[Editor’s Note: This is the thirteenth part 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.]
We drove through the night. I attempted to get some rest, as sleep is always eluding me. I kept drifting in and out of dreams. Each time I’d wake up, we were stopped somewhere amazing. I saw a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean along Highway 101, and some breathtaking lookout points near Mulholland Drive. Around the time I gave up my attempts to sleep we were in Beverly Hills. We found a hotel after some driving and passed out. Tomorrow we head to San Diego.
We arrived in San Diego with a solid five hours to kill before showtime at Soda Bar. We stopped at a Thai restaurant to eat and watch basketball. The waiter told me I looked like Slash and called me Slash the whole time we were there. With nothing to do but wait around — and not much to explore in the area — we napped near the Soda Bar. I woke up to see the other bands arriving, and we began to load in. The guys in Amerikan Bear were super cool, and they played a great set. Just before our set, I was outside and saw a face that made me do a double take. My buddy Matt, whom I hadn’t seen in years, had made a surprise appearance. That pretty much made my night to see a familiar face so far away from home. After the show, we hung out with Amerikan Bear and the door guy Alex before hitting the road.
Arriving early as usual, it felt great to be in Los Angeles well rested and with some time to wander about. We had some seafood tacos, and James took a nap. The Miami Heat game was just beginning, so I walked around until I found a bar/taqueria that had the game on.
While I was watching the game my uncle Kenny called and said he was going to meet up with me. He showed up around the third quarter, and as he was walking in three gunshots went off from a black van. The van sped off, and I saw two gangster-looking kids running away. I had just been outside, and those kids walked past me! And my uncle was crossing the street right where they were getting shot at! Everyone looked to make sure nobody was hurt, and within five minutes it was life as usual. Welcome to L.A., I guess. Kenny smiled and told me stuff like that isn’t out of the ordinary in the area I was in.
We watched the game and caught up with each other. It’s rare to get family time on tour, so I appreciated this. Plus it had been years since I’d seen him. We walked back to the venue and loaded up our stuff. There weren’t many people, and we were asked to play first, which is kind of a dick move to pull on an out of town band. But we did what we had to do. Despite the absence of a crowd, it was great to play for my uncle, as well as our friends from the Willow Wood music blog. We got ready to leave and loaded our gear. I hate to say this, but there was some really wack music going on in there when we left, and I couldn’t have been happier to get out of there. We had to play in Tucson, Arizona the next day, so we drove a couple hours and got some rest.
Alex Cordova (@theAncientRiver) is a guest contributor for Little Utopia.
Previously from Alex Cordova:
♦ Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Some Much-Needed Time Off and a Return to San Francisco
♦ Ancient River North American Tour 2014: California Dreamin’
♦ Ancient River North American Tour 2014: An Ugly Experience and Nasty Weather En Route to Denver
♦ Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Supportive Fans, Great Sound, and Awesome Food
♦ Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Adventures in the Midwest