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 the penultimate entry in our series.
Tour Diary #10: Swamp Things - Oct. 22, 2017
Well, guys, we are getting close to Fest. On the homestretch, you could say. I feel like I've been writing exams and finishing final papers with all of these journal entries, and I have really enjoyed it. Without them for future reference, I would most likely be left with 6 weeks of a blackout of time and place with no recollection of what happened or where I have been. I appreciate you all taking the time to check these out. So, here we go.
The expansive highway flowed through the swamp. Miles upon miles perched on stilts. As though being carried on the backs of a pack of Star Wars All Terrain Imperial Walkers (I had to google that). What lies below, I wanted to inspect so badly. Like a scab that you just can't help but pick. My urge to explore the unknown was buzzing. And now my focus from rattlesnakes had moved on to gators, snapping turtles, and the elusive armadillo.
After Texas, we had made our way to Lafayette, Louisiana. It was like a John Grisham novel brought to the big screen. We were in the south.
Driving to New Orleans the next day felt like a sci-fi movie. Buzzing twenty feet above the ground, weaving through the supernatural vegetation. The human race has throughout modern history found ways to shoulder its way into nature, infringing on its wild beauty, making itself comfortable. But not here. The swamp would not have it. Bridges upon bridges, touching down on occasion to regroup and gather strength and supplies before taking the next beating of highway construction. Like a bully being put in its place. One for the good guys.
The streets were lined with multi-coloured houses. The French culture evident. It would possibly be our best show of the tour so far. We were on a bill with gutter punk sensations, Days N Daze. They too are crisscrossing cities around the south-eastern US, and have been filling venues with a devout and loyal following of passionate fans. Ready to scream along with every word of their songs. The kind of connection that every band dreams of with an audience. We were lucky enough to perform for a portion of their fan army, and also to have the chance to see them perform.
As for the city, I had to see what all the hype was about. We had the next day off, and our welcoming host Catherine was willing to house us for an extra night. Yotam and Paola wanted a quiet night opting for a movie, and I opted for chaos.
In preparation of easing my way down Bourbon St, I grabbed a litre of Corona from the closest grocer and began my journey. I had been told that Frenchmen St was the district that I wanted to aim for. Ten blocks deep into the abyss, I knew I would have to pass through the "Spring Break Gone Wild" portion of the mecca to get to the live music venues, so a little lubrication would be needed. Over stimuli ensued. Neon lights, neon "hurricane" take away drink cups, neon eyes. I weaved through the herds of people. Promoters stood at the front of bars trying to corral passer by's into their doors. 1 for 3 beers. 2 for 1 drinks. I guess business was good, they were giving alcohol away. As exciting as it seemed. I had to make my escape. Not my scene. Actually, I think I will just simplify this whole story instead of trying to make it sound like a wild night on the town. I ate a couple really good meals, checked out some traditional music, got half cut, bought a pack of smokes, and walked around checking shit out. It's weird, but that's what I like to do when I'm a solo tourist. I love parting probably a little more than the next guy because I love being with my friends. Roaming around by myself is cool and all, but I'm more of a fly on the wall under there circumstances. I met a few cool people, and that was great.
I'm one of those people that loves seeing new things. It gets my blood pumping. Maybe it's that I fear missing out on anything, and getting out there eases the anxiety of it all. There is definitely a higher energy of some kind permeating through the streets of the French Quarter. Some of that felt exciting, some felt dark. The coolest part of the night was going to a local show after Yotam and Paola picked me up. We ran into a couple old friends, watched some good music, and experienced a little of the New Orleans music community. And I truly and fully believe community is what keeps us going through life. As much as I love being alone sometimes, it is the people in my life and what they create together that inspires me. Solo drunken wanderings through crowded streets may create a spark of creativity, but it is my friends that give me the energy to bring an idea into reality. So, thank you guys for that.
And if you feel lonely, go to a local show, or community activity, or a group session focused on something you love. I know it can be hard to leave your room sometimes, but put yourself out there. We are a social, pack-oriented species. Go with it.
Speaking of packs and community, Fest is gonna rule! See you soon.
Album Pick: Days 'N Days - Crustfall
Outtakes and thoughts :
- Shoulder to shoulder with the pissers and the hand washers one doesn't usually happen without the other, but there are some that you would not eat a potato chip after.