December 13, 2017

On Tour With Icarus The Owl: Day 15

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Dread. A horrible feeling that lurks around you day to day. Dread is something that heightens your senses and can be described in a number of ways: goosebumps, sudden silence or a pit in your stomach. I awoke moments before Tim started to pull the van over in the dead of night. The van was shaking heavily and my eyes were struggling to adjust through my glasses on just over 2 hours of sleep. Jake stepped outside into a pool of oil right under the passenger door. His words, “We’ve exploded” aren’t exactly what you want to hear when you’re still collecting consciousness at 4:30am. We all knew the van was completely done for. There was no band-aid patch to get us to the next few shows. A strategy had to be planned and implemented.

We found ourselves just 5 miles outside of the town of Quanah, TX. Little LED lights turned on throughout the van as we scoured Google for nearby towing companies and U-HAUL rentals. Surprisingly there was no anger from anyone. Honestly, we laughed harder than we have all tour. We knew this day would come and I think deep down we had all already accepted it. 6:00am crept up as we realized all the towing spots wouldn’t be open until 8:00am and the U-HAUL spot until 9:00am. I drifted off into sleep again hoping for that sliver of a chance it was all a dream. No such luck. I felt the van jostle as the tow truck driver suspiciously told us to all get in the back of the van as he hoisted the van up on the flatbed. I’ll just say it’s a legal gray area about having passengers ride in a towed vehicle, but we weren’t going to complain.

The driver dropped off the van on a side street next to the U-HAUL. Joey popped his head in and said we were giving the van to the tow truck driver. One of our chief concerns was what to do with the van so it was a big relief figuring that out. I can’t believe a 2010 Ford would blow up so easily, but there were an absurd number of miles on it so it’s somewhat understandable. The van had been through countless tours with no problems until the recent bombardment over the last few days.

We gutted the van of all of our belongings and even unhitched the bunk beds. All of our travel belongings were thrown into the back of a 10 foot U-HAUL. I will mark this post with a disclaimer: “We are not using this U-HAUL in any illegal manner for transportation.” Wink. All we had to do was hook up the trailer and we were good to go. It’s never that easy is it? The trailer hitch was maybe 4mm too thick to fit on the U-HAUL. A few attempts with a hammer bashing at the hitch didn’t seem to do the trick. We emptied out the trailer while Jake and Joey dragged it down a block to a body shop. The owner of this shop was kind enough to let use his metal grinder to get the hitch down just enough to fit. You have to love that Texas hospitality. Rob and I passed the time doing terrible scooter tricks while guarding our gear plopped on the side street. Nearly an hour later we were back in business.

After comfortably setting up our 100% legit traveling accommodations we had to makeup some serious time to get to Albuquerque on time. My lingering cold had started to deal some serious damage to my body. I was in and out of sleep for 5 hours with coughs, sneezing and a runny nose. Tim took the driving reigns and hightailed us 7 hours straight to the venue. A few of us delayed our arrival by getting some fast food along the way. All of us had barely eaten anything all day, but I needed something in my system to combat my illness.

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Parking was thankfully saved for us at the venue. A speedy load-in gave us a few minutes to breathe before doors opened. The rest of the boys ordered food and called their significant others to update them on our safe arrival. Inside the cold venue the boys played to a wild Albuquerque crowd. A good amount of fans came out specifically to see Icarus. For a not so strong market, it’s nice to see them making a mark there. The crowd continued to get even rowdier as the show went on. They demanded an encore from Polyphia and formed a few impressive mosh pits for Dance Gavin Dance. As the show wrapped up it was obvious how exhausted the band was. Tim nearly fell asleep sitting behind the merch table with me. The general goal was to pack up and drive straight to Mesa to stay with a friend. The sleeping arrangements are not nearly as ideal for 5 with our new setup as before. Jake and I took the first shift and headed west.

Written by: Patrick Marion

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