Usually we like Friday the 13th shows. After this one, I’m not so sure. First are foremost we found out that The Independents cancelled due to a family emergency. Total bummer as that’s the reason we wanted to play the show and we were looking forward to a weekend of shows with them. The trip up was also riddled with headaches and bad luck. We knew we’d be getting a late start out of town but we didn’t know the brake rotor on the van would be stuck to the wheel rendering it completely and totally unable to move. With five hours to show time, we scrambled around and wound up cramming all our gear into Justin’s car and Angela’s car which are both Honda Elements. If you aren’t familiar them they are part SUV and part little rolling boxes. At one point Dave wondered aloud if the two vehicles would assemble into a large Voltron like creature? Sadly, it did not. These cars are handy for carrying things, but are not so handy for feeling like a band on a trip as we had to split up into pairs. We hauled ass up to Richland stopping at what turned out to be the dirtiest Wendy’s on Earth. Trash on the tables, squirted condiments on the counters, mashed fries on the floor, oh man it was bad. The bathroom was even worse as the toilet had still fresh vomit and dried feces on it with a puddle of urine in the front. Wow, talk about losing your appetite. We moved on and quickly as we good only taking our drinks and a case of hepatitis with us. Shows at Ray’s start at 10 and we arrived at 9:55. We parked as far away as we could from the door to minimize our visibility with our two yuppie rides. This led for a long walk with the gear but it was worth it. The Elements were shameful to unload from. Better Off Naked was first and sounded good. We only got to see a few songs, but they seemed solid. They played a short set and before we could catch our breath we were on stage by 10:30. Our set was affected by the curse of Friday the 13th too. Although it was passable, I gotta be honest it wasn’t our best effort. Kids moved and sang and that’s always appreciated. I did think for a while the tides would turn on us though when Justin started to ask if anyone saw the Cubs game. Someone yells “fuck sports” and he continues on with “no, really did anyone get the score.” Wow. Amazingly this display of microphone rambling was actually surpassed during our last song when he thanked the opening band, the staff and all the people who showed up. I attempted to gesture the words “thank the other band.” Somehow this was misinterpreted as “Eric needs a rubber band” which he mentioned out loud. Soon people in the crowd start to try and locate a rubber band. He never did thank Schoolyard Heroes and I never got my rubber band either. Sadly, the unprofessionalism didn’t stop there. Dave announced this was our last song only to have Dustin interrupt us all and start insisting we play a few more. My man had absolutely no idea another band was playing after us. Granted they were standing by the stage with all their equipment and had brought in most of the crowd and he was none the wiser. Again I blame the 13th. Anyway, our set was passable … but barely. Schoolyard Heroes played last and they were very, very good. The guitar player was damn near amazing and it further solidified our amateur hour performance. We took off around 1:00 and of course had to split up again thanks to driving two cars. At the first turn out of town we got split up at a red light. I’m not sure exactly what happened to them but Dustin and Justin wound up getting lost and turned around so many times they wound up about 30 miles behind us. Needless to say both of them were quite irritated because nothing sucks as bad as leaving for a 3.5 hour drive and turning it into a 4 hour one. The drive home really did suck. Lots of really hard rain, plenty of puddles, and people driving with their high beams on. We eventually got home and I slept like I’ve never slept before. I’m not sure if Friday the 13th was to blame but it sure is a good explanation.