley, one of the guys that works there hooked us up with a show at a place called Vino’s. We got to skate the Riverview skatepark,
it’s a Dreamland park and they made it like a mini Lincoln City. This was my second time there and it was just as much fun but the intense heat theme of the trip was a bummer. After that we hit the Kanis bowl which was great but what made this trip there so much better was the fact that there is now a DIY spot right next to it. Way to go, Little Rock!
After the sesh we had to high tail it back to Vino’s. Much to my surprise, they actually had a decent slice as well. Some of the kids from the park showed up and that was cool but the capper of the night and maybe the trip as a whole was Grumpy deciding to get a Party Downers tattoo, to commemorate the awesomeness of the trip. I was truly touched to witness that. We decided to head back home right after the show and get a jump on the night.
Well that is just a small recounting of everything that occurred on our first real tour. All I can say is that we are now addicted. I can’t think of a better way to drive around in a van with close friends, than to throw in some rock shows and skate some killer spots. I suppose its little trips like this that give 34 year old men like myself a prolonged adolescence.
Thanks to all the bands we played with and those that let us crash on their floors and skate their ramps.
p.s. stay tuned for video documentation to follow. [Read more…]