Thursday, June 26, 2014

AATS 6000 Mile Tour Day 13, Salt Lake City UT

Tuesday May 27, 2014

We awoke at a somewhat leisurely pace despite having another 340 mile drive to Salt Lake City. Sharon made us coffee and wanted to make us breakfast, but we did have to hit the road. So she stocked us up on some food to take along. Again, nothing but nice people and gracious hosts on this trip.

A long trek through the high desert plains until the mountains around Salt Lake City.

Passed the time watching these weird/cool clouds form and dissipate. Always interesting to watch the sky in places far from home. Sky doesn't look like this in Texas very often.


(((And please... before you post "chemtrails!!!" in the comments below, (a) I am an amateur weather buff and can identify and name most types of clouds and what they signify (google search 'alto-cumulus' and 'cirrus' clouds), and (b) I was watching them form all damn day with my own eyes, and did not see ANY planes, commercial air traffic or vapor trails, lingering or dissipating. This is a touchy subject for me and I'll leave it at that.)))


As the day rolled on we were getting excited about this show, as we were opening for the mighty METALACHI!!! And in a great venue to boot, The State Room!

All I knew about them was that they play metal songs in a more traditional mariachi way. And that's all I wanted to know. I could have easily investigated them online, but I wanted it to be a surprise!!!!

Eventually the scenery began to change a bit and we left the awesome clouds behind.

Damn, time to clean the windshield again. I mean, check out this new Instagram filter: Bug Splattered Windshield!

Lotta sage brush, or whatever the hell this fuzzy stuff is. Looks like a hill in a model train village.

Scrub junipers coming in with another increase in altitude

Yay more mountains!
Just about there

Arrived at The State Room with plenty of daylight left. Salt Lake City is a weird town, all the streets are numbered instead of named, and all are in reference to their proximity to the main Mormon Temple, which we could see from the road. Talk about Castle Grey Skull.

So the addresses are weird to anyone who's not a mathemetician: 1200 E 2000 Street South. Huh?

Metalachi had already sound checked, and didn't have any gear to leave onstage other than tape marks indicating the placement of their microphones. So we were able to load straight onto the rather sizeable stage.

With the help of THIS!!!

May Crom bless and keep the human being who invented the ramp. My bass rig weighs more than I do.

I've been moving my Dietz 2x15 on a furniture mover as opposed to my usual dolly (the dolly is weird shaped and doesn't pack so bueno) and had at some point began experimenting with playing the cab on the stage vs on the wheels. In certain applications it was superior, and I was still figuring it out.

On this stage I don't remember what I did cause it was a month ago. And in some cases (when we had to tear down quick) I left it on the wheels to have one less step required to get my shit offstage.

Nothing beats a leisurely sound check:

Not only that, but in the cavernous backstage complex, we had our own proper dressing room!

So we immediately got to work doing what all rock stars do: party like rock stars!!!

Photo by Armando Reyes. (I hope my mom is not disappointed in me for partying in such a manner, hee hee)

Was pretty swank. Had some snack food, waters, and a cooler of beer. Nice!

In the Metalachi room next door, we could hear them playing and warming up. Very beautiful traditional mariachi music and other classical music pieces. Was rather moving, as players they are highly trained and the real deal. And of course, walking past their open door to smoke outside, you can't help but miss a set of GWAR-esque spiked football pads lying on a road case. Bad ass!

Met their tour manager outside, very nice guy. He explained them: If you are in on the joke with them, you will have a blast. If you aren't into bands that have a gimmick/image/schtick, you will easily write them off.

Couldn't wait to see them, and couldn't wait to be in on the joke as well!

Our set went great, and the crowd was already great considering it was a Tuesday night.

Don't remember much, other than remembering to breathe a little more often to compensate for the altitude. We had a blast and the crowd loved us! May have been too many people for Adrian and I to jump off stage, but she at least got into their faces \m/,

Tear down was a snap, the ramp helped immensely and there wasn't another band loading gear on as we are trying to get offstage. Stash it in the hallway, pack it to move, and lets go check out Metalachi!!!

Met some of them before our set and in between the bands, and whether in and out of character, they were very nice dudes.

However, the only oddity of the backstage are of the State Room: there is no side door to get to the front audience area. You have to walk up the ramp and across the stage, or you have to walk around to the front.... Hmm, this could be a problem. Luckily the State Room staff had taught us the key code for the backstage door.

Needless to say, Armando and I made it across the stage and into the crowd shortly before the lights went down hahaha! Could hear the Indiana Jones theme song playing in my head.


Wow! No drums. Just electric violin, bajo sexto, nylon string guitar, trumpet, a metal singer, and another guy who was like a rapper's hype man/wrestling announcer. In costumes. It was definitely a show, that's for damn sure!

Not only were they top notch players, the singer was quite gifted and their arrangements of metal songs at times rivaled the originals! Gimmick and costumes-bordering-on-ridiculous aside, as players and performers they BROUGHT IT.

It was an absolute blast, and a great way to end 9-days in a row, by having fun and getting our faces melted off by of all things, a heavy metal mariachi band!

I mean, just look at this shit:

The trumpet player, CUCUI (Spanish for "monster" or "the boogeyman", and very fitting)

And it only got better. At one point they brought a lady from the crowd onstage, sat her down in a chair, and serenaded her with "More Than Words" by Extreme. And knocked it out of the park. All taking turns singing the verses while giving her lapdances that ranged from comic to quite suggestive. Hahaha!

Just, wow. If you are not having fun at a Metalchi show, check your pulse. You are probably dead. And you have not truly lived until you have seen a guy in a studded sombrero and spandex shorts NAILING  the guitar intro to Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher" on an electric violin.

And fuck yeah, I bought a T-Shirt and coozie!

Adrian and the Cucui-ness!

Awesome. What a blast and what a great bunch of dudes!

Stayed the night at Adrian's friend Jamie's place, who I recognized as one of the many people I had rocked out next to up front during the show. Hey! I remember you!

Again, great people and gracious hosts. Drinks and laughter for a bit after the show before we all soon succumbed to 9-days worth of exhaustion.

Another couch, and again it was glorious. (And I made sure to pee BEFORE I went to sleep this time).

However, there was still the matter of 13 days worth of dirty laundry I had still not yet been able to remedy...

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