Back into the swing of things! Thank goodness for a canceled show; even though it’s frustrating to not be able to play tonight, I am appreciating the time to catch up a little. The past few days have been a whirlwind, tainted by a slight groggy headachey sickness (nothing horrendous, just enough to be irritating). And now we’re spending pretty much all of today in a Panera Bread in High Point, North Carolina. Our next show, tomorrow night, is literally 14 minutes away from our show last night, so we can’t even waste part of today traveling.
But enough of that. Allow me to catch up with our Pocket Vinyl show this past Friday at the Pompei Lounge in Saunton, VA. There were lots of details pointing towards this being an awesome show: the guy who booked us, Scott, was awesome and helpful, we were given amazingly delicious food when we showed up, then venue was pretty spectacular (a renovated 4 floor apartment/townhouse full of comfortable lounges and sweet little nooks), and we were being paid well. Bringing all our gear up those 4 flights of stairs was a bit exhausting, and we did have to wait around for quite a while, but it seemed like it would be a really fun night.
However, things got a little uncomfortable as the show started the place began filling up. And it really did fill up. Every lounge and nook of the venue got packed in with kids. A local girl played a set before us, then we were suppose to play from about 11:00 until 2:00 am. Eric decided to do a bit of an acoustic set for the first hour, then we’d perform together for about an hour & a half and finish up the show.
As I was laying out my paints to get going a very intoxicated young fellow (we’ll call him bro) insisted on placing a bid on the painting before we started. Don’t get me wrong, we appreciated his enthusiasm… but it’s difficult to take someone sincerely when they’re that drunk. After that I was really worried about how this night would end up. As it turns out, I was right to be. Then the toilet in the bathroom where we were keeping all our stuff overflowed. Nothing of our’s was damaged, but it disrupted the start of our show.
We had planned to take a short break midway through our show and during the last song of our first set a very drunk girl directly behind me began yelling at me over & over, trying to get my attention to talk to her. I know it comes with the territory but I strongly detest talking with drunk people at shows, especially while I’m trying to paint. As soon as the song was over I took off to try and cool down.
During our second set two girls directly behind me (I didn’t check to see if one of them was the same girl from before) began yelling obscenities at each other and it sounded like hair was going to start getting pulled. One of them was with the bro who’d bid on the painting before the show had started, and it was decided that they needed to leave immediately. So they stopped our show to ask if we could be finished so they could take the painting and leave. No one else seemed interested in the painting (things were pretty chaotic) so we all agreed we’d do one more song, then they could buy the painting and leave (oh my goodness).
At the end of the show Eric did his usual “going once, going twice” deal and this one guy (we’ll call him beardo) tried upping the bid by a penny. Don’t do that, no one thinks you’re being clever.
Bro & the girl had to go downstairs to pay their tab and get his credit card, then they said they’d come right back to get the painting. We packed up and waited and waited. The venue was closing and shooing people out the door, so Eric went to see if he could find the bro. He was told at the bar that bro’s card had been declined, his girl had paid his tab, and they’d left a while ago. Awesome.
Eric saw beardo again, explained the situation and asked if he still wanted the painting. Beardo went on and on about what a douche the bro had been for ditching us, and said definitely, he’d just be a few minutes getting cash from his friend. We waited a whole bunch more, while the venue was getting cleaned up. Eric found beardo and hounded him again, and he said yeah, just a minute, he needed to get the cash. A little while later Eric sees beardo and his friend rush by him and take off down the stairs. Eric’s calling after them and they completely ignore him and head out the door.
By this point I was so stressed, angry, and incredibly depressed I couldn’t take it anymore. I snapped a photo of the painting, grabbed the rest of my stuff, and took off. I couldn’t stand around watching people be so rude any longer. I know it’s not the case and I need to thicken my skin, but because art is so personal and I’m presenting myself up there for the world, events like this feel like an attack on my own self worth. I sat in the car and waited for Eric, trying to calm myself down.
Around about 2:30 am he joined me. The bro turned out to be a decent enough guy. He’d come back, found Eric, apologized, and handed him cash for what he’d bid on the painting, outbidding beardo. Eric also told me that the guy who’d booked us, Scott, insisted that we stay at his place that night instead of sleeping in a Walmart parking lot, like we’d planned. However, we had to wait another hour while he finished cleaning up the venue. Close to 4:00 in the morning we found ourselves in our sleeping bags on the floor in Scott’s son’s room, reeking of cigarette smoke from the show (and poor Eric was out of clean clothes).
So, in the end, everything did turn out ok. Here’s the painting from the show: