(Part eleven of a sequential tour narrative. Go to April, 25 2009 to start at the beginning)
The show in Raleigh was pretty good. I was happy to see John Durham, Jennie's aunt, and most of the Dynamite Brothers and Birds of Avalon crew. I had come down with the van illness and felt like shit that night. What didn't help was the A/C vent that was aimed directly at my head when we were on stage. Since Sam was setting up in the middle of the stage between me and Tim, I had nowhere to go and got pounded by this thing which was possibly the longest set of the tour. We got back on stage with Tim twice that night. Even though we went on around 8:20pm, there was a good crowd and we played well. Back at the 15/501 Extended Stay, I watched a little Predator and Sleep as much I could considering we had a long drive to Atlanta the next day.
Yeah, we scenery fagged a little bit before getting on the road proper and ended up getting to The Earl at the very last minute. Even though we were running late, I made an emergency stop at Bojangles on I-85. Believe me, it was necessary. The opening second group on the bill was using our gear and we had to load it onstage immediately after arriving. The Earl is a big venue with great food and a good sound system. Our set was ok. I remember that evening I discovered my threshold for pre-show booze consumption. Two shots and three beers is too much if'n I want to feel in control. The long drive and stress of being late made me "think" that I needed to chill out with a couple drinks. Wrong way of thinking. I slept very well that night in a cozy bed at the Highland Inn. The next day, the four of us ate at The Vortex in Five Points before heading to Athens. That place has good food but they are ridiculous when it comes to teaching the customer how to be a customer. The whole front page of the menu is a lesson on how to behave in their restaurant which is quite tacky. Believe me, I understand the frustrations of dealing with idiot customers in a service industry environment, but that's how it goes. If you don't like it, find a job in another field. I reckon someone has to teach people how to behave in a restaurant but chances are, the people that need said instruction are probably the same ones who won't read the page of the menu that doesn't have food items listed.
When we got to Athens I checked into the Hollodome and did some laundry. Checked out the 40 Watt (rad) finished laundry, ate dinner at Grit (rad), met Cameron and a bottle of Bulleit back at the room (rad), headed to show. The fellow opening the show was a real sad case. Apparently, he is either awesome or pathetic, depending on his level of sobriety. This evening, he was loaded and sucking in a tragically hilarious way. The "crowd" was still booing him when we took the stage and built itself back up to 50 or 60 strong during our set. We played well and then Cameron and I went out on the town. We ended up back with Bulleit and Neil Young. Imagine that.
I have to go to work soon and will resume this later. The next part of the tour was painful and frankly, I don't have the time or the energy to write about it right now.