TRANSMISSION 8.17.2009 DUDEFEST WEEKEND
7.17.2009 Columbus, OH 2030 Hr
We arrived about an hour ago and loaded in. It’s happy hour and the place is packed with collegiate-looking people. Columbus is a college town apparently. I wonder how the show is going to be tonight. The promoter seemed cool and a lot of good bands have played here but this crowd is beat. It appears that everyone has been drinking for a long time, it’s Friday night and that’s the kind of thing that people do in a college town.
We left Brooklyn at around 1000 hr this morning. Somewhere close to the Pennsylvania border my ABS light went on. I had noticed that there was some friction in the front end of the van while we were driving. We pulled over and tried to find a mechanic to check it out but the venture was fruitless, not enough reliable intel and a tightening schedule forced us back on the road.
I called ahead to Jason McCash; he’s the kind of guy that would know a good mechanic in Indianapolis. It turned out that his brother Charlie is a mechanic and specializes in vans. He’s working on the Gates of Slumber van right now.
I just shooed away some kid that was leaning on our merch and texting. I look at this younger, up and coming generation and really bum out. This country is in trouble is these are the people that are going to be running the show in the future. I was as cool to the kid as I could be but I wanted to beak his jaw. I wonder what his parents are like. I observe a lot of parents when I’m at home and it becomes clear to me why these kids suck so much.
A handful of people showed up and I think we did an adequate job tonight. We played a lot of brand new material so there was that uncertainty. Either way, I’m just glad to be out here playing as hard as I can. We have to be on the road not later than 0700 hr. I have a wake up call at 0630 hr. Indianapolis is a bout 3 – 4 hours away. Load in is at 1100 hr.
7.18.2009 Indianapolis, IN 1130 hr
We’ve been in front of the Emerson Theater for about an hour. The dudes from Gaza are here as well as this guy that told me that he owned the theater. The ride up was uneventful. We stopped at Starbucks on the outskirts of Indianapolis to get coffee and some food. I pounded two of those large sized coffees and ate an egg and cheese wrap.
We don’t play until about 1730 but we have e to load in and get our merch set up. There’s a huge lineup of bands playing today. I’m really excited to see Portraits of Past and Buried Inside. We’re touring Europe with Buried Inside in the fall so it would be cool to talk to those guys.
Kids are starting to show up. There’s still no sign of Derek, the mastermind of this whole thing.
We played really well. The new songs are sinking in a little more and I think we’re getting comfortable playing them. It was still a little shaky up there but the only way that you can overcome that is playing pushing your comfort level and playing them live.
Earlier, McCash picked me up and we drove the van to his brother’s house so he can have a look at it. About 5 minutes after we drove a way he reported back to us that the front bearing needed to be replaced. He estimated that we had about a 50% chance of getting back to New York. We were lucky to have the McCash Brothers in our corner. We could have brought the van to a PEP Boys and the whole thing could have easily run us $1000.00 or more. I’ve never been one for the Brightside, but I have to say that it meant a lot to me for Charlie to step up on a Saturday and fix the van.
On the downside, I ended up missing a few of the bands that I wanted to see. Portraits of Past play later.
I’m trying to keep my eyes open so I can get this all in. Portraits of Past blew my mind. I was up front for the entire set. The music is timeless and out of time. It’s from a different era. It made me miss the 90’s and how it used to be. I’m sitting here in McCash’s living room feeling like anything good is a million miles away. I feel like I wasted a lot of time and now I’m just a ghost on the endless road to nowhere.
I remember how I used to feel. I remember the way I let myself be open to people but I’ve hardened myself over the years and learned to stay inward and focus on not needing anyone. When I play, it’s about getting as far away from people as I can. It the music of a weak insecure man who is afraid of having any real, lasting personal connections. When I witnessed the Portraits of Past set, I felt like the intent was to connect and express cathartic emotion. The whole crowd was in this vibe, this really heavy emotional trip. I was caught up in it as well.
After the show, we went to this DIY space across town to check out an impromptu Ice Nine reunion. This was an unexpected development. I’ve known all of those guys except for the singer and drummer for a long time. Ice Nine never made it to the northeast so this was my only chance to see them. When they hit the stage it was like a bomb dropped. The crowd went nuts and there were kids flying across the stage and dance floor. They played like it was the last time. You could feel the energy with every note.
I need to get some sleep. Tomorrow is a 14 plus hour drive back to New York.