On The Road

Tour Journal: This Machine Is Me

Day 2 – Westgate Mall, Spartanburg, SC
I’m beginning to feel like a shopaholic. In the past 3 days, we’ve been in 3 very different malls. While Rock Hill’s
Mall seemed pretty slow for a Tuesday, Westgate Mall in Spartanburg proved pretty surprising for only being a Wednesday. When we’ve done Hot Topic events in Columbia, people would usually wait until we had played the full set and then approached us afterward, but here in Spartanburg, a group of people actually started looking over our merch table and then, right in the middle of our set, asked if we could sign some posters and CDs they had bought.
It was a really cool feeling, and while we made sure to let them know that the CD versions of the songs would be
vastly different from the stripped down acoustic versions we were playing, they still wanted to buy them after Hot
Topic played the CD over their store speakers.
This week we are lucky to have Jayna’s relatives in Greenville to crash with, otherwise we would be looking at some costly hotel expenses. After the Spartanburg show, we drove 30 minutes to Greenville and relaxed. As you’ll see in the videos at the end of this, we are all card playing fiends, especially Jayna. I repeat, DO NOT let her fool you into thinking she is just learning, SHE IS A PRO and will take your money.

Day 3 – Haywood Mall, Greenville, SC

This was easily the biggest mall yet, with two stories of shops and kiosks. We’ve been carrying around one of our HUGE PA speakers to play keys, vocals and guitars through, and the first two stops killed me and Scott lugging the gigantic speaker around the mall. Malls, for some reason, only seem to be made to walk into easily when you have nothing and walk out easily when you have something. After learning our lesson from the first two stops, me and Scott were able to get a hand truck from Brandon, store manager at Haywood and it made life so much easier.

Everyone working at this store was so friendly and engaging. As soon as we walked in, they had already begun playing our CD on the speakers for people to hear, as well as telling everyone to stick around for our set. While Scott and Jayna finished setting up the merch table, I went to look for a bathroom and ended up walking about a mile down the mall. I don’t know why I walked that far, but I just kept following the signs and they led me all the way around the mall to the food court. I got back and it was 15 minutes after we were supposed to begin. That’s when the Hot Topic employees informed me of a bathroom conveniently located downstairs. I felt dumb. Luckily, my trip across the mall let me know just how many snack and food eateries exist at Haywood Mall, probably more than any mall I’ve ever been in. Whether you like Godiva Chocolates, Candy Corn or Tea, there is a store that somehow suits it.

This set went great, we were able to teach some kids to sing along to the chorus to “11+2=12+1” and they ended up stopping us (again) midset for some signage and purchases. I don’t know whether or not it was the location of this store being on the second floor or what, but they actually asked us to turn everything up louder, so we happily obliged. Because of that, a bunch more people heard us from outside and walked in, with Robin from Hot Topic ushering them inside.

It was sad times leaving Jayna’s aunt’s place, but we told them we will be back. After all, we are playing at The Channel in Greenville on July 31 anyway.

Onto Augusta Mall, which, according to Robin at Haywood Mall, is her second favorite Hot Topic people. (1st being the Columbia store (duh.))

Hopefully our bros in Say Vandelay can make it out to see us there before they hit up warped tour this year.

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