New York, NY: 6:30 in the morning we arrived outside the venue in New York City to ensure we wouldn’t have to fight for parking. Being that it was so early in the morning we parked the van and the most of us went right to sleep. We woke up to find that the spot we had parked in was a no-standing zone, and as no one was in our driver’s seat for a period of time we had received a ticket, and had to relocate. It was likely around noon at this point, thus making the disruption of our much needed rest, and our early trek in to the city for naught.

We were concerned that since we were then in the middle of a busy day in one of the busiest cities, that we would have much trouble locating a new spot anywhere near the venue, but luckily it turned out that the venue itself had successfully held on to some spots for us along the side of their building. We relocated and a couple of us went back in to our slumbers while others felt they were ready to go exploring.

Some of us decided that we would take the trip out to Times Square, though we didn’t really have the greatest idea of where we were going. Regardless, we ended up finding the landmark without much trouble and were able to enjoy an hour long walk, or so, taking in some sights that we had seen many a time before, on screen.

When we returned to the venue we went through our usual sound check, and other preparations, like warming up and ensuring we had eaten within reasonable time before the set. Our sound check was early this day, and so we had a good amount of time to go about these preparations, which was nice, as a lot of the time, being the first of five acts, you can expect to hit the stage as soon as 15 minutes after your check.

When time did eventually roll around for us to begin our performance the venue was packed, and the audience was right ready for the show. We walked on the stage to one of the largest initial roars of the tour and kicking in to the first song were quick to realize that there were a good number of people who knew our music and had made a point to get as close to the front of the stage as they could, in order to take part in the show with us. It wasn’t long before the pits began to break out, and we harnessed the energy to feed it back in to the night.

After the set was done we made our way down to the relatively small merch space where we spoke with what felt like an endless supply of concert-goers before the next act took the stage. We were very happy to find that many of said concert-goers came to tell us of how they’d been following us for quite a long time, and were excited that they had finally had the chance to catch our music in a live setting.

We continued to spend our time between manning the merch table and joining the crowd to take in the rest of the entertainment. With a bountiful supply of cool and appreciative people to interact with we enjoyed doing both, but perhaps the nicest part of the evening was the surprise of finding some old friends flown in from Newfoundland, who were coyly standing in the venue’s smoking area. When considering supportive and loving individuals, it’s hard to think of many more than these wonderful, always-there-for-us people — thank you, as always for that support and love.

As the night slowly came to it’s close, we packed up and headed back to our hotel room in New Jersey. The following day would be filled with exploration in the Big Apple, taking in as much of the touristy sights as we could, whilst in scattered groups. At the end of the day we all regathered to take in the evening’s hockey match, and cause ruckus while supporting our hometown team, deep in the heart of their playoff rival’s city.

Philadelphia, PA: Despite what they tell you, it’s not always sunny in Philadelphia. For the entirety of our stay in the city, rain poured down on our heads, giving us the appropriate pathetic fallacy for the last day of what had been an incredibly enjoyable tour, shared with some of the best company we could have hoped for.

I’d be lying if I said that you couldn’t feel the exhaustion of every tour member hanging in the air, along with the manifestation of mixed emotions between returning to loved ones in a place called home, and leaving the pleasure of strong friendships forged through shared traveling experiences. As such, and as the weather confined us largely to the inner walls of the club, much of the day was spent chilling out in the green rooms, and getting in the last of available hang-out time.

We all played our farewell sets to a receptive crowd, and enjoyed paying extra close attention to our comrades performances, not knowing when exactly it might be we would have the opportunity to do so again. In between sets we would take to our merch table duties, and converse with show-goers, expressing our appreciation for their support.

During the last song of the night, the bulk of the tour members who were not currently engaged in their own responsibilities, decided that it was appropriate to mess, in good nature, with Protest, and give us all something we could remember, and laugh about together. I believe it was Periphery’s sound guy, Alex, who came up with the idea to conga across the stage in our underwear, and so as the band began to play the first notes of their last song, “C’est la Vie”, we began to take the first steps on to the stage. The act was met with bewildered and amused looks by the band, as they tried to hold composure, and continue performing through laughter.

After the set it was back, yet again, to the merch tables, and as the crowd thinned out, back, yet again, to enjoying each-other’s company, one last time. We took part in the usual last-day-of-tour group photos, while filling the air of the theater with much chatter, expressing our appreciation for everyone’s warmth and helping nature throughout the tour. We exchanged contact information to keep in touch and voiced hopes that we can all do it again before too long.

And so as all the bands, one-by-one, headed in our own separate directions, we marked the end of our very first tour in the United States — it couldn’t have been any more suitable or enjoyable, and we are very thankful to everyone who made it so. If you have yet to check out any of the bands that were on the tour (The Safety Fire, The Jeff Loomis Band, Periphery, Protest the Hero) we highly recommend that you do, as they are all hard working musician’s, making great music, deserving of all the support they receive.

Looking very forward to round 2 with Scale The Summit, starting May 26th. Date listings are available on www.todayicaughttheplague.com, so feel free to find a show near you, and come join us; we’d love to meet you, or see you once again. Until next, thanks for reading, and be well, everyone.

Keep checking back to PureGrainAudio.com as Today I Caught The Plague will write their tour journal for the Scale The Summit tour.

Check out the song: “From Bulwark to Bane”