Monday, February 27, 2012


About a month and a half ago, my friend Blake came up to me and asked if I'd play guitar for his old band, Aftermath of a Trainwreck, for one show down in Phoenix. A guy that had helped out Aftermath (and Cool Your Jets and Cherem for that matter) a lot in the past, when we were touring quite a bit that is, was having his 30th birthday party and getting some of his favorite local bands to play and asked Aftermath to come down.

I'd played bass in Aftermath before, but that was back in 2005 when we went on an ill-fated two week trek up through the Northwest and down to Phoenix. Beyond that, they broke up in late 2006, resurfaced as XVictimsX for a bit in 2007/2008 and have been playing sporadic reunion shows ever since.

I don't have much love for hardcore anymore. I think it was great when I was younger and I loved it with all my heart, but having put everything I had into booking shows, finding venues, going to band practice and basically never getting anything in return beyond people upset that I wasn't doing more kind of soured me on the whole thing. Then when Dan Fletcher moved to NYC in 2009, I kind of gave up all together. I still had a band, Collapse, but that was mainly me and four other friends just having fun playing music. We never cared about shows, recordings or tour. We just wanted to hang out and play songs. But even that ran its course and once we were back from Peru, we never did it again.

Needless to say, I wasn't terribly excited at the prospect of an Aftermath show. But, I figured that it would be kind of fun to hang out with all the friends I don't see very much anymore and make a little vacation out of it. After all, Phoenix in February is way nicer than Salt Lake in February, so I was on board.

Originally, the plan was to leave Thursday, spend the night in Vegas, head to Phoenix on Friday, hang out, play on Saturday, drive back to Vegas after and drive the rest of the way home on Sunday. Sounded good to me. But then things started to change. Tyler couldn't get work off on Friday, so we couldn't leave until late that night and Richard had to be back to drive to Wyoming for work on Sunday afternoon. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Things eventually changed again and we ended up leaving around 2 o'clock on Friday afternoon and spending the night in Vegas. We drove the rest of the way to Phoenix on Saturday and left for Salt Lake ten minutes after the show ended. I was gone for almost exactly 48 hours and nearly 30 of them were on the back bench of a 15 passenger van.

Ultimately, I think it was kind of a waste of time but there were a few bright spots here and there. The brightest was probably Green Vegetarian Restaurant in Phoenix. It was awesome. It may have been better than it really was because it was the first and only actual food I ate the entire time I was gone. I was the only vegan (no one else was even vegetarian) in the van and outnumbered 11-1 and the only places everyone else wanted to eat was fast food chains that we don't have in Utah.

The plus side was that I got to hang out with some people that I never get to see anymore, but that was about it.

It's hard to believe that I used to love doing that kind of thing as much as I did. It was fun while it lasted.

Rest of the pictures are after the jump. Check them out. Most of these I took, but a few were stolen from the Instagram feeds of @assholegonerogue, @xgenocidex, @sleepyxpanda, and @drewdavenport. Follow them. It's what they're there for.

I used to teach Geography at a local rest area.
All business.
I lost exactly $23. It was awful as you can see.
View from the top.
On the road again.
My left and right - boiled eggs, pig in a blanket, X-Box magazine.
Beaver, UT stays afloat by marketing to the nations douchebags. 
Does this mean that unless I bring in a pet, I don't get service?
Dessert at the fancy, straight edge IHOP. 
That J. Edgar Hoover built a hell of a dam.
NBA prospects. 
More luck.
The second reason everyone wanted to come to Phoenix.
This is what it looked like at midnight on Saturday.
Only slightly better a few hours later. 
A partial list of restaurants visited.
Poor guys are all tuckered out.
If Richard gets to sit on the stage while we're playing, so do I.
Action shot. 
T decided this was the perfect photo op.

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