All posts by imdrb

Rock Wishes Do Come True

Guys, guys, guys… guess what….

ANTHRAX is playing ROCKLAHOMA!
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I’ve been nerding out over this since Tuesday afternoon when the full lineup was announced. Rocklahoma’s booking agency generally does a great job of arranging a mix of established acts, young up and coming bands, and legitimately legendary groups. 2015 is no exception, with acts like Tesla, Slayer, and Anthrax grouped with Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin, and In This Moment. Young bands like Nasty Habit, Black Tora, and Like A Storm have the chance to play a huge festival, attended by 50,000 or more rabid, madly devoted music fanatics. Tickets are available at the website http://www.rocklahoma.com

Here’s the full lineup for anyone who might be interested.

rock 15

See you in Oklahoma, freaks! Got to go start packing! (What…. too soon?)

-RTG1

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Oklahoma Countdown

Happy 2015, friends! The Gypsies have had a good holiday season and we’re gearing up for the upcoming World’s Loudest Month! We have made the pilgrimage to Rocklahoma every Memorial Day weekend since 2011, and in T minus 126 days, Rocklahoma 2015 will be here! Gypsy 2 has confirmed our ticket renewals, and I’ve booked the hotel. I’m considering implementing some sort of exercise (I sort of loathe physical activity), but Gypsy 2 is on top of her game working out and eating clean. And earlier today, to our complete delight, Rocklahoma announced on their Facebook page that an announcement is coming on Tuesday at 2:00pm.

*Insert squee of happiness* Ahem, ‘scuse me. Had a girl moment there.

Lineup possibilities have been vigorously debated, and the Gypsies have decided that we want to see…. ANTHRAX!!!  I mean, really, Rocklahoma… they’re playing other festivals, they’ll be in the States during that period, and their tour schedule does not have anything booked for the Memorial Day weekend! What better headliner could you possibly want?!

We are keeping fingers and toes crossed that our boys Art of Dying make the lineup again this year. It’s been two years since we’ve stood front and center for a set from the full band, and with Eleven Seven Music picking them up last year, we are looking forward to a huge year for our favorite Canadians. If you lunatics haven’t checked out their music yet, you should. Now. Go on, I’ll wait.  http://www.artofdyingmusic.com

Personally, I’m hoping Drowning Pool comes out to play, and I would love to see Baltimore boys Charm City Devils on the second stage. Halestorm, Godsmack, Papa Roach, Breaking Benjamin, Tremonti, Korn, and Slayer are all playing multiple festivals this year, so it’s entirely possible some or all of them will be on the Rocklahoma lineup. I look forward to being pleasantly surprised.

Stay warm and get ready to rock, friends!

Peace, love, and punk music for life –
RTG1

But I’m With The Band: Fans vs Friends

Hello again, dearest readers! It’s been a pretty spectacular couple of weeks in music, and for the Gypsies personally. Surprise announcement of a ‘secret’ album recording, and a hush-hush signing with Eleven Seven Records from our favorite Canadians Art of Dying*, along with album releases from Otherwise, New Medicine , and Charm City Devils** have had smiles glued to our faces for days. The music from these brilliant minds is what brought us all together in the first place, after all, and we eagerly devour any new tunes that come our way.

AoD in Jackson

A new Art of Dying album, you say? Shut up and take our money!

We’ve known some of the bands that we see frequently at shows for many years, and have built friendships with several of them. There’s nothing to me like fighting for a front-row spot, so I can sing and scream lyrics that mean so much to me with the people who penned the words and wrote the riffs. That’s the best part of the whole Road Trip Gypsy experience for me, to show an appreciation to an artist for a piece of art that has affected my life. More often than not, it doesn’t go unnoticed. The Gypsies have been lucky enough to form lasting bonds with some really great people, and through them, with other friends around the world.

