Six Picks

with Crash Kings

“Six Amazing Places We Never Knew About And ‘Discovered’ On Tour”

For touring bands there are plenty of required stops, typically with a clearly plotted out itinerary of things to do and places to be. Even so, part of the joy of touring is seeing new locations and sometimes even taking a bit of a “scenic route” to get to the next destination, or perhaps even veering off course on a day off. Custard/Universal Motown rockers Crash Kings share with us six amazing places they found on tour.

1) Burlington, VT
We had just finished a show at Higher Ground in South Burlington, and a good friend of ours from Boston was at the show. He is an exceptional jazz guitarist, and told us about this really cool bar called the Radio Bean that just happened to have some great live jazz going on. It had a really cool rustic feel to it, with excellent beers on tap, and just a great local vibe. The musicians playing were extraordinary! It had been awhile since we had been exposed to some great jazz, so this was such a treat for us. We hung out with the players afterwards and talked jazz all night.

2) Deadwood, South Dakota
We were on tour opening for David Cook last summer and had a long drive from Casper, WY to Mitchell, SD. Looking on the map we got the idea to pass through the Black Hills National Forest since it was on the way. We stopped in Deadwood to grab a bite to eat and we instantly fell in love with the place. Deadwood was originally a settlement as a result of the Gold Rush and became an unruly and nearly lawless town in it’s hey day. Seeing as it was Jason’s birthday we decided to stay and treat ourselves to a night of gambling, dancing, drinking and cigars in the historic town. It was a pretty epic night. What might have been just another drive day on tour turned into a night we won’t soon forget.

3) Zion National Park
On route from Salt Lake City, UT back home to Los Angeles one time we stopped at Zion National Park right off the I15 hwy. Just a short drive up from the highway massive canyon walls surround you and you are instantly taken away from the monotonous highway drive. The red and orange colored rocks are true beauty. There are tiny waterfalls flowing off some of the rocks and hawks fly in and out of the enormous cliffs. We never would have thought this natural wonder existed right there off the highway.

4) Kelowna, British Columbia
We discovered this beautiful city while on tour with Stone Temple Pilots in Canada. It was our first show on the tour and after the long drive at night from Seattle we were very surprised to have ended up in such an amazing place having not seen any of the sights on the way in. Okanagan Lake runs alongside the downtown of Kelowna and the whole city is surrounded by mountains. We quickly made friends at the local bar and invited them to the show the next night. After the show we met up with our new friends and they took us out to a night in Kelowna and we fell in love with the city. The people and the beauty of this little city made it an amazing unknown find.

5) Columbus, OH
Before touring, none of us would have suspected that Columbus, Ohio was such a bustling little town. Everytime we come to Columbus we are greeted with open arms by the people there. Ohio State University is one of the largest in America and its not a wonder people hang out during the summer months. There are a ton of little bars and clubs to go to at night and it really has a lively atmosphere that you don’t get in every city. The venues in Columbus are also very nice – the Basement was the first venue we ever sold out on tour! The last time we played in Columbus we played at the Newport Music Hall – over 600 people showed up to the show. That crowd is one of our favorites as well as the radio station CD101 who have been huge supporters of us.

6) Andy’s Music Store Chicago, IL
We are always stopping in music stores while on tour. Sometimes its to pass time and sometimes we actually find some cool gear that we can use. Andy’s Music in Chicago was a totally different experience. They have instruments from all corners of the world. There’s a whole room filled with sitars as well as a room filled with gongs (Jason’s favorite). The whole basement floor is stocked with percussion instruments from all over. This place is almost part museum, part store. From the moment we walked in, we all turned into little boys running around playing all of the instruments. We stayed until we absolutely had to leave.

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Los Angeles based urban indie rockers Crash Kings (Universal Motown) recently posted a video for “You Got Me” off their self titled debut album. The track is the 2nd single from the album.  The video was directed by David Arquette. You can catch Crash Kings on tour with Anberlin this September – November.