One of ListenUp's favorite S.C. bands, Death of Paris, recently headed out on their first full-scale tour of the Southeast, which kicked off Jan. 5 in Columbia and wraps up Jan. 23 in Charlotte. In the midst of the 16-date tour, the band will make a stop here Friday with a show at Fresh Brewed Coffeehouse featuring Charleston's Tyler Boone and Myrtle Beach's own Sleeping Policeman.
As members of the social media generation, Blake, Jayna and recently-added guitarist Patrick, are constantly keeping fans up-to-date via Twitter and documenting their experiences with Death of Paris TV as they go. In addition, they were nice enough to provide us with this behind-the-scenes look at their tour so far. Check it out and make sure to come out and support them Friday.
Columbia: House party
What a crazy first week of tour it has been! We've been holding up at our friends in the band Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun's house for the past few days, trying to stay warm and waiting for the snow and icy roads to melt.
The tour has started off great for the most part, though. We held our very first house show in Columbia. When we were booking the tour, we suddenly realized that for the entire tour, we hadn't booked a single local date. Since it was only a few weeks until we had to leave, not enough time to secure a traditional venue, we went ahead and held the house show at our place. We were so surprised for the turnout. With 7 different bands including us, we had over 50 people in attendance - more people than any other house show i've ever been to in Columbia!
It took us so long to pack up the van because we wanted to make sure not to forget anything important. Still, by 7pm the next day, the house was back in order from the party and the van was packed. We left for Greenville, ready to begin the tour.
Arriving in Greenville, we instantly felt a sense of comfort and relief being near Jayna's relatives and staying at their place. They had plenty of warm beds for us to sleep in and we passed out, eager for our show the next day at the mall.
Greenville: Hot Topic
Friday came around and we headed out to the mall to set up for our show at the Hot Topic. After putting together our PA and getting the merch together, we set off into the mall to recruit people and tell them to bring their friends to the store. Once we started up, a good 20 people had come in and were watching intently. We made a ton of new fans and friends who took home CDs. We will definitely be in touch through our email list with them soon.
The next day it became viciously cold there in Greenville. We had some time to kill before load in at Fatso's, so we stopped by Guitar Center for an hour and a half of instrument lust.
From there, we headed to Earshot Records on Lauren's Road to put up a poster and check out some of the music and ended up meeting a really cool guy named Huey who works there. We talked about where we were headed next and he advised us to definitely check out the Claremont Lounge in Atlanta, a strip club that also hosts bands to play.
Huey made sure to talk about the special ladies who worked there: "If you go up to the girls, don't look them in the eye. If you look them in the eye, you will have to pay for a dance, or else."
We made our way over to Fatso's and it was getting even colder. It was almost like the heat wasn't working in the venue. The venue itself is really nice, with a space set aside for the bar and a larger area for the stage and dance floor.
I can't wait to see the developments the place will have over time because it has a ton of potential to be a main hub for local and touring artists in Greenville, and I hope it can pick up where the venue Meatheads left off.
We played alongside Is the Anchor, an all girl local group with a ton of potential as well. They have great support there in Greenville, and hopefully that support can spread to blossom more artists and make the music scene thrive.
After the Fatso's show, we knew one thing. After leaving Greenville, we would officially be on our own, hours away from most of ours friends and family and the comfort they could bring.
The entire weekend, Jayna's family, especially her mom, kept urging us "don't go, they are calling for a huge snowstorm in Atlanta" and "Atlanta will be crippled."
It's like they were under the impression that we could just cancel all of these dates and "reschedule" the whole tour later. Yeah — right. We're in this for the long haul.
Atlanta: Smith's Olde Bar
The way to Atlanta was I-85. I had always heard I-85 was treacherous, and since having an accident a few years ago with the van's tire bursting while driving on it, I have been uneasy about it ever since. Luckily, the 2 hour trip was accident free and fueled by a healthy dose of Gloria Estefan and some sing alongs.
We got into Atlanta early, and outside it was clear and cold. We found the Smith's Olde Bar, then went to a nearby Kinko's to get posters and fliers made up and ended up spending an hour and a half there.
With only an hour to do some more promotion before the show, we zipped down to Little 5 points to hand out tickets for our show that night. We could feel it getting colder and colder but we still went to talk to people to tell them about the show. When we did though, most of the responses were the same.
Us: "Hey what are you guys doing tonight? We have free tickets to our show at Smith's"
Them: "We're heading home, trying to stay warm tonight!"
Us: "Oh, well have a good night!"
Still, we managed to give out our tickets and we headed back across town just in time to make the load in at 5.
The venue was beautiful — A large, 300+ room with an entire backstage area, two green rooms and merch tables. Kings of Leon played their very first show there, and just being in it, you could feel the history surrounding you.
Around 8 o'clock, the first band was beginning to soundcheck, and we looked outside to see snow begin falling outside. It wasn't sticking though, so we thought — no worries about it.
After our set, we loaded up our gear and when we went out of the backdoor to head towards the van, we saw it.
Everything around us had turned white, and the snow was falling all over us. We stepped into it and our feet went in deep, but somehow the air around us had seemed to rise a few degrees.
We needed to give our friend Bob a ride home, since he had walked to the venue, but it took us 20 minutes just to get out of the parking lot. He lived just a little over a mile up the road, but it took us a solid 30 minutes to get there, almost getting stuck.
After dropping him off, we took shelter underneath a gas station to gather our bearings and consider the options. We were supposed to go and stay with our friends in Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun. But they lived about 20 minutes away, and there was NO WAY we were making it that far. We had to find a hotel, but every hotel's price was close to $200/night! (we were in downtown Atlanta, of course they were)
Finally after calling at least 20 different hotels, we found a decent priced one, but it was 1.5 miles away.
We drove to the hotel, passing it several times and getting stuck twice. Luckily, some nice guys saw us and helped push us over a few hills.
We found the parking deck and watched as the van BARELY fit inside it. Once in the warm room, we were starving and had to venture back out into the cold once again. We had seen a gas station and a Checkers, the only things left open.
We walked the five blocks through the snow to the gas station, and were instantly accosted by several homeless men that followed us across the street to Checkers. While being asked for money, we had to stand outside the Checkers (since that was the only way you could order other than drive thru) and wait for our food. 10 minutes later, we walked back to the hotel but were unsurprised whenever the food turned up cold by the time we got inside.
Atlanta: Snowmageddon 2011
Since then, we've braved the snow once again to head to our friends Cregg and Lauren's place and luckily made it here with only getting stuck once along the way.
The snow itself hasn't seemed to melt, though the precipitation has ceased.
It just hasn't gotten warm enough to do anything to the ice on the roads, and we see cars slipping on the roads outside. Because we have a few days off until Thursday, we've had some downtown, but that is coming with a serious case of cabin fever.
All of us are ready to get back on the road and out of the Atlanta area and onto Florida. We have a ton of footage still to put up, so make sure to keep updated on our Facebook and YouTube sites. This tour has had some funny moments so far, and there will be more great moments to come!
Jayna, Blake, Patrick
Death of Paris