I’ve recently noticed that my pre-show mood has been declining steadily since I left for tour back in September. Where once I was bright-eyed and bushy-spirited, now I am a dark cloud of brooding silence who wishes for nothing more than to be left alone while playing Angry Birds. Industry friends have informed me that this is a critical stage of the transformative process one goes through when becoming a “pro.” I believe the answer is far less profound: failure to eat at Biscuitville. Hopes for improvement at tonight’s NekoCon event are dim, as we have passed into Virginia with nary a greasy wrapper in sight.
All has not been doom and gloom, however, as our shows in North Carolina with the ThoughtCriminals were both rousing successes. First up was the world-famous Milestone, one of our standbys, which makes up for its extremely rustic decor with extremely excited fans (who jump!) and an awesome staff. In addition to the ‘Criminals and Brandon, the night’s revelry was augmented by the considerable talents of Keyza Soulsay and MC Exactly. Also at the event were our friends Melody and Mike, who hosted us on our last time through. It is one of the great pleasures of touring to see people we would not otherwise run into. Another great pleasure is post-show dance parties, which are the finest of all stress relievers, so long as you like to dance. Sorry, Mike!
Luckily everyone loves biscuits and eggs, which were made fresh for us the following morning by the evening’s host, ThoughtCriminals bassist Alan Erickson. Thank you, Alan! Sadly, our young, sleepy-headed sound guy slept in and missed the biscuit boat. Oh noes! Clearly we needed to get him to a Waffle House, stat. But wait, wait – Brandon needed to go to a gaming store “just off the interstate” to pick up some Magycke-o-ye-groups-of-people booster packs in order to convince Front to play, despite a low likelihood of success. It was also out of character for me, as driver, to give in to one of Brandon’s oh-come-on-it-will-only-take-two-seconds-even-though-it-is-totally-out-of-our-way schemes, but on this day I was feeling kindhearted. O, the foolery! Due to a mixture of bad GPS data and generally poor research skills, we ended up spending an hour trying to find the alleged card store and totally failing to get Mike something to eat. Just as we had given up, and right about the point where I started to develop my own hangerous urge, we spotted the store, which was thankfully located in a strip mall with food purveyors who had stuff without vegetables.
Then it was a straight shot to Chapel Hill, home to yet another of our super-awesome music pals I Was Totally Destroying It. We had heard from friends who had previously played the Nightlight that there might be some issues with the sound system, and we were not disappointed. Why? Because our very own MacGuyver, a.k.a. 56k, a.k.a Mike Lombardo managed to not only fix the broken monitor speaker but also did an impromptu amp switchover when the main PA head blew up. What would we do without this man? As a sign of our sincere gratitude, we allowed him to run some Coheed and Cambria through the sound system. The resulting headaches and dysentery were worth it. Well, almost.
Sadly it was our last show on tour with the Thought Criminals. Fare thee well, gentle law-breakers! Their set was, as per usual, frothing with vim and vigor. I’m trying to recall if anything noteworthy happened during Brandon’s set, and other than some unsilent hooligans to stage right getting all up in his mojo, everything went off without a hitch. The act right before Front was the white-hoodie-and-sweatpants-clad Juan Huevos – which means “John of the Eggs” – who vigorously hopped about while rapping into an echo machine in front of some sweet video backdrops by local artist Jessye McDowell. Our set was, as usual, a stellar display of both showmanship and virtuosic musical ability, with just a dash of improvisatory genius. Right? Am I off at all with that description? OF COURSE I AM NOT. End of story.
Our evening was capped off first with a visit to the Time-Out Restaurant for biscuits, chicken and the chance to actually hear someone make an unwitting cultural reference re: someone else’s large posterior. At least, I think it was unwitting. The person looked fairly witless. Then, greasy food in hand, we headed over to IWTDI’s newest rock palace, where bassist and cheery host Joe Mazzitelli greeted us with a bottle of Johnny Walker and a thirst for conversation and general revelry. The next day we all had a thirst for water and ibuprofen. And I for scribery! And thus ends the story of this blog entry. How very meta.