Montag, 28. März 2011

Last Breath Before The Plunge

Our second tour ended a little over a week ago in Austin during SXSW. It was funny how things worked out for us starting the very same night as my last blog entry (you’ll remember that it included a laundry list of things that went wrong for us…). Well, that night in Shreveport, LA of all places, we celebrated Lehnen’s 100th show in proper fashion- a tight show, good transitions, good vibes, and in excellent company (oh yeah…and FREE OF TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES!). With spirits lifted, we drove on to Austin the next day where we were greeted by chaos; the chaos that is the South By Southwest Music Festival.

Imagine a city overrun by zombies….except these ones aren’t out for your brains. They’re after shows, booze, and whatever illicit substances the streets have to offer. Probably sounds like paradise to some. It was a bit overwhelming for us as a band, but hey….we had a show to play. So, after carrying our equipment through dense crowds of hipsters parading the blocked off streets, we began setting up our gear backstage and preparing for the show we’d all been waiting for. JBTV and the Trophy Room set up a pretty tight schedule, so we scrambled once the band before us was finished with their set. After the fastest soundcheck we’d ever done in our life, we began to play. I cannot remember a whole lot save for the fact that there was sweat everywhere; in all our eyes, my back, my legs, arms, my cymbals, snare…even my coveted synth station. I also remember holding my breath through many stretches praying for our samples to work flawlessly. And they did. It was our favorite show up until then.

Unfortunately, our second show set up for that week had to be cancelled, so we killed time by seeing other friends destroy on stage, playing Texas Hold ‘Em, and….well, at the very end, imbibing liquor so vile and disgusting it should be illegal (lest any parents get unnecessarily upset, I’ll go on record and say it was only me who was stupid and curious enough to do this). Dumb? Yes, but this form of stupidity inspired one of the best things to happen to us on tour. Our hosts along with some other friends jokingly suggested we set up our equipment in their garage and play a last-minute house show. Well, we were out of Four Loko ( and MD 20/20 ( , so why not play a quick show for friends before hopping into the smelly tardcave for 18 hours? We called as many friends as possible, set up, and shred (kind of like this: for about 35 minutes. Not how we expected to end our second tour, but as it turns out, we had more fun at that “show” than at any other on the entire tour.

(Notice our friend, Justin, adding R. Kelly’s “Pregnant” to our jam-session of “Home” that ensued at the end of the concert…priceless)
Hugs were given, hands shaken, bags packed, and rubber burned as the Lehnen mobile peeled out of the driveway on its final voyage back to Fort Collins, CO. Two short days later, my friends left for home.

So, I’m still in Fort Collins spending time with friends and enjoying a bit of time off from long car-rides, setting up, tearing down, and sleeping on floors. I’ll be leaving soon, and settling back into normal life. The end of a tour is always bizarre. For a month, one becomes accustomed to living on the road and off of the goodness of people who open their houses and apartments to you. Sometimes I forget that I have a home of my own across the Atlantic. I love touring. I love playing concerts every day. I love meeting new people. I love re-uniting with friends and family in this place. I have even come to love the challenges one is faced with while abroad. Watching it all come to an end is painful. A close friend once said to me, “Just when I think my heart can’t break any more, it does…”. We’ve all learned a few things about pain and uncertainty while on tour this time around. It’s become so very real, and at times it’s made us all ask ourselves, “Is this really worth it”. Even in the dark times, we’ve come to agree, “Yes, it is”.

On that note, I (on behalf of all of LEHNEN) would like to thank the following people:

Laura Daley (our friend, booking agent, and Mom abroad- we love you truly)
David and Lisa Boyd (thank you for welcoming us into your home each time we come out here)
Our dear, dear friends in the bands Caspian, Walking Oceans, For A Minor Reflection, Junius, Constants, Elevator Action, and a plethora of others I have surely (and regrettably) forgotten.
All of our friends and loved ones scattered across the plains of North America (and back home, of course!)
Charity:Water (for inspiring so much love and goodness towards people who need it)

We have a few fun spring/summer shows coming up this year, but after that, we all foresee a season of silence as we take our last breaths before the plunge and begin expanding our sound and recording it. The future is wide open, and I think I see light. Thank you


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