Thunder Child Tour Conclusion

3/16/2009 2:00 PM

Bah! Back in East Lansing at Owen Hall. I’m supposed to be working but after making sure it wasn’t 100% necessary for me to paint anything I put my “street” clothes back on and read “Get in the Van” in the cafeteria. I had what felt like the worst headache of my life as I rode my bike into East Lansing today. I wanted to just keel over and lay in the grass and vomit. Everyone on campus would just walk by… that guy’s in pain but it doesn’t concern my superficial quest for self-satisfaction so I’ll ignore him. I hate college. I’m glad I work in the building I work at though… Owen Hall is a grad student hall and is comprised mostly of international students and other people who don’t give a fuck about the pathetic college lifestyle. I talk to some of these people and a lot of them are actually concerned with gaining knowledge and helping people instead of the petty moneymongering bullshit that my undergraduate student peers obsess over in between getting wasted and empty sex.

Wow, I’ve been reading way too much Rollins. Sorry. The days immediately following tour are always really lame, and this tour was such an amazing time. This day-to-day existence is so hollow and lifeless, and I would give so much to just get back in the van and play a show every night. The last show of the tour in Jamestown was really weird. The folk duo, Nate and Kate, that opened the show played probably a little longer than they should have, and then bailed immediately because they had another show down the street. They were good though, and seemed like really nice people, so I wasn’t upset at them or anything. The place was pretty small, so we didn’t load-in until right before we played, so we were already struggling to keep people in the room as we had to set bring everything and set up. We were coming along though, until Hattie realized that her kick drum pedal was still in Syracuse. Of course, this happens at the only show that we’re not playing with another full band, so we can’t just borrow one. Hattie asked the guys working the counter if they could help us out, and they called a friend who said he’d bring a kick drum pedal by in 15 minutes. Cool. We didn’t want to wait around and lose more of the crowd though, so we started playing songs that would have been tailored for an acoustic set, but we were still full band electric. It was pretty cool. We played “Shy” and “All That You’ll Be” from “Whatevers Forever” as well as the song “Exercise in Humility” that we’re currently recording for the next whatever we do. People seemed to be enjoying it, and then halfway through “All That You’ll Be” one of the guys working the counter brought in a kick drum pedal. Hattie put the pedal in place, and we kicked into “Sing Along.” It felt so great to be back in that zone. Comfort in the sound. We played a few more and really started cooking, and I wasn’t really paying attention to the room as I was just getting into the set. I finally looked up and there was one person in the room. There was another room where the coffee bar and some tables were, and I knew people were in there, but it was a strange jolt. For some reason, I just got more pumped and we launched into some new songs, and the one guy in the room left. I started laughing as we played, and we went into “Medic.”  Nich and I just started running around the empty room as we played the song, jumping off of furniture and having a blast. Of course, while I say the room was empty, James was in there filming the set, which should make some entertaining viewing. We just kept playing, and finally one of the guys working came into the room and sat down. I thought he was going to tell us to quit because everyone hated us, but instead he told us that people had been buying CDs and shirts as they left. Haha!!! The other guy working came in and we asked them what they wanted to hear, and we played a few more songs just for those guys. We closed the show, and the tour with the 45 second whirlwind of “Gaia.” Both of the guys working bought some CDs and shirts as well, and we chilled with them for awhile. It would have been cool to hang out with them some more and check out some bars, but we were kind of anxious to get back home. Jeremy told us to play in Jamestown because the people there were really cool. He was right. What a strange show. One of the guys working told us to stop at Waffle House in Painesville, OH, and since it just isn’t tour without a trip to Waffle House, we planned on it.

The drive home was, well, a drive home. I drank way too much coffee throughout the day, so I felt like I was going to throw up. I got a ginger ale to settle my stomach when we stopped to get gas, and lamented that no one makes a ginger ale like Vernor’s, which you just can’t find most places outside of Michigan. We stopped at the Waffle House and I got some hash browns with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms, or peppered, diced, capped, and somethinged if you know your Waffle House lingo. They had a sign in their window that said “Go Cavs” which from the parking lot looked a lot like “Go Gays,” which would have made them the coolest town ever. Either they’re just very supportive of the LGBT community, or every Friday night the town crams onto the high school football field to cheer on the Painseville Gays. Alas, twas not to be.

On the drive home we listened to “Legend” by Bob Marley and the Wailers, “Fever to Tell” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (again), a David Cross stand up album, random songs selected by James (including “Six Pack” by Black Flag and tour theme song “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis”) and finally, a repeat of the first half of “Bleed American” by Jimmy Eat World. At 5 AM in a service plaza in Ohio, Nich prank called a hotel, saying that he needed one room for a 15 piece hispanic folk band, it had to be one room, and money was not an issue. Nothing like staying up all night and then fucking with other people that have also had to stay up all night. We got into Michigan, and I was doing my wierd half-sleep thing that I do in cars after being up all day, yearning for my bed, and James put on “Champagne Supernova.” For reasons impossible to explain, that song had been part of tour-long joke between Nich, James, and I. It was a super cheesy moment as I smiled in the back seat, reminiscing over our east coast adventures to that overblown psychedelic anthem of my youth. We got home around 8 AM, loaded in, and passed out.

It’s nice being back in Lansing. I like the way things move around here. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends. Cheap Girls was on tour the whole time we were, so I’m curious to talk to those guys and see how their tour went. It’s exciting to be part of this music scene right now… there’s a lot of great bands and a lot of cool people. Anyone who says the Lansing music scene is dead, or “needs help” (as I’ve seen in the Mac’s bathroom) is simply not trying and not looking.

Thank you Robbie, Paul, and friends in Baltimore, The Rivals, American Riot, Too Much Too Fast Too Soon, DEMO, Niki, Ian, Jeremy, Lee, Kinetic Stereokids, Portocal, Ryan and everyone at Cornell, Matt and the Syracuse crew, the guys in Jamestown, and everyone else (sorry I can’t think of everyone off the top of my head) that made this tour the best one yet. We’ll do it again. Soon. Forever.


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