ON TOUR FOREVER – DAY SEVEN
It seems like popular culture is in love right now. In love with the romanticism of our species’ extinction. Like a well produced porn flick, we have Hollywood churning out films glamorizing the planet’s peril and our own demise. It’s almost like a nihilistic feedback loop inspired by that ancient of calendars that the Maya so conveniently left behind or maybe it’s a product of our own subconscious intuition. Is the end nigh? Personally, the mantra that the ‘end is the beginning’ holds more truth in my mind, but as to our fate only the angels can see the cards at play.
I awoke in the van, having slept there with Peter. Generally that spot is reserved for Dustin who feels more at home slumbering on the back bench seat but he passed out early and hard in the motel and I didn’t feel like hearing the snore chorus all night long. So we decided to head out and hold down the fort. In the morning I still had the theft hangover from the night before. The clouds had moved in on the bay and the sky was overcast. My phone was dead and I didn’t know what time is was, only that I still felt like sleeping. Sometime after noon, Aaron came and told us that oatmeal and coffee would be ready soon so we got up and headed back to the room the hit the restart button and try again.
We went to the grocery store for lunch and I picked up a new phone charger. I feel that might be the fourth one I’ve had to purchase. Someone is getting rich on that shit. We had an early load in so we were on the road back into Oakland by 5pm, destination Eli’s Mile High Club. It wasn’t that far away from the Stork Club, place of the previous night’s shit show. We illegally parked and unloaded our gear on the sidewalk and then reparked the van across the street. It would be the second night playing with AntikYtherA, some local bros from Portland. Bay area band Dark Earth, who also played the previous night, would be joining us again. We loaded inside, Dustin set up the projector, and we went out to the van to eat and make sure nobody was interested in fucking with it. The show started early because the venue had to basically shut down by 11pm. Why? I have no idea.
People were slow to arrive, but by the time third band Wild Eyes set up and started there was a decent crowd. They were rockingly awesome and really helped lube the audience up for us to go on last. We got onstage and The Dean’s high hat stand sort of fell apart. One of the drummers (sorry, forget who) was kind enough to loan us his for our set. And speaking of failures, the floor tom’s leg came loose during a song, the bottom head of the snare exploded towards the end of the set, and before we even got onstage one of the rides fell to the floor, landing directly on it’s edge and giving the cymbal a nice curvature on the end. Sweet. But all things considered, it was a fantastic show. We met some really nice people and had a good old time.
While loading out I was lucky enough to see a black sports car speeding down the road and screeching it’s tires into a hard right turn onto a side street while a squad car sans sirens was in hot pursuit. I figured it’s all par for the course considering where we were at. There are a lot of genuinely really awesome people in Oakland and the city seems ripe with culture and possibility. But there’s an undertow that is present as well. Some might use words like “poverty” or “racial divide” or who the fuck knows what else. Even though we got jacked the night before, it’s hard to draw strong conclusions about a place we know very little about, other than awareness is the best asset one can have. Lesson learned.
Later on we got the bad news that Wild Eyes, some of the sweetest people we’ve met so far, got in an accident while returning to SF. Originally, they wanted to party with us but the driver stayed sober to drive because he had to work early in the morning. We waved goodbye to them when they left, having already talked about returning to the Bay in the future to do another show together. No one was critically hurt other than the van itself. We wish them a speedy recovery and hopefully the van Gods are feeling generous.
The overarching emotion on this trip thus far has been highly positive, but the more we travel, the more we recognize the knife’s edge we ride on. At any turn, on any corner, anything can happen. Hopefully our intention is benevolent enough to help carry the torch into prosperous waters. Is the winter’s solstice, just a little over a month away, really as the paranoid would claim as prophecy of the end? I suppose we’ll have to wait until that fateful day in late December when the sun is at it’s lowest point in the sky. Maybe we can all score some DMT, get out of the city, and make the best of an unpredictable situation by traveling the 4th dimension and dancing with the aliens.
‘Till next time!