We busted out of Austin on the early side and headed up to Memphis. The drive was long and a bit dull. We were definitely burning out on these long drives. The band we were playing with had contacted us with some very vague message about how 3 bands are a lot for the night and we need to plan in advance. What that actually meant, which took us a while to learn, was that they were upset that we were added to the bill and they didn’t want to play last.
One thing I can say about this tour, which is a little unfortunate is that we have not been playing with what I would consider pros when it comes to dealing with band etiquette. This is not just Memphis, but really everywhere up until at least Akron. No specific bands mentioned here, but virtually none of the bands we’ve played with thus, with the exception of our SXSW gigs, has been good about sticking around, allowing us to play in the appropriate slot, or tearing down their gear quickly. We’ve played mostly with young bands and old bands and probably neither variety has had serious experience. It’s not a huge deal, but it does make things a bit harder for us. We’ve been good about accommodating the desires of all of the bands in terms of time slots and we always do our best to get off stage briskly if another band is lined up after us. There probably needs to be a guidebook. If I ever booked a venue, I think I would require every band member of every band to be there at the start and at the end. If anyone leaves, no money and no return booking. Special requests for exceptions would be entertained, but in most cases, if you don’t follow etiquette, you’ll be stuck in your basement anyway, so you may as well stay there.
Anyway, we arrived in Memphis and found the Buccaneer. It is a pretty awesome, kind of divey place with a great feel. It has a small amount of awesome pirate-themed décor and just some cool overall stuff going on. We were last so the other bands didn’t have to stay out too late. By the time we started after midnight, everyone had more or less left, though some of the guys in the previous band stuck around for 3 songs. We rocked hard to a more-or-less empty room, but the staff, particularly Marcus, were awesome to us. We had a fun time rocking to almost no one and then stuck around for an hour, picking awesome music from the jukebox, which had just the right mix of Minor Threat and The Doobie Brothers.
After we left around 3 AM, we made the 11 hour (plus one lost time zone hour) drive to Akron overnight to arrive on time for 5:30 load-in. We had called to see if they really needed us at 5:30, but no one at the club really knew what time the show started. This has also been a common thread of this trip. We don’t know when we’re playing. The clubs don’t really know. The other bands don’t know. No one knows.