christ666's Diaryland Diary

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Keep your jeans high and tight

My schedule has been moved to accommodate Hailey's work days, which ends up working out in my favor as I get to spend more time with the kids, though now my free time has been relegated to every other Tuesday, and I have to stay up on Saturdays before work for band practice. So far, it's been a smooth process. My biggest fear was the kids having meltdowns anytime I dropped them off or she picked them up, but for the most part, it seems they're managing okay. If anything, the hardest days are the ones I'm alone in the house, stuck thinking about them and hoping they're happy.

We played the Knit a couple of Fridays ago. Hands down, it was the cushiest gig we've ever done. From load in to load out, we were basically pampered and spoiled, and the crowd attendance was just as strong, if not more so than the last few shows at the Shredder.

We met up at the bomb shelter during the day to run through a couple of songs, then packed and loaded up the van before heading to the venue, where the staff had closed down a whole lane on 9th street for us to park. From there, the production crew unloaded our gear and brought it down to the stage while we dropped off our belongings in our green room. We were assigned the headliners green room with the kids in Barn, but since they were all under 21, they could only use it five minutes before their performance, five minutes after, and during dinner, so Mortal got to enjoy the luxury undisturbed for the most part.

The green room was sizeable with two couches, a large chair, a fridge stocked with beer, a cooler full of ice that we filled with more beer, and a large tv mounted on the wall. Most of our activity throughout the night was mingling around backstage, watching the bands perform from the side of the stage, or chilling in the room watching Tom Segura and noodling on instruments.

As the headliners, we soundchecked first, then waited as the rest of the bands backlined their gear in performance order, and the opener did their own soundcheck. After that was dinner where they catered for the bands, providing a pasta buffet that was... adequate, but most importantly, it was free. After eating, I had to run back to Caldwell to let my dog out to piss, considering at that point he had been in his crate for over six hours.

I had missed the opening band by the time I got back, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how many people were already filtering in, and by the time Barn had taken the stage right before us, the Knit was packed with the most people I had seen for a local show. So many friends had come out, including Charlie, my drummer in MSA whom I had not seen in almost a year. Everyone was really supportive, and it was great catching up with people since the charity show in October.

The experience playing there is on another level. We've played the Knit twice before, but it had been almost ten years since those shows, and I had forgotten just how powerful the sound system is on that stage. I think I had said before, in a diary entry way back then, that the vibrations of the bass and kick drums would travel from the stage, through your feet, and up your legs, and the sheer amount of monitors made it hard not to hear every instrument very clearly. We had our logo displayed behind us, enormously projected on the stage backdrop, which combined with the sheer size of the stage, looked almost comical with our limited gear and lack of any set production to fill the space.

Most people stayed by the time we played, and by the halfway point in our set, the curfew kids had started to filter out, but our performance was strong, and we ended up selling a good amount of merch and gained some new followers on social media. All around, it was another very successful night, which Mortal has had a streak of lately.

I'm always trying to be appreciative of that fact, and I really strive to be in the moment during these awesome gigs, but I'm always combating with my pessimism that likes to reveal itself in these moments. Mentally, I'd struggle trying to slow down and linger in the experience, until before I knew it, the show was over and production was tearing down our gear and bringing it back to the loading dock.

We got the van loaded, then headed back to the shelter with Cushman from Infected Stench to hang with the Barn kids in their rehearsal room, something I hadn't really done yet during our time playing shows together. I tried to make an effort to get to know them more individual, because I know I have a bad habit of closing myself off and refusing to make new friends. Then, we ventured back to our room to smoke bowls and sober up before I finally headed home at 4:30am.

Mortal will probably still jam throughout the rest of the winter, but with no shows on the horizon, I'm hoping that MSA can now be my and Eric's focus. We still have yet to finish the album we started recording back in 2018, and for the first time in a long while, Charlie is crazy motivated to venture away from the country music he's been playing with his band, and to get back to something more aggressive.

I've reconnected with someone from the past, and hanging out with them has been pleasant enough, but it's also a reminder of so many unresolved feelings I can't seem to work out or get over. It feels like there's so much left unsaid even though I can't figure out what it is I want to say, and yet, all of it is a moot point, because contact from me is unwelcome. How do you reconcile with the fact that someone you care so much about wants nothing to do with you?

I suppose you move on. But it's like I have tethers of regret and guilt that prevent me from doing so. Also, how do you go back to real life when you've gotten to experience your fantasy? How do you return to well bourbon when you've gotten to taste the exquisiteness of top shelf scotch? Everything is now in comparison to that standard, and I worry nothing will ever come close.

I guess I have to remember I'm not in a rush. My drive is now focused on raising my kids and trying to be a better man. Also, trying to be better to myself.

11:10 p.m. - 2023-01-15

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