At the end of the last semi-angry, semi-bitter (well, mostly bitter) blog entry, I begged for Gainesville to redeem Florida in our eyes. The first thing that happened when we piled out of our van? We noticed this:
Our non-problematic trailer tire finally joined his asshole trailer tire brother in breaking our balls by somehow tearing off a strip of tread right down the middle of its ass. At this point in the tour, though, changing a tire is like breathing, so we didn't even have to disturb the bro-ier members of URIZEN while they watched preliminary UFC bullshit on not one, but two goddamn screens!
|Meanwhile, Matt stared off into space and longed for the embrace of death|
Right when we pulled up, we were greeted by booking agent/soundman/light operator/videographer/every-goddamn-thing-in-that-club mastermind Ed. I'm going to spoil the ending of this blog right now and tell you that Ed single-handedly redeemed the state of Florida and the entire independent club circuit in our eyes, because he was that awesome.
|That's Ed, wading through all of our garbage|
|For the sake of completion, we'll say that the guy in white is Matt|
Well, as the fates of touring have dictated many times in the past, both of the other bands that were supposed to be on the bill with us had their vans die on them, and we were left as the sole band in a foreign land. Our immediate assumption was that Ed would, understandably, cancel the show. I mean, why go through all the hassle of putting the show on when only one band had showed up?
Luckily, we had underestimated the awesomeness of Ed, and he logically argued that we were there, he was there, and we might as well have a goddamn show! And so it was that a band from Texas played a show by themselves 1,000 miles away from home, and we had a blast doing it. And much to our surprise, people came! And people stayed! Then after the show, people bought stuff and asked us to sign their newly-bought stuff!
Long after we finished playing, there was one fan, a retired Marine, who had stuck around because he insisted on buying us all a drink. He talked about how lucky he felt to have seen us, and how much he admires us for "having the balls" to hit the road and share our music with people like him. He called us some of the "chosen few;" the people who inspire others with their music and spirit. I'm not sure how the other guys took it, but it really did mean a lot to me. This guy had been enjoying live music for upwards of 30 years, and to know that we had that big of an impact on him was a special feeling. When we parted, he held up his copy of Autocratopolis and said, "I'm going to spread the word about you guys. I'm going to show you to everyone I know."
So the lesson here is that, yes, sometimes shows suck. And yes, sometimes club owners are total fuckwads who piss on your face if you don't bring in the drinkin' fans. But sometimes you'll run across places like the Backstage Lounge, where you'll meet people like Ed and his soundman Daniel, and you'll understand that there really are still people out there who do what they do for the pure love of music. It's not always about money with everyone. People like Ed will make sure you leave with $40 in gas money just because he appreciated the experience. And people like Ed, and Daniel, and the Marine, those are the people that we will continue doing this for. Because a community of music lovers still exists in this country. You just have to wade through the turds like Julie at Pegasus to get to the places that really matter.