Road Blog: Saturday June 24, 2017 - Waynesburg, KY
Waynesburg, Kentucky – June 24th 2017
We met our pal Nate NP Presley for breakfast at a nice café on the south side of Lexington called Wild Eggs Lexington. We've eaten there before, the food and service are awesome, and it was conveniently located on our way south, so it was a good choice. We drank coffee, ate breakfast nachos, and talked about everything rock and roll for an hour or more before we had to head out. Nate is such a good dude who just spews passion and energy and good will, and we're lucky to call him a great friend.
From there we headed over to Liquor Barn, a massive emporium of all things alcohol, to stock up for the Fun Ranch. I spent a couple mortgage payments on some rare, special rye whiskey (High West Rendezvous), we got some beer and a much less expensive bottle (of Four Roses Single Barrel) for the party, and some cheese, sausage and crackers for the food spread. We drove the 90 minutes south through the bluegrass horse fields, rock cuts and gorges, and forests to Waynesburg – a rural, dry county south of Lexington.
Fun Ranch is a big party hosted by Vibrolas at their family homestead surrounded by vast fields and hills and woods. Bands play beneath the back deck of the house, and there's a swimming pool about 10 feet from the stage filled at any given time with a combination of kids, band members, and attendees. There's a decorative rowboat-shelving unit behind the drums that was home to a poor family of birds, with the babies still too small to leave the nest. They are now well versed in how an SG sounds through a Hiwatt 4x12 cabinet.
This was our 3rd (I think?) appearance, and it's become one of the highlights of our summer. It's not a traditional gig in that it's much more of a friendly party, but that's part of why it's so great. The other part, and even more so, is that we get to see so many friends from Kentucky and across the US that we only get to cross paths with on the road or when they come to Michigan and we happen to be around.
We pulled in next to the big white Dodge van with New Hampshire plates and knew our pals from When Particles Collide were already there. We said hi to Sasha and Chris, then saw Gretta and Derek from Dirty Socialites, and and Chris, Leila and Andy from Vibrolas. I heard a familiar voice from behind and saw Cory from Those Crosstown Rivals, and there were big smiles and hugs all around as we cracked beers and got caught up with everyone over the next 8 hours.
All of the bands were great, and there were 12 of them. The Spockers are a Star Trek themed punk band that sang about all the different characters from that franchise. Dirty Socialites are a fantastic noisy-indie band with great songs. The Jettisons (Cory's other band) played a great set of short, catchy punk songs. Watching the Vibrolas play just made me so happy. They're not only such great people, but holy crap they are an amazing band. When Particles Collide have been great since the first time I saw them when we played together a few years back, but they just keep upping their game. They have that thing that happens to bands that play a lot where one person knows what the other person is going to do before they do it, and the power that comes with that is the liberty to let the auto-pilot control the mechanics while you just pour everything into the delivery, and these guys have it. It's damn cool to watch. Everyone was great – Adam Flaig (from Cinci buddys Mad Anthony), The Slams, Modern Advances and The Damned Shames (both from Chicago), and The Dockers – with their Shriner's hats and dual bass attack. Closing out the night was Bible of the Devil – a classic metal band playing all originals in the vein of classic Iron Maiden and other New wave of British heavy metal bands. They kicked ass and instilled some affirmation that there is still great metal out there.
Along with all the great music, Fun Ranch always comes with some great shenanigans. There's always a couple characters who party a little too hard and end up paying for it somewhere in the middle of the afternoon (always under the watchful eye of concerned friends, of course), little kids and their grandparents rocking out to the jams, and a very diverse collection of people who all come together to party and rock out. It's a wonderful, inclusive, loving event that we're just so happy to be a part of. I hope it continues for years to come. Kentucky is always so good to us. It's at the top of the places we love to play.
We left around 11pm, after the bands were done, but before the bonfire. We wanted to stay, but we had to get home early today and we had a 3 hour drive to our hotel in Cincinnati. Patty was behind the wheel while we listened to Trapper Schoepp and BASH & POP. Somewhere around 2am we pulled into the beautiful Four Points by Sheraton Cincinnati North in West Chester, Ohio for a few hours of shut-eye. The room was comfortable, clean, and spacious, and the front desk host was friendly and accommodating, despite the appearance of the three dudes who'd spent the last 10 hours baking in a field under the Kentucky sun standing before her.
We hit the road at 10am this morning, stopping only for some Wendy's and gas along the way. Patty and I argued about the true, initial cause of the American Civil War, and we're each as stubborn and opinionated as the other, so it wasn't long before we just gave up and moved on to other subjects we agreed on, like the impact and influence of the potential participation of foreign nations on the story line of the conflict. Before long we were back in Michigan and unloading.
This was the best run yet of this spring/summer, and we want to thank everyone so much for helping us with the shows, playing, working, booking, promoting, or attending. A special thanks to the fine people of Kentucky, who we love and respect and miss and absolutely can't wait to see again. In a week and a half we'll wrap up this tour with some upstate NY shows. Until then, be safe out there, be good to each other and everyone else. Xo