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Rake It Up To Take It In

Breakout Tour: Day 9
Uli’s Haus of Rock
Lansing, MI

I woke up in a melancholy mood that Friday. Being on the road so much means sacrifices, some big, some small. We have all had to miss holidays, birthdays, family events, and countless other things in the name of rock and roll. Personally, those types of things have never been big in my family, but I have been doing my best to create my own traditions throughout my life. One of my biggest is, (judge away!) the Dave Matthews Band weekend at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY. It’s a weekend of BBQing, friends, and music in one of my favorite music venues in the country. I’ve been going yearly since 2005, so not being there put me in a funk.

We drove the rest of the way to Lansing that morning, and then had some time to kill just hanging out during afternoon because Stevie G had a Skype lesson to teach. The extra time was spent at the closest Planet Fitness to the venue, and also grabbing lunch at food court in the attached mall after our workout. The guys did their best to snap me out of my ‘poor me’ mindset (and it kind of worked, but don’t tell them!), and soon we were on our way to the club.

Uli’s Haus of Rock had more of a ‘Hell’s Angels Club House’ feel to it than most clubs we’ve played, with the exception of maybe the Vegas stop that we had on our Spring 2013 tour. (I actually have a reference point for that statement. One of my friends from growing up had family that was part of a local Hell’s Angels chapter, and we spent a little bit of time hanging out there. Good times… Good times….) Sharing the building with the club was a medical marijuana dispensary. The strong, skunky odor of the weed penetrated the walls between the two spaces and hung within the club’s air. When mixed with the smell of stale beer and cigarettes, well, the ambiance was set. (Note to the booking agents for Linkin Park: Probably not a venue for y’all. Just saying!)

Root and I took off for an exploratory walk of the surrounding area but found nothing terribly interesting besides an auto parts store, so we headed back to the club. We arrived in time to greet long time friend and supporter of the band Gianni, from Motor Energy Drinks. While we were talking to him one of the evenings opening acts was in the process of loading their gear back in to their trailer. They decided to last minute drop of the show because the venue wouldn’t let their band’s sound guy touch the house sound board. (They wouldn’t let me touch the light board either…) The first opening act had started late, so this actually helped get us back to our scheduled time slot. I spent my ‘night off’ hanging with Gianni and also Gail and Ben, who had driven up from Ft. Wayne for the show.

We had the following five days off so our plan was to head down to Ft. Wayne to spend the week with Gail and Ben. Dive had some friends up near Detroit, so they went that way. We drove straight there after the show, arriving well after our usual sleep time. There was no arm twisting involved in going right to bed that night, as almost everyone was already asleep by the time we landed.