Road Notes 6: Reckless Fest and Mid West Down Time
August 4, 2014
Well Chicago was a blast folks. We spent an entire day sightseeing, followed by an exclusive pre-Lollapalooza party. After a very slow morning we spent the following afternoon wandering around the city some more until it was time to make our way to a venue called Take 20 in Cherry Valley, Illinois which is about 60 miles west.
We arrived at the venue quite late due to Friday traffic in Chicago and were greeted by some very threatening skies. We quickly loaded our gear just in time for the deluge and intense thunderstorm that ensued. That wouldn't have been too big of a deal if two of the local bands hadn't decide to drop off the show last minute… Leaving three bands from out of state to try and attract an audience in a city that no band could previously point to on a map. Needless to say it was a slow night, but there was a saving grace.
Right when we finished our first song a guy approached the stage and said "You guys really need to play here tomorrow, we are putting on a festival for a ton of people." After a brief moment, I looked around the room and said "hell yes, we want to do that if you can make it happen." Sure enough he was able to secure us the 3pm spot at "Reckless Fest" the following day which was one of the best shows we have played thus far. We played again at Take 20 (Take 20 Take 2 if you will) but this time to a packed house and we totally rocked that place. It was night and day (shameless pun) from the previous show and we were thrilled that we were able to make the best of the situation and come out with a bunch of new fans. I should also note that the food there was pretty good too. Don't let the buffalo sauce in their ketchup dispensers fool you, the place actually has some fantastic chicken wings.
The bands after us were quite a bit heavier than us in more ways than one. In case anyone is wondering what's going on in the Illinois underground hardcore metal scene, it's often times just a bunch of overweight dudes trying to out-scream each other with "vocals" ranging from a low dog bark to the shriek of a pterodactyl. Then there's the Halloween style stage gimmicks such as creepy rotting baby dolls or demon statues. Honestly it's pretty comical for a little while but it certainly gets old pretty quick for some of us.
After the show that afternoon we found ourselves with the night off once again due to yet another cancellation in Indianapolis. I didn't book any of these shows so I really don't know why this keeps happening, but it certainly puts a stress on us financially since we live off the money that we make from our performances. Anyway, we decided to drive to Des Moines, Iowa to stay the night which was about half way to our next gig. We were pleasantly surprised at how much fun that city can be. There were tons of college kids out and about near the downtown area getting some much needed partying in before school started the following week. We ate at a ridiculously delicious burger place called Zombie Burger, and then went to Barcadium which is literally a bar/arcade. Great times.
The next day we had a scheduled day off so we spent the day in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nothing exciting here. It was basically a ghost town, and will be until school starts I'm guessing. We ate some lunch in the city at one of the only open restaurants, and after finishing our self-described "no love" southern BBQ food we decided to get a hotel room to wait out the night. Again nothing special… Went for a run then played Rummy until we fell asleep.
That brings us to today. We just ate at an amazing diner called The Kitchen in Somewhere Off The Freeway, Nebraska and now we are headed to the city of Kearny for our show tonight at Gillies Bar. It looks to be smooth sailing from here and we're hoping that the cancelations are all behind us. I guess we'll all have to find out on the next edition of Road Notes. Thanks for reading!