San Antonio landed somewhere in the middle as far as shows go. The PA was sub-par and so we experienced some of the weakest sound of the tour. The club was a punked-out hellhole and they were not prepared for a tour package of this magnitude. Even Belphegor sounded clanging and anemic. The crowd was all right, and our performance was fittingly all right as well. I still cannot help but shake my head when I think of all the amazing shows I saw here in the late 80s and early 90s. The fire has definitely been reduced to embers since those golden years. The most enjoyable part was to meet with many friends from Austin and do some catching up. It is getting to the point where I am getting bored talking about the run of the mill shows. We play, the crowd starts to figure us out on the last song, we leave and drive for a long time to the next show- wash, rinse, repeat. Still, what else would this journal be for if not for capturing some of the repetitive aspects of touring?
Later: Mission, Texas. Smoking Aces is a much nicer club against all expectations. The promoter Jay was cordial and gave us a lot of food and drinks on our arrival. There was a punching bag strength test game that we all got into, and it was almost terrifying to watch Tormentor of Belphegor set a high score on the thing. The Carcass then laid into the bag with a blow he reserves for punching through doors and his score buried everyone else. The lineup threatened to be a clusterfuck with four opening bands, none of whom showed up in a timely fashion. Finally it was whittled down to two, which was good since our friends in Disfigured still got to play. They are maniacal on stage, and we enjoyed watching them. We ended up having a great set with excellent sound and a willing audience. It was somewhat amusing since everyone was up front but still a few paces back from the stage when we began. Before we began the second song Sanguine admonished the crowd to step up to the stage and to my surprise they complied immediately. From there the show was high-octane and caustic. We always try to give a solid performance every time but when we connect with the audience it is so much easier to make it brilliant. It is amazing that a matter of a few feet can become a chasm between us and them, but fortunately that was not an issue tonight. I watched Belphegor turn in a blistering set and on the last song some kid fell in the pit and folded his leg under himself. When people tried to hoist him up he desperately waved them off. Security intervened and got him to his feet and I could not help but cringe when I saw the foot on his injured leg pointing in the wrong direction. He should see about getting Belphegor to sign his cast. Immolation killed as always though I left after two-thirds of their set to come write this. Rotting Christ is on soon and I will go back in to watch them. Once again we are all bemoaning the end of another great tour. This process is so much work and it is draining on countless levels, yet it is still some of the best time I've ever had. Bill from Immolation said that the worst day on tour is better than the best day at a job and I think of this every day when we are on the road. Houston will be a great time even if nobody shows up; it will still prove to be one hell of a wrap party.