End of the Road: catching up with the tour bus struggles of mewithoutYou - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
mewithoutYou | Photo by Rocco Peditto for WXPN | roccopeditto.com

Last Friday, we lost an icon in the music world.

Philly punk favorite’s mewithoutYou, while on tour with Brand New across Canada, broke down somewhere in the Canadian Mountains. As in their tour bus literally broke down. And this wasn’t your average overheated engine or flat tire. A mechanic in Kamloops, British Columbia told the band what the cost of repairs would be, and they were faced with a harsh reality — it would cost less to buy and refurbish a new bus than it would to fix the one they’ve loved for so many years. It was time to say goodbye.

mewithoutYou had been touring in the flower-laden bus for about a decade, and over the years it became more than just a means of transportation between gigs. On a fundraising page to help cover the expenses for their revised travel methods, they told the story of how this bond came to be:

Before us our bus had been owned by a high school in Oklahoma. It rolled up to Philadelphia to meet us at the Electric Factory ten years with “Altus Bulldogs” plastered on the side of it. Since then we gutted the interior and built it back up from nothing. It became backdrop to our lives as a band, a place where this dream was gonna come true. We wanted to be hands on with this thing, be creative and do things with a different spirit… make it an extension of us.

Since the demise of the beloved bus on Friday, things haven’t been easy for the band. They’ve been forced to make due with other vehicles, like a U-Haul truck, through thousands of miles of the Canadian abyss, all the while chronicling the journey on Twitter.

It’s a shame the bus couldn’t return to Philadelphia one more time. After all, it only had a week until mewithoutYou comes home — XPN welcomes them to Underground Arts next Thursday, June 16th for another installment of the Red Bull Sound Select concert series (RSVP here). If you’re new to the legend of mewithoutYou’s bus, or just want to cherish its lasting memory, check out the virtual tour below. Just make sure you have some tissues handy because things could get emotional.

In related tour van news, another great touring act out of Philadelphia – Spirit of the Beehive – has had its share of vehicular drama this spring. It sounds from its Twitter like the band is on the road and moving again after a break-down crisis yesterday on the way to SLC, but we’ll keep an eye on things and will report if they find themselves stranded in the Rockies.

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