Notes from Das Boot 207
Friday, 6/20/14 Loreley, Germany
We are at the Loreley Metalfest, it’s on the Rhine River and that’s beautiful but the festival is very metal. The crowd is a standard metal crowd, I saw a few people with inflatable swords already. Catering is small with an overwhelmed staff, there are two toilets for ten bands and it’s starting to rain. The bus is parked next to the “black metal” stage. Most of the singers sound like if you were making a cartoon of a backed up kitchen sink drain and the drain needed a voice “hellllp meeeee, i’mmmm clooooggggggged“, topped off by music that sounds like a squad of angry bees.
Saturday 6/21/14 en route to Hellfest, Clisson, France
There are signs that the end of the tour is close. One of the main ones is that tour shirts are being worn as the last bit of clean laundry runs out. We also ran out of sugar cubes so we are into a bag of sugar, which could be messy depending on how rough the drive goes. A few tours ago we ran out of sugar and I wanted some for my coffee. When I get a coffee in the morning on the bus I’m not looking for a sublime experience to savor, I want a caffeinated sugar bomb to wake my ass up. So we were out of sugar and I decided to try honey, ” it’s a sweetener, right? How bad could it be”. It was fucking terrible, there’s a a good reason why nobody uses honey for coffee.
10:30am en route to Hellfest
There was a lot of metal in Loreley that I wasn’t that familiar with. Mainly folk metal, which to my ears sounds like generic metal chugging along at a brisk pace with semi-aggro Cookie Monster vocals and then all of a sudden Pow! bagpipes, a hurdy gurdy, violin or a flute. Played with a grim seriousness that I would associate with people leading others into battle. “Follow that woman playing the hurdy-gurdy into battle my brothers, she will smite our oppressors!”
Last show today and I’m starting to do the math about how many hours instead of days until I get home. Last shows that are festivals make it a bit harder to tighten up all your luggage as you usually end up sorting through your shit in a field. Hopefully not a muddy field.
We got here about 2pm and it’s a giant, hot, dusty clusterfuck. Everyone who works here kind of looks like they have their shit together until you ask them a question, any question. The answers are textbook lessons in circular bullshit, repeat answers to questions that weren’t asked until the person asking the question just gives up.
Back home. The rest of Hellfest was long and I missed the few bands I wanted to see because it was just so big and I was just so lazy, last day, just keep it movin’. We had a great show, good way to end the tour. Got to Charles de Gaulle Airport late so there was a lot of running around. Didn’t know that the cover of The Alan Parsons Project album I Robot was based on the moving sidewalks of the airport. It’s futuristic but the moving sidewalks are very spongy and have a queasy “here we go again” feeling to them. Got on the plane, I’d like to add how shitty and uncomfortable Boeing 757’s are especially on long sold out flights. There was a problem with the plane, waiting, waiting, deplane, wait for update, wait, wait, here’s a voucher for some food, wait, wait, flight has been canceled, pick up your bags, wait for hotel shuttle, go thru passport control, wait at bag carousel, Pow! Uncanceled, go back thru passport control, thru security, wait, wait, back on plane, wait, fly, wait at understaffed passport control at Newark, wait, van ride home, kiss wife, kiss wife again, pet dog, babble incoherently, fall asleep.