I say friends, because to us, there’s a huge difference between being a friend and being a fan. The Gypsies have discussed and dissected this idea for numerous hours on road trips, and to us, it comes down to a simple matter of respect. The members of the bands that we love to sing along with, who can bring us to tears with one line of lyrics and send chills down our spines with one pure note, are people like us. The fact that they can make 20,000 of us feel like we are the only ones in the room, all at the same time, is a special gift. They are the empathetic ones, the seers of pain and joy in the souls of people, they put words to our feelings and music to our thoughts. And because they choose to stand in front of us all and proclaim this in 3/4′ time with a bass line and backing vocals, there are those people who feel that this openness gives them the right to every other part of the artist’s life as well. How many times have we heard or read, “Well, if they didn’t want to be in the public eye, they shouldn’t have gone into music/acting/etc.” Far too often, in my opinion.  An artist can no more choose not to see what they see than you or I can choose not to breathe.

I have noticed this phenomenon particularly in the case of musicians. Allow me to set the scene. You attend a concert, festival, small showcase, any event. The band or artist gets on stage and gives a performance that connects with the audience. Eye contact. Talking to the crowd. The audience sings. Lots of energy and emotion. The band/artist gives all they have, emotionally and physically, for every minute of time they have been allotted. Afterward, they stand at a merchandise table for hours and autograph things and people, pose for photos, give hugs and handshakes, and hear the same questions and comments over and over and over again. And these gifted, giving souls will make each person they meet feel like there is a special bond that only the two of them share. You leave happy, excited, and energized…the artist leaves exhausted and drained, hopefully feeling that they’ve done what they were put on this planet to do. You go home… the artist goes on to the next venue to do it all over again.

This is where the fan and the friend differentiate. Both feel the connection with the artist. Both revel in the experience that was shared. Both enthusiastically support the band or artist on social media, posting and sharing photos and updates, and by purchasing the artist’s music. The friend generally stops there. There is a level of respect accorded to the artist as an individual, with an understanding of their need for personal time, privacy, and space to create. The friend eagerly awaits the next song release or tour announcement, but does not focus their entire existence around the waiting period. The friend does not post negative commentary about how long it has been since the artist has “done anything”, and does not dig through the artist’s personal life for “clues” about what might be going on. The friend does not share personal information about the artist, the artist’s family, or the artist’s personal life away from performing unless the artist shared the information first in the same type of setting. These are actions of a fan.

Fans obsess to varying levels. Fans may know names of the artist’s parents, cousins, children, siblings, and elementary school teachers. Fans know the artist’s hometown, if, when, and why they moved, and their current location. Fans know the artist’s other interests outside of performing.  Fans jealously defend, often angrily, their opinion of everything the artist has ever done since their first performance at the age of 6 in a hometown talent show. Most concerning, fans invade the artist’s personal life. They follow the artist’s entire family on every social media platform. They know who the artist is dating or marrying. They know when children are born. They know when a relative passes away. They make ‘tribute art’ to random people associated with the artist, hoping to get the artist’s attention. And, they eagerly spread personal information before the artist acknowledges it publicly. In our society of constant social media interaction, fans are a parasite in the system. Fans spread stories and rumors, often claiming ‘good intentions’ or ‘just wishing the best for them’, without pausing to think about the results of these actions. Some things should remain personal, and private, but not in the mind of a fan. They have a desperate desire to know everything.

We all are fans, at some stage. If you love music, there has been an artist over whom you have obsessed, purchasing everything they’ve ever produced or been associated with, poring over photos of them online, eagerly awaiting any tidbit of information about them and passing it on. (If you haven’t, let me introduce you to a few amazing people…) What matters is that our appreciation for the artist as a person grows as our appreciation for their work matures. For some, this happens quickly, while others wallow in the obsession. We become a friend of the artist or band. We understand that they have complicated lives, just like we do, and that things change all the time. We appreciate how much work they put into navigating the tangle of a music industry that we are currently faced with, and how they keep fighting to make their own brand of art. When we see them at concerts or festivals, we are screaming lyrics and shedding tears while they’re performing, and patiently waiting to say hi as they greet hundreds of people after the show. We don’t demand their undivided attention because we know they are pulled in a hundred directions at an event. We say hi, have a hug or fist bump, and tell them how fantastic the show was. Then, it’s “Catch you next time!” and we make way for others.

