Monday, April 13, 2009

The Unhappiest Place on Earth

An extended drive up through the mountains eventually landed us in Corbin, KY. We were to be only the 3rd Show to perform at the brand spankin' new arena up on a hill behind the town's most popular hangout: Applebee's. Boy shucks howdy hootnanny time to be had! Oh, it was also a dry "moist" county (you could visit a bar or restaurant for booze except on Sundays....because Jesus hates beer).

But I'm getting ahead of myself. There were still those haunting 5 words replaying themselves over and over in my head as we ascending the final hill: "We THINK there is power"......

Surprisingly, Steve and I were the first trailers on the lot about an hour or so ahead of the lot manager. Upon inspection of the power boxes which lined the back perimeter of the lot, we discovered dangling wires and no sign of anything up on the power lines. Once the LM rolled in, we were parked away from the boxes under the assumption we would be using the generator all week. It was a freeeeezing night to spend with no power but so it goes.

The next morning, we plugged in and assumed we were set. That's when we noticed the city electric people up on the pole installing and juicing up the lot power.....all the boxes well out of reach of our trailers and only 50amp available to boot (many trailers are only 30amp). The final verdict was that since the lot NOW had power, the Genny was to be shut off and we had to come up with some way to reach allll the way over to plug in....or else we had to tear everything down, hitch back up, and move our trailers. Great way to spend a day off, right? Luckily through the generosity of a couple kind souls, we were able to procure appropriate adapters, splitters, and a shit-ton of cable to reach the boxes. Crisis averted.

A shining beacon piercing through the doldrums of Corbin, KY was a pretty rad coffeeshop just down the road a way. OK, so there were 2 beacons. Corbin KY is also the home of Cumberland Falls. The falls themselves aren't that impressive but they do house a rare natural phenomenon: The Moonbow. It appears over Cumberland falls when there is a full moon. Unfortunately, our week in Corbin did not correlate with and full moonination. However, our visit did correlate with very suitable hiking weather. Steve and I took the trail that led to another waterfall down the way a bit. The trail was surprisingly brutal at times. At one point it seemed to end and empty out onto a huge beaver dam which we climbed over to get to all the huge rocks to climb over to get to the falls. T'was worth it though:

I realized yet again that I really need to get better shoes for such adventures as I was sliding rapidly down a huge rock careening towards the falls clutching my camera in one hand and clambering for a grip with the other. Anything for a good shot I suppose.

The only other claim to fame in Corbin is that it's the birthplace of KFC. Oh yeah, hometown of the Colonel. I was all excited to go to the celebrated "Colonel Sanders Museum" as it was toted as being a 'sit down, old timey cafe':

Imagine my surprise when I walked in and discovered the fabled "cafe" was nothing more than a regular old KFC with a display case of random Colonel shit, and a statue on a bench. May be impressive to dudes named Cletus or Bosephus, but I have higher standards when it comes to commemorating the Colonel. I was also disappointed to see the timeline did not contain mention when they tried changing the name to "Kitchen Fresh Chicken" to create the illusion that this place with was healthy and not "Kentucky Fried".

My parents came to visit with my little cousin so that was cool.

Despite the arena being pretty much packed for every single show, we were stuck with by far the most unresponsive, dead quiet, indifferent crowds I've seen thus far on tour. I mean it was WEIRD. The crowd just sucked all of the energy and vibe out the shows like a big, fat, illiterate, inbred Kentucky vacuum.

The mystery was somewhat solved the next week during the meeting in College Station.

One family who had come to the show was just blown away by every aspect of it. She wrote a letter thanking everyone and giving props to Performers, Musicians, and Crew alike. In the Post-Script, she revealed an explanation for what we experienced crowd-wise.

Apparently studies have shown that people in Southeastern Kentucky are the most depressed in the country. The letter explained that people really did enjoy the show and were grateful for our being there, they were all just too downtrodden, lethargic, and glazed over to even put their hands together or cheer. Yikes.

I'll update this entry with some quotes from the letter the lady wrote. And as per usual with the tour, while were treated to a fullllll week in lovely Corbin, KY, were were only going to be in College Station TX (right on Texas A&M campus) Wed-Sun since we weren't allowed to arrive on the lot before then. Gah.

P.S. On a sadder note, the man, the legend, Mr. Jeff Boudreau left us for his new gig with the Blue unit. He, his laugh, his immaculate Rock Band vocal prowess, and 'Homestretch' call will be sorely missed.

Adios, Corbin.


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