Friday, March 12, 2010

We pray for moments like this VII - Joburg - 18 Feb 2010

Compared to how perfectly awesome every other day of the tour is going to be, today's actually going to be a bit of a low point, but I don't know this when I wake up.

It's obviously gonna be a kinda hectic day - we're flying to Joburg at 11:40. After we land we need to catch a bus to long term parking and collect my car. Given that there are 5 of us and a bunch of guitars and luggage, there's no way we'll all fit into my car, so Anthea and Chris are meeting us at the airport to help out. We'll land at around 13:40 and by 4 the band need to be at MK, to sound check for their live performance on Studio 1 at 7PM. Somewhere between landing at 2ish and MK at 4 we need to get to Music Connection so Lex can have his glitchy pedal seen to.

Anja and I have some breakfast, pack up our stuff and get in the car to go to the airport. I've got this sinking feeling I'm forgetting something, but I've got everything I need for the shows. Keytar, Laptop; if there's anything else I've forgotten we'll be back for Ramfest in just over a week.

We get to the airport, ready to check in, but the Foreigners are running late. They arrive, we get checked in by the best check-in-man ever. We rush to the gate and seem to be the last people getting onto the full flight.

Unfortunately super-check-in-dude couldn't get the five of us sitting in a cute little row, so Anja and I are sitting in front of Kel and Jun, and Lex is a couple rows back. I love sleeping on planes, so I'm pretty amped about cuddling up to Anja and catching up on some sleep. Weirdly this doesn't happen. The cuddling up does, but the sleeping part doesn't come. I give up. Stare out the window. Try sleep again. Fail. And then it hit's me. I've forgotten my keys in Anja's car.

This is a MAJOR cluster-cuss. We're in the middle of the flight, there is no way I'm getting those keys anytime soon. My house keys are on there, but that's okay. The real problem is that my car will be sitting there waiting for us to race off to MK for the band's live performance on national TV in 6 hours.

I totally freak out.

Anja initially freaks out too, but quickly switches over to awesome, composed girlfriend mode. She grabs me, looks me in the eyes and says something along the line of:

"Just calm down love. Put things in perspective. We're on a plane with one of our favorite bands in the world. We're taking them to your hood to rock out with you and your friends and it's gonna be awesome, the keys are just a minor hiccup."

I process what Anja's just told me and start feeling like I can breathe again. She gives me her Ipod. I listen to Trail of Dead's "Summer of 91" and Free Diamonds' "What part of Free Diamonds don't you understand?" and it feels like everything's gonna be okay.

We formulate a cunning plan. The gang will have lunch at the airport. While they do this Anthea and I will drive to my place in Melville. Drop off everyone's luggage, collect my spare keys, drive back to the airport, collect everyone, collect my car, drive to MK.

Me wanting to faint from lack of food, Anthea loosing her keys somewhere in my house, the foreigner's almost forgetting their British plug converter in Lex's bag and lots of really crappy traffic are more "minor hiccups" that pop up. Still they don't cuss with things to badly, and we only get the band to MK studios an hour and ten minutes late for soundcheck. Less than 2 hours before they'll be playing live to hundreds of thousands of people.

The biggest worry is that we couldn't get Lex's pedal seen to beforehand, but during soundcheck the band play through both Coast and Every Cloakroom Ever three times without any hitches. Jo Fo head off to get made presentable for the cameras. I go outside to meet up with Cam. Turns out there's a pretty huge amount of kids that have come through to watch the show in studio.

We hang for a bit, head into the studio. There's a guy explaining how everyone needs to be excited the whole time. Once the show kicks off I slowly start coming to the realization that I'm on one of those TRLesque shows I always hated so much. The kind of show where a crowd of people scream and applaud for number one pop songs and give shout outs to their school friends. It feels like we've pulled off some kind of major infiltration getting Jo Fo onto the show, but honestly MK couldn't be more happy to have them. The band rip through Cloakroom, and I can't help but have a massive smile on my face thinking that right now this is getting beamed into literally thousands of unsuspecting homes in small towns around the country. There's more talking and wooing for REM charity songs and RnB hits from local Disneyboytwins. The band do an interview where each member gets asked a question. Jun gives props to the Doom and Ashtray. Lex talks about co-lab-o-lation with Peach. More top of the pops. The band start playing out with Coast.

Everything's cool... for like 30 seconds. Lex's guitar starts occasionally cutting out really quickly, then more often as the band move into the first chorus. As the 2nd verse starts the guitar cuts out entirely. And it's gone for a while. Lex is frantically trying to get it come back while Kel and Jun play through the song all drums and bass. Guitar comes back, ghosts go crazy, at the climax of the song Lex throws his guitar on the ground, grabs the mic, knocks over the mic-stand, climbs onto the drum raise and goes nuts. The abandoned guitar buzzes away in the background, with Kel and Jun pounding out the last few notes of the song. This has got to be one of the most rock and roll things that have ever happened on this show. The band needs to shoot a bunch of interviews for a bunch of different shows after Studio 1 finishes. Eventually we pack up and head back to my house. For the first time in almost a week of touring we can just hang out together and chill. We spend the evening sunken into my lounge suite, mostly smashing up thousands of robots in Dynasty Warriors Gundam Wing. Fuck yeah.

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