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 eight in our series.
Tour Diary #8: We're Off To See The Wizard - Oct. 14, 2017
Despite the title of this diary, I will not be making any Wizard of Oz references.
Kansas. It was like Saskatchewan, with cheaper chewing tobacco. In Lawrence, there were more barber shops per square mile than streetlights. People were proud. Religion was prominent, and the underground subculture and community was brewing. America is full of true believers. Whatever it may be that they are standing behind, they are all in.
My older brother was a huge college basketball fan when we were growing up, so being in these university sports towns is kinda cool for me. Lawrence is home to the University o Kansas. One of the most winning basketball programs in the NCAA. Everywhere I looked I saw KU. Billboards, jackets, hats, coffee cups. Excitement was in the air, and high for the approaching season in hopes for another championship.
My focus, not eating Mexican food for breakfast again.
The night before we had stayed with a wonderful soul, offering us a place to sleep, laundry, food, whatever we needed, and told us the door will always be open for the future. She had been waiting tables but was slowly transitioning to part-time, and eventually to fully running her own business as a seamstress and designer. As she diligently worked on an order of custom fanny packs, we talked about her previous coast to coast trip she had done in her old RV that was parked in the driveway. At 8 miles per gallon, she loved every second of it. In the words of Yotam, a "true traveller". I love meeting people like this. They don't reside within the constraints of society; just hover there, taking what is required for the next adventure. Never fully buying in. No straight lines. Wandering souls. We bought her a B-52's record in appreciation of her kindness and made way for Kansas City, Missouri. A
linear metropolis, running somewhat perpendicular to the Missouri River. We played at a local record store with its heart in the most genuine of places. They had shows there regularly, and the owner sported a tub full of refreshments available free of charge with a suggested $5 donation box sitting at the front door. Records With Merit, aptly named. We played with Dead Ven. A jolly guy, wanting to show us what KC had to offer. After the show we caught The Bronx set down the street. It was nice to get out of the drive, eat, play, sleep, repeat routine. They put on a killer show. Within a flash, they had taken the stage, ripped the place a new one, and said goodnight. It was mesmerizing.
Ven guided me through some of the finest local beers, and we had a great time. Thanks, Ven.
The next morning we would head for Oklahoma City before starting our run of shows in Texas.
The rivers ran thick with mud. They made me want to do a running body slide on their banks, like a natural slippery banana. Unsure of what lay in the mysterious murky waters, I re-evaluated. I had felt humidity before, but this was on another level. Like walking in a constant warm mist. Take too deep of a breath and start sweating kind of heat. Like a sauna. Sure, I'm a stereotypical sub-zero accustomed Canadian, but I really liked it. Despite our efforts to stir up a couple couches to crash on in Oklahoma City, we were left with the decision to head for Dallas where we had a place to stay, or face the heat soaked inevitable of sleeping in the van. Yotam's girlfriend, Paola, had joined us a couple days earlier, and this was to possibly be her first taste of true touring life. Dallas was three hours away, and we were able to get away from the venue around 11 pm. A nice couple bought me 8.5% craft beer to follow my free for playing beers while Yotam was on stage, so I had to sit out on driving for the first hour or so. Yotam was feeling strong. We gave it a try. 45 minutes into our voyage, his eyelids began to grow heavy. First option, let's see if we can get a cheap hotel room. No dice. Second option, the van. Sometimes, you just have to face the music. If we were in a larger cargo van, the option may have been more attractive, but we are rolling in my Dodge Grand Caravan. A decision for this tour based on gas mileage and cost-effectiveness, not the leisure of space. So, we made it happen. It wasn't terrible. Yes, it was hot and cramped, but at least we had a roof over our heads. And, we would appreciate an air-conditioned apartment the next night with our friend Mark in Dallas that much more.
In the morning, we would be Texas bound. Giddy up.
Album Pick: Pinegrove - Cardinal