Another Year Round the States: 6 Unusual Experiences I Had On Tour in 2016

Metal Night/Emo Night: On my Spring tour working for Night Demon and Visigoth, we did a show at the Masquerade in Atlanta GA. This venue has three rooms, namely Purgatory, Hell and Heaven, in order from smallest to biggest, and we were in the Purgatory room. Our show ended early, so afterwards we went walkabout, and since I worked a show in Hell on the Warbringer-Enforcer tour, I was curious to see what was going on there that night, and lo and behold, it was emo night, a.k.a. ‘Taking Back Tuesday’, which as I discovered later, is a series of emo night events that take place in many different cities around the country. The room was packed, more so than it was for the Warbringer show, and there were at least 500 people dancing to music played by DJs, and in complete contrast to my elaborate setup, the merch stand here merely displayed “Sad As Fuck” balloons t-shirts and balloons. There is clearly a consumer base for nightly entertainment that does not care about live music and prefers DJs, and this was a classic example of it. Nothing against anyone who’s into this type of music or event, but this was not something I ever imagined experiencing, and I would have never known what an emo night is like, if it weren’t for this weird coincidence. If you are not inclined to find out what ‘Taking Back Tuesday’ is all about, you’re probably better off, because curiosity almost killed this cat that night.


We Don’t Serve Your Kind: On the same Night Demon tour, after a show in St. Louis, Missouri, we stopped at a McDonald’s in the city of Brentwood MO for some late night munchies. The three members of the band, two of our friends and I walked in to this restaurant which was clearly open, with people dining inside. Just so you know, Brentwood is in the vicinity of Ferguson, a town that made a lot of news in recent times and led to racial tensions not only in this area but nationwide. The aftermath of that is still very much in effect here, as the restaurant was occupied by African-American folks dining, while we of non-African-American descent were refused service, seemingly for no valid reason. Even though a lot of what we see on the news and internet is an exaggeration, this kind of incident makes you think again, because reverse racism undoubtedly exists in this country, even in multi-billion, multi-national corporations such as this one. But we weren’t going to let ourselves be sad as fuck for not getting our munchies, so we simply drove around to the drive-thru window and made them serve us anyway. Yes, this incident was more ridiculous than I can possibly ever put in words.

They're not lovin' it
They’re not lovin’ it

Scared Shitless: Have you ever needed to take a leak or dump really bad and then lost all the urge to do so as soon as you stepped into a bathroom? That’s exactly what happened to me while I was on tour with Gygax in June. Somewhere in the city of Napa in Northern California, we stopped at a mom-and-pop gas station/travel stop, and lined up outside the single-person men’s bathroom they had. I was third or fourth in line, and I was witnessing expressions of complete shock on the faces of everyone who went into this bathroom before me. Upon asking, the common response was, “Don’t ask, you’ll find out soon enough!” And I don’t blame them, because it was hard to explain. When I opened the door and stepped in, I was greeted by the sight of a female mannequin laying in a bath tub, holding a roll of toilet paper in one hand. I was thanking my lucky stars that this took place in broad daylight and not in the middle of the night, so it was not nearly as haunting as it could have been. The moral of the story is, if there is a serious lack of entertainment in your life, open up a random travel stop in the middle of nowhere and literally scare unsuspecting travelers shitless by bathroom props such as this one.

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