Dienstag, 15. März 2011


It’s been about 2 weeks since my last blog entry, so I figured it was time for an update. This one isn’t the happiest I’ve ever written for Lehnen, so if you’re looking for a “picker-upper”, read between the lines or look elsewhere. Just as I tell you all of the wonderful experiences we’ve had on the road, I think it’s only fair of me to be honest and let you know that sometimes things go wrong, too.

The last time I blogged we were in Minneapolis. That was pretty much the last concert to go somewhat as expected. Pretty funny, actually. All was well in our world on tour over here, and that is precisely where I left you all off. Since then, a number of things have gone awry. I don’t care to make this a long account of all the misfortunes we’ve had over the last few weeks, so I’ll put it in bulletin form.

• Madison, WI. The venue tells us we’re unable to play our show there. There was apparently a misunderstanding between their booking agent and ours. Who is actually to blame shall remain nameless. First show on the tour to be cancelled.
• Chicago, IL. Our electronic and bass samples die twice during our set during the second most important show of the tour. The end of “Home” (our closing song of late) is played without bass and (at least to us) comes across as powerless.
• Fort Wayne, IN. The venue/pizza parlor in which our show is booked failed to inform our booking agent that they do not have a sound system. Laura (our booking agent) manages to find a sound guy who shows up and does a good job for us. Still, there was little to no promotion and the bands playing that night (ours and our good friends FOR A MINOR REFLECTION) end up playing for each other.
• Pittsburgh, PA. Our (borrowed) bass-amp starts showing signs of failure when the samples come out sound crackled. We attempt to use another band’s amp. Two songs in, their bass amp loses power and begins emitting strange smells. Another bass amp is brought up on stage, and we manage to finish the show.
• No Boston concert. Fuck (our exact response to the sad news along with that of many friends in the state of Massachusetts).
• New York City. Amazing show yielding promising new connections. Unfortunately, our van breaks down in front of our host’s house in Brooklyn at 3:30am. The next morning Joel has the van towed to a repair shop. We spend all of the money we’d earned on tour up until then on repairs. All fueling expenses are paid out of pocket from that moment on.
• Harrisonburg, VA. We speed down the highway in attempts of making our show that night. We end up arriving right as the headlining act takes the stage. We set up our gear, soundcheck, and begin to play. By the time we start, it’s nearly 1am, and all but 7-8 people have gone home. Our samples die once during the performance as well.
• Asheville, NC. We arrive at the Emerald Lounge where nobody seems to realize we are included in the line-up for the night. The other two bands are country/folk outfits and they draw a fitting crowd for their likes. We go two doors down to a hookah bar where two young gentlemen are playing wonderful ambient/drone music. We end up playing after them, but there aren’t very many people there, and again, our samples crash. Nobody is able to give us a place to stay, so we pay even more money for a motel.
• Clarksville, TN. Our show in Athens, GA gets cancelled due to problems with the police, so Laura adds us to the line up of a show just outside of Nashville. Virtually no one shows up outside of a few friends of ours and the opening act. Samples die towards the end of the set. Again. No money for gas is given to any of the bands that night.
• Memphis, TN. Laura informs us that we will be sharing the stage with our dear friends from Walking Oceans along with For a Minor Reflection. Literally NO ONE shows up at the bar. The opening act plays, the rest of us come to the conclusion that it’s not worth the hassle of setting up. We all just laugh and drink a few watered-down beers together (which with all of the shit that we’ve been through at that point is really all one can do). At least I can say we had a night in which our samples didn’t crash.

So, yes- we’ve been through a bit of a shit phase recently. By the time our van broke down in NY, I thought I might lose my sanity. I am a devout Christian and I believe in God’s goodness. I believe in His saving grace and love for all of humanity. I believe in all of these things in the good times and in the bad, but there are certainly days in which I wonder why things happen the way they do. I know that I (along with my beloved friends in Lehnen) are lucky and beyond blessed. Look at Japan right now. Think of the thousands of people dying daily due to preventable causes. Look at the pointless wars being waged, the drug abuse, or the sex-trafficking. There are so many things I, thankfully, have not fallen subject to. I do not know why these things happen. The questions I ask God on a daily basis are not always immediately answered. Some never. Still, I’ve learned that we all have a choice in finding fulfillment. It’s not just about being grateful on days in which all goes according to our desires. I’m starting to see that so much of life is about finding and reminding yourself of things that are beautiful when all else seems hopeless. Hope is everywhere you choose to see it.

This brings us up to where I am right now; sitting at a gas station somewhere in Louisiana. About an hour ago our van unexpectedly ran out of fuel on the highway. Josef and Joel managed to flag down a friendly southerner by the name of James who drives Joel to the nearest gas station and back. We all thank him profusely for his help and apologize for inconveniencing him. He tells us that he might end up being late for dinner, but that his wife will surely understand. “She would’ve done the same thing”, he tells us. His kindness is genuine and for the first time in what seems like forever, I am moved.


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