As stated in my first blog, nothing about being on tour is 100 percent confirmed until it’s actually happening. Lo and behold, a few things fell through, a few plans were rearranged and a week and one flight later, I was in Salt Lake City for my first official day of tour on July 7.

I’ll start by saying 32 hours is a long time to be awake. Coupled with Utah heat early in the day and winds later, I was sleep deprived and covered in a film of sweat and dirt by 6 p.m. I. Was. Miserable.

If this was how it was going to be every day for the next seven weeks, how was I going to survive? And why did I even bother bringing my flatiron?

Earlier in the day I met up with the Photo Atlas boys, my first ride-along/test subjects for Warped, trying my best to look at least somewhat presentable. The important thing to know here as that I didn’t know these guys personally at all before arranging this and had never even seen them play live, let alone met them.

As soon as I introduced myself at their merch table, I was greeted with big smiles and guitarist Bill Threlkeld making sure I was down to hang out with them. Later that night I was freshly showered and sleeping in their friend’s guest bed in Laramie, on the way to our next date in Denver. There, we were met with lightning, rain and humidity, but hey, I was with friends now.

They didn’t know me and surely didn’t have to go out of their way to be accommodating, but over the course of these first two days, they treated me the same way they would any of their friends. They were entirely unguarded around me, maybe unwisely so, but I think that says a lot about their character.

Some bands treat all the additional work of being in a band like it’s a chore, some walk around with a sense of entitlement and some are just comprised of awful human beings. I could name a few people and bands on this year’s tour that exhibit one or more of the above, if I wanted to be mean, or when an appropriately paying book deal is offered.

It’s easy to tell which bands don’t buy into the drama and industry nonsense, though, and those are the ones that make my job worthwhile. I might have contemplated throwing in the towel after my first day out, but day two has reaffirmed my faith that I can get through this.