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The Start of the Tour: Greg Erwin and Saint Motel

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The first week of any tour is never easy. The dramatic shift in your daily schedule and routine of semi-normalcy is completely shocking, no matter how many times you do it. This tour was no exception for the whole Saint Motel band and crew. To add to it all, we were embarking on the longest, largest capacity, biggest production run we had ever done. There were bound to be growing pains (among other actual pains).

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Leading up to the September 15 kickoff of the Saintmotelevision tour in San Diego, there was an entire month of daily rehearsals, a week of full production rehearsals, as well as trying to get myself and my cycling gear all in order to embark on this six week adventure across North America. The one wrench I didn’t expect to be thrown into the plans was the really uncomfortable knee injury I suffered less than two weeks before the tour started. While dancing with a group of friends over Labor Day weekend, my dance floor moves were cut short by a very noticeable “POP” in my knee. I went home with some terrible pain and swelling, and immediately began to panic that my riding for the Saint Motel tour was ruined. Funny, I didn’t seem too concerned about the one job I actually have to perform, day in and day out, which is playing drums for an hour and a half at full gas. After several doctor trips and an MRI, it was official, I had torn my meniscus. Thankfully, the one thing the doctor didn’t “really” say not to do, was ride my bike. Or, at least I think that’s what I was trying to hear. Moving on… With a brand new bike from my pals at Jamis in hand, and a boatload of beautiful new Rapha gear that I had yet to even try on, there was no way I was letting this stop me.

The first two days of tour were absolute mayhem. The bike was barely an afterthought. With a tour and crew of this size rolling out, there are some serious wrinkles needing to be ironed out. And oh, did we find wrinkles. Kicking off in San Diego was not the smoothest of days or shows, but by show 2, at a sold out Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles, we were off to the races. Los Angeles was flawless, and absolutely an incredible night for each of us, as it was the first real headline LA show in almost 2 years. Meanwhile, the shiny new bike awaited me in the trailer. I knew that after LA, we were going to get a chance to bond.

I was fortunate enough to have the leg strength and time to ride by the time we rolled in to San Francisco. It’s always a strange sensation to fall asleep in the bus somewhere like LA and wakeup in the morning in San Francisco to a completely new environment. Luckily for me, it was a beautiful day in the city, which provided a perfect backdrop for the first ride since the injury. Kitting up outside the Great American Music Hall, I was unsure how it would even feel to pedal, but I was ready to give it a go. By the time I dodged a few dirty needles, and piles of what appeared to be (most likely human) excrement, I had made it to the embarcadero, a great bayside strip of asphalt near the old docks and ferry building packed with a decent mixture of tourists and locals alike.

San Francisco is one of those places you can kind of just ride in any direction and enjoy what you’re seeing and experiencing. I have to admit, that day, I was dreaming of having full functionality of the leg back so I could at least attack ONE of those famous 18-20% monsters up to the top of the city. But alas, the flatlands of SF were better for me that day. I made my way back to the venue and was immediately notified Saint Motel had sold out the night, which was great news so early in the tour. San Francisco was an incredible show, and an overall beautiful day getting to do everything I loved in a city I like almost as much as home. More miles and smiles to come…

Cheers from the back of the bus,
Greg.

Saintmotel’s new album, Saintmotelevision drops October 21st. The fall tour runs from September 15th to October 29th. For more info check out Saint Motel’s Facebook page.

Saint Motel 2016 Fall Tour Dates
9/29 – TULSA – OK
10/1 – AUSTIN – TX
10/4 – HOUSTON – TX
10/5 – DALLAS – TX
10/7 – SAN ANTONIO – TX
10/8 – AUSTIN – TX
10/10 – ST. LOUIS – MO
10/11 – LAWRENCE – KS
10/13 – MINNEAPOLIS – MN
10/14 – MILWAUKEE – WI
10/15 — CHICAGO, IL
10/16 – INDIANAPOLIS – IN
10/17 – CLEVELAND – OH
10/19 – BOSTON – MA
10/20 – WASHINGTON – D.C.
10/21 – NEW YORK – NY
10/22 – PHILADELPHIA – PA
10/24 – CINCINNATI – OH
10/25 – NASHVILLE – TN
10/27 – CHARLOTTE – NC
10/28 – ATLANTA – GA
10/29 – NEW ORLEANS – LA