09.04.00 – St Louis MO Country Fair & Air Show

We played our first ever St Louis Missouri County Fair & Air Show last night. I don’t know how it ended up on the schedule, sandwiched between two innocent college gigs at Columbia and Syracuse. But we were up at 4am, making our way to the airport so we could fly to St Louis and perform to 100 people and 1000 haystacks, with rented equipment, no sleep, no soundcheck, and the “Blue Daredevils” (or something) playing chicken with their airplanes in the sky above us. We were really cranky about the whole thing until they picked us up from the airport in a limo…

In the back of the limo we did exactly what you’d expect. We pushed every button there was to push until we found the one that raises and lowers the barrier separating you from the driver’s cab. We pretended we were in Spinal Tap, and that the driver was going on and on about Sammy Davis Jr, how Frankie Sinatra calls the shots for all those guys, etc… then we looked around until we saw that the cooler was stocked with “Vess-Up” lemon-lime carbonated beverages:

…which seemed odd. You’d think if someone was going to spend a lot of money to put us up in a fancy hotel and drive us around in a limousine all day, that they would stock the limo with a brand-name soda, and not save ten cents on Vess-Ups for the passengers. Don’t get me wrong. It was refreshing and delicious, and we were grateful to have something to drink back there. We were grateful that we didn’t have to walk to the county fair. Grateful that St Louis exists at all. In fact, as this rant seems somewhat spoiled, I am suddenly quite sure that Vess-Up is a special gourmet beverage, made with the pulp of rare imported limons, and served only to members of the limousine-riding community that are aware of its existence and superior taste. And we were grateful to have with us a digital camera, with which Ryan tried to capture the death-defying stunts being performed by the brave pilots above us… (note the artistic use of negative space in Ryan’s photo)…

Or note the six planes in my photo, caught on camera at the precise moment they jettisoned from their tight huddle, a split-second before they zipped off in six different directions, some upside-down, some right-side-up, some doing the thing that ‘Goose’ tried to do in Top Gun.

As for the gig itself, we played 7 songs, each one marred by technical difficulties. Ryan said “fuck” into the microphone and then realized that we were performing to a bunch of families sitting on blankets. Adam tried to put his foot through his monitor to make it sound better. I ate too much ice cream at the fair and almost got diarrhea. We were up at 4 again this morning to catch a flight to Syracuse. Rock and roll.
(note, the word “almost” was added to the last paragraph during the editing of this journal entry.)

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