Our Last Night spring 2014 tour update - Russia
After getting home from the Hoodie Allen tour at the start of December, it took like a week for me to want to get back out on the road. My good friend Curran, who works with both Hoodie and Our Last Night asked if I wanted to accompany OLN on their Russia/UK/Europe/Australia tour. No way I could say no to that. I left Minneapolis on January 27th to meet up with the guys at Trevor and Matt’s house in Boston. I tried to pack really light for a couple reasons - one being that we were going to be in a van with no trailer or anything, so space was limited, and the other being that we were going to be flying so much over the course of the trip and rule number one of traveling with camera gear is NEVER CHECK IT.
My Think Tank Airport Accelerator bag.
Minneapolis airport... the only city where it can be sunny and blizzarding at the same time.
I got into Boston at like 9 or so, and got to the guys’ place by 10. We were leaving the next morning at 4 am, so it was almost pointless to sleep. Trevor and Matt were recording the last of the vocals for the band’s newest cover which was Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” in Matt’s room where he’s got a recording setup, so I watched them do that for a while. Also the Grammy’s were on so we intermitently watched those too. Eventually a few of us crashed for like an hour before we woke up and caught a ride to the airport. We flew into New York first for a 6 hour layover. By this point we were all pretty exhausted for not sleeping in roughly 24 hours.
After our layover, we caught our plane straight to Moscow. This was a pretty lengthy flight (8 or 9 hours), but still most of us weren’t able to sleep for some reason - myself included. We got to Moscow and because of the crazy time difference it was like 8 in the morning or something. Andrey, the promoter, met us at the airport and picked us up with all our gear, which was good because we would be helpless in Russia not knowing the language or anything. We went to the hotel and tried to briefly sleep but we also really wanted to see Moscow, so we slept for a tiny bit and then went into the city to see Red Square.
It was amazing, and really cold. I wish it was warmer so we could have explored more or stayed longer but as its as we probably would have got frostbite. After looking around and having the promoter’s friend Roman show us around and tell us about the history of some of the buildings, he took us out to a nice Russian lunch. The food was amazing, and really not weird at all compared to what we eat in the US.
After that we went back to the hotel. At this point I don’t think any of us even knew how many hours it was since we last slept because of the crazy time difference, but I know I fell asleep trying to edit photos in bed at 7pm Russian time and didn’t wake up until like 10am the next morning. It was necessary sleep, but the kind that still leaves you tired when you wake up. We loaded up a van and headed to the venue, which was called Volta. It was a relatively new venue, and it was AMAZING. The stage lighting, setup of the venue, facilities, and everything were top notch. An equivalent venue that size in the US would be nowhere near as nice. Needless to say we were pretty excited for the show.
The guys had their first taste of Russian fans before the show. We did a first in line photo for Instagram and the guys were showered with presents like chocolates, amazing drawings, and tons of other gifts. That stuff doesn’t usually happen in the states or Europe, so it was an amazing and odd experience. I even got a gift - socks that say ‘Russia’ on them!
The show was absolutely insane. It was my first ever Our Last Night show, and I think it was a great one to start on. The guys sincerely thought it was one of the best shows the band has ever had in their existence. There were roughly 500 kids, which was mind-blowing. Think about coming to a place you’ve never been before and having 500 people screaming for you! Amazing. After the show it got crazy - the guys wanted to come out and meet everyone, which usually isn’t a problem at most shows, but everyone at the show wanted to meet them so when they came out security had to hold back barricades as the fans tried to push their way to the guys on the other site. There were camera flashes everywhere and people trying to get stuff signed… it was like a red carpet event or something, crazy.
After the show we quickly packed up and raced to the train station. We got an overnight train from Moscow to Saint Petersburg, which is an 8 hour train ride. Amazingly, a good number of fans took the train as well to see both shows despite them being 8 hours apart! I edited on the train and it had wifi which was so nice. I slept an hour or two but before I knew it we were arriving. The weird part about Russia is that it can be 10 in the morning but still dark outside, so it’s really hard to tell time. It felt like 5 am but it was like 9 am when we got there. As we got off the train there were a mob of 15-20 fans that had been waiting for the band at the station! It was FREEZING cold again, but they had been waiting all morning with gifts for the guys. It was so cool to see.
After meeting with the fans for a bit, we headed off to the hotel. It was a really nice place with really comfy beds. We grabbed breakfast there then slept for a bit and then went to the venue. It was another really nice place! And big. I was still really tired and so was everyone else. Trevor and I crashed for a bit.
The show was another amazing one. No surprise there. Afterward we went back to the hotel and went to the hotel bar for a little bit, then went back and slept. The next morning we packed up and headed to the airport. A few fans were waiting to greet us at the airport as well. Crazy.
The Russia trip went by so quickly, but it’s hard to believe we were only there for a few days because of how busy we were. Hopefully Russia is a place I can come back to sometime. I didn’t know what to expect really but I really loved it. I wish I spoke Russian, but the people we met were so nice and the buildings and architecture was so beautiful. Lots of incredible statues everywhere too. And good food. The traffic laws and parking policy (park wherever your car can fit even if it’s a sidewalk or courtyard) leave some room for improvement. All around a great and unique experience and I’m thankful to Our Last Night for taking me with!