HOW TO DEAL WITH HEAT and boredom: a guide by Ethan Chilton.
So today we were in Texas, our only show in the lone star state, New Braunfels, to be exact, which is somewhere in between San Antonio and Austin.
Last night after I left the hotel I ate my post-show food in Tulsa (mashed potatoes, green beans, a hard boiled egg), and talked with Dave and Steven for a good hour about lots of things- Dave gave us a lesson in the process of manufacturing all different kinds of hard liquor (bourbon, whiskey, gin, rum, chardonnay, etc.), and we talked about the decline of the music industry and how hard it is to listen to good music online nowadays. It’s all a matter of perspective, but it is true that the music industry has changed a lot…. Dave used to be able to make a living playing pretty easily more or less, nowadays that’s practically not possible.
Anyway, sob stories aside, I woke up really late this morning (10:30 or so), meditated, and instantly felt the heat from outside. I didn’t really accept it until I went outside to look for a place to run that there is NO WAY I was gonna be goin for a jog anytime soon. It was already 90 degrees and the humidity was whack. Lesson of the day- even in an air conditioned tour bus, you can’t do YouTube workouts without feeling the heat… I couldn’t get more than 10 minutes into the burpees or whatever. Kinda dumb of me. The whole venue is an outdoor amphitheater, gravel and pavement only, and there’s a river that runs by the park that was packed with people inner tubing all day long. Even in the morning people were playing games and partying outside the river, and all day up to showtime people were going around the river loop that’s apparently 2 hours long.
My first task was to find a shower- I was feeling pretty gross. Gina told me there were only public showers- and they honestly weren’t thaaaat bad. Well ok they were bad but what can you expect from a public shower in the middle of nowhere in Texas (we’re talking more out of the way than Merced). I felt much better at the end of it, that’s all that really matters. Breakfast/lunch time (noontime meal, whatever), got some eggs, salad, some of the best green beans I’ve ever had, pasta salad (same thing I’d order for after-show food) was GOOD. (Had a protein powder smoothie before showering, those things are saving my life as a vegetarian out here just fyi).
Tip for the heat- avoid green tea or coffee or anything even if it’s good for you. Replace it all with cold water. It’s the only thing that’ll truly keep your energy up. The whole afternoon was a mesh of walking around, sitting around, trying to compose, and chatting around. I ate another little mini meal around 130, warmed up in the band dressing room (and did a bunch of pushups since there was AC). John didn’t even show up to soundcheck today- apparently he and his family went out shopping. I was havin a lot of trouble composing today- bit of a creative roadblock. But when it turned into boredom and inefficiency, I went for a walk, I took a twenty minute nap and listened to music, I stopped and hung out in the front lounge, and after dinner (which was awkward small talk with two band members), I even practiced my power moves for New Orleans on a deck overlooking the river.
George (the video guy), encouraged me to come up with something dramatic to top Nate and Steve. In the song ‘New Orleans’ when they come out with their first solo, Nate does some leans, Steve does a dope lunge, so I opted for a kick and two spins.
By the time the show was starting, it had cooled down to a nice breeze- rather enjoyable in fact. I hyped up George and the other camera guy about my planned power move, I was excited. My thinking is, I should spend effort making the most out of this experience and make every night different/unique/challenging for me somehow.
John’s set was long today- no ZZ Top again. When it came time for New Orleans I kinda botched my power move- messed up the spin- George told me so afterwards to spin quicker, I’ll practice and get it right tomorrow.
Overall we had a good show- nothing out of the ordinary to report from John or the crew. I’ll say that keeping motivated is tough, BUT if I make a plan and stay organized I can make stuff happen in my day. Lookin to SLEEP soon- this blog took me half an hour again yeesh.