The Palisades: 9,451.8 miles of musical memories

This ‘Tales from the Road’ cannot be told entirely through party stories and debaucheries. This is because The Palisades Summer 2013 World Domination U.S.A. of America Tour was not quite/much more than a Motley Crue autobiography. Don’t get us wrong though, we totally partied like a low level indie rock band.

On Aug. 6 we played our World Domination Tour U.S.A. of America kickoff show at The Letterpress in Bellingham. It was an incredible show and we will always love Bellingham’s music scene.
After playing an anarchist bookstore in Portland, Oregon the next day, we began our trek east into what was at the time, uncharted territory for The Palisades. Not only had we never played in any of the cities we were headed to, even the most underground indie hipsters of these cities had never heard a single thing about our band.
The first problem we encountered with our Oldsmobile Minivan occurred the day after we played a show to nobody (still fun) in Boise, Idaho. The window of the van would not roll up after it was rolled down following a terrible fart. We quickly made a makeshift cardboard window outfitted with an angry looking stick figure to keep away curious would be thieves.
In Denver, Colorado we played a show in an old Hispanic dance hall. The show was great, the window was fixed by some greedy mechanics, and we had two days to get to Madison, Wisconsin.
After two long days of driving, which involved dirty games of mad-libs and Manchester Orchestra on repeat, we had rolled into the beautiful city of Madison, Wisconsin.
We were expected to be handed the key to the city of Madison for blessing the city with our rock anthems on a Monday night. Instead, we were handed numerous drinks. These drinks led us to end the night with dancing, vomiting, and peeing on the state capital of Wisconsin. It was agreed by the band that this was our most favorite city on tour, probably because we got wasted and made fools of ourselves… but we had fun while doing it.
We played another low turnout show in Chicago (still having fun people) at a place called the Ultra Lounge. If you Google “Ultra Lounge” the first related search is “ultra lounge Chicago shooting.” This is because seven months ago four people were shot at a show at the Ultra Lounge. The Palisades played an Ultra good set that night. Chicago was pretty Ultra alright. Oh and we ate deep dish.
We spent the night after Chicago on the sand dunes of Lake Michigan. We ate a can of beans and ravioli as we swatted away mosquitos. We felt just like Motley Crue.
In Cleveland, Ohio after we played in the basement of a punk house, we visited the Christmas Story house, where the exterior scenes of the movie were filmed. Yes, it had the leg lamp. Peter and I were thrilled but Noah was a bit disappointed that we did not go the Hanukkah Story house.
The next day consisted of a long drive, more dirty mad-libs, and a show in New Brunswick, New Jersey with Seattle rockers The Exquisites. Watching The Exquisites was just further proof that the Northwest is the promised land for good bands.
The good ole Bellingham country boys of The Palisades had made it to the Big Apple. We spent the next two days in New York City doing the tourist thing. We spent our nights drinking beers on Brooklyn rooftops.
Our show in Brooklyn was one of the strangest and most memorable. We played after a science lecture and a “choose your own adventure rapper.”
The next stop was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where we played a show with one of our favorite artists named Alex G from Philly. This was the best show we had on tour.
Our next show took us south to the college town of Boone, North Carolina. Our van chugged up the steep hills to get to Boone, which is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains 3,000 feet above sea-level.
The show in Boone was wildly unexpected. It was held in a burrito joint and we had no idea if anyone was going to show up. At 10 p.m. the venue had reached capacity.
We arrived in Charleston, South Carolina the next day to a big steaming pot of shrimp and grits prepared by my good friend Brandon. After eating some amazing southern comfort food we headed to the downtown Charleston venue called The Royal American.
The venue in Charleston was beautiful as it had large porches overlooking the bright green marsh grass that surrounds the peninsula of downtown Charleston. The stage was the smallest stage we have ever performed on and Toby was just inches away from falling off stage the entire show.
We were in good company when in Charleston as we hung out in historic homes surrounded by massive oak trees covered in sagging Spanish moss. Since I grew up in Charleston it felt good to be in 95 percent humidity again.
A comparatively short drive of 4.5 hours (read further for the 12 hour drive) took us to Atlanta, Georgia the day after Charleston. We played on Georgia Tech’s campus to a responsive crowd of skilled engineering students.
In Austin, Texas we played at The Hole in the Wall, which contrary to its title is quite a large venue. There we met up with good friend and Belebrity Carlton Eide. Carlton showed us around Austin by feeding us enormous donuts and showing us Austin’s moon towers (as seen in Dazed and Confused).
After playing a good set in Phoenix, Arizona we tried to get at least 4 hours of sleep before we had to make a 12 hour drive to the bay area of California. We woke up at 5 a.m. and hit the road for several hours until we arrived in Fremont, California.
In Fremont we played in the backyard of a nice suburban house. It was extremely bizarre yet incredible. Parents were bringing out food while some of the best bands we saw on tour were playing on a homemade outdoor stage. About 100 kids watched our set at 6 p.m.
The next day in San Jose, California we played in the most unique and surreal venue we have and probably ever will perform in. The venue was an all-ages space in a porn shop, complete with hundreds and hundreds of X-rated films. The bands were great and the crowd was too. The porn was alright.
When debriefing this tour we realized that we did not make any money, gain hundreds of groupies, or even remotely resemble Motley Crue’s lifestyle. Keep in mind that we said yes to every single show we were offered and never asked for a guarantee of money ahead of time. Also keep in mind that it was extremely hard to explain the amazingness of this tour in 1,200 words. Yes, 9415.8 miles is a long drive inside a car but go on tour.
For more about Palisades, follow their Facebook and Bandcamp pages.

-Luke Hogfoss