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Hotter Than A Pepper Sprout

Breakout Tour: Days 21 & 22
Emporium
Jackson, TN

After knocking out the rest of the drive to Jackson we spent the afternoon at Starbucks getting carpal tunnel syndrome. My laptop is out of commission so I’ve been doing all my writing and office work on my iPhone and tablet. By the end of this tour I’m going to either have to have it amputated or I’m going to be set to join a thumb wrestling competition, not sure which yet.

The show at the Emporium was a last minute fill date so we had no idea what to expect. It was put together by Rock Rage Radio, an internet radio station that has been gaining some steam. They were set up with equipment to record both Man on Earth’s and Dive’s sets and to do interviews for on air play.

Nate was starting to not feel well so he did a light soundcheck and then took it easy right up until show time. The rest of the guys did a more in-depth soundcheck and even goofed around and played a cover of Lorde’s ‘Royals’ with Root singing. What they didn’t know is that the radio station people we already recording, so there now exists a copy of it somewhere in the digital universe. (I hope it reaches my email box at some point….. Fingers crossed!)

While we were soundchecking the Dive guys were outside at their bus hanging out when two lost dogs came wandering up to them. Both were super friendly and had collars on but no tags. The Dive guys leashed them up, and set out around the surrounding parking lots to look for the owners. After much searching they returned without success.

An internet search showed them that we were in an area in which all the local shelters were’t non-kill shelters, meaning that if the two dogs were brought there there was a decent chance that one or both of them would be euthanized. Dive found this to be completely unacceptable. They got the dogs some food and water and called around to find a non-kill animal rescue. They found someone who was some distance away, so they offered gas money to the woman and she agreed to come pick them up.

When it came show time even though Nate wasn’t feeling 100%, everyone, him included, played spot on, which is what you hope for every night but especially the ones that are being recorded for more that just our own benefit. The Dive guys had a great night as well, so, needless to say the radio station was happy with their recording.

After the show the booker and the promoter both came up and said how much they enjoyed the whole show and wanted to know if we wanted to stay and play again the next night and open for the band Boy Hits Car. Neither of of the bands had to be anywhere until Friday, so we both took the gig. We spent the night plugged in to the venue, sleeping until the sun attacked the bus with it’s relentless rays, heating it up inside so that not even the personal fans that each of us have were able to keep us cool. Baked awake, we headed back to Starbucks for another mind numbing day of computer work.

Nate continued to progressively feel worse, to the point where trying to sleep it off on the sweltering bus wasn’t even an option. He found a cheap hotel room close to the Planet Fitness that the rest of us would wind up at, and went to try to sleep away the illness in an air conditioned room. Root and I worked until 6, and then we all went over for our Planet Fitness dailies, after which we picked up Nate and headed back to the club.

The nap had helped him a bit, but he was on the downward spiral of the not-feeling-well roller coaster. We got to the venue in time for him to do his vocal warmups and get ready for sing. The club had let us keep our gear set up overnight, so there was no load in to speak of.

There was a few times during the set when I caught a flash glimpse of Nate looking like he was going to pass out, but he survived. On top of that, it was one of the rare string breaking sets, where Nate broke a string and Stevie G broke two. In three years of constantly touring, there was only one other show where 3 strings broke in one night, so it’s a fairly uncommon thing.

Directly after the set Nate and I found a ride back to his hotel so that we could get a full nights sleep and he could be rested for the show the next night. The rest of the guys spent the evening in the club’s parking lot (again!) with the plan of picking us up in the morning so we could make our six hour drive.