From Drive By’s
Buzznet Tour Journal
Billy Talent ‘Destroy’ Tourmates My Chemical Romance in WhirlyBall: One for the Road
Canadian rockers Billy Talent are currently on tour with My Chemical Romance, and drummer Aaron Solowoniuk has been writing to Buzznet about all the shenanigans that have taken place so far. From earthquakes to bullet holes, Billy Talent are having quite the adventure across the U.S., as they explain in the first installment of “One for the Road,” Buzznet’s new series of checkups with bands on tour.
We were about 3 months into writing our 3rd album when we got the call from My Chemical Romance. They were doing one last tour through the States in support of their album Black Parade and asked if we would come out and support them. We jumped at the opportunity to get on the road and hit some areas of America with them, which we have never been to. After playing so many shows with them in Europe last year, we knew we would have a good time.
March 29th. Railto Theatre. Tuscan, AZ
What a great place for show number one. This place reminded me so much of the Brixton Academy in London – it has a sloped floor, so everyone has a good look at the stage. It’s a pretty amazing club both to play at and watch a show. Today was time to see everyone in the bands and crew and try to remember everyone’s names. It’s a very unique situation to be in. Reconnecting with old road friends is awesome, and everyone is in good spirits about the upcoming tour.
April 3rd and 4th. The Warfield. San Francisco, CA
We have played at the Warfield a couple times. This is a very interesting part of town in San Francisco. The drug problem just seems to have gotten out of hand and there are a lot of lost souls wandering the neighborhood. I’m starting to feel a little like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day.” We play our show, leave everything at the venue and then come back and do it all again the next day. Kinda weird.
April 6th. Bamboozle Left. Irvine, CA
We bumped into the guys from Anti-Flag today. Great to see them all. We toured across Canada with them a while ago and have become good friends. We also ran into Darrin Pfieffer. Darrin plays drums in Goldfinger. We get to see him a bit more often because he lives in Toronto now. He’s crazy too. So many stories to tell – from the classic Twinkee in his ass to him going into the crowd with a cordless mic and instigating a wall of death, and then lighting his cymbals on fire, there never seems to be a dull moment when he’s around. Another great friend that I haven’t seen in about a month and only get to spend about 4 hours with him.
April 8th and 9th. Crystal Ballroom. Portland, OR
We really are playing some great rooms. Sorry for going on about the venues, but when you play so many live shows, you really feel lucky when you play at a great place. The Crystal Ballroom a very great venue. It has a bouncing floor. While MCR were playing and we were in our dressing room, the door to the washroom in our room was practically banging back and forth from the amount of kids jumping up and down. Another cool thing is that it’s on the 2nd flood of a building and it has a huge glass wall. When you stand on the street below you can see the lights of a rock show blasting through the glass.
April 14th. Fillmore Auditorium. Denver, CO
So, we’re officially in the middle of the tour now – we’re really having a good time and the weeks have been flying by. We’ve been able to hang a lot with the MCR guys. A funny thing happened today … The My Chem guys travel with 2 amazing remote control cars. Bob, the drummer, built a ramp and Jon and I both dared him to try and jump them over top of us – which he did. It was hilarious … I guess you had to be there.
April 17th and 18th. Congress Theater. Chicago.
We showed up in Chicago for a day off on the 16th. About a week ago we got a notice on our tour bus about WhirlyBall on the day off. It wasn’t an invite but a notice that anyone who doesn’t show up will be kicked off the tour. At 8pm, all three tour buses showed up at the WhirlyBall court. For those who don’t know about this game, here are the rules: 5 against 5. Everyone is in a bumper car holding a scooper. I think it’s called a Scooper? – you race around and chase a ball and scoop it up and then try and throw it through a basket. It’s a pretty awesome game. For the last battle of the night it was MCR vs. Billy Talent. We destroyed them.
We all showed up to the bus and Jon, from our band and Jarret, our guitar tech, both said at 4am they were awoken by their beds shaking back and forth. Turns out there was a 5.2 earthquake that morning.
These two shows in Chicago turned out to be some of the best shows so far. I’m now starting to realize how huge MCR is in America and these small theatre shows are very special. The tour continues, and I’m writing this in another random hotel room. I walked into my room and decided to open the curtains to let some light into the room. I’m on the 8th floor and there’s a bullet hole through the glass. I changed rooms.
Catch Billy Talent on their remaining tour dates with My Chemical Romance:
4.22: Cleveland, OH @ The Agora Theater
4.25: Baton Rouge, LA @ Baton Rouge River Center
4.26: Woodlands, TX @ Cynthia W. Mitchell Pavilion
4.28: Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Amphitheater
4.30: Birmingham, AL @ Sloss Furnaces
5.3: St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
5.4: Columbus, OH @ Lifestyles Pavilion