"You know that my love is on your side."

This isn’t going to be so much of a recap post, but more like an appreciation/emotional response to everything that was the On Your Side tour.

When Sandra, Danielle, and I were hanging out the day the dates got announced, I think we all thought it was a joke to do 8 or more dates of the tour. The most I have ever done of a tour is 4 dates of Rock Yourself To Sleep last summer and I’m still not entirely sure why we did so many. I only did 3 of Bout Damn Time last spring, too. But whatever. After figuring out that there was actually 7 plausible dates (we dropped the whole Canada idea because we don’t have passports), we bought tickets and it became very real.

I’ve only been listening to ARTTM for about 2 years this month-ish. If you know me, you know I don’t really like things until way later. I disliked most of what Nick did by himself, and didn’t really bother listening to Greetings From… until a few weeks before AP Tour. Then I developed a really cute thing for Nick Santino and Madison would always say how she was going to stick her tongue in Halvo’s mouth, so yeah. That summer, I watched them for the 2nd time at warped, interviewed Nick for the station, and met Halvo as well.

Fast-forward to fall at OP Tour where I was now in love with all things ARTTM. Their album had just come out that week and I was super stoked on life. Talked to all the dudes, was embarrassed to call Halvo “Halvo,” etc. Went to Jingle My Bells in CT that December basically because of them. Spring brought Take Action tour and that was probably the turning point. Getting coffee and Halvo coming over to say hello to us, interviewing Justin, dick pix, tiny sharpies, tour secrets, etc etc etc. It was the show I realized these guys meant a lot to me and really appreciated me as a ~fan.

We went to a few dates of whatever tour it was with Mayday/Sparks/SIL and even saw Halvo’s birthday show in Lancaster. Went to Nick and Justin’s acoustic set at both the warped dates I did. Small Package came around and when Halvo asked us for bands to come on their headliner, we gave him the best suggestions that ended up becoming the On Your Side tour.

And that leads us to now.

How did a band like ARTTM start to mean so much to me? I’m not saying they make life-altering and reality changing music, but still. There’s an infinite list of jokes I have with them or about them, and about twice as many reasons why they are some of my favorite people I’ve ever met. The way that they make me feel like a friend and not a fan will always just make me feel like a fucking 12 year old fangirl on the inside. Nick making jokes to us now and actually knowing who we are is crazy, Justin saying he’s going to do something awesome for me when I get to 20 shows is too much, Andrew saying that the band owes us so much is stupid because they don’t, and Halvo continuing to absolutely kill me every time whether with jokes or secrets or anything will never get old.

But this tour would not have been as good as it was without Valencia and Anarbor. I guess I’ll start with Anarbor. Saw them with This Providence on BDT last spring and instantly fell in love. Saw them on Warped as well and was still impressed. Seeing them on this tour was a risk because I didn’t know how ARTTM fans would like them, but they fucking LOVED them every night! How is that possible? So awesome. While these guys are super nice and Slade is totally impressed at my 12 show total, their merch guy outshines them all. Matt was one of several shining gems on this tour and there’s not enough space here to type out all the things he did to make us laugh. The moustache, the real crying during the fake crying, the dancing, the handing of promo materials, etc. Thanks, Matt, for a good time.

I guess that leaves me with Valencia. My history with this band is laughable at best because it’s hilarious how far I’ve come. The first time I saw them was Warped 07 in Pittsburgh, and I have my good friend Alex Tucker to thank for dragging me to their set. I got their album a few weeks before the release date in 2008 from the station to review and enjoyed it, but never thought much else of it. Summer 2009, I was planning on going to the Shhh, it happens tour which I have no idea why I was so into going? But Kait and Madison fucking LOVED Valencia, so I guess I just went along with that. I also met Ryan that day and he let me play Pokemon on his Game Boy within the first 5 minutes of our friendship, so that was a good sign. We watched them at warped 2009 in Cinci, and also at Jingle My Bells in CT where I was a moth and acted like I totally loved them when in reality I knew like 3 songs and didn’t even have an opinion when someone played us a version of “Pieces” in the car and told us not to tell anyone he did. I had to wait a whole year to see them again and I FINALLY got into them in those 12 months without them. I listened to WANARTB back and forth to work and school the whole summer and fall, and was disappointed at first with DWAG but now I think it’s my favorite album of theirs. The headliner was great and I couldn’t wait to see them with ARTTM in the spring.

Now after this tour, George, Brendan, and JD are now aware of me as a friend/fan/whatever I am and we have jokes and it’s great and I don’t care if it happened 20 years after everyone else. Ryan is probably one of my best guy friends and never fails to make me laugh, whether it’s from some Aziz or previous jokes or making our own stand up comedy act and rehearsing it for people who really hate it. It is always a blessing to meet people like this from going to shows and I am so thankful I’m this close to some of these guys now.

Bands and music aside, there’s no way this tour would have been as good if I didn’t have some of my best friends by my side. Nikki, thanks for putting up with us in Pittsburgh. Kait, thank God I got to see your lovely face again. Kaitlyn, thanks for coming with us and photographing me all Chicago weekend. Dylan, Amy, Bobby, Sandy, and everyone else from Cleveland, so happy to see so many familiar faces at my hometown show. Sammi, Chrissy, and Madison, it was nice to be in another state and still feel like I wasn’t even an hour away from home. Jeanette, you know that I would not have my favorite moment of tour if it weren’t for plowing through the Chicago crowd. Tyler, thanks for giving us a place to sleep in Chicago.

And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t give a whole paragraph to Danielle and Sandra who put up with me more than anyone should really have to, unless they’re your parents or something. You let me change the songs on the ipod no matter if you’re pissed or not, let me drive like a complete idiot, let me watch spongebob in the hotel, “TAKE A PICTURE, IT’LL LAST LONGER,” “and you brighten up the world with your eyebrows,” understand that I will always find something to complain about or cry over, and probably mostly listen to me for hours on end talking about people you really wish would just fall off the face of the planet so I didn’t keep repeating stories about them. But really guys, I don’t know how this tour would have been without you 2 and you seriously were there the whole time (Sandra partly in spirit :) ) being my partners in crime/trolling or crowd plowing or laughing about nothing, seriously. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my overemotional heart.

If I could relive one moment on this tour, it would be deciding to go into the crowd for the first time for Valencia on the last date in Pittsburgh. The crowd looked really awesome and we ran straight through during “Safe To Say.” I may have pinched a guy and stuck my middle finger in some girl’s face, but it didn’t matter. When we found out that “Pieces” has won “by a landslide” (whoops lol my bad) I couldn’t even handle it. Being in the middle of a sold out crowd with some of your best friends singing one of your favorite songs by one of your favorite bands is one of the most amazing feelings I have ever felt. When the bridge slowed it all down and started to build up and I saw Ryan take a running leap off the stage and straight to where we were all standing in the crowd, I pretty much just lost it and couldn’t stop smiling and laughing and it was probably the most perfect moment of the tour.

I hope I never forget a single moment of this tour and if I do, I don’t think I could ever forgive myself. Thnksfrthmms, On Your Side tour. You have no idea what you meant to me.