Tag Archives: tour

Day 2 – part 2 – Descent into madness

So then, Joel noticed that most Rush songs sound like variations of the theme for Land of the Lost. This is foreshadowing.

At some point in Montana, we discover the van was on the verge of overheating. That adds a level of suspense to our journey, yet I fully expect the van to break down at some point. It had only gotten 4 hours of downtime at this point and we weren’t even halfway to our first destination.

Stuart tops off the radiator, and we hesitantly venture forth. The ambiant heat of the air outside is the most oppressive yet, but we know our delicate Seattle sensibilities have much more to endure.

The Montana sunset is glorious, lighting up the violet clouds in the distance. That night, we pull over to witness the massive blood red moon, the numerous Perseod meteor showers, and the edge of our galaxy. And we pee.

Jake does the calculations, and we are woefully behind schedule. We will be driving nonstop to Milwaukee.

After catching up on my shuteye, I take the helm at midnight. Joel is navigator. We enter the ominous region of North Dakota.

The last time I took this road trip, I managed to sleep through North Dakota, and awoke in Minnesota to the maniacal laughter of Susan’s celebration of exodus.

This time, karma strikes and I find myself in thick fog on a perfectly straight dagger of highway piercing into oblivion. I can’t tel the true depth of visibility, but I lurch forward with one eye on the road and one eye on the temperature guide. I’m balancing velocity and temperature.

Joel and I are astonished by the uncountable number of towering flood lights both near the highway, and in the distance. Through the fog, faint glows flicker and dance like UFOs. On the horizon, a colony of red lights randomly blink on, then cut off simultaneously. The moon is barely a blur above us. The highway continues on.

It occurs to me that I’m riffing on Joel’s concept of Land of the Lost, as written by Rush. It’s 4am, and now I’m just singing every single Rush song I can think of, replaced with Sleestacks, pylons, and dinosaurs. I run out of material, and sing Rush in Björk’s voice. I include Sleestacks.

We pass a tower billowing fog into the fog, and agree the lights would not be such a great investment without their industrial fog machine.

There are no towns, there are no gas stations. I switch to the backup gas tank.

Then the lights vanish. We careen forward in complete darkness, with the driver babbling incoherently in some imagined interview between NPR’s Corey Flintoff and Björk, regarding her new iPhone app that simultaneously calls the entire world to warn them of the Dragon in her tummy that is behaving well but getting a little restless.

It’s 6am, and we reach a gas station. I sleep.

Day 2 – Dama/Libra tour

So yeah, yesterday I got some flack for packing as much as for half the trip. But there was enough space, so no need to shuffle things around.

Last night we made it through Idaho, into Montana, and stopped at motel after motel–all full. We imagined the motels were filled with hundreds of bands, also touring.

We chatted with a guy wandering around a town at 4am, looking for his friend’s hotel. Only two in the town, so we wished him well. He seemed to be regretting his night of drinking and forgetting which hotel he was in.

Eventually, we stopped at a rest stop with a campground. Stuart slept on the top of the trailer like a boss. We slept inside all cramped but warm.

Today we drive endlessly beneath the open Montana skies. These are the childhood realms of Stuart and Joel, so we listen to eclectic tales of earlier times. Endless fields of hay and cattle, captured by craggy peaks in the distance.

We will be taking shifts, driving all night. We’re behind schedule, but in high spirits. Caffeine is our solace.

Day 1 – An attempt to leave Seattle

Okay we just need to leave town. At this point, that’s the goal. Just leave. Will we, though?

We wanted to hit the road at 12:45 when Joel arrived, but there has been a battle of day jobs, trailers, loading, and then … Hemp Fest traffic strikes, with a second punch of stadium traffic… And my drums aren’t even in the van yet. One of those days.

I hope the van can make it up my hill at this point.

Also, I’m wondering if they will give me grief about packing too much. They are diehards, but I’m new to this. I only packed for 7 of the 14 days, so hopefully I’m not too much of a diva.

Dama/Libra Tour 2014

So, I have been saving up some blog ideas, but have had no real time to flesh them out because of this Dama/Libra tour. Perhaps I’ll have a moment while riding in the van to deal with that backlog.

I was thinking back to how it is that I got to be this fortunate, and ended up going back to 2003. So that’s a long story for another day. Suffice to say, I feel very fortunate. Stuart and Joel are incredibly kind hearted souls, so they are great to work with.

If you’re just getting caught up, Pitchfork gave Dama/Libra a 7.1 and wrote up a review. I think the reviewer missed the point of a few things, but in another way he really dug into the psychology of the album that felt very poignant.

It has been a real eye opener to work with Stuart, in the way that he intuitively thinks about time and space (in a musical sense). It’s made me have to question many of my own habits as a drummer. His music is so slow, that you must throw counting out the window and just rely on each other for queues and simply feel when it’s time to play a particular figure. It’s frightening to let go, yet also very freeing. His phrasing is so long, and notes so sparse, that you must enter a zen like state just to play the music. Very challenging, and very gratifying.

Joel brings thoughtful, and frankly vulnerable, lyrics to these songs. Sometimes I get distracted by their meaning, even while performing. Vulnerable really is the right term. Working with him in rehearsals, he’s the real thing. Singing, or just hanging out–it’s the same guy. It’s refreshing to work with a singer who is just so genuine.

Even the song, Destroy, which has one word: destroy, feels so right! He sings it right in the middle of the song, and it’s this sudden moment of clarity that then completely changes your point of view as the song continues along. I wonder if by “destroy”, he might also mean “renew”? I’ll need to ask him that tomorrow.

So here’s the vague tour route:

 

We leave… tomorrow! We’ll cram our belongings in a single van, and drive across the US. 7500 miles! I have never gone on a tour this long, so I’m excited!

I hope to see you along the way. Please stop by and say hi!

Oh, and I published the calendar, so I hope there are some places near you.