Raf was like, “Hey Mark, can we post our tour diaries on Funeral Sounds?” and I was like, “New phone, who dis?” How time flies. Spill just got finished with a tour with Straw Hats in support of their debut self-titled EP through Broken World Media. This diary covers the sixth date of the nine day tour.
“Bad as the devil is dark…”
Nashville, Tennessee -> Cleveland, Ohio
February 15 + 16, 2016
It’s an 8 hour drive to Cleveland for Nashville, so the day got off to a brutally early start. Thankfully, the journey was otherwise pretty uneventful. Brandon ate 2 hot dogs, road man extraordinaire Jordan discovered that gas station apple pies are vegan, and my legs got so cold they hurt. The road is a truly a treasure! Thankfully, mercifully, the trip itself actually went by quickly. We’ve been pretty talkative this tour and, as anyone who’s been road trip knows, decent conversation can make miles feel like inches.
Our first stop in Cleveland was Happy Dog. I had never been there before but I was told that it was a bar that had vegan hot dogs, tater tots, and some wild toppings and condiments. That was all the convincing I needed, but I didn’t fully understand the majesty of this place. All of the toppings are free and most of them are absurd- spaghettios, Froot Loops, peanut butter, garlicky escarole, jerk mustard, Andy Capp hot fries, marinated mushrooms, Banh Mi pickled veggies… I wish I could remember what we got, but things got too hype that I really couldn’t keep track. It was a bit too easy to order too many dumb things and ruin your dog, but that’s certainly a risk worth taking. Either way we all left with that pleasant “Dear God I want to die feeling.” Two thumbs up!
The venue was somehow just as exciting. It was a goddamn bowling alley. We bowled all night for free, a ton of people showed up, and, most importantly, I got to hang out with a few old friends who I hadn’t seen in years. It turned out to be an amazing time. Counter to some of the angst expressed in the last posts, Cleveland made me feel really lucky to be doing what I’m doing. In between tour’s mundanity there exists a certain novelty and strangeness that would be hard to experience otherwise. There always ends up being some element of adventure, whether it’s something really wild (the best example I can think of is breaking into the abandoned New Orleans Six Flags in 2012) or just eating stupid hot dogs and playing a stupid venue. Tour’s also such a great opportunity to make new friends, and not much can compare being greeted with familiar faces when you’re in a a city you haven’t visited in years. Yeah, tour presents a lot of a obstacles, but nights like this help make overcoming them seem much easier.