After a l-o-o-n-n-n-n-g ass drive from Pittsburgh, we finally arrived back at the Agrirama in Tifton, GA where the trailers were waiting. T'was a welcome site. However the '24 hr' RV access had somehow been mis-communicated to someone somewhere at sometime......the farkin' entrance gate was closed.....and locked. Gah. We called the security booth (which was for some reason located in the RV lot about 3/4 of a mile away). The dude answered:
"Uh yeah, the gate is locked and we need to get to our trailers"
"Really? It's locked.....:sigh:....are you sure it's locked?"
":sigh: well my car's broken so I have to walk down there and let y'all in. I'll be there in a bout 15 minutes"
Great. Eventually the dude makes it down and un-locks the gate.
Trailers were still in one piece and we left the following morning and headed towards Augusta.
The last song we heard on the radio as we pulled up to the gate was "Turning Japanese" by the Vapors so not only was that stuck in my head forever, every time I hear it now I'll be reminded of the good 'ole Agrirama in Tifton, GA. Super.
Parking in Augusta wasn't nearly as treacherous as everyone made it out to be. The one thing they WERE correct aboot though were the trains.....oh the blasted trains.
See, the way Augusta is set up, these trains tracks run all throughout downtown. There are very few legit railroad crossings; mostly just a stop sign with an adjacent sign reading "Look for Trains". This means the trains have to go about 2-3 miles per hour all the way through downtown, blaring their whistles...their LOUD whistles....their VERY VERY LOUD whistles as they approach every intersection. Whatever...it's just a train, right? Well, the main set of tracks through town ran parallel to our lot.....about 6ft away from the last row of trailers. We were parked in the second row from the tracks. The trains rolled through approximately every hour and a half, sometimes 2 as close as 20mins apart.....24 hours a day.....7 days a week. It seemed appropriate to change the Beastie's "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn" to "No Sleep 'Til Corbin" (our next destination). It was unreal how loud that shit was. The worst part was when finally drifting off to sleep and then hearing a faint whistle off in the distance. That meant in about 10-15 minutes, your trailer would be shaking (not in a good way), and the conductors would lay on those whistles probably chuckling away all the while.
The saving grace of all of this was that Augusta really wasn't a bad little town. The best part:
James Brown Statue Photo Opp
There was a nice area called 'River Walk' where you could...well...walk alongside the Savannah River. The only life in downtown was right around the corner from the Arena where there were a few blocks of decent bars/venues.
Live music highlights of Augusta:
1. Joe's Underground Cafe: Stone Dogs
This was a pretty sweet dive ass bar in the basement of some building. The Stone Dogs were playing that night...complete with homemade wall banner....oh man....
A couple dudes in Polo shirts, a drummer (couldn't see him) with absolutely NO concept of time, and the frontman: Mr. Middle Age "Always gonna be a ROCKER!" bass player that wishes he was a guitar player.
We walked in on set break where they were playing every Pink Floyd hit in existence (there was a touching moment where the frontman slow danced with his woman to 'wish you were here').
When they reconvened on stage totally shitfaced, I had an inkling that we were in for something special. By the time the dude asked the crowd "are there any FLOYD fans in the house tonight?!?", we were set.
They launched into the most overdramatic, retarded interpretations of Floyd classics I have every heard. Their "creative" version of "Another Brick in the Wall" put "Jazz Odyssey" to shame. Wow.
A few minutes into "Comfortably Numb" (complete with human echo effect provided by the guitar player) this older heavy set bald dude started bumbling up towards the stage seemingly headed to the bathroom as "Ok..ok..ok..ok..just a little pinprick" was sung in the background. The dude fumbled up onto the stage and grabbed the mic just as "there'll be no more..." was coming out of the singers mouth and let out a primal "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!" at the appropriate moment, hopped off the stage, and continued to the bathroom. Classic!
By the time "Wish You Were Here" was in full swing, complete with the drunk ladyfriend of Mr. Frontman slow dancing and obviously reliving some late night rendezvous of a bygone era, it was time to leave.
2. Sky City: Modern Skirts
The next night, on a new friend's recommendation, I checked out The Modern Skirts. Now I'm usually not a fan of bands who constantly switch instruments during their set but all the dudes were pretty accomplished on all the instruments so it wasn't too bad. They DEFINITELY relied waaaaayyyyyy too much on laptop backing tracks however. It's never cool to hear a bass line, look up, and realize no one is PLAYING bass. Gah. All in all though, not too shabby.
After our show on Sunday, we closed up shop and got ready for our excursion to Corbin, KY to play a brand new event center where we were told there was power waiting for us.....(foreshadowing? you bet...).