Test Of Time – Tourtagebuch #4
Weiter geht’s mit dem Tourtagebuch von Test Of Time. Der heutige Tag beginnt in Belgien unter freien Himmel mit Vogelgezwitscher, den üblichen Anlaufschwierigkeiten am frühen Morgen und einem himmlischen Blaubeerfrühstück. Nach der Fahrt zum Vlam Rock, jeder Menge Fun und einer Reise in die Vergangenheit auf dem Festivalgelände spielten die Jungs schließlich am späten Abend vor 20 Zuschauern auf dem Vlam Rock in As. Natürlich gibt es noch mehr zu erzählen. Doch lest nun selbst. Viel Spaß.
Day 3 – As, Belgium – Vlam Rock – 26.07.2014
With my eyes still closed, I begin to hear the sounds of the day creeping into my slumber: the scurry of tiny animal feet as they search for their morning meal, perhaps the faint calls of a songbird in the distance gently urging me to begin my day, and Mike rolling out of the back of the van to come out and pee. He looked at me, grunted something, and then climbed back onto of the guitar cabinets where he made a sort of fort for himself. I slowly start to look around and work myself out of my bag that I had made sure to tightly secure myself into the night before. My rocky mistress laid waste to my spine and I was really feeling the injuries of the day before finally settle in. My fingers still felt broken and by this time, the end of my ring finger on my right hand was purple and had ballooned up quite nicely. My right hip had an enormous bruise on it that had an uncanny resemblance to the mustache shape of 26th US president, Teddy Roosevelt. I closed my eyes and lay motionless for a moment. TB got out of her steel tomb, which doubled as our van, and came over to wake me. I opened my eyes, watched the rest of the gang slowly fall out of the van and Robert and I compared our ouchies. He had a few good ones on his legs including a nice scrape from rubbing his calf down the stage as he slid off of it. Mike poured himself out of the back of the van, which was separate from the main van cabin by a wall, and came to chat with us. Jeff and Robert walked down and crossed the road to find a collection of blackberry bushes. Mike and Eva found some blueberries opposite our van and picked those. I started at the blackberries, and, when told it was time to go, made my way to the blueberries so I had a good collection of each before we left. There is something so satisfying about picking your own food that is just growing wild. With my bounty in hand, I took my place as the front seat passenger and we were off.
We had another few hours to drive still today before we would be in As, Belgium for Vlam Rock Festival. Still on a high from the show the night before, we had no idea what to expect from Belgium. We hadn’t heard of many of the bands on the show, but saw that Expire, No Turning Back, and a few other familiar names were on the list. On the drive, we kept ourselves occupied with the typical van questions: “How much money would it take for you to ______?” or “Would you rather eat _____ or ______?”. They got worse as the drive continued. Upon arriving to the festival grounds, all we could see were tents from our vantage. We were to drive around the back of a building and find parking. There was a sand volleyball court back there and what looked like a winding staircase leading to a forest observatory tower. I was feeling pretty good so far.
We were playing the “club stage” of the fest, which was a small stage in a basement club below the merch area. The other stages included the tent we had seen earlier and another indoor stage that was a pretty large space. Meeting with the club stage manager, he told us to go ahead and go in a certain way through a fence and set up our merch and we didn’t need to come back until a certain time and we got our meal tickets and whatnot. We all started heading in and made our way through a chain-link fence that was apparently keeping people out of a hotdog preparation area. Little did I know that the steps through this fence were actually taking me back in time and would lead on the greatest summer adventure of my childhood! Well, I guess that last part isn’t true since I had turned 30 a few days before, but the time travel part was true. We had been transported back in time to 1986. There were Overkill shirts that were cut into crop tops being worn above two studded belts that served no functional purpose to holding up the skin tight, acid wash jeans. White high-tops as far as the eye could see, their gleam muffled only by the teased mops of curly hair atop so many heads. It was really a sight.
