Dave was due any moment with our new van. Our equipment was heaped on the sidewalk in front of my house. Pames and I stood lookout on the stoop like prairie dogs, anxiously squinting against the South Philly sun, waiting. We perked up with every approaching Cambodian/Mexican worker transport van hoping, wishing, praying that it was ours. Dave had been stuck in NYC traffic for hours. He'd left Boston that morning with our rental van (from rentgreenvans.com) and now it was well past 6 and he was still not back. Any minute now though... any minute.
Up the street came a multi-colored eye sore on wheels, something covered in advertisements for... wait... guitar strings? And... did it say "ROCK HARDER" on the front? Oh god. Pames and I strained to see the driver.
"Dude... is that him?"
"No way, that can't be..."
"Dude, I think it is..."
Meet I-VAN 2.
We rushed up to North Philly and got to the apartment just in time to catch the end of Wrong Answer. The room was packed. People were tucked in every corner and crevice of the room. One person sat cross legged on top of the fridge like a human fruit basket, some were crammed against the kitchen counters, others stood on couches and spilled down into the hall by the bedrooms where there was nothing to be seen but the tops of arms that were getting thrown around in the sick dinette pitting that was taking place a few feet ahead. I couldn't see Wrong Answer at all from where I stood so I watched the windows instead, which looked as if they were going to be fallen through at any second.
I was nervous to play. We hadn't played Philly in AGES. Every single time we'd try to put together a Philly show on tour (because our members are scattered all over we only play shows when we're touring) something would happen at the last second and it would fall apart. This is Hardcore '08, two shows in '09, earlier this year... we're cursed. So not only were we playing a show that I was convinced something bad would happen to, and the first show of tour (which are notorious for having things go wrong), but I was also sick and on day 2 of antibiotics aaaaand we were playing in front of friends, which is weird. I'd rather play in front of a thousand strangers than a small room full of people I know.
Familiar faces all around, we started to play. I put the mic to my mouth to sing my first line, a line where there is no music, just my voice... and as the words came out realized that my mic was off. Ughhh. Throughout our entire set my mic turned on and off, and at one point stopped working entirely and had to get switched out. Were it a room full of strangers, I'd have laughed it off, but there in a room full of kids I knew... man. Burning shame.
After our set I slipped around the corner of the apartment and into my usual post-playing bad mood (where for about 5 minutes I'm convinced we've played terribly and dwell on every minute fuckup in our set), and sitting on the curb, threw up. Dave sold shirts and records out of the back of the van to people who didn't think we played terribly and after a few minutes I came around. It was sweet meeting kids who I've seen around and having the usual hours of coretalk and gossip that only hardcore kids can or would ever waste the time having. Eventually we went back to our house to catch a few hours of sleep before our matinee in NYC.