Sunday 6 September 2015

‘To Austin and Beyond’ Godhunter – vs – Destroyer of Light ‘Endsville’ Tour Diary: Leg three: Day 19 – 25

 By: Jake Brazelton & Keegan Kjeldsen

Day 19 - Philadelphia, PA) (Jake from Godhunter): We drove the long way around New York City to try and avoid the traffic which meant we drove around two and a half hours through New Jersey. During that entire time in Jersey we didn't pass by a single god damn rest stop. We didn't have the appropriate bottles to pee in so we waited all the way to Pennsylvania before we were finally able to stop. With empty bladders we drove down to South Philly for Oppressive Fest at Kung Fu Necktie. After unloading the gear, we went and got some cheesesteaks for dinner because that is what you do when visiting Philadelphia. They were delicious and had a pickle bar. A fucking pickle bar. How cool is that? After my vegan cheesesteak with grilled onions and cheese whiz, we got back down to the venue just as Dirtbag started the fest with their brand of Kentucky doom. The Endsville crew closed out the 7 band fest which held some highlights like the death-doom of Fin'amor and the grindcore brutality of Total Fucking Destruction. I'm glad no one broke into our van tonight.

Day 20 – Baltimore) (Keegan from Destroyer of Light): After another all-nighter, we crashed at a friend's house, then woke up at an amazingly late hour and hustled over to the Pratt Street Ale House to try Oliver Brewing Co.'s new, dark ale: Destroyer of Light. This is something of a milestone for me, since beer and heavy metal are two things of supreme importance in my life and at this point I've somehow combined them. The beer was heavy and delicious, and afterwards we headed down to The Depot for that night's show. Some very sexy artwork was up on the walls, and At The Graves put on a one-man show that absolutely crushed - very few artists can pull off the one-man band, and this performance was solid. After a very loud couple of sets in a very small bar, we loaded out in one of the smelliest alleys of tour. The smells of each city seem to be competing for 'worst thing a nose can experience'. Nevertheless, Baltimore treated us very well, and the next day's drive prompted an early night.

Day 21 - Greenville, SC) (Jake from Godhunter): Well, the inevitable happened. As much as I tried to prevent it, I got sick. Being on the road for three weeks has punched my immune system right in the balls. But that didn't stop Greenville from being fucking awesome. We rolled up to the Thomas Creek Brewery and we instantly knew this shit was going to be awesome. We didn't set up in some bar section of this place, fuck no. The spot where the bands were playing was in the actual BREWERY, right in from of some actual equipment. After drinking some high quality beer (yes I was drinking while sick, wanna fight about it?) I got myself a good spot to catch Wvrm bring the sludge grind to the good folks of Greenville. Endville played next and I tried my best to make sure my voice didn't go out while playing. Waft came up and closed the night and those dudes played probably one of my all time favorite sets I have seen so far on this tour. I'm not sure how to describe these dudes other than bad ass. While talking with the Waft drummer Zach I found out that we both share a love for the Dragonlance books. Who knew there were so many nerds who like metal?

Day 22 – Atlanta) (Keegan from Destroyer of Light): We're always glad to return to Atlanta, the home of our good friend Dwayne of Order of the Owl. It's always a rager, and this time we played in The Basement, which is literally the basement of the bar and grill upstairs. There were weird vibes however.. a 'prison transport' police vehicle, with its blue lights flashing, pulled up and just sat in the parking lot of the venue for about a half hour. Weird, and totally a buzz-kill. Finally, they left... only to return about twenty minutes later to do the same thing. If you're carrying a prisoner, maybe you wouldn't want to, you know, stop for long periods of time? I don't know. What I do know is that it freaked us out, but local duo, Day Old Man, got our heart-rates back to normal with their glittery shirts and stylish doom. After a doomed show in the underworld from Endsville, Canopy closed things out with their instrumental sludge. Also, Buffalo Bleu Cheese Nachos? Who know that was a thing.

Day 23 - Little Rock, AR) (Jake from Godhunter): I love pizza just like every other real American so tonight was very special to me. We got to play a pizza joint in Little Rock that provided the bands with free pizzas. Each band got two pizzas apiece and since I don't eat meat, I essentially got an entire pizza to myself. Since we are getting close to the end of this adventure, I am pretty fucking broke at this point which made the free pizza taste that much better. We got some free beer too which made everything extra sweet. We were treated to the prog doom of Construction of Light before Apothecary came on stage. Those dudes sounded like Pallbearer except the singer had a better voice. We wrapped up this show with full stomachs and high spirits, nights like this near the end of a long run are much appreciated.

Day 24 - New Orleans) (Keegan from Destroyer of Light): The penultimate date of tour felt like it came way too quick. Tour feels like it flies by - and yet at the same time, when you think about some of the first dates of tour when you start to get to the end, they feel like they could have been months ago. You're more often in the present moment on tour, since you're constantly moving, changing scenery, and don't really know what you're getting into from one day to the next. This fucks with your perception of time, since we're so used to dwelling the past or in the future all the time. In any case, it was a strange feeling to know that reality was right around the corner, a night's drive away, back in Austin - home. We met up with Old & Ill and Thunderkief, the outstanding guys behind Worshiper cabs, who were just beginning their tour. It was great to see our homies (though some bastard had robbed them the night before, in Austin of all places), but we didn't let that get us down, and a band of friends and comrades pretty much doomed the Saturn Bar into oblivion. Our friends from NOLA, Solid Giant, finished the night off with their nasty, transgressive sludge - unfortunately, locals in Space Cadavre had a run-in with the cops before the show and couldn't make it, reminding us that we were in New Orleans. Once upon a time, you could smoke inside and drink outside in New Orleans, but apparently a new law has banned smoking in bars. The times are a'changin', even here. Ah well. At least you can still drink outside.

Day 25 - Austin, TX) (Jake from Godhunter): This is it. The final night of the Endville assault on the U.S. The worst part about tonight was that both of our end-of-tour-pranks ended up falling through. Destroyer of Light ended up parking on the street corner so we couldn't mummify their van with toilet paper AND all the crickets we bought died before we could dump them in their merch boxes. The night was started out by Ass who play an old school sounding style of thrash punk that set the tone for the night. One of the coolest things about these dudes is their bass player Matt makes pedals for his company Idiotbox, which David and I have been using for years now. It was cool as fuck to finally meet this dude. Destroyer of Light played a memorable final set for this tour and then we came up and gave it everything we had left. Mala Suerte closed out the night and the party wound down to a close. We had an absolute blast hanging with the DoL dudes for these past few weeks and I can't fucking wait to hit the road again.

(Keegan from Destroyer of Light): Tour's been good to us, as it always has, but only because of the community of friends, fans, bookers, fellow musicians and really everyone else who is willing to help us out while we're out and about. So long for now, 'Murica. We'll be hittin' the highway again, don't you worry.