Fans come and go. Friends are for life. And, as the Otherwise gents like to say, it’s a Life By Music.

RTG1

*Art of Dying Sign with Eleven Seven Records http://elevensevenmusic.com/art-of-dying-signs-with-eleven-seven-music/

**New Album from Otherwise “Peace At All Costs” http://weareotherwise.com/site/

**New Album from Charm City Devils “Battles” http://www.charmcitydevils.com/

**New Album from New Medicine “Breaking The Model” http://www.newmedicinerock.com/

All Bad Things Must Come To An End

I’m still recovering from and processing the events I witnessed on a recent Friday night when the Gypsies attended the Final Tour of Mötley Crüe. Alice Cooper as an opening act?? Sign. Me. Up.

I really, really enjoy shows at Oak Mountain Amphitheater. It’s a great outdoor venue just outside of Birmingham, Alabama, with a great setup. We had second tier seats, close to an aisle, and really enjoyed our spot.

a3442317-9db5-492b-924a-78dafedd36d7Pre-show Road Trip Gypsies. And random butt bomb.

We actually had 3 seats for this show. Gypsy 2’s brother Paul was supposed to be at this show with us. Paul loved Mötley Crüe, and was in fact the one who introduced my fellow Road Trip Gypsy to them by taking her to her very first concert during the Dr. Feelgood Tour. A guitarist himself, Paul dragged his sister to all sorts of shows, and he was always the first to know when a new “must-hear” album was coming out. Heartbreakingly, Paul’s health the last several years had prevented him from making long trips for major tours, so when he decided that he wanted to attend a show, we collaborated to make it happen for him. This being the Last Ever Crüe Tour… well, naturally we were all going. Paul’s health, however, conspired against us. After a few weeks of sickness landed him in the hospital with non-functioning kidneys, Paul passed away suddenly after returning home. It’s still a punch in the gut when I realize he’s not here with a smart comment or snarky joke. We kept his seat unoccupied at the show.

The Raskins out of New York warmed up the stage for the night, and did a pretty good job. Wish I’d known a few of their songs, and will be looking them up for sure. Very East Coast-flavored rock n roll.

df4128e9-db6e-4876-ba84-e3657afbceb5View of The Raskins from the second tier.

And then…. Oh boy… the MAN, the NIGHTMARE himself… Mr. Alice Cooper took the stage. I’d never seen Alice’s stage show, but of course had heard all the stories and knew all about the theatrical performance. It was amazing. From “Welcome to my Nightmare” to “Feed My Frankenstein”, Alice still puts on one heck of a show. Closing with “School’s Out” was just perfect.

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Alice Cooper stage setup…Backdrop, Alice as Dr Fankenstein, Alice with snake, and the legend playing the crowd.

Now. I’ve seen the Crüe before. I’ve been 6th row for one of their shows. I’ve seen Tommy’s drum coaster and heard Mick’s phenomenal solos. I’ve been three feet from Nikki at a VIP event when the other Gypsy got to meet him.  I say all this to tell you… I was not prepared to say goodbye. I’m still not.

The boys played every hit, did every costume change, ran around the stage, and had the sold out crowd eating out of their hands. It was amazing. It was pure, perfect, rock n roll.

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Fire! Fire! Fire!

 nikki finalThe one and only… Mr Nikki Sixx.

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The boys saying goodbye from an elevated stage in the middle of the crowd with ‘Home Sweet Home’.

I freely admit, I’m not ready to say goodbye to these guys. No matter where I see them, they put on the best show of all time. They out-perform bands who are a quarter their age, and they do it like the punk rock legends that they are. (Yes, I said punk!)  They pulled out older songs like “On With The Show” that had my Gypsy pal in tears, and “Anarchy in the UK” made my little punk heart overflow with joy. I read a Rolling Stone interview with them yesterday where Mick said he wanted to write a book about the music, and Nikki, Tommy, and Vince plan to continue with their other projects. But until then, they have a North American tour to finish, followed by a worldwide tour, and probably a return to the States for the final shows. Vince said that they hope to play their final show in LA, maybe with a one-off after show at The Whisky in January of 2016, on their 35 anniversary as a band.

