In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, Sayak Das of the ambient rock band, Dreamer & Son, talks about some of their crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.
Our first tour was during the summer of 2016. Along with Boston local pop-punk outfit, Tighticus Finch, we managed to book a circuit that took us through northern New England and into Canada. As you can imagine, we were pretty excited to be touring, but we were thrilled to be going international. It’s how we ended up spending a night in the Toronto General Hospital, anyway.
We started out that trek of the tour with some couch surfing, where we spent a night at a buddies house. However, his mom wasn’t too keen about 8 smelly teenagers staying the night. Out of courtesy, a few of the members opted to sleep in the van. Jake (our bassist) and Josh (our drummer) decided to take the short end of the stick. They took it like champs, but the chilly Canadian air proved to be a bit more troublesome than we’d thought, leaving Jake and Josh in a situation that made it pretty hard to get a good night’s rest.
The next morning, we threw our bags back in the van and headed out. Our next show was at the D-Beastro Café, in the heart of Toronto. The day started out smooth as any. We loaded in, found some local dives and record stores, and hung out with a few college friends that found their way out to see us. The only two people finding it hard to relax were Josh, who’d caught a minor cold, and Jake. He’d been complaining about having a bit of discomfort, but wrote it off to an uncomfortable and cold night in the van. As usual, we met with the other bands and introduced ourselves. The headlining band, a high school aged bunch, were easy going and all around awesome hosts. We played our hearts out that night. Afterward, Jake and I grabbed a couple of drinks and got a little tipsy to wind down. While we’re doing this, the high school band started playing. On my life, it was straight out of a Disney Channel movie. Their set was awesome, they got us and the intoxicated crowd moving with a set of mostly covers. They pulled audience members up to dance with them; I even have a video of Jake trying his best (he claims his choreography was spot-on). To top it off, they ended the night with the bassist asking the guitarist to prom by making the rest of the band sing in a barbershop-style quartet. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
After the show, I was outside talking with the high schoolers about how amazing their set was. I make my way to the van and notice that Jake was laying sprawled out across the seat. Josh is right next to him with a pretty concerned look on his face.
“Guys, you know I love you.” Jake was pointing to the nether region. “I need you to check if it’s swelling.”
He goes on to explain that earlier’s discomfort was now a searing pain, and his privates now swaddled in basketball shorts rather than his skinny jeans. My mouth is gaping, I’m a little tipsy, and crumbling under the pressure of the request. So I asked Josh to check instead.
Without giving too many details away, things were swelling. Think baseball-sized.
We all piled into the van and quickly found out where the nearest emergency room was. Matt (our guitarist) took the wheel and sent the van careening down the street towards the hospital. I’m going to remember that van ride for the rest of my life; Matt swerving in and out of traffic, Josh screaming out directions, Jake yelping at every bump and pothole, me in the backseat drunk trying to find his Gameboy for a distraction.
We get to the hospital with next to no idea of what to do. I’m on the phone with Jake’s family getting insurance information. Josh and Matt are helping Jake get into a wheelchair. Being in a foreign hospital at midnight with no idea what was going on was overwhelming. Some of the guys in Tighticus Finch met us at the hospital and helped us figure everything out. It only took 6 hours, a CAT scan, and a glove test (with some muffled screaming) to find out that a bacterial infection had made its way into Jake’s system. Luckily, all he needed was some antibiotics, heavy painkillers, and rest. We finally pulled out of the parking lot and made our way to the next couch at about 6am. Jake was out for the count for one show, but made it right back on stage with us for the next. One hell of a way to start our touring careers.