I imagine there are quite a few really neat places tucked away in West Palm Beach that are worth exploring. Unfortunately, with the exception of a great Cuban restaurant, I'll never know.
You see, the show opened in West Palm on Christmas Day at 3pm. Then, for the next three days in a row, we had scheduled shows at 11am, 3pm, and 7pm.....hence the 'nine pack'. Granted I could've sucked it up and driven the 10 miles to downtown and done some exploring but c'mon.....I'm getting old now and 6hrs of hard drumming a day takes a little bit of the wind out of the 'ole sails.
One of the saving graces of a schedule like that was we the addition of a new act in the show. The High-Wire was out and the Urias Family Globe of Death Act was in. 3 Motorcycles + Tiny Globe Cage + Rocking Charts = Total Badass-ness.
After the nine pack, we still had two more one shows days to knock out.
The other saving grace was the fact the promoter for that string of shows delivered a pretty decent crowd for every single performance. That was a welcome surprise that that many people consistently came out to catch the show.
The night before the final performance, I received a phone call from my friend Measly who I had met in Atlanta. She had just made a move from there to Jacksonville, FL. That night however, she was calling from Boca Raton where she was visiting family.....which is like 20 miles away from West Palm. Very odd but very cool coincidence. She came and checked out the show closing night and we were able to catch up which was awesome. The other coincidence was that this is the second time she hung out the night of one of those "mysterious wind storms" like we had in Duluth, GA that only hit our lot, blowing over some things, but not affecting the trailers at all.
After the show, I took Measly back home then drove back to the lot. Steve had gone ahead and left so Ollie took me up on an offer of a ride to keep me awake since we didn't leave the lot until after midnight.
We rolled back onto the lot in Sarasota around 3:30 or so in the morning. The timing actually worked out really well as the generator showed up as I was setting up my trailer, and power was ready to go right after I was done. Most excellent.
My new friend Kate who recently moved to FL from Baltimore came to hang out for the NYE festivus. And holy schnikies it was quite a festivus to behold. A ginormous spread of food was laid out including quite a few interesting homemade Russian dishes and lots of libations.
I can't decide if I was just uninspired to play my usual photographer role or if I just wanted to chill and soak up the scene without being "that dude with the camera" for once.
I did managed to get some good video (some of which I'll post....some of which I won't to protect the "innocent" (and by "innocent" I mean "not at all innocent")).
There were a ton of new Russians there who are performers with the Red Unit. The one dude had this glorious mullet that he kept pulled back in a pony tail. We were all hoping and praying that at some point he would unleash that beast in all of it's feathery glory....but it wasn't meant to be.
He did live up to the "mullet guy with a Napoleon Complex" stereotype by getting up in some of the concession guys' faces and stumbling around a lot. He eventually staggered over to the bleachers where our group had converged. Robbie was smoking a pretty quality cigar that had been a Christmas gift. Mulletofsky comes right up to Robbie, mutters something or other while gesturing at his cigar. The dude then takes it out of Robbies mouth and take 3 or 4 puffs on it failing to realize that you aren't supposed to inhale a cigar. After hacking his lungs out for a couple minutes, he hand the cigar back and mutters something about "this not good for you health". He stares for a moment, grabs the cigar a second time, and whips it over Robbie's head behind the bleachers. Uh...WTF, mate? I think everyone kind of stood there trying to figure out if that had really just happened. Luckily, the cigar was retrieved relatively unscathed and Mulletofsky was escorted out of the party (unfortunately not dragged backwards by his ponytail).
The night wore one as did people's entertaining behavior. While things were happening I know I was constantly laughing my ass off. Unfortunately, I was more than a bit blurry with everyone so all of the details of the hilariousness are a bit fuzzy.....
I do know the night ended with a few of us sitting on the bleachers, listening to a couple dudes giving very heartfelt speeches passing a big ass baton thing back and forth and slamming it down on the bleachers every time they made a point in the style of Gandalf preventing the passage of the Balrog. Nothing short of spectacular.
It was definitely a quite enjoyable NYE and I'm really lucky to have scored this gig and met some of these people. Props to Panda Steve for dropping my name back in June.
I forgot my camera tonight so I'll have upload pics/vids some other time.