Road Blog: Saturday May 21, 2022 - Auburn, IL
May 21, 2022
We left the hotel under pouring rain with bellies full of free hotel lobby breakfast. Gabriel was a bit miffed at the lady who was ahead of him at the DIY waffle machine, clearly an amateur, with her under-cooked debacle of a waffle before him, leaving remnants of her disaster on the griddle plates and making his task more work. Gabe’s not one to suffer fools, and a seasoned veteran of hotel lobby waffles, and he was clearly agitated. Jacob was driving and Gabe played some trance music that I said sounded like poorly recorded bongos and iPhone noises and I immediately retaliated with Ted Nugent’s self-titled solo debut. What a friggin’ record! I don’t really wanna get into the politics of Ted, but those first four records are pure gold. We stopped at a rest area where I befriended a little bunny who didn’t feel much like hanging out, then drove into Auburn, Illinois.
We arrived at Slauterhouse Brewing Co. a solid three+ hours before we were to play and went in to scope the place out and have a mid-afternoon beer. We met Alex and the rest of the staff and they were all really friendly. We sat in the van for a while and I tortured the boys with some yacht rock as we waited out the rain. The plan was for us to play in an indented room overlooking the patio, but at this point there were massive thunderstorms rolling through with no end in sight, so we had to improvise. We talked it over with Alex and the staff and loaded in between waves of torrential rain and set up in the very front of the brewing room facing the tap room. It’s a small, cozy place but has a lot of charm, and we’ve certainly dealt with less.
We went on just after 6pm to a fairly crowded bar, and we worked hard to keep their attention. There was a group celebrating a birthday in there, and another group in an adjacent room celebrating something else, so a lot of traffic and a lot of distractions. People tolerated us, a few were bobbing heads and raising toasts our way, and we trudged through our set. We took a short break, gobbled down some pizza, and played another hour-twenty and called it a night at our scheduled stop time of 9PM. We visited with our new friend Daryl, a guy who saw us last weekend in Rockford and came down for the show (Thanks!), Christy, a local woman who was quite into our set, and a couple other locals before we loaded out, tipped the staff, and hit the road. It was a bit of a strange gig, mostly because of the crazy weather, but we got through it.
We drove northeast and hit Champaign a little after 11pm where we had an AirBnb reserved. We figured that it was an early show, so too early to crash in Auburn, but too far to drive home, so we got a couple hours closer to home and have a nice three-bedroom house in a nice neighborhood for the night. We stopped at Taco Bell, because what’s a road run without Mexican food three nights in a row? Jake and I each got a Mexican Pizza, which is one of my favorites. I was furious when they took it off the menu a few months back and I’m sure my Twitter rants on the subject were key to getting it back. I don’t remember them being nearly six bucks, but whatever, it was awesome. We were crashed out before 1:30am, relatively early for a Saturday gig.
We were up and at `em and on the road at a brisk 9am this morning, me at the helm, Gabe shotgun, and Jake in back. We fueled up at a Casey's and choked down some shitty breakfast sandwiches and under-ripe, over-roasted coffee and headed north towards Chicago. We saw the city from a distance as we passed through the very southern `burbs, into Indiana, onto I-94, and into Michigan, where the conditions of the roads immediately turned terrible. We landed at my place around 4, unloaded, said hey to TrooperGirl22, and called it a run.
This was a really good weekend for us – good shows, good crowds, good business, no disasters. We don’t take anything for granted these days, and we fortunate to get these in. Next month it’s upstate New York for the first time in a few years, and some local stuff after that before the fall. Thanks for reading – see ya out there. Remember, all road blogs are archived at https://blogs.jeremyportermusic.com. xx