[Blog] On The Road With Night Demon – Part 10: Home Stretch

By Andrew Bansal

IMG_0903_FotorAfter saying goodbye to Raven in Raleigh NC, we rolled on to hit the home stretch with two Night Demon headline shows on the long drive back to Southern California. In the final installment of my ‘On The Road With Night Demon’ tour blog series, I’ll bring you an account of what transpired in the final week of the tour, plus a general summary of a few tour-related topics. But before that, check out parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 if you haven’t.

Arriving back at the 529 in Atlanta for the first of the two headline shows literally brought us full circle to where we started this epic journey eight weeks ago. The gig was a late one for us with Night Demon not going on until 12:45 but they got to play a longer set and the event was handled very professionally by promoter Amos Rifkin. The next day we set out to Mobile, Alabama to spend thanksgiving with the Ekmans who have known the band since the Madrid show earlier this year and generously invited us to be a part of their family on this day. The beautiful drive from Atlanta to Mobile through lush green forests and fresh water bodies vindicated the ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ state line welcome sign and the evening was thoroughly enjoyable with great food and good times. We browsed through Iron Maiden’s ‘Flight 666’ and Megadeth’s ‘Rust In Peace 20th anniversary’ DVDs to find my appearances in those movies, which was quite hilarious. We were handed McDonalds gift cards and our stoke level was high. The Ekmans certainly knew their audience. The next morning, we started the long drive to Las Cruces, New Mexico, which took us a total of 20 hours including fuel stoppages. On the way we stopped at the Alamo in San Antonio for the obligatory ‘Ozzy’ photo opportunity, but having woken up from deep sleep, I wasn’t completely aware of my surroundings at the time, to be honest.

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IMG_1297_Fotor_Fotor copyOn the day of the Las Cruces gig, the roadburn was definitely hitting us and was evident from our general demeanor. But with this Bongman show being another late affair, the band delivered the goods on stage when they went on at 1 AM, and played the longest set of the tour consisting of 12 songs. They got a tremendous response from a typically enthusiastic and young Las Cruces crowd and visiting the Green Room for the second time on this tour wasn’t in vain. Then of course there was the legendary six-foot Bongman sandwich put out for the bands to devour.

IMG_1301_Fotor copyWe spent the night in a Super 8 motel room near the venue, left in the early morning, and following the last dinner of the tour at Texas Roadhouse in Peoria, Arizona on Sunday the 30th, on Monday morning we crossed the the best state line of all, California. Always one to rise to the occasion, Jarvis cranked Roy Orbison’s ‘California Blue’ on the stereo as I ticked the van clock back to Pacific Standard Time. And finally, to the sounds of Randy Newman’s ‘I Love LA’, Night Demon dropped me off on Sunset Boulevard at 1 PM.

Being on this tour was a fantastic experience to say the least, and not only gave me a first-hand glimpse into a metal band’s life on the road, but exposed me to some of the inner workings of the music industry more than ever before. Night Demon handled all aspects of this grueling 9-week tour with utmost professionalism. The three members got along with each other throughout this duration and put on the best possible show for the audiences every night, which was commendable in itself.

The tour van didn’t give us any trouble whatsoever, which was an important factor. But the biggest game changer on this tour was the kindness of Night Demon’s circle of fans, people they’d known from the past as well as those we’d met for the first time at the shows. Being able to stay at people’s houses as opposed to sleeping in the van or booking hotel rooms every night certainly helped in a major way, and for readers, specially those in other bands, the lesson to be learned from Night Demon’s interactions with their hosts is to be hospitable and at your best behavior, in order to create a network across the country where you’d be invited back into these houses the next time you come around. Besides, we exercised all possible food options while traveling on this run, and the cheap fast food outlets are undeniably a life saver, at least for young metal bands.

A total distance of 18,500 miles was traveled through 30 states in the USA and 2 in Canada, an experience we will remember for the rest of our lives. Night Demon’s next tour is another US run, with Canada’s Skull Fist and Australia’s Elm Street, starting on January 2nd in Albany, New York. I’ll be with them on that tour as well, so now we get to enjoy 26 days at home before heading out all over again. Thank you for reading this blog, and stay tuned to Metal Assault for more from the world of metal and stories from the road on the next run.

Night Demon US tour dates with Skull Fist and Elm Street:
01/02 Albany, NY @ Bogies
01/03 Amityville, NY @ Amityville Music Hall
01/04 New York, NY @ Webster Hall
01/05 Lemonye, PA @ The Champ Venue
01/06 Providence, RI @ Firehouse 13
01/07 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
01/09 Chicago, IL @ Red Line Tap
01/10 Cudahy, WI @ The Metal Grill
01/11 Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room
01/12 Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
01/13 Lincoln, NE @ Vega
01/15 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre
01/16 Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Bar
01/17 Farmington, NM @ Studio 18
01/18 Albuquerque, NM @ The Blu Phoenix Venue
01/20 Phoenix, AZ @ The Nile Theater (upstairs)
01/22 Colton, CA @ Hub
01/23 Los Angeles, CA @ Airliner
01/24 Fullerton, CA @ Riff Haus
01/25 Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst Club