We’ve been lucky to meet some awesome people on this tour, like Jim the GWAR truck driver. He let us stay in his hotel room the night before our much anticipated show at the Rave in Milwaukee.
Notice a name missing? I guess were are not as anticipated as I thought. No problem, we will make numbskulls of these Milwaukeeans yet. I mean, it’s not like there’s fuck all to do there anyway, except get sprayed with blood one night and Faygo the next. Oh, and one can visit the home of Frederik Pabst, creator of the cheap swill we rushed to buy before 9 pm (Milwaukee’s inexplicable cut off time) the night before. Admission is twice that of getting a six pack. I opted for the six pack.
The day of the show, we grabbed Jim and headed for a matinee of The Thing. Good enough, but not great. At least it wasn’t a remake, but a thought out prequel. It was nice to do something vaguely normal in between all these shows and night drives.
The show itself was a lot of fun, other than all the power turning off during our set and people from the crowd wandering to the backstage where people had valuables. To make it more fun, I pretended it was the old Milwaukee Metal Fest and that we were being extorted a grand to play opposite Opeth or something. Ah, the good ol’ days.
We drove out a bit and got a cheap hotel for what turned out to be just a few hours. I woke up around 7 am and like a jolt remembered we had to cross back over to EDT. We were going to lose an hour. Never mind that we didn’t even check our tour book about the early load in because of FOUR local acts playing. We were afraid of being read the riot act when we arrived late in Detroit, but ETID was even later. And the locals even later than that. We were the least irresponsible! Yay!
Harpo’s in Detroit… there is no bigger venue that is so horribly ill-prepared to put on a big show. They didn’t have enough mic’s, not to mention the ones they did put up didn’t work. They had locals on two stages in the same room playing Blink 182 covers in between the touring acts’ line check. Total bullshit. Luckily, ETID’s great sound tech, John, has taken to helping us as a means to help himself & ETID keep the show going.
But the Detroit people… they know how to fuck shit up. The crowds were awesome for everyone, if not even a bit too rowdy for GWAR. Oderous yanked one potential stage diver off stage and threatened another guy who threw shit at him. I confirmed the next day that he has indeed fully beat the shit outta unruly bohabs in full GWAR attire.
For my part, I enjoyed our stage invader, a 9 year-old who I lifted up in my arm to be cheered by the crowd of hundreds. They were probably disappointed when I handed him back to his dad instead of drop kicking him.
Awesome crowd… and I was told far less Nazi punks than normal. Oh boy, all those swastika tattoos sure do stick out after just one has been shown to you. Way to go, Detroit. Luckily, we met Brian and Kate who loved Dystopia so much they hugged Dino and offered us a place to stay. They also made us flap jacks and eggs the next day. Faith in humanity restored via breakfast fixins.
Only to have your faith destroyed once again in Indianapolis…
Just kidding, Indianapolis. I realize mENSA scouts aren’t exactly clammoring to check out any GWAR shows for potential members. I was happy to see my old MDF buddy Erica, as well as my buddy Adam I had met when Ludicra rolled through before. The show was a lot of fun, but the dick bag who was begging for a $2 discount on one of our cheap ass shirts because he “just spent $140 on Every Time I Die merch!” can bite me. My rage was quickly dispelled by the kitties at Adam and his girl Weronika’s house.
After driving through Chicago twice, we finally got to play there the next day. We played the House of Blues, or House of Stairs as Jizmak referred to it. It is an amazing rock star style, if not tiring, venue. It takes up five stories from loading dock to penthouse backstage. My legs still hurt. There were back stages tucked away for everyone, a top notch crew, awesome dinner, showers, and even secluded booths in the mezzanine where we enjoyed watching GWAR like second-rate Statler and Waldorfs.
Notice the lack of wires on stage. I have to admit, for years I’ve dismissed wireless systems as fucking rock star BS. After having a klutz dressed as 7′ tall robot knock your cables out night after night, I’m rethinking wireless systems as god damned practical. Andy from Every Time I Die also uses a Hughes and Kettner Red Box, a DI speaker simulator for guitar that eliminates the need for a mic in front of the guitar cab. Pretty cool, but not very punk. Apparently for us, punk is getting constantly unplugged and having gear break down. It’s hard to be so TRV3.
After the show, we were supposed to stay with my friend Will from Indian. The show ended early in accordance with Chicago laws regarding all-ages shows. I thought it was a good time to get some sleep and recover some health before the next slog of drives. GWAR and ETID had other ideas and took my boys out for some self-medication. I woke up alone in the van, still parked in the morlock tunnel underneath the House of Blues. Around 3 am everyone returned with stories of penthouse hotel suites, VIP rooms at the Hard Rock, and lots of alcohol. I’d gotten the short straw and it was placed in a cup of coffee for what became another night drive.
Delerious the next morning and with a few hours to spare, I was pulled onto Route 66 by giant statues aside an antique mall.
The Pink Elephant antique mall was a fun visit. We made a bunch of new friends with the locals who were likely afraid of our large pockets on first glance. Nothing more adorable than a metal head antiquing.
I was happy to find and buy everyone Not heads. Yo Charlie, watch the beat!
We ended up early at the show in Sauget, right outside St. Louis. I passed right the fuck out and woke up in time for soundcheck. Pop’s is big club surrounded by industry and strip clubs. Everyone was seeking grub, but it was only by delivery, save for the Penthouse strip club next door that was manned by a 4-star chef. I headed over and gained free entrance with my tour badge. I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful pasta primavera with a side of three topless girls simulating sex with each other to a techno backbeat. All class.
We’ve had a lotta luck with shows so far. By that bar, this show was a disaster. First, nobody remembered to wake a slumbering Scott until one minute before we hit the stage. Then, after Sean announced the first song, Dan discovered the power on his side of the stage was off. I lost my strap on the first note. Sean broke a string. I had a pedal failure and had to get into a monkey – robot fight to fix it while holding up a crumbling mic stand. When it thankfully ended, the crowd showed us all due patience and didn’t boo.
The revelers of the night before, Dino, Sean, and Dan, were assigned the night drive ahead of us on hungover tummies. The price of living large. After an uneventful ride back north to more cold and rain, the Twin Cities loom in the foreground and I’m bundled in my Snuggie. I wish it was a superior Slanket, because this tour is likely to get colder and wetter as we head back towards the Great White North.
Doktor Ross Sewage
filling in at the Creepsylvania Hospital’s traveling burn ward