I set up our merch between the Evil Invaders and another band I can’t recall. The moment I put out our records, people came over and asked if we were actually selling vinyl. I had a feeling this was not going to be our crowd. The facility was really well maintained. There were showers, nice bathrooms (which is an incredible plus on tour) and a separate room to eat that had wifi (making sure to include a note about staying away from porn). While I had been setting up, most everyone else got food. I saw other folks coming back up to the merch area with mountains of food on plates. I was very excited for my meal. I had Eva watch the table for a bit, so I could go and eat. By the time it had gotten to me, the women serving the food told me they were nervous about running out of the vegan option as they hadn’t prepared very much, so I got a small ice cream scoop of rice with vegetables on my paper plate. I looked at it appreciatively, but somewhat defeated, as I was pretty hungry by that point. I was still thankful and made sure they knew it. After eating, TB, Eva, Mike and I decided to check out what we had thought was an observatory. Jeff was watching the merch table and Robert was living the wifi dream. We climbed the stairs and looked out at the festival from above. It was a very different perspective and kind of gave me an interesting sense of peace to be a small part of something that was so expansive. The top of the stairs actually led to a forest trail that we followed for a bit. Before we realized, we were dumped into what almost seemed like a training course mixed with a playground. There was a maze, some rope swings, tire swings, and all sorts of other cool stuff. We ended up playing around on this for a bit.
We headed back and Robert and I met up and caught some of Evil Invaders’ set. This band was some serious musicians. They were shredding away the entire time and barely had any lyrics. Now for the most incredible thing I saw on probably the entire tour. At this point, call a friend in to read you this portion of the story so you can close your eyes and really allow my words to sink in. While Robert and I stood and watched, a push-mosh pit started between some of the shirtless ruffians in the room. There was a bit of a domino effect as one guy was pushed and fell into another and that person fell into another finally ending with the last shirtless person in line smashing into a guy that was standing on the edge of this mosh circle just casually drinking a beer from a can. Understandably, he lost his grip and his perfectly chilled can of liquid joy fell from the heavens and hit the floor. The contents began to cascade from the spout and the owner just looked at the ground dumbfounded for a moment. He came to his senses and picked up the can, staring at what had been lost. His first reaction was to bend down and desperately swipe at the pool, trying to get it back into the can. He did his best and then stood up, defeated. Another fest patron, standing quietly against the wall, suddenly sprung into action. He rushed to the puddle, dropped to one knee, then cupped his forearms together around the beer, doing his best to scoop up all he could, and he poured it into his mouth. This might sound not so bad, but I have not yet mentioned the floor. The floor was bare concrete, being walked on by all of the guests, sweat on, and looked like it had, at some point, probably been used as a slaughterhouse catch-all. Robert just looked on, laughing, saying over and over again “OH MY GOD!”. I think that day, he finally felt he had found religion. Alright, open your eyes back up and continue reading to yourself.
Our set was late in the day, as we were headlining the club stage. One of the winners of our online contest had come to see us play, which was very kind. He won the contest prize of 8×10 black and white headshots I had framed for all of us. This was meant as an obvious joke. Please don’t think me vane. We played to probably 20 people, and it was a lot of fun. The room was the perfect size for us and some people knew who we were. Overall, it was a very fun experience.
After the fest was over, we were offered a very cool place to stay. It had been pre-arranged with a girl from the show to put up two bands in the attic of a barn that her parents owned at their hotel. It was a bare wood room with mattresses on the floor. I will guess it looked similar to what army barracks looked like a hundred years ago. Brutality Will Prevail from Wales stayed with us and got there about an hour after us, so we were pretty settled in by the time they showed up. I pretty much just wanted to be asleep immediately, so I just put my arm over my eyes and as they were getting there, I passed out. I was told there were horses on the property, so I am looking forward to seeing them tomorrow!
Hinweis: Der (englische) Text und das Bildmaterial (©Eva Bo) wurde mir freundlicherweise von der Flix Agency zur Verfügung gestellt.