USA & Canada: The Laugh, Dance & Cry Tour

Outside the Rockpile in Toronto, we all exchanged hugs and farewells with our good mates: Zach and Micah. We had just finished our final show of the tour and we were ready to leave the RV, our home for the past two weeks. We had one rest day in the city before flying back to Tokyo. The tour has come to an end and we are both sad and excited go home.

2 weeks ago:We arrived in NY and our host band picked us up at the JFK airport with the giant RV plus music gear trailer. The sight of the huge vehicle and cool live equipment inside fueled our excitement for the tour. Our first show was in Taste Venue, Newark (NJ). We were graced by an old friend's presence, Takuma. The show ended abruptly during the final band's set due to the smoke machine tripping the alarm and summoning the fire department at the door. The next day we headed for Brighton Bar (Brighton, NJ) where we met more old friends who rocked out with us. We capped the night with a walk to the nearby beach. Next, we did Q ball cafe (Friedricksburg, VA) before taking our first day off in Monroe bay (VA) for the 4th of July. We took a dip in the lake, played basketball, and literally dodged some fireworks at night while enjoying some sake and frozen margaritas. The following day we reached Baltimore (MD) and gigged at Raven Inn. The folks over there did a decent job at promotions and gave us a nice and warm welcome. Next up was Howlers at Pittsburgh (PA). Finally we got a properly elevated stage, this one was about 3 feet high. Outside was not the safest neighborhoods in my opinion, but they did have some delicious authentic pizzas and calzones nearby. We immediately set off for Bernie's in Columbus (OH) afterwards. It was a popular student hangout as it was situated near the university. We only set up half of the sound systems due to the low ceiling. We played some pool in the bar after the show, just for chilling. Still in Ohio, we moved on to Iggy's, Toledo, another venue that had a decent high stage. For me, it was the most fun gig we had, resulting in loads of free drinks from guests and the bar owner. We hung out at the bar until the wee hours of the morning when we realized it was time for breakfast already. Too bad for our driver, Zach, who had to whisk us over to Detroit (MI) the next day. The place Michigan was called Diesel. It had two huge stages and bands played back to back, with no down-time! The sound guy was very professional and helpful, we loved him. Incidentally, the band who played before us, in the next stage, was Trixster, an 80s band who had quite a following back in the day. There was no rest for us after the last US show as we had to prepare to cross the border to Canada at the break of dawn. It was by far, my most stressful border-crossing experience ever. All three of us gave conflicting answers at the customs, yet they let us through after we showed them our return ticket to Japan. I do not advise border-crossing without any sleep. Our last gig of the tour was approaching and we felt Toronto's warm welcome right after we reached it. The Rockpile showed us the best hospitality among venues: food, drink discounts, showers, an offer to use extra amps, and smiles. The stage was nice and high and the sound was controlled by a friend of a friend from Tokyo, and we are grateful for showing us a lot of love during the show. As we closed the show and were about to leave, we met our most favorite tour companions outside, and bid goodbye.

Forward 2 weeks: As we stepped out of the arrival gates in Narita, the first mission was the smoking area. And we knew in our heads that the next was to tour again, but this time, in Japan. And maybe after sushi or some gyuudon.