Ed. Note: This past weekend, Houston alternative/screamo rockers The Last Place You Look opened for Unwritten Law in Lubbock, Odessa, and Austin, and invited Rocks Off's Matthew Keever along. This is his first of three reports.
It isn't even noon, and we are already getting pissed on.
That isn't some metaphor for the state in which traveling bands often find themselves; The Last Place You Look's members and Rocks Off are literally being peed on. By cows, no less.
Halfway to Lubbock, in a van traveling 70 mph down the road, we have found ourselves stuck behind a trailer transporting livestock, and we can't seem to make our way around it.
We turn on the wipers and trek on.
Just a few hours before, at 5 a.m. Friday, the band met up at bassist and backup vocalist Kevin Pool's apartment in the Montrose area. By 5:30, we were only missing one member of the band: guitarist Derek Young, who wasn't answering his phone.
The Galleria area wasn't on the way to our intended destination, but Young left us no choice but to retrieve him from his home. We drove to his complex and, after realizing no one remembered the gate code, guitarist Richard Sherwood hopped the fence to get him.
A little before 6 a.m., Young emerged, still wet from a shower he probably wasn't supposed to take since he was already running late, and he's all smiles. In just a few minutes, the rest of the band is, too. We're getting on the road an hour late, but the delay really isn't the end of the world.
Rocks Off had never been on tour before, but we've been on enough road trips with our friends to know what proper "van etiquette" entails, and save for offering to drive - because no one in their right mind would give us that much responsibility - we knew what was expected of us, and we did our best to make our tag-along tolerable.