Dallas, Texas – On through the night, and we end up at the Lizard Lounge in Dallas…
2:30 p.m.: “Mornin'” from… somewhere….
We’re still driving to Dallas from St Louis. Markus is on business calls, and I jump into my own work. We hit a truck stop somewhere on the line between Oklahoma and Texas. Our driver made sure to bring us to a nicer one than last time, so that we won’t be approached by “lot lizards.”
There are things you learn to do differently when living on a bus, like using a microwave as a mirror, doing everything one-handed to keep yourself from tumbling all over the place (getting dressed is interesting), shutting the left refrigerator door before the right, and so on. Also, I’ve learned that nobody hears your screams from outside of the bus when, say, you drop your entire plate of food in the parking lot.
4:45 p.m.: We finally pull up to the Lizard Lounge in Dallas. The production crew doesn’t have as much time as usual. Set-up has been averaging nine hours each day, and we don’t know how they will pull it off. They haven’t even eaten yet. I play “mom” for a few moments, delivering some food, coffee and medicine between the two busses and venue. Now the crew’s freezer contains Skoal and Hot Pockets!
