What is Red Bull Rock the Route? It's a story told in St. Louis, Missouri; it's finding a way out of Hydro, Oklahoma; it's filling up ‘til full in Amarillo, Texas; it's a bare spiritual reflection in Albuquerque, New Mexico; it's an explosive desert rose in the ghost town of Two-Guns, Arizona; it’s the great unknowns of Southern California, all in one rock ’n roll journey emanating from Chicago.
It’s a gang of good plus the right amount of great music; it’s rock’n’roll times two, it’s one great band plus another, and one's not really a band - until they're on the road... Whatever that all adds up to is only a portion of what sums up the Rock the Route experience.
Here are some final words from the bands...
From Jim, Brighton MA:
We came into the week with mixed feelings. We were anxious to get to the West Coast, but we didn’t quite know what to expect. The first show at Kinetic Playground in Chicago was well received, but since each band was being followed around by their own hometown entourage, I don’t think either really checked out the other one’s set.
No more than 24 hours later, BMA took to the bus, leaving a fume-filled van ride for the Young Jesus dudes. It wasn’t until after the St. Louis show that we felt a real connection with the band.
We had drinks, razzed each other on camera and off, created nicknames that probably won’t stick but will remain a byproduct of the week, and ended up drinking on the bus and at the hotel. This (and the subsequent morning-after hangovers) solidified not only the relationships between the bands, but also with the crew.
It’s safe to say for both bands that we lucked out with this crew. Speaking for BMA, our cameraman and sound guy - David and Ryan – well, we couldn’t have asked for two better dudes.
I couldn’t help but think that our first van ride, albeit more cramped and uncomfortable than the bus, is the way a rock’n’roll band should travel. I loved that bus - we’d sprawl out, have a drink, play some tunes, listen to hilarious stories from Eddie, our driver, and so much more. Our anthem was shouted out many times over: “Vous le vous the bus,” after the amazing Soul Coughing song (according to Ryan: “As hip-hop as BMA gets.”).
That’s when you know whether or not you want to be in a band.
But there’s something about being in that van, together, barreling down the highway trying to keep up with the bus, listening to full albums way too loud. You don’t know what that something is until you do it. And that’s when you know whether or not you want to be in a band.
So we went onwards, trading winning nights with Young Jesus. As a young band, it was incredible to see just how much playing many shows in a short time affected them. Every night was getting better. We had to constantly step up our efforts. We changed our set around and tried to top them every night. Of course, we fell short a couple of those nights, because Young Jesus is a great band. We were happy to share the stage with them.
Gone savage for teenagers with automatic weapons and boundless love;
Gone savage for teenagers who are aesthetically pleasing in other words fly.
Los Angeles beckons the teenagers to come to her on buses;
Los Angeles loves love.
-Soul Coughing, Screenwriter’s Blues
From guitar shootouts and fireworks wars in the desert to chicken-fried steaks and empty whiskey bottles, the week was a success on every level imaginable. Of course, we can’t let on who won, but for all of us, I think it’s safe to say that the journey was the real challenge. In the end, it was not only what we looked forward to the most, but also what inevitably made the week so special.
To all of our fans and friends, old and new - and to those of Young Jesus - thank you for your undivided support. You folks are what helped make all of this happen.
From John, Young Jesus:
So the tour is over. I'm somewhat speechless.
Simply put, last week was the greatest week of our lives. From fans and friends jumping on stage to help me scream the end of Chicago Alone pt. 2, to Gilby Clarke telling us he's never heard music quite like ours, the week was unforgettable. While I started last Friday terrified of what the following week would hold, I start this week scared to go back to normal life.
In the end (whatever that means), I probably won't remember all the details of the tour. Some things will start to blur, some places will get mixed up, and some songs will change.
So I don't miss the tour. I miss the people.
Every random emo kid rocking their heart out in Tulsa, the naked dude (crackhead? tickets are free!) in Albuquerque looking for "the Jesus," St. Louis (...you guys can prove yourselves next time), our families in L.A., and everyone in Chicago.
I leave the tour with some amazing and unexpected new friends.
Andy and Luis (our film team) will always dress up and rock harder than anyone in YJ. I hope the flip cam of Adrian's Jaeger bomb makes the show. Double copy to AJ.
To the guys in Brighton, MA: you guys play some really beautiful and inspiring music. We learned so much from you. Although I may hate guitarist Jim Tuerk, I feel that, in you guys, I leave the tour with some amazing and unexpected new friends. Thank God y'all live in Chicago so we can hang out sometime soon.
So here's to all our fans, family, and friends for putting up with texting “youngj” to 72855. I will probably be reciting that at every show out of habit from now on. But really, thank you, everyone.
That's how it starts.
-John "Zasou" Rossiter of Young Jesus
P.S. Jim is actually "the bomb"
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