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Day 122 - Baltimore - Set Up Day

Upon arrival last night my phone informs me that the hotel has been changed. Turns out that after the fairly grueling flight, the hotel was filthy and in disrepair enough to inspire relocating. My phone also informed me that there is a crew dinner and I should head over. So off I headed, travel bag in tow

The place is a famous steak house and in the photo you may notice that everyone is looking in Dave Lee's direction. This is because he is about to be served that largest cut of prime rib that anyone had ever seen.

**** Sound Nerd Speak ****

Walking into a pre set venue brings with it a bit of anticipation. By pre set, I mean one where myself or the crew I tour with is not in total control. First order of business is a quick wander to determine what my challenges will most likely be. Mental notes of anything out of the ordinary. Today it all looks solid, plenty of gear and a curiosity. As you can see from the photo below, there are six twelve foot high tower like stacks of speakers in front of the stage. Furthermore, the middle speakers are facing backwards. Hmmm.

D & B subs, never used them that I know of before, been interested in hearing them though it also appears that much to the dismay of lampi roadie Scott, we will to do a lot of seeing them as well.

So today we do a setup and the backline roadies will rock out their preferred roadie jam of "Give It Away" for a change, again. Hurray for V-Dosc PA, though I already miss the dual system, it is all good, I know several of the crew and I feel confident. As far as the subs, not sure yet, wow are they loud but not sure if they are the right loud. Will find out soon enough though. In the mean time......

**** End Sound Nerd Speak ****

Ever wonder where all the power comes from at a big outdoor festival? More often than not, generators. Kind of like those stupid little things that rubbed on your bike tire to power your headlight. I hated those things. Huge generators and like the bike version, they make electricity by spinning a something kind of like a super giant tire rubbing device. Big diesel engines built into truck trailers and if you follow just about any wire long enough, sooner or later you will end up standing next to one of these things. Here I have located the end of all wires. One would think that this would roadie gathering area with their well known affinity for wires and all. But nope, turns out that power central is a lonely place with not a roadie in sight.

Ooooooo, look at all those wires. Thump thump thump goes the roadie heart.

The dreaming of wires

Dave Rat


Day 121 - Sept 21- Fly to Baltimore - Day off

**** The Old Roadie Lap Story Continues ****

With the van now conveniently parked two feet from where is was before and the battery clearly still dead, time has folded back on itself as we enter a deja vu This time though the air of frustration has boiled and flared in Kira's direction. I do not recall what exactly was said but I remember things not so nice before the amazing Kira once again set out on a journey. The peanut gallery commentary of impending death is now thankfully muted in embarrassment and with the confidence that we will live strong again, the whole ordeal had dropped back into merely misery.

And just as before, Kira disdained upon leaving and heroic upon return, shows up with two the brothers and a pick up truck. Whether it was their desire to do something else that evening besides drive back and forth jump starting my van or sympathy for the stranded punker sardines, this this time they attached a rope and pulled us to their home a quarter mile or so, away.

While the van was towed into their barn for battery charging, a pile of greasy punkers unwrapped and loaded into the cozy Christmas living room of this family's house for some milk and cookies. Warm, finally warm. Magical humans, happiness, trading stories. Pure open human kindness and as a gift of gratuity, they were given a pile of Black Flag tour swag. I still can smile at the awkward moment of decision while pondering whether gifting bright red t-shirts and stickers depicting a nun with her arm around a naked male leg and the words "Slip It In," was going to be properly appreciated by the family that saved us, on Christmas eve day.

**** End Old Roadie Lap Story - The Frozen Van ****

I did not leave my hotel room till noon and that was just to get coffee. The five am lobby call occurred some 2 hours after I finally got to bed after an adventurous and as you may have noticed, fairly rare, night on the town. A night out with friends and hanging and talking. I guess it is kind of like nearly every other night out here except it was not at a rock show and not on a tour bus. Anyway, in a last minute epiphany, I inquired if there was a spare seat on the band's chartered jet. Though I did feel a wave of guilt abandoning my comrade roadies, it was too tempting to resist. Of all the ways to travel, I must say that this is high on the list. On this tour, the band party has mostly traveled by bus/commercial air but with the awkwardness of the fly schedule the crew is currently experiencing, the chartered jet makes sense. Those hopefully these planes are not what we will be flying:

And though very fast, I think the fact that this jet would have to make several trips makes it an unlikely contender, though the missiles I guess could come in handy:

but further on down the road was this baby. As seen in this post flight photo you can check out the modern day flying van that made for a much more pleasant cross Canada trip than the old days:

The enjoying alternate travel methods,

Dave Rat