Sunday, February 17, 2008

Put My Hand in the Fire – When the burn sets in, part II

Being the opening band on the tour is as hard as it looks. It often means going on early to a half-full room and not being the band everyone is there to see. It means less money, less sales, less hospitality, less of everything. We knew this would be the case of course, but we are tired and this feels difficult right now. We played well in Chicago despite an absurd stage mix but despite an overall good response it felt like we were reintroducing ourselves. It is also daunting to be followed by Belphegor who seem to be a fan favorite on this tour. Their reaction makes ours feel muted by comparison even when the show was otherwise a good one. We knew we were in for this when we agreed to start touring nationally; we are no longer a big fish in a small pond, and we are also having to quickly develop chitinous protection to our collective ego in order to see things for what they are. All that aside, we are glad to have a couple of days off after Minneapolis as Sanguine and The Carcass are both sick and we will need a rest. We have 24 hours worth of driving to do to get to Seattle but not having to perform makes it easier. The rest of the Chicago show was a success, particularly for Immolation who set the room on fire and inspired a violent pit. Our friend Tammy came out as well and it was good to see her. At the end of the night I had a very late dinner with Ross and Bob and they counseled me on the nature of uphill battles with a band. They certainly have had their share of them, and I always appreciate their practical and earnest advice.

We finally cleared out from the venue and cursed the steep flights of stairs that we had tackled earlier. I like old buildings but loading a four-band backline up three flights of steep stairs is not my idea of a good time.