I'm sitting alone at a cafe in Sydney, Australia, drinking a cappuccino, and reflecting on the craziest week of my life. I have finally recovered from the jet lag and have a chance to take it all in.
Last Tuesday, we finished one of the funnest tours of my life with our friends 3OH!3 in Los Angeles, my new home city. After many months on the road, I watched the sunrise with my little brother and some of my best friends as we sang 90’s songs on my favorite front porch. It was a night so legendary I slept through three alarms and almost missed my flight to NYC the next morning. Thankfully, after a strenuous year of travel, the airport gods granted me my first delayed flight in my favor and I boarded the plane at the last minute.
Landing in New York was a whirlwind. We missed all the rehearsals for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade because we were on tour. In true Summer Set fashion, we were going into the most monumental moment of our career totally cold, literally and figuratively. Looking back, I wouldn't have it any other way.
I slept for about two hours before I had to wake up Thursday morning. New York City surely knows how to get the best of me, even on a Wednesday night. I scrambled to put on my bright red suit and rushed downstairs to our car and headed to our float. I was delirious and it still hadn't hit me that this was going be the craziest day of my life. All I was thinking about was coffee.
It all happened so fast after that. There we stood, five out-of-our-element, freezing cold kids from Arizona on the corner of Central Park West and 77th Street, waiting to step onto our float...a giant replica of Mt. Rushmore. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
We ascended onto Mt. Rushmore and our song "Maybe Tonight" started playing as the float began moving. It was like hearing our song for the first time all over again. We were underway and I was suddenly overwhelmed with happiness.
Along with most of America, I woke up early and watched this parade every year on Thanksgiving morning. When I was watching the parade on TV in my living room, I never realized how many people filled the streets of NYC on Thanksgiving morning. It's surreal. Every side street and avenue is a sea of people that goes back hundreds of yards. Families lean out their windows with orange juice in hand, watching the streets below. 3.5 million people crowd the streets of New York City every year for this. People gathering like that every year truly restores one’s faith in the human race. We're all incredible people at heart.
So, there I was, feeling more important than ever before, waving and smiling effortlessly despite the wind chill and the lack of sleep for 40 remarkable blocks. Once we got to 36th Street, a producer from NBC handed me a microphone and said that, when we turned the corner at 34th Street, we were live.
The slow-motion right turn onto 34th Street was magical. TV cameras and lights and decor flood the block outside Macy's. It was like seeing Disneyland for the first time. We played 90 seconds of my favorite song, “Lightning In a Bottle,” to 50 million TV viewers. Among those 50 million were our families, our best friends, and, of course, our die-hard fans all over the country. It was the proudest moment of my life and it went flawlessly.
The parade was over, but we had no time to celebrate. In a mad dash, we headed right back to the airport to embark on 20 hours of travel to Australia in order to arrive just in time for our first Warped Tour Australia show in Coff’s Harbour. We had a quick celebratory drink in the JFK Delta Sky Lounge and we were off.
I haven't been home for Thanksgiving in 4 years, but knowing the people I love were watching The Summer Set during the greatest adventure of our lives was enough. It was a Happy Thanksgiving indeed.
What did you think of our performance and the parade?
Frank Iero fans, we asked you to submit your questions for the former My Chemical Romance guitarist, and you did not disappoint, leaving us hundreds of inquiries for the musician. Before heading on tour with Taking Back Sunday and the Used, Frank popped into our HQ to sit down for a PV Fan Q&A.