This entry is going to be about as brief as our stay in New Orleans. It’s tricky ya know, you want to embrace everything a city can offer you, and New Orleans on Halloween weekend sounds like THEE place to be, but alas when you have a 10 hour drive staring at you from afar, you best not act a fool with the whole dilly-dally.
We woke early and split from Ron’s crash pad (thanks again, Ron) and rolled out for some fine Mexican breakfast. Mike and I rode in the back, and we both fell asleep; I remember looking at the gps and reading “arrival time—5:35pm” before konking out. I woke up an hour later and the arrival time read “6:36pm.” Turns out we hit a gnarly traffic jam in which we moved only a mile in 6:36. Our load in was scheduled for 6:00pm with a 7:00pm door time and a 10:00pm curfew. We haven’t even left Texas and our schedule is blown to bits.
Once we cross over into Louisiana, it’s an easy and beautiful drive. So much water, wildlife, and gorgeous scenic accompaniment. We get to the First Unitarian Church and it’s a massive, gorgeous building. Before my mom passed away, she was attending a unitarian church and I can understand why. She was never really a religious person, but she found comfort in being part of a community of people that care about the safety and well being of others, while holding onto a theory that *some* sort of spiritual force could exist in the world. I can dig it, it’s not for me but I can dig it.
Last time I was in New Orleans was about eight years ago for a Tape-Op conference. It was an exhausting week of recording engineer conferences and panels, coupled with long nights of substance use, and greasy or fried food. Bad garage boys with too much coke on their brain left me feeling like a total outcast, but thankfully my wonderful-slash-beautiful-slash-inspirational friend Sarah Mason was there to rescue me. She drove me out to some ritzy party way outside of the quarter. I remember sitting poolside talking to affluent babes. Last time I was in New Orleans, my old co-worker Greg insisted we go to Bourbon Street. It was a nightmare. It was like Friday night and people were lit to death. We walked by one bar and the band inside started playing “Welcome To The Jungle.” As we continued down the street, we passed a different bar with a different band playing “Welcome To The Jungle” in the same place the song would be at had we stayed and listened to the first band. Strange energy in this city…sorry, “voodoo.” Strange voodoo in this city.
Lucky for me, Miss Sarah Mason showed up for a minute. I hadn’t seen in her in a couple years. She’s doing great things in The Big Easy—playing drums in the band Black Abba, and running a awesome label called Spacetaker Sounds home to groups like Trampoline Team, Georgio Murderer and Buck Biloxi and The Fucks. We used to work together back in Chicago, and she’s one of my favorite people in the world. We caught up, kicked it in The Whip (New Orleans is technically the only city where The Whip meets all Chamber of Commerce codes) and shot the shit before she had to duck out. I do regret passing on her Statue Of Liberty costume. I coulda been a sexy Statue Of Liberty for Halloween, but at the time I just wasn’t in the mood.Why wasn’t I in the mood? I think it was because we were stretched for time and I started to get anxious. There was just weird “voodoo” in that town and it threw my whole mood off. Too many ghosts in one city and I kept having to look over my shoulder.
Gland opened, and holy moly were they great. Just snotty, loud punk. No other way to slice it, but man they played great, and had the best attitude. Street Eaters shout out like a cannon but the voodoo got them for a second as John’s bass went out the window soundwise. They recovered quickly and hit the crowd with their massive sound “They certainly sound bigger than a two-piece.” Yeah, gurrrlllll. Screaming Females were great, but I was too distracted. Like I said, ghosts. They ripped through “Glass House” into “Empty Head?” Whooo brother. “Broken Neck” was fantastic too. As the final notes of “Triumph” hit, it was time to quickly move some units and GTFO—25 minutes from the last note to when all the gear was back in the whip. Don’t ever say we aren’t the most efficient. And as quickly as we loaded out, we were gone…into the night to crash out in Mobile, Alabama.