In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the rock band, Airside, talk about some of their crazy moments from touring. Airside – CRAZY TOUR STORIES

In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the rock band, Airside, talk about some of their crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.

If you want a chance to get to know your friends really well, get naked together in a steamy room and hit each other with olive branches. While on tour through Estonia, we got such a chance.

And don’t worry, this is a G-rated Tour Story.

And when our tour team, comprised of locals, asked us if we would like to join them for an Estonian tradition, we did not know what we would be getting ourselves into when we cheerfully answered “yes!” After finishing up another show for some amazing people in a brand new city, we were up for anything. Our tour managers only told us to grab a towel and to meet down at the van in five minutes—beyond that, we knew nothing. Well, we did know one other detail- we would be a drinking Kali, a slightly-alcoholic beverage that was unique to their country, which we had to taste- “You haven’t experienced Estonia till you’ve tried Kali,” said one of our tour managers in his surprisingly low voice (he was a thin vegan man) and Viking-esque thick accent. So here we are, sitting in silence in as the five-speed people-mover van purred quietly through the night, as our local friends tried their hardest to maintain a straight face. But the inside-joke wouldn’t stay secret for long, as we soon arrived at a farmhouse in the surrounding countryside in the quaint tourist town at which we were staying. We piled out of the van into the 15-degree freezing cold evening and briskly cantered toward the looming shape of the vacant cottage. We climbed up a narrow staircase and entered a small room at the very top of the house which was furnished like a ski resort cabin; animal heads on the walls, snowshoes and carved wooden bears and vintage records and an old jukebox as the decor. The guys, besides us Americans in the band, seemed to know right where everything was, as they quickly turned on the lights and brought out the Kali and the plastic cups and all manner of sweet danish-type delicacies, as someone else kicked on the jukebox to some ’80’s American synth pop. What can I say, Estonians seem to know how to party old-school. Or maybe they just thought that every American by default likes Duran Duran. It was then that things began to catch us a bit off guard. Like clockwork, as if every Estonian in the room heard the same high-pitched dog whistle that American ears are not tuned to receive, clothes started flying. Shirts, trousers, boxers all hit the floor and a half-a-dozen grown men sauntered through the small dark doorway at the end of the room, all while carrying on a conversation as if they were shooting the breeze at the neighborhood bar. My friend Kirk, the drummer at the time (often the boldest of us), promptly followed suit. “You guys coming?” I would tell you what face he was making at the time, but I didn’t have the nerve to make eye contact. Not wanting to back down from a challenge, of course, I had to see what the big deal was about a bunch of steam in a small, dimly lit, wood-paneled room at one-hundred and ten degrees with a bunch of other men; I certainly wouldn’t want to be rude to our foreign hosts. I also just didn’t want Kirk to claim bragging rights, and be labeled just another overly-self-aware American sissy. Not that I would use those words to describe my two other bandmates who chose to remain fully clothed in the den sipping Kali and eating their cake, doubtless wondering what the heck just happened. So there we were, focusing steadily on either the upper corners of the dark, hazy space or the inside of our eyelids, while perched on the upper bench of the sauna. Once actually gone through with it, and you’re finally completely vulnerable with a strange group of roadies from another country, you’d be surprised the level of conversation you’re able to hold. I’m sure it was not unlike the talks held in Eric Forman’s basement in That 70’s Show. Though we weren’t stoned, we sure were relaxed. After just ten or twenty minutes of this, again, the Estonians all got up, exited the sauna, ran through the den (straight past our cake-eating American colleagues), shuffled down the stairs and sprinted outside through the snow, jumping headlong into the practically frozen lake beside the house. Observing faint shapes through the den window, we decided that was a bit too much for us Americans—we were going to have to let the Estonians have that one. Before re-emerging into the light of the den and finding our clothes, we did get the chance to whip our backs (and that of our bench mate if they were interested) with some olive branches, leaves and all, which supposedly “opens up the pores of the skeen.” That was about as pleasant as you can imagine being hit repeatedly with sticks can be. And though we certainly grew closer as a band that day, what happens in the sauna stays in the sauna. Until of course, you share about it on Digital Tour Bus. :)

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far away…I was in this band called VAS. We were a Memphis band but we went and played a show in Nashville with some of our friends who were touring through Tennessee. We played a small venue right across from a bigger venue that bigger bands played at. The bill had four bands on it but we didn’t expect a huge turnout… and we were right. We played to what was basically an empty room. Luckily there were a group of people there sitting in the back corner and would casually glance up and then speak to each other. At the end of the night, we played our set and had a blast playing for the 5 people in the back. Unfortunately, they walked out during half of our set. We thought well, at least they stayed for a little of our set. After the show, we found out that those people came to the show to see us! We were super excited about it but our excitement was short lived. Unfortunately, those people were not there to see us but to see VAS, a world music band from Europe. We were both disappointed that night.

One of the craziest things I remember being on tour was when we drove across the U.S. from Memphis to CA in one van with no trailer or extra seats. We were literally shoulder to shoulder with all of our gear piled in the back. It was so uncomfortable, but we definitely got closer as friends over the trip. For me being from Mississippi, it was quite an experience seeing the other side of my country for the first time in my life at the age of 21. I had never experienced a quiet California night before. The insects and frogs in the mid-south are so loud, but I was used to it. It’s normal to me.

Another crazy thing that I remember was also in the van, we had been driving for hours and just got into Dallas. Whoever was driving at the time was a little too comfortable. It was at night, so it was sort of hard to see. So there was this median with a huge curb and he thought it was a turning lane. I was sitting the middle seat in the back so I could see everything pretty well. I saw it coming. He began to get over in the ‘turning lane’ and little did he know, he was about to wake everyone up pretty quickly. The only thing I could say as I saw it coming was “shit!” I said that and about 2 very long silent seconds later, everything in the van was about 12 inches in the air. It was so terrifying! Lucky the van was okay and we got to our destination safely!

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The posts made by this account were created by past Digital Tour Bus writers, which include: Mariah Spiering, Paige Kochanski, Elexis Hipp, Hayley Hoyle, Alyssa Mount-Bycholski, Javi Perez, Anne-Marie Totah, Bri Born, Grayson Maslin, Christina Major, Emillie Marvel, Kimberly Lady, Lisa Perez, Sara Ruben, Natasha Nadiah, Marissa Linzey, Ashlee Hussey, Alana Ludwig, Katy Fleming, Erin Miller, Rachel Sappie, Jessica Armstrong, Yasha Castro, Jodi Bushnell-Aleman, Brittany Bohn, Christina Bennett, Emily Young, Lizzie Baumgartner, Stephanie Kompradith, Deona Ragsdale and Corey Kleinsasser.