Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer tour 11, Day 5- Mt Pleasant, MI

There's a really annoying thing that happens when you're booking tour. A promoter confirms a show with you, keeps in good touch telling you how awesome the show is going to be and then a few weeks before you hit the road when you try to get details on the show they just stop responding to you. You write to them, and/or call, and/or text, and they never get back to you. Were they a digital apparition? Did you dream them up? Did they die? You may never know, but you do know now that you have next to no time to find yourself another show. Neat!

That's the story of this day. Prepared to eat the day off with Pierce (one of our best friends and old bass player) in Toledo where we'd crashed the night before, I got an email from Rorik from the band Cloud Rat offering us a last minute show at his store in Mt Pleasant, Michigan. Score! Pierce took us out for delicious sesame tofu, our family reunion came to an end, and we hit the road.  Miss you broham!

First stop: Detroit to get Madison, vocalist extraordinaire. Have you heard Cloudrat yet? If not, do so. With Madison in the van, Dave tried not to talk lest he expose himself as a Cloud Rat fanboy (not that it mattered, I outed him as soon as he was out of earshot.)

Ever find yourself wondering what hardcore is all about? I can tell you: this show.

#1. The show happened in a hc kid-owned independent record store called Justice Records.
#2. Rorik (one of the two owners of JR) swooped in to help us and set this show up on 36 hours notice with his band Cloudrat and Brent (the other owner)'s band, Time To Deal, just to help us out.
#3. Despite how last minute the show was, people showed up, supported, and went wild. Couch cushions were moshed with. Walls were worked.
#4. Rorik and Brent hooked us up with food and beverage, put us up, and knowing we needed to practice with Ivan, let us practice in their store DURING BUSINESS HOURS.

Ya see? Dudes grow up and keep hardcore a part of their lives, go out of their way to help kids they don't know, who then mosh and eat together and in less than 24 hours all become friends. That is what it's about.

After the show Rorik spent his night in the kitchen making vegan burritos for everyone while we hung with about half the show in his living room, and when all the tortillas and avocados were gone we did what we do worst: gambled.

Soaring Eagle Casino was a siren in the night, enticing us with its player’s club card ("sign up and get $10 free!"), luring us with its unlimited soda machine, blinding us to rational thought with its brightly colored flashing slots, robbing us with its $5 table minimums.

We awoke the next day (a little broker than the night before) to Rorik making us vegan banana pancakes. He gave us the (ONLY) keys to his store (which was set to open in 15 minutes) and we went off to practice. As we drove through the quaint soda-pop-fountain smiling-elderly-man-with-well-groomed-meticulously-parted-hair milk-shakey downtown of Mt Pleasant feeling vaguely like Michael J Fox in the first back to the future, Dave and I bickered about what time to leave for our next show until we were interrupted... by the van.


The van shook.


The van slowed.

“What the fuck?!”
“What was that?!”


The van crawled...


..aaaaand stopped.

 “...we’re out of gas.”

Ivan and I hopped out of the van to push while a fat middle aged woman with a frizzy bouffant laid on the horn, impressing us with her ability to be either driving blind or be the honest to god center of the universe.

The iPhones among us looked up the closest gas stations and as we stood in various stages of irritation on the street I remembered something terrible: We had the one and only key to Justice Records... AND IT WAS SUPPOSED TO OPEN RIGHT THEN! Rorik had trusted us to open his store! Brent was waiting outside! AHHH!!!

A fan of comedic timing, my phone, the only phone with Rorik’s number in it, died. The guys ran off in search of gas and I hit the streets of Mt Pleasant solo to find a place to charge. A cafe would be perfect. I walked around looking for someone to ask for directions, but the people of Mt. Pleasant steered clear of me. Real clear. My wild fashion choices (grey shorts and black shirt) were freaking out the squares to the point that no one would even talk to me. It was the most punk rock I’ve ever been.

A hippie girl wearing subversively dangly earrings was the only one not to shrink at the sight of me. She smiled and told me where to go.

“There’s a cafĂ© arouned the corner, it’s a little vegan baker-“
“...yes, vegan."

I took off running.

The Flour Uprising’s two charming owners told me (unprovoked) about every single thing they sold, over-pronouncing the words “VEGAN” and ”ORGANIC” in a small-town we’re-the-only-ones-selling-this-kinda-stuff way which I found absolutely charming.

Tethered to the wall by the phone, I called Rorik from a crouched position and explained. He very calmly drove over to get his key from me. For the second (and not the last time on this tour)…  I burned with shame.

When we got to Justice Records no one was angry with us (thankfully), and we practiced with Ivan for the second time while business was conducted beside us. When our 3 song set had become 5 we hopped into our fully gassed van, nestled in next to our brand new gas can, said our thank yous and goodbyes, and drove off to Grand Rapids.

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