Red Tank Tour Diary IV: Seattle to Home

The following events took place during a tour which ran from June 24 through July 11, 2015.

Dean woke up with a gnarly hangover after having drank a lot the night before. We spent most of the day doing conventionally touristy activities with my mother and Seattle friends–eating at a breakfast place called Biscuit Bitch, walking down to the pier, and visiting the ceramics park.
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It was our first free day so we had a lot of much-needed time to decompress, nap, and watch “Friends” and/or “House.” I also had a bit of time to write a song on Pierce’s left-handed guitar while the rest of the group got pizza. We spent the rest of the night playing “Ninja” in the park before leaving in the morning.

When we left for Spokane, the dense urban arteries of Seattle flattened out to yellow plains and hills. When we first arrived in Spokane, we had the wrong address and mistakenly pulled into a relatively empty rural area. We were very confused, bewildered and anxious about the prospect of potentially playing to no one in the middle of nowhere before we received the correct address.

The correct house was more of what we expected–a relatively nice two or three story in the middle of a nicely forested exurb. It was a house dubbed “Thunder Dome” where we performed with a solo acoustic artist and a hardcore band called East Sherman.

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We played in a relatively modest but crowded basement (great acoustics and muffled sound for the neighbors). It was sweaty and crowded but the sound-waves bounced around perfectly. People grooved, danced, and banged their heads but were cautious enough to not push or mosh in a crowded space. Everyone enjoyed it and it was awesome.

Elijah was also pleasantly surprised to see and catch up with some of his old friends from Pennsylvania that night. We ended up staying at the Thunder Dome. Dean prepared ramen stir fry for everyone, including the home-owner/host.

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In the morning, we got donuts and drove to Boise, where we played at Crazy Horse with Figure 8. Allegedly, Nirvana played there a number of years back. I talked to the bouncer, a SHARP, for quite a while about semiotics. Afterwards, we hung out with Figure 8 and celebrated Elijah’s birthday. We bought a couple of Fiesta Packs from Del Taco, drank, and read poetry to each other until the sun rose and we passed out.

Our show in Reno ended up getting cancelled, so we stayed with some of mine and Dean’s family in Wells, NV. We visited the lake and saw some rain–which we hadn’t experienced throughout all of tour. We drove through winding mountain roads with various deer crossing caution signs, through Las Vegas, and arrived in Flagstaff around 6 a.m.

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In Flagstaff, we got coffee and breakfast food. We met up with a number of friends from home, including my girlfriend. It was our last show before home. We played at at a house affiliated with TUFNAU with Coffee Pot and Oh, Rose (from Olympia). I kept pestering Oh, Rose about whether or not they knew RVIVR. There were a good amount of people who showed up, and it was an excellent show. The cops came during our very last song. They let us finish and told us to try to keep the noise down. I tried to give one of them a CD, but he said he couldn’t accept it. At the after party, I got a haircut that I’d wanted throughout all of tour. Unfortunately, they had improper tools, so it ended up taking roughly three hours and was performed using dull scissors and a face razor.

In the morning, we had a short drive back to Tempe, where we played a house show with Sun Hex, Human Behavior, and Brudi for my birthday.

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Our homecoming was great, if not a bit jarring. It’s difficult to slip back into the habit of “real life” after having been across a sizable portion of the country for the past couple of weeks. We met and experienced more amazing people, places, and wonders than I have in a number of years and couldn’t imagine having to return to the everyday doldrums. Though, routines can be nice and comforting. Spending time with people I deeply missed and care for immensely cannot be undersold. However, it’s difficult to know that while I’m sitting at a desk, reading articles online, or watching torrented television shows that I’m missing out on sharing music, poetry, and stir fry with strangers, or creating lifelong connections and friendships. I’m sure we’ll be back on the road soon enough.

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