[Editor’s Note: This is the second article in an ongoing series chronicling Ancient River’s 2014 North American Tour. If you missed the first part or would like some background on the series, click here.]
Knoxville is a beautiful place with beautiful people.
I could feel the positive energy from the moment James and I walked through the door of the Pilot Light, the venue for tonight’s show. Beloved locals Smoker, who were preparing to move back to their native Chicago after a year or two of living in Knoxville, were playing their farewell show, which gave the show a deeper meaning. Everyone was incredibly friendly and the audience was as engaged and supportive of the music as any I’ve seen before.
After performing and enjoying a captivating set by Smoker, we began to sort out our plans for sleeping. We were invited to stay at the home of a local bar manager and, rather than tiredly drive on, we took the opportunity to get some rest (or so I thought). Post living room introductory, small talk and drinks, and James succumbing to the inevitable forces of sleepy time, our generous host decides he is in the mood for a 5 a.m. drunken graffiti art adventure. Naturally, having tagged not even so much as a public school textbook in my life, I was in.
As we prepared to head out into the life-destroying cold, he decides to tell me about his alleged drug dealing ex-neighbor who was recently shot in her chest right there in her own home, as an example of what kind of neighborhood we are in. We grab some paint and a roller and head out into the stillness of the night to a wall along the side of a railroad. I get my first graffiti 101 course, sheepishly tagging and closely observing the work of my instructor. With paint splatters all over our hands, faces and clothes, we decide it’d be a good idea to head back to to the house. Up ahead I see a faint twinkle of light on the road: a bullet casing shining like a star on the street. Next stop: Savannah, Georgia.
Previously from Alex Cordova:
♦ Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Beginnings
♦ On the Record 04.11.13
♦ On the Record 04.03.13
♦ New Music Tuesday