I, for one, would love to be there.

RTG1

Rollin’ down the highway all summer long

It’s been an incredible, busy, frantic summer for yours truly, and I’ve been less than devoted to my blogging duties. To be fair, I have been a *smidge* preoccupied with work, traveling, family duties, and horrific tragedies. This blog is not about venting on you dear readers, however… it’s about travel, and music, and love, and life, and all the things that are good and right in this crazy world. So, freaks and travelers, let us discuss the Way Too Busy Gypsy Summer!

Memorial Day weekend saw a return to Pryor, Oklahoma for Rocklahoma 2014. We Gypsies are old pros at this trip by now, and we really do enjoy the break from everything to just get away with 50,000 other Rocklahomies. Our #1 tip for those considering the trip – book your hotel in January or February, and stay in the town of Claremore. Great people, every convenience you’ll need, good places to eat, and several very good hotels. Feel free to meet us Gypsies during lunch at the Rib Crib in Claremore, it’s become a daily ritual! (Dare I say… a RTG meetup location in the future?)

rib crib

Beautiful, smoky meat. So much yes.

Sadly, the first day traffic situation has NOT improved. As the crowd grows larger, more people are showing up at the same time on the first day to check in, and the organizers, while excellent in nearly everything else, really fall short on this. There truly should be a dedicated VIP parking / artist’s driving lane so that it becomes possible to get around the massive traffic jam to the correct entry point. I’m not sure how they’d solve this, but the problem we encountered was a multi-hour wait in traffic headed to the general admission and camping sections, which caused us to miss several of the early performers.

We did, however, get to see the always-awesome Shaun Morgan and Seether on day 1! These guys were pretty much Day 1’s highlight, aside from the epicness that is…. red velvet funnel cake
rvfcake

Yes, it’s really a thing. And it is spectactular.

Day 1 is mostly for getting our bearings and meeting our seat-mates in VIP. We have a really great group of experienced festival-goers around us, and it makes for one heck of a good time. We did however, have a little surprise on Day 1, when we stopped in the Retrospect Tent to check out one of the younger bands, Nasty Habit. These young guys out of New York put on the kind of show usually seen in flashbacks to the late 70’s and early 80’s. High energy, enormous musical talent, and clearly having an absolute BLAST on stage, the Nasty Habit boys earned a lot of new followers over the weekend, including the Gypsies.

nasty habit

Trust me. You want to see these guys. 

Day 2 was all about the 80’s bands. We were especially looking forward to Extreme and Twisted Sister. While Extreme’s set was a little… odd…. the original lineup for TS did not disappoint in ANY way!
Twisted

Dee Snider is a LEGEND.

We also caught shows by our boys Devour The Day and Adelita’s Way. Blake and Joey from DTD definitely know how to work the crowd, and there will never be a time that I don’t want to hear Rick DeJesus from AW sing. Anything. Ever.

AW rick   Hiiiiii Rick!!!!

DTD

DTD on the Hard Rock Stage = mosh pits, illegal substances, and sweat!

The final day for me was all about Theory of a Deadman and Kid Rock, two of the later performers in the evening. We did get to wander around and see other parts of the festival grounds, and met up with friends who traveled in from other states for the weekend. The Rocklahoma festival site is set up beautifully, there’s tons of open space, and plenty of things to see and do. You can be in the middle of a crowd or totally separated on your own, whatever you prefer.

monkey

 Big crowd around the main stage, passed out chick on her knees, and someone carrying an inflatable monkey. Because they want to.

Tyler from TOADM was fighting laryngitis, but came out and gave it a great try. Most artists would have canceled or just not bothered to show, but the Theory guys always give it everything they’ve got. And then…. the crown prince of redneck hip hop rock graced us with his awesomeness…..

shadow

Best entrance ever? Kid Rock wins.

We left during the last few songs, trying to get ahead of the crowd headed out of the festival grounds. It’s nearly a 30 minute drive back to the hotel we use in Claremore, so we knew we’d need enough time to clean up, pack, and get some sleep before checking out the next morning. Rocklahoma has become our ‘must-do’ festival every year, and no matter who is on the lineup, we always have a great time. VIP tickets are very much worth the cost, and hotels are reasonably priced. Festival food is as expensive as you’d imagine, as are drinks, for the general admission crowd. The Gypsies have discussed attempting to camp one year at RoK but, well, we do love a nice air conditioned hotel with hot showers.

So, now we’re caught up on the festival action so far this summer! Next up, a day trip to the Mötley Crüe last tour ever stop in Birmingham, Alabama, and catching up with Buckcherry and our boys Otherwise when they swing through Robinsonville, Mississippi in October. Stay tuned, freaks!

Love, sweat, and music

RTG1

There’s no right way

When I was a kid, I traveled because that’s what my family did during the summer, primarily to visit relatives living in other states. When I was in my teens and 20’s, I traveled just to be on the road. There is nothing more relaxing to me than a long car trip to a place that I love, even if it’s only for a day. Even something as simple as taking a longer route home made me happy. These days, I travel for other reasons.

I travel for music festivals, as you know. I love the planning of a trip and the joy of being there, with no immediate responsibilities. I enjoy the connections made with people who have similar interests, finding new out of the way restaurants or a new favorite food, sleeping til noon and staying out til dawn, getting caught up in the soul of the music and just existing in that moment…. it’s true that music heals the heart, you know.

I also travel for family. On weekends, I make a short hop about 30 minutes south to mom and dad’s house. I may as well be on the other side of the country from my 24-hr a day job, and it is amazingly relaxing. I get to see my brother and sister-in-law, with whom I don’t spend nearly enough time, and I get to be the designated playmate for my amazing, brilliant, gifted, beautiful nieces. I wish I could do this every weekend, but it’s so nice when I do get to be there.

And I travel for friends who are as close as family. My best and dearest friends live in South Carolina, and I miss them madly when I’m not there. They ‘adopted’ me into their family when I was in school in Charleston and knew practically no one. I never had sisters growing up, and to be accepted completely and without hesitation into a family of amazing women and their very tolerant men means more to me than I’ll ever be able to express. I would love to be there all the time, and one day I will. But for now, I travel for birthday surprises, for holidays, for vacations, for adventures, and sometimes just because.

Remember, Gypsies… there is no right reason to travel. There is no right time. There is go, or stay. After all…  “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

Festival Madness

Hello friends and freaks,  it’s time for another dose of road trip reality from your friendly Road Trippin’ Gypsies. Today’s topic is a question we’ve heard many times from friends, “If I can only afford to go to one festival, which one should I pick?”

The simple answer is, “Well, what kind of music do you like?” There are major festivals for nearly every genre and sub-genre of music today. For example….

1) World’s Loudest Month (ROCK)
My personal preference. This series of concerts cover the eastern half of the US, beginning with Welcome to Rockville in Florida on April 26-27, and ending with Rockfest in Missouri on May 31. Along the way are stops at Fort Rock (FL), Carolina Rebellion (NC), Rock on the Range (OH), and Rocklahoma (OK). While this festival series has many of the same major acts performing at many of the locations, each one has a slightly different… flavor. Rock on the Range is known for heavier metal bands, while Rocklahoma adds 80s hair metal bands into the mix. You can find information at these websites
http://worldsloudestmonth.com
http://www.rocklahoma.com
http://www.welcometorockvillefestival.com
http://fortrockfestival.com
http://www.rockontherange.com
http://www.carolinarebellion.com
http://www.rockfestkc.com

2) South By Southwest (Multi-genre)
Funky festival in one of the funkiest towns anywhere. If you are a hipster, this is your home. The range of acts is, in a word, ridiculous. Anything you like, there’s a venue showcasing that style of music. Everything from Americana to Classical to Punk to Rap to Tejano…there are hundreds of acts, and dozens of venues. There are also film showcases, guest speakers, and interactive events throughout the March 7-11 schedule. A word of warning, however. SXSW is becoming legendary, but with its massive variety of entertainment options comes the massive size of the crowd. Getting around can be an issue, and if you have your heart set on attending one of the premier events, get there WELL in advance. Prices for all-access badges are high, and hotels in downtown Austin aren’t cheap. Most hotels in the heart of downtown fill up quickly, but shuttles are offered to get around town, and Austin does have a nice public transportation system. The information can be found at http://www.sxsw.com

3) Bonnaroo (Multi-genre)
In a word, legendary. Bonnaroo Festival is four days of muddy, sweaty, camping with 50,000 of your closest friends. Bonnaroo is the kind of event where someone dressed as a fairy unicorn from Mars might offer you a shot of mystery booze and you wake up the next day next to three cheerleaders and a guy in an Elvis suit. If that sounds like your kind of party, then Manchester, TN in June is your place. Be prepared for long lines, no showers, expensive food and drinks, questionable camp neighbors, and an immediate desire to do it all again. See the lineup and other information at http://www.bonnaroo.com

4) New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (Multi-genre)
AKA, “Jazz Fest”. April 25 – May 4, New Orleans, Louisiana. A music and food lover’s paradise, Jazz Fest has hosted every major music act in the country for years. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are on this year’s lineup, as are Eric Clapton, Phish, Christina Aguilera, Public Enemy, Robin Thicke, Chaka Kahn, Alabama Shakes, and Trey Songz. I would highly recommend spending time seeking out the jazz and blues artists, such as Sonny Landreth, Irma Thomas, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Wolfman Washington and The Roadmasters, the Branford Marsalis Quartet, the Delta Rhythm Kings, and without question, Allen Toussaint. Information can be found at http://www.nojazzfest.com/

5) Sponsored Tours – Rockstar Mayhem Fest, Rockstar Uproar Tour, Avalanche Tour, Vans Warped Tour

6) Small festivals – Bayfest Mobile, AL; 98 RockFest Tampa, FL; numerous others

The bare necessities

I am no road trip virgin. I love traveling, and have since I was a toddler. My parents used to line the rear of their 1980’s station wagon with blankets  and sleeping bags and drag my brother and myself all across the southeast to visit relatives during the summer.  Nearly all of my best childhood memories revolve around trips. Sandwiches and cokes from the cooler, napping on the sticky burgundy vinyl  seats, watching other people from the huge back windows, stopping to picnic at roadside parks… I adore traveling this way, it’s in my genes.

Those early days of road tripping ingrained in my head what is actually ‘necessary’ and what is not on a long car trip.  My list has changed a little over the years, depending on the event and length of trip, but there is a core list that never changes. For road tripping to events, these things are absolutely essential.

1) Comfortable ‘riding’ clothes.  Sweats or yoga pants, a loose t-shirt, a loose hoodie, and shoes I can easily take off and put on. Almost without fail, this is what I will wear in the car. I don’t care who is going to see me in a gas station or rest stop, but I will be presentable enough not to scare small children. You can always change in a bathroom somewhere if you’re going directly to the venue. Or change in the car, if you’re not bashful.

2) Snacks. This absolutely will change depending on your traveling companions, but you MUST have snacks in the car. Stopping every time someone is thirsty or hungry is not an option, and often isn’t actually possible. Trust me, bring simple snacks. Dried veggie and fruit snacks, beef jerky, peanut butter crackers, apples and/or oranges, and bottled water are my go-to snacks. If it doesn’t have to be kept cold, even better. Also, this will save you a 2am walk to the snack machine in a sketchy motel if you get the munchies, and you can discreetly carry these into most events to stave off having to purchase festival food until you absolutely have to.

3) Antibacterial hand cleaner.  Pack more than one small bottle… gas station bathrooms and porta-potties are gross and you WILL want this.

4) Wet wipes. You will feel disgusting at some point. Bring something to cool yourself off and clean yourself up. I usually have basic wet wipes and a pack of makeup removing wipes.

5) SMALL makeup kit. Ladies, seriously, if you are attending an outdoor event in the summer, your perfectly applied makeup will melt. Having the smallest possible kit to repair it will make you feel better and prevent you from looking like you got face-hugged by Sasquatch. Also, if you are traveling at an unearthly hour of the morning, you can always put on a touch of makeup in the car if you decide to stop and shop or eat somewhere.

6) Cash, especially quarters. Vending machines and toll booths take coins almost without fail. Don’t count on being able to use bills. I keep a bag of random change (especially quarters) in my car now on all trips. Festival vendors will generally take credit and debit cards now, but it is SO easy to swipe numbers these days, cash is much safer to use at festivals. Split it between pockets, keep some stashed in a special corner of your bag, get a phone case with a cash holder… whatever you need to do to have a backup.

7) Maps / paperwork. Road map, venue layout, map of the hotel location. Tickets. Copy of the hotel reservation confirmation email.  Know where the heck you are going. Don’t count on something that requires power and a satellite connection, and have a hardcopy of the most important stuff as backup.

8) Event-appropriate clothing. Are you going to be outside the whole time? Inside? Is rain predicted? Will you be standing or sitting the majority of the time? Will you be doing a lot of walking? I have seen girls dressed in practically nothing wearing 5 inch heels at outdoor festivals. Ridiculous. That’s not saying you shouldn’t be cute and wear things you like, but it’s not very cute when you can’t even stand up after being in stilettos for 6 hours and your “so cute” heels keep sinking into the grass. I’m the chick wearing my fabulous flip flops laughing at you every time you stumble. And I’m not alone.

9) Bags. Ok, this one is highly debatable. I would rather not have to carry a bag around all day and keep up with it. If I can fit cash and tickets in my pockets and keep my phone in hand, then I don’t use a bag. Bags attract attention and can easily be stolen. But, if I know I’m going to be purchasing t-shirts and other items, having a bag makes it much easier to transport things without damaging or losing them. Personally, I take a small nylon messenger bag that collapses into its own pocket and judge whether I need it or not at the time of the event. Doesn’t take up much space in my luggage, but I have it if I need it.

10) A reliable travel partner. If you wouldn’t trust them to babysit your dog, then don’t travel with them. It’s really that simple.

An introduction

2009. I’m not sure how or why the discussion happened, but my good friend Brandye brought up the fact that Motley Crue were touring on Cruefest II that year. I don’t remember how we decided to go, but we did. I was in graduate school at the time, so taking a few days off wasn’t a big deal. Brandye works for the greatest boss in the world, so it wasn’t a problem for her to get away either. We decided on Indianapolis, Indiana as our destination, because the night before Cruefest, Jimmy Buffett was playing the same venue. So, the Parrothead and the Cruehead took a trip to see our heroes. It was fate.

Five years and MANY festivals later, I still road trip with Brandye whenever we can. Since we are two music nut friends with no kids and a little bit of disposable income, we hit whatever concerts and festivals happen to catch our interest in a particular year. Some have been one-time trips, never to be repeated. Some have become a yearly tradition. There are more inside jokes and stories than you could possibly imagine. And year after year, we keep trying to spread the word of the right way and the wrong way to ‘do’ a music road trip.

So, welcome to my blog attempt to spread the good word. I hope to consolidate information about various music festivals and events across the US. I’ve had problems in the past trying to locate information for a ‘new’ trip, such as what the crowd is like, what management is like, venue layouts and tips on navigating crowds, or what that one ‘must-have’ item is for a particular event. I’ll be posting about past events and upcoming events, hotels and motels, venues, management issues, crowds, food, and any other information that might be relevant. As you might have noticed, I’m a bit of a planner, and can be pretty O.C.D. about preparation.

Here we go, friends and freaks. Time to rock!

Brandye and I with John Allen, lead singer of Charm City Devils, at Cruefest II in 2009.
Brandye and I with John Allen, lead singer of Charm City Devils, at Cruefest II in 2009.