In 2007, Mike Herrera of pop-punk band MxPx joined guitarist Jack Parker, bassist Marshall Trotland and drummer Harley Trotland in an alt-country side project called Tumbledown. The band recently finished a tour in support of their second LP, Empty Bottle. Parker recounts the first part of that tour for us below:
For the release of our second studio album Empty Bottle, it was only fitting to play our first show of the tour at Winterland in our hometown of Bremerton, Wash. It was also a Halloween show, so there was never a dull moment. Combine people dressed up in crazy costumes with lots of booze, and you get some pretty ridiculous behavior! It was the perfect start for the tour.
After another great show in Spokane the next day, we headed southeast for two shows in Colorado. For only our second time in Denver at the Larimer Lounge, the turnout was great, and full of energy! The next day the crowd in Pueblo at the Red Raven was smaller in number, but very attentive and appreciative. We love our Colorado fans!
After saying goodbye to our buddies in Colorado, we were off to San Antonio, Texas. We had to drive through the night, and all the next day until we finally made it to the Best Western in San Antonio. Almost nothing can be more satisfying than a hot shower, and a bed to sleep in after spending twenty hours straight cooped up in the van!
The next day would prove to be the busiest, and one of the most fun of the tour. We had two gigs, the first of which was playing outdoors at the University of Texas at San Antonio for their Dia de Los Muertos festival. We played two tight (and sober!) sets in the still warm Texas sun for a large crowd of college students, and were then on our way. After a little down time, and a great dinner with some friends we headed to our second gig of the day at The Limelight.
When we arrived, we got the feeling that we might not be in the best of neighborhoods. Each of us had one eye over our shoulder as we loaded in. We get very protective of each other and our gear when we are on the road, especially when we are in what might be shadier parts of town. We got everything in the club safely, and all instantly felt better.
There were several bands before us that night, as our set time wasn’t until midnight. We were a little concerned about this at first, but the owner of the club reassured us that the place always fills up by then. As the night went on the place slowly filled up, and was practically full by the time we were to go on. Everyone in the place could feel the anticipation building by the minute. In addition to all of this, it would officially be Mike’s birthday at midnight! So right before we went on we all hugged him, and toasted for his birthday backstage, and it was time to play.
As we took the stage in total darkness, the crowd slowly started to cheer. Then right as the lights went up, Mike said to the crowd, “this one is for you, and it always has been!” and we blasted in to “Butcher of San Antone.” The whole place erupted! By then word had gotten out that it was Mike’s birthday, so after a few songs the whole crowd went into a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday!” Mike was visibly moved. We resumed, and as we played on everyone was singing along to all the songs. We were then joined onstage by two of our true friends, Andrew and Ki Anderson for “A Thousand More Times” (they played on the recording). We finished the night in true rock & roll style with an encore of “My Generation,” and left the stage.
After a fantastic solo set by Andrew, we loaded out and said our goodbyes. We were off to drive through the night yet again, so we could get to Dallas in time to get tattoos from the one and only Oliver Peck.
Stay tuned for Chapter Two
Watch the video for Arrested in El Paso Blues>