This month has been probably the most exhausting and fun time of my life, mostly thanks to the BRMC tour and some wonderful friends. I have many stories to tell and it's hard to decide what's most interesting to people. This road trip was pretty special because not only were all the Texas shows excellent in their own ways, but my traveling companions (Suzanne and Jodi) were awesome to hang out with throughout the trip. They got along even better than I expected them to, so kudos to them for sharing a perverted sense of humor.
Overall, flying to Texas and driving to each city was really not that bad. I'm sure both Jodi and Suzanne were pretty annoyed by the confusing freeways and occasionally bad drivers, but otherwise, we had a pretty relaxed time getting to shows. The only real stressful time was getting to the airports in Dallas, returning the rental car, and actually making our return flight back on time. Let's see if I can recall some of the most interesting details of each city.
June 13 - Me and Suzanne had a smooth flight from John Wayne to Dallas Fort Worth despite a few thunderstorms. I enjoyed the in flight music station of new indie music and my ipod, listening to my Raveonettes playlist. The magazine was also interesting because it was a music issue and had some interesting articles. I still have it somewhere in my room. Like I said before, the flight was smooth and we got our bags pretty quickly after leaving the plane.
The rental car area of DFW is in a separate area from the actual airport, so we had to take a shuttle to get the car. Luckily, a shuttle was arriving just as we realized this and we hopped on. The rental car area was strange because all we had to do was tell them our info then go to the garage to pick out a car. The keys were already in the cars, so we just drove it out to the exit and handed the info to the attendant. It was strange how easy it was getting the car.
Next, we had to drive to Dallas Love Field to pick up Jodi, who had arrived at least a half hour before we had. It was 30 minutes away from where we were, so we tried to make it there as fast as possible without getting lost. Fortunately, there was a map machine at the rental car area, so we had directions from where we were to the other airport. Jodi was waiting patiently for us at the airport and happily joined us.
June 14 - The distance from Dallas to Baytown (outside Houston) was quite long - over 4 hours and about 267 miles. We stopped in Ennis to eat at Waffle House, which quickly became our favorite place in Texas despite only stopping at one the entire trip. We had a nice waitress, who gave us all free coffee tags though I didn't even order any. We made another stop at a convenience store, where we took pictures on leather horse swings.
We ended up arriving in Baytown at around 4:45 AM and since there was free breakfast starting at 6 AM, we just showered and talked until breakfast was served. The food was good and included lots of things like bagels, cupcakes, yogurts, cereals, waffles, and sausages. We didn't get free breakfast at any of our other hotels, so this probably made the Hampton Inn the best one. We slept until check out time, then made our way to Houston.
Houston was not far from Baytown, but traffic between our hotel and the Meridian was horrible! It was very much like LA traffic, but luckily we were only in it for a few minutes. Getting to the Meridian was pretty easy after we got off the freeway. We walked around a little to see that there were very little options of places to eat or hang out in that area. We ended up going to a Vietnamese sandwich place called something like Hung Thiem, whatever it was it really amused Jodi.
We walked back to the venue, which turned out to be on the 2nd floor of what looked like an empty warehouse. There were actually people working in it, but it was very dark inside. We met some people from the forum, who we would continue to see at the other shows: Nappi/Mike, cheeto/Robbie, and bellestarr/Gerry. Mike is from Germany, Robbie is from north of Dallas, and Gerry is from Massachusetts. We chatted while the rain started pouring heavily as we stood and watched.
There were some odd instances of Peter walking by quickly and saying hi, the Cobbs arriving in their van and going up the stairs, some girl running down the stairs and falling on her ass (to Jodi's amusement), and Nick running by a Pimpjuice van in shorts with his hair in a ponytail and glasses on. Both me and Jodi had our cameras out taking photos of the Pimpjuice van, but managed to miss that extremely amusing moment. I didn't recognize him at first, I actually thought it was Harry Potter.
It seemed like forever before the actual show started. We waited by the door at the top of the stairs for a few minutes and then outside the door between the bar area and the stage area for even longer. It was nice and cool inside, which was nice since Houston was hot despite all the rain. The Cobbs were really good and impressed us all with their psychedelic '60's inspired rock sound. They were joined on stage by Aimee Nash, formerly of the Morning After Girls, who played tambourine and maracas in a highly entertaining fashion.
BRMC played an excellent set that night despite some technical difficulties. Before Robert played his acoustic songs, he mentioned that Nick wasn't feeling well and asked us to pray for him. That was a little strange, but very thoughtful of Robert. Chris from the Cobbs played a few songs with Robert and Peter during the encore. Here's the setlist:
Took Out A Loan
Lien On Your Dreams
In Like The Rose
Ain't No Easy Way
Weapon Of Choice
Not What You Wanted
Need Some Air
Feel It Now
Chelsea Hotel (Leonard Cohen cover)
El Paso (Marty Robbins/Johnny Cash cover)
Am I Only
Shuffle Your Feet
It was a pretty unsual show because of Nick not feeling well, we learned in Austin that he had heat exhaustion and was feeling better there. The show in Austin was really amazing, not that Houston wasn't good. It was just a very impressive show, which I'll describe more in the next blog. At the end of the Meridian show, Peter was helping the roadies put away equipment. Robert was hiding near the back stage area and did come out to talk later, but was too distracted to finish a conversation.
Here's a link to photos from the Meridian show: