Campbell Youngblood-Petersen

NYC based Composer, Drummer, and Percussionist

Shedding Skin Tour Days 1 & 2: Yeah, yeah, yeah, Tennessee.

Vajra has embarked on yet another tour! This time around we're heading down to Dallas to play the Texas Showdown Festival with Buckcherry and Sick Puppies, and we're playing a few dates along the way.

Photo credit: Max Sequeira  

Photo credit: Max Sequeira  

We are fortunate to have left in good conditions this time around. Unlike the insane blizzard we departed in a few months ago, this time was sunny and clear, but it wouldn't be a Vajra tour without some transportation trouble. After getting only a couple of hours from NYC, we got stuck in standstill traffic near the NJ/DE border. It was hands down the worst traffic I have ever been in, and was a real test of all of our patience/sanity. With nothing to do but sit in the immovable madness, there was only one solution: deep, deep breaths. Good thing Zeppelin was on the radio!

Sittin'.  

Sittin'.  

Fast forward five hours and we had arrived at the culprit of the delay: the Delaware Memorial Bridge undergoing repair for three broken suspender ropes. Ominous vibes abounded as the sun set behind the bridge. Hundreds of birds circled the crawling cars, and there was something very Hithcockian about it all. I couldn't help but entertain thoughts of the bridge collapsing directly beneath our wheels. Inch by inch, Beatrix- the name of the van for you newcomers- got us across unscathed, and we rolled on toward the Carolinas!

Beautiful nightmare Photo credit: Danny Rojo/Max Sequeira

Beautiful nightmare

Photo credit: Danny Rojo/Max Sequeira

Finally making it over the bridge was a triumphant moment, but the feeling quickly dissapated as we remembered the seven hour drive awaiting us. Nothing like getting to the hotel at four in the morning. Tour life baby! I was the one who had the privilege of rocking the night shift, so I downed some 7-eleven coffee and grinded it out. 

Max captured my feelings by the end of the night perfectly.  

Max captured my feelings by the end of the night perfectly.  

A seven hour drive and three hour sleep later, we were up and at em' in Fayetteville, NC. Everyone was excited to rock some face at The Rock Shop, but it was not happening without a serious hand stand session outside the venue first. 

The aforementioned session   Photo credit: Max Sequeira  

The aforementioned session  

Photo credit: Max Sequeira  

Vajra had played The Rock Shop only a few months beforehand, and getting to return so soon was truly a pleasure. The venue is a hub for all types of creative people; from musicians to visual artists, skateboarders to MCs. It is owned by Shawn Atkins- a great drummer in his own right- and features the legendary pooch Noser. So legendary in fact, that we need to take a second to observe a couple of pics:

Frontman Noser with owner Shawn on the drums 

Frontman Noser with owner Shawn on the drums 

The legendary pooch in the flesh   Photo credit: Max Sequeira

The legendary pooch in the flesh  

Photo credit: Max Sequeira

The gig itself was our first with bassist Danny Rojo, and was a ton of fun. Danny picked the music up very quickly while simultaneously adding his own element. This made for a fresh performance with a nice balance of familiarity and improvisation. 

Danny the man   Photo credit: Max Sequeira

Danny the man  

Photo credit: Max Sequeira

Danny and guitarist Dave Sussman   Photo credit: Max Sequeira

Danny and guitarist Dave Sussman  

Photo credit: Max Sequeira

Tour life is a combination of excitement, rushing to wait, and sleep deprivation. In true form we packed up immediately after the Rock Shop gig and drove two hours towards Knoxville. Woof! 

Vocalist Annamaria Pinna in Fayetteville 

Vocalist Annamaria Pinna in Fayetteville 

Before I wrap up, I want to mention how devastated everyone in Vajra is to learn of Prince's passing. Though this technically happened on day three of our tour, we had just learned the sad news at the time of writing. This blog- and our show tonight in Knoxville- are both dedicated to that incredible artist formerly known as Prince. We will be paying subtle tribute to the master throughout the week. Thanks for reading!

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