Days 22-25: The Office
Ok, so it’s not a venue. Or even a defined place. It’s more of a generalization of what we were doing for those few days…. Office work. On this tour we have definitely seen more Starbucks then clubs, to the point where I constantly suggest that we should call this the “Working Class Heroes Tour”. (Ok, before someone in the band calls b.s. on me using that catchphrase, I’ve never ACTUALLY said it out loud…. But I’ve definitely thought about it and whistled some John Lennon while loading in and out.)
We woke up in the casino parking lot, headed to Planet Fitness and then to an Italian restaurant to grab lunch with Rick, the manager of Miggs, who has been a friend of Man on Earth for a while.
After lunch we weighed anchor and set off northwest, in the direction of Chicago.
Our next show wasn’t for a few days, so we pulled up Google Maps to find a place to camp out for a few days. We found an area in Lafayette, IN that had everything we needed within a mile’s radius… Planet Fitness, Starbucks, Walmart…
Lafayette seems to thrive on the existence of Purdue University, and you couldn’t escape the atmosphere that a large college brings to an area.
One of my good friends, Sam (of Nashville/Memphis/Ft. Wayne shenanigans), in enrolled at Purdue so I met up with her to grab some dinner at a downtown pub. When I met back up with the band, Stevie G was giving one of his Skype guitar lessons and the rest of the guys were wandering aimlessly through a Walmart. Root bought a football, and he and I tossed it back and forth a bit, until it started sprinkling.
It was a warm night, the rain had stopped but it was super windy. I stepped outside of the bus for a phone call at about 2am, and watched shopping carts careening uncontrollably, driven by the invisible hand of the wind. Temperature wise, it was still warm, I was completely comfortable in shorts and a tee shirt. Once I was done on the phone, I crawled back into my bunk. The bus retains it’s heat fairly well, especially on warmer nights, so I fell asleep with just a light sheet on. Three hours later, I woke up shivering. The wind had brought a cold front upon us, and the temperature had dropped about 25 degrees in the short time that I had been sleeping. The perception returned, this time in the form of snow, and sleet. As I looked out my window I could see the dusting accumulate on the cars and any other objects that weren’t retaining the heat from the day as well as the ground. Pulling out the heavy blankets, I fell back asleep.
The next day was a typical boring office day for us. After a work out and showers, we posted up inside of a Barnes and Noble Starbucks and worked the day away. After working well into the evening, we grabbed dinner at the mall next door to the Starbucks. The mall turned out to be a much bigger place than we thought, the outside was very deceiving. That night, we all stayed up watching the show Impractical Jokers on Root’s tv. If you’ve never seen the show, check it out, it’s one of the funniest shows, if not THE funniest show I’ve ever seen on television. It’s a reality show where four life long friends set up situations in an effort to embarrass each other.
Night time is usually when everyone decompresses, that bit of solitude that helps keep us sane out on the road. But, every now and again, especially on multiple days off in a row, we need to take the time to all just hang out in a non-band related activity. Out on the road we are living together in close quarters, working together, both at shows and in our office time, day in and day out. If time isn’t taken to socialize in non-band related things, then tensions get high. After a few hours of heavy laughter, everyone fell asleep.
With more of the same on the docket for the next day, we decided to change the pace slightly, and set up shop at the McDonald’s. Nate had a conference call in the evening, so the rest of us worked late, and then Root, Mochello, and I headed to Applebee’s for a quick bite before we headed back out, Chicago in the crosshairs…