Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How's it going 2000 Man?

Welcome back to solid ground my friend.


I got home last night, pretty late after what I like to call a 'Chicago Handshake' which involves six or more hours at O'Hare, often a few gate changes and several security re-screenings, and occasionally followed by a lost bag upon arrival. When I got home I found this waiting for me, and found it vaguely comforting.

I had gone from Boston to Chicago to program the next tour at a big warehouse in the middle of nowhere, or in the middle of Illinois, whichever you prefer. I flew in, rented a car and drove the hour and a half through corn fields and leering cows to Sycamore. It was actually really pleasant.

As an aside, I busied myself during the four and a half-hour flight by watching 27 dresses without the audio and trying to work out the cryptic messages that Catherine Heigel's weird, cheshire face were giving off. Also, I made notes on words and phrases that were entirely edited out of CBS's 'How I Met Your Mother.' The following is a brief, but still confounding list of words that were cut straight out of the in-flight programming leaving the roar of jet engine in its place:


When I got to the hotel in Illinois there wasn't a whole lot going on apart from the T.G.I. Fridays-esque after-work bar next door. I still find their slogan 'where it's always five o'clock' to be a bit unsettling.

No more unsettling than the farm supply store across the parking lot which sold everything from complete welding kits to Larry the Cable Guy's wardrobe.

Then I spent about ten straight hours staring at this giant screen with its little, CGI lego people, and tried to pretend that it was a rock show. And so it was....

Blood in the water

New England and I have never been very tight. After spending a week or so there recently, I can say that our affections for one another remain unmoved. It was achingly beautiful the day that I got in though. The sun was shining, melting the snow, thawing the pale, grimaced faces of bean town. I took a walk through The Common to meet a friend.

At the very least, I should have picked up a 'Pahk the cah in havad yahd' shirt. Or gone out and picked on some of them wicked smaat kids.

Our first show was down in Providence at Brown University. It had been scheduled to be outdoors, but the weather took a pretty nasty turn and we were forced into the on-campus hockey arena. It was pretty rag-tag, but was one of the few times that I had done a show in a hockey arena and not been standing on top of ice all day long, which is a nice thing.

As I was saying, pretty low rent. The barricade, implemented to hold back the teeming, unwashed masses from close to a half million dollars worth of electrical equipment, and more importantly, from me and my delicate frame, was constructed of some folding tables, a trash can and a ladder. It was at this point that I started to feel not so great about my day, and yet I have filed this under 'absurd things that Lucas has faced and managed to Providence.'

It's always nice to see friends. It's a break from the same few faces that I can't escape on the bus/plane/van that I am being shuttled around the world in. It's really what keeps me going. That, and if I stopped I wouldn't really have much to talk about. Jeremy and Rachel are keepers. We went out for Mexican (in spite of the fact that you couldn't get much farther from Mexico, it was good), and ice cream on Newbury Street.

Rachel is six or so months pregnant. I don't think I actually took this picture. It's like the grown up version of finding some one's camera at a party and taking a picture of your balls, then returning it before they realize. The old sneaky preggo belly shot. Better than balls any day.

The next show was at the [insert corporate sponsor here] pavilion. I had been there a few times before, but it was called something else, so I assumed that it was somewhere other than that shady place on the harbor that looks like you are inside a ping pong ball.

It was brutally cold on the water, and while the sign says 48 degrees, with the wind whipping through the giant sail of a structure, it was at least 10 degrees cooler.

After loading in I went for a walk to find some warmer clothes. I managed to get a decent pair of gloves at an army / navy store. I wandered into H&M with Nick, and was fairly appalled by the pre-fab date rapist costumes that were on sale. You could literally misstep, fall into this here pile and walk away wearing a pair of khaki cargo shorts, a polo shirt with upturned collar, flip-flops and a beaded necklace. All for less than $25. Bargain.

The show wasn't half bad. It was a radio station sponsored thing, and I suppose it's a commentary on modern rock radio when they can basically draw one decent band and a handful of not so great filler (no offense Bird of Passion or whatever you are called). Also the production was again done on the cheap, and a good deal of it broke before the night was out. The local tech guy kept passing me notes about the current state of disrepair that our lives seemed to be slipping into.

It was back to my sound proof suite at The Colonnade to thaw out after a long, cold night. Incidentally Jeremy and Rachel had looked into having some part of their wedding there but thought the name sounded gross. I tend to agree. On the ride back to the hotel I passed a car that had an old Massachusetts license plate that just said 'HOCKEY.' Awesome.

No time to cool my heels....