Tour, Entry IV. Boulder, Colorado. July 3, 2013
Along From NC to Colorado
days now have we been choking this chicken? That's relative, I
suppose, because it seems like a couple days ago this chicken
laid the egg that started this tour. In fact, wasn't it just last
week we survived the great deluge at Summer Camp? Then started
the summer tour with DMB for a couple of shifts, and hosted the
Wood Brothers for a couple of more shows, before moe. launched
into full-bore summer tour mode???
first week slipped by, and then the second week. And here we are
winding it down. The miles have added up, too-600 and 700 miles
a day. From all over the northeast to our dip south to Asheville
back up to Lunar Bay, across to Kalamazoo and Colorado, and then
Northern California, we're approaching 7,000 miles. The final
push is underway, but I'm getting ahead of myself
North Carolina, the band played the first of three outdoor shows
in four days. Two of the three shows were at breweries--Pisgah
and Bell's. Growlers rolled like bowling balls. We're at a critical
juncture in the summer tour, and I'm forced to make a very tough
choice: this is a bad time to give my liver a break
outside shows are tough--the elements can be dicey--wind and rain,
thunder and lightning, heat and humidity. For the moe.crew, the
challenges add up daily-from managing the logistics of setting
up equipment on smaller stages to simply having enough time to
set it up. There's literally tons of equipment to unload and setup
on a small stage around a bunch of other bands that are setting
up and taking down between performances. That's what happened
at Lunar Bay. In Kalamazoo, we arrive at the Bell's Eccentric
Café, to play out back, in their delightful little garden
of good and evil (note: my nickname for the place). I imagine
that string bands and small combos have no problem negotiating
walkways made of field stone to a small stage and space, but for
a big production that moe. puts on, to unload a tractor trailer,
it takes a lot of work. Nevertheless, moe.'s crew is very good
at it oh ye moe.rons. From working with and directing the local
crews, to getting the stage ready for lights, audio, action! You
may or may not know what it takes for your favorite rock band
to walk on stage and jam the night away, but it's near a full
day's work to pull it off. You can thank moe.'s crew...
to your enjoyment, the shows go off without a hitch. There's bonus
stuff that happens, too. Brock Butler sat in with moe. at Pisgah,
and Paul Hoffman from Greensky Bluegrass, sat in at Bell's.
me, my challenge outside is nightfall. My lights at merch world
draw more species of insects than I know exist. In fact, species
of insects I've yet to identify fly into my mouth at will. I know
them by taste and texture now-metallic, bitter, flaky, powdery,
crunchy-and try to avoid the darker ones
through one show a woman approached the merch table. She was showing
me cleavage, and plenty of it. On her right breast was a tattoo
that was once, I believe, a mermaid, but now, regrettably, with
much weight gain and time, was all stretched out and looked more
like a boned herring. My father had warned me of such consequences.
He was a sailor for a time, and had seen what he had seen. That
eventually a tattoo will melt in its own way, into the folds of
flesh that come with age. Then again, one look at my beer gut
and all I can see is a breached whale...
feel like one when the bus rolled into Omaha, noonish, the following
day after Kalamazoo. We've stopped at a hotel for about 12 hours.
The bus driver needs to crash before we finish the drive to Colorado.
Everyone loads out of the bus and goes to their respective rooms
or in search of something to do, which is basically not much.
There's a big mall nearby, a bridal shop, a strip mall filled
with insurance agencies, car dealerships, a cinema. I see a full
day of adventure in the cards and I'm not disappointed. I roll
out of my bunk. Search for fodder. I watch a small flock of turkeys
strut by the bus. Gobble, gobble. Buy a shirt. Yawn. Eat
cheesecake. Go to a movie. Climb into my bunk and leave Omaha.
in Boulder, show day, a little before 10 am. This is good-gives
me a chance to stroll about town and view the public art projects
and the bums who use them as day beds. It's a hip happening place,
as I'm sure you know or have heard. Colorado is the in place to
be these days. It's the "It Girl" for stoners incorporated
and a Mecca for touristas from around the globe.
time I'm here, I wonder why I don't live here and get down with
a Rocky Mountain high.
what I thinking, at that moment, sitting outside a café
sipping coffee. And just as I was visualizing it, a stranger walked
by, talking into her cell phone, but, oddly, looking my way, said,
"The way that you feel is not necessarily the way that it
one pause to wonder-there are no coincidences, but there are meaningful
coincidences. I realize that this tour is one of them-the final
push is on.