In the lead up to the BBQ we’ve been asked to play I have to say I’m more nervous playing for friends I have made than when getting on stage. What if no one comes? What if it’s a bit crap? Eek! Our friends Ian and Ian from Digitech stage have offered to lend us a PA system which is cool – last time we played acoustic which was fun but I reckon a bit of volume will help. As usual the Bayside Bar gets erected (a band who hosts a tip based but dangerously generous bar) very close to us and I start to feel a little more confident. Kevin Lyman has also bought in a BIG bottle of rum so surely it’ll be fun. The extraordinarily skilled showmen and very supportive friends of New Found Glory finish up to a packed out amphitheatre and then people start coming into the BBQ area. Rum is passed around, and soon it feels like time to start the music. There’s a white line on the floor which no one seems to dare pass but as the set goes on and the rum is distributed people do, soon everyone is hollering John Kanaka and dancing to £40 wedding. Yay – lots of fun and to top it off Falling in Reverse (check them out) is crowding surfing – hanging to the rafters.
Very good fun. The night got progressively more drunken with moshing, me spinning around on people’s heads until we’re told we’re about to miss bus call so we leg it back to the bus. As you can imagine the next day is a struggle. The line is nigh on impossible (though we do attempt to sell some CDs, the second gig is about bearable and the third is back on track (obviously after a few beers!). I am so tired by the end of the day I pass out at around 8pm only meaning to kip for an hour before the next BBQ only to be woken the next morning at 8am by Daniel telling me to get up to get the shop ready again. I am told Max went out again and got drunk…walking on a tight rope and who knows what else. He manages to get through the next day though (with a very hoarse voice which makes Sam’s Gone Away even more sea worthy than usual!).
For our day off I’ve signed us up to a charity event cleaning up a river. We get a bad night’s sleep as every time Marty our driver stops we think it’s 6:30 and ready to get up and start cleaning but he’s just getting fuel or coffee or something. Anyway, we arrive (leaving old Mule to lie in bed), put on our waders and head off with plastic gloves to clean the river. It actually feels very refreshing 1) doing something different and 2) being in a pretty lake area (under a freeway) opposed to a hot parking lot. We set to work pulling all the plastic bags away from the barbwire and twigs. The next stretch lasts 9 days before a break but we’re on the home straight so the end is in sight!
Florida is amazing. Muggy and hot but amazing. We have a BBQ at a lake where there are alligators being spotted all the time which ends in a lot of stories the next day about black eyes, someone pissing in the tour managers bed, broken thumbs and dancing in a circle with Kevin Lyman and all the other punk rockers. Good times before back to work. Now we’re on the Ernie Ball stage which is small but fun.
We’ve now played 8 out of 9 stages with only the Monster stage left to play (that’s where all the heavy bands scream at their crowds – check out Chelsea Grin and Motionless in White – amazing performances). THe guys at Ernie Ball are really nice and we get some pretty good crowds selling record numbers of CDs. Evenings include water parks and beaches – swimming in warm seas and playing volley ball. So deserved I can’t tell you. Tired isn’t the word but happy with it.