Seth Anderson is going to Fest. The Calgary-based singer/songwriter, signed to Joey Cape's One Week Records, is on the road touring with labelmate Yotam Ben-Horin of Useless ID. They're headed across the U.S. on a journey of self-discovery and rock'n'roll, making the month-long trek to Gainesville, Florida to appear at The Fest. As they make the voyage, Seth'll be sharing his road diary with Punknews.org & Some Party. This is entry seven in our series.
Tour Diary #7: Taco's, Records, and Rattlesnakes - Oct. 11, 2017
I have fallen behind on these entries, so I will include our travels all the way from Las Vegas, NV over to Tempe, Tuscon, AZ, and then up to Colorado Springs and Denver, CO via Albequerque, New Mexico.
The hustle and bustle of California had begun to fade. As we got deeper into the hot, dry, cactus speckled desert, I had only one thing on my mind. Rattlesnakes. I've never seen one before. They seem like interesting creatures. This was not the first time that they have occupied my mind on long silent drives through new landscapes. Earlier this year, I spent some time in Medicine Hat, Alberta, and again, Rattlesnakes. I'm terrified of snakes. I don't get it.
The desert is a place of survivors. Not for the faint of heart. It's unforgiving nature is equally matched by the natural beauty of the landscape.
The sprawling desert backed by the mountains of Nevada and Arizona reminded me of a scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, or Wayne's World 2 in his hallucinations with Jim Morrison. Things were getting weird. Days and days of taco consumption were starting to take ahold. It was becoming an addiction. Mind you, like pizza, there is no such thing as a bad taco, just good or great. We rolled through Tempe and Tuscon in 37 Degree Celsius heat. The first of our Arizona performances found us on a punk rock bill. Just what was needed to push me through the hangover that was heavily lingering after my night in Vegas with friends. Tuscon on night two, was interesting. One of those unexpected cities that catches you off guard. A vibrant downtown filled with college students, micro-breweries, music venues, and street punks, surrounded by low income living, riding the line above poverty. Such contrast from one figurative side of the tracks to the other. Our show was in a different part of town in an old concrete warehouse that had been split into multiple spaces. A local social activist and live music supporter/promoter named Terry had taken residence there and was using the space for shows, as well as his home. The room slowly filled as we watched a couple young hometown artists open the show before we took the floor. It reminded me of the all ages punk shows my good friend Bj Downey used to put on in our hometown of Hartland, NB when we were teenagers. There was excitement, uncertainty, purity and something raw about it that is only owned by the youth. Music that night was played in the way it was intended at its origins. Consciously, and without care.
Arizona was followed by two days of travel as we made our way to Colorado via New Mexico. I am not a religious man, but there is something holy about this country. Similar to the calm of the ocean, but without the push and pull. It is all cruise. Unwavering and steady. Sprawling plains to protruding escarpments. If a place can feel ancient and historic, this was it. We stayed an hour outside of Albequerque in the foothills the first night at a friend of a friend's place. They had three options of sleeping arrangements.
- On the floor in the main room of the house with three playfully rambunctious pit bulls.
- In an abandoned school bus with no doors.
- In an 1971 (ish) RV that had been stationary for the better part of the last decade. (With doors)
Like anyone would, we opted for the palace on wheels with doors. Being in the desert, temperatures this time of year can get low after sunset. Having spent the last two weeks in plus 30 C temperatures, we were left to rely heavily upon the power of positive thinking to get us through the cool desert night.
On our second day off we arrived in Colorado Springs a day early for the show. A perfect opportunity to catch a movie, and spend the night sleeping in my van.
I was back in the Rocky Mountains. It felt like I was close to my mountain town of Canmore, Alberta. This amplified feelings of missing friends and my girlfriend, Lisa, but also brought a feeling of familiarity and comfort. It was a Monday night show, and the first true day of the approaching winter chill.
Colorado has possibly been my favourite region on tour. Maybe because it reminded me of my current home. If Colorado Springs was my Canmore, Denver was my Calgary. Mountain views from an eclectic record store, venue lined downtown district. I have slowly let down my guard and begun to follow in Yotam's footsteps delving into record mania. The lights are growing dim and the air is getting thin.
A shout out to Peter Melby and Chris Fogal for coming to Bowman's Vinyl for our show. Peter is one of the co-owners of One Week Records, and Chris masters all of the One Week albums. Had some great hangs with them.
So I think that about covers it. Hope there is something of interest amongst all the haze for you guys.
I've been really enjoying playing on this tour. It took some time to find the groove, but things are starting to flow. We are now less than three weeks away from Fest in Gainesville, FL and I am already getting excited to see a bunch of old friends and to meet some new ones. On to Kansas and the great mid west. Thanks for reading. Writing these entries has been a lot of fun. Adios.
Album pick: Iron Chic - The Constant One