[Editor’s Note: This is the fifteenth 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 left early to get started on the ten-hour drive to Fort Worth. James drove about three hours with no issues, and then I took the wheel. After about 45 minutes, I was just getting into my zone when I heard what sounded like the loudest motorcycle ever — one of our tires had completely exploded. I pulled over and we surveyed the damage. Okay, no biggie, just change the tire and keep it moving. Nope. One of the bolts on the tire was star-shaped, which was meant to act as a theft deterrent. Well, it was stripped, and it was now a fix-your-car deterrent. Within minutes a Good Samaritan named Josh pulled over and took over an hour of his time — on his way home from work — to help us. We tried everything we could think of to get that thing off, but unfortunately it was to no avail. It took about three hours for AAA to arrive.
Luckily they were able to get us back on the road, but now we were faced with a new set of problems. We were told that our spare was badly weathered and wouldn’t make it to Fort Worth. We needed a new tire immediately, but there weren’t any tire shops open. None. Plus now we had a five-hour drive ahead of us that would put us there about an hour-and-a-half past our set time. Fuck it, let’s just think happy thoughts and ride this thing all the way.
We alerted the venue of our predicament and hoped for the best. We were sure we were going to miss the show, which would be a first for us. We drove for hours in deafening silence as the emotions festered. Surprisingly, there was a band still playing when we arrived and even the remains of an audience. We made it just in time to play a short 30 minute set. I still can’t believe we did it.
The venue was a warehouse, and the theme for the night was a black-light party. There were really amazing visual effects, and everyone was covered in vibrant, colorful paint. My only regret is that we didn’t arrive early enough to partake in all the fun. We stayed with our friend Robbie, who organized the event. Along with his wife, he runs a studio, a record store, and they also play together in a band. It was pretty cool to fall asleep and wake up surrounded by bad ass recording equipment and records.
Time to get that new tire. We had to play in Denton, Texas, which was just forty minutes away, so we had plenty of time. While we waited for the work to get done, I had some tacos and explored Ft. Worth a bit. After a little nappy time, we headed out to Denton.
I was happy to play there and see some friends I had made in Austin last year. Amy and Tim — fellow musicians — came out and brought friends. The show was at a nice house in a quiet neighborhood, with four other bands and a decent turnout. After our set we noticed a busted basketball hoop (hanging rim and all) and broke out our ball to play around. A small crew gathered around us, and we had a nice little time taking trick shots and NBA Jam-esque dunks.
Alex Cordova (@theAncientRiver) is a guest contributor for Little Utopia.
Previously from Alex Cordova:
♦ Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Good Times in El Paso
♦ Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Beautiful Vistas and Sketchy Scenes in Los Angeles
♦ 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