After a few drinks and a good few hours unwinding, we continued to our destination of Columbus. On the final stretch to get there, my phone wasn't working well then completely broke. This wasn't really all that unexpected though since it's about four or five years old, cracked, and all beaten up. When we finally got to Columbus it was about 3 am and everything was closed so we met up with one of my good friends for another round of drinks at his house before finally calling it a night at dawn.
The next morning, John and I went to the mall to get me a new phone and so I could introduce him to the glory that is Raising Cane's Chicken! After acquiring a new phone and doing lunch, I took my friends all over Westerville and showed them all the things I used to do. We rode around most of Hoover Dam and got some pretty good pictures of the dam. John took most of them. Although he doesn't have an artist/photographer's page, he is a professional photographer. If you want to contact him, let me know and I will shoot him your information.
Around 7ish we got ready then went down to Cafe Burbon Street where the show was being held. The idea was to meet up with one of my friends, Blix, who I don't get to see often. She's the same artist who did the promotional video that I wrote and recorded a song for, you can check out the video here. We were also trying to get there early as the event was expected to have a really large number of people and the bar/venue isn't really all that big.
The atmosphere of the venue was, in a word, excited. Many strangers quickly became acquaintances through sharing drinks, high fives, and discussing how we were there to see and where we came from. That is the one thing I really miss about Columbus shows; the openness of strangers and the sense of inclusion that's almost always present. It can hard to find that same sense of spirit in other places.
Being that we skipped dinner to make the show on time, we wound up getting some pierogi's from the venue. We met the chef there actually owns the shop Pierogi Mountain. Tthey were $1 each and totally amazing. John later said to me, "The baked potato pierogi changed my life." and John was forever a changed man. As we drank and ate, the venue quickly filled up. People kept asking me what time it was, which I thought was a bit strange. The level of angst that started to fill the room was actually quite nostalgic, drumming up memories from Second Spin and Midguard. Around 9ish, the first band came on and either the sound guy wasn't working, the PA was broken, or the band just decided not to use amps; I'm not really sure... But they played an acoustic set in the middle of the crowd which quickly created a sense of intimacy. Sitting at the bar we couldn't really hear or see much of anything so we squeezed in to get closer to the music. Eventually, I wound up sitting on the stage, using it as a drum, humming along to an artist named Benny Peek that I really enjoyed. I later gave him a card in hopes of helping him find some shows down here to play. He also has a BandCamp here where you can listen to some of his music and purchase it. As the night went on, we drank more, a few more friends showed up and we caught up, and a handful of other bands I didn't catch the names of played. Everyone was having such a good time that we actually wound up we missing about half of the Ghost Mice set, one of the bands I was there to see specifically. You can find their BandCamp here.
After their set, Pat (the Bunny) stepped on stage and the audience went wild. He started playing and immediately everyone packed in, joined arms, and started singing. As he continued his set, the crowd got more and more rowdy, eventually spilling over onto the stage. At which point, he stopped playing to ask that we look out for each other and stop shoving each other onto the stage. "This isn't a punk show," he said, which I thought was funny since it was the same sentiment Andrew Jackson Jihad mentioned on stage the last time I saw them. Pat played most of his new album (Probably nothing, Possibly Everything) and the performance was really on point. Being the last show in the tour, I'm sure he's got it down pretty pat (heh). Afterwards he hung out and people came up and met him and took pictures. I thought it was pretty interesting to see how he interacted with the crowd because after listening to some of his lyrics about how he hates crowds, I found it to be really unexpected. I really appreciated it though since it felt really good to give him a hug and express how his music has influenced my life. He didn't really seem to know what to say, but in all reality, what do you really say to a stranger saying things like that to you? After the show, we left to go to Rehab to visit another of my artists friends, Sara. We were riding high on the intense emotional energy of the show we had just left, and it was difficult to really explain where we just had come from. Overall, the night was amazing and totally worth the drive up.
The final day, Sunday, we headed home to Atlanta around noon. We were going to stop by FLAME festival on the way home but that didn't happen. We were just so exhausted by the time we were close to the festival grounds that we decided to head straight home to relax and unpack. "Amazing" doesn't really do the trip justice for how wonderful it really was and it exactly what I needed. I found a lot of inspiration from the show, the musicians, catching up with my friends, and overall the insane 48 hour run that we had just completed. I haven't been to a show with quite so much authentic excited energy in a long time. It's shows like that that make me miss my home town being that I rarely find that sort of enthusiasm anywhere else. The whole experience has refreshed and broken down a bit of writers block I've had with my new album. I'm looking forward to getting back in the studio to channel all of this experience!
Below are some pictures from our trip! They are mostly from John's camera. The last 5 are from my new phone.