Obviously this will have to be written a couple of weeks after the Louisville show. It’s nigh on impossible to write when I’m home. I finished Chicago after I got back but the thread gets broken. It’s two different worlds and they combine uneasily if at all. We woke up in our fancy Chicago hotel and by the time we got into the van everyone was disgruntled.* Chicago to Louisville is an unremarkable drive. At least if you’re from around here, although I suspect it would be to anyone except the recently sighted and perhaps merchant marines rescued after being lost at sea since 1942. We were to play Headliners. We knew going in that the venue was too big for our current draw, but it was the best fit we could find. We were late of course, so having missed soundcheck just pulled the van up close to the door and sat in the humid river valley heat, at a table and lawn chairs set up on the asphalt in a cordoned off area of the parking lot.
(view from a lawn chair)
Fortunately the line-up was amazing. The first band, Frederick the Younger, a group of youngsters with some really nice songs and an incredibly promising singer. After them our old friends the Fervor played. We go back almost to the beginning with these folks. They were the first band we toured with and I love them as people and as musicians. They’ve been laying low so it was a pleasure to hear them again. By the time they were done my wife had shown up after a spontaneous decision to make the two-hour drive down to Louisville. To have her next to me was like the silence that comes when a background sound you no longer notice goes away. There comes a peace that is surprising chiefly because you didn’t realize you had lost it. We still had a show to play and our bone-deep exhaustion lent a surreal air to everything. We thought the crowd that turned up was awesome, even with the promoter saying he wished there had been more people. I hate it when they say that. In England it sounds like an apology, but in the States it sounds like an accusation. Everyone, excepting perhaps the organizers of Woodstock and Altamont, always wishes there were more people at a show. It’s like going up to a bride and saying you wished her vows had not referenced clanging gongs. Pointless.
The show was fun and I think we played well. I felt like Herman Munster with enormous boots on, clunkily trying to force my body to move when all it wanted to do was sit quietly in an Adirondack chair with a cool breeze shifting the humidity away to coalesce around the willfully ignorant and unkind. I would sit still until vines and honeysuckle would grow up over me. Wildlife would return and I could feel as if I was a part of things and not apart from them after all. And then I’d come to and not know what verse of “Pizza King” we were playing.
I accidentally booked a hotel for the night in Lexington and thus was surprised when it was not waiting for me in Louisville. We just wanted to go to sleep but a few 2:30 am calls to Priceline corporate headquarters was just the fart in a rose garden this long day deserved.
And then we were home and this leg of the tour was over. We would have a week and a half to avoid each other and try to rest before we headed east.
Next show is Columbus.
*Gruntled means pleased, satisfied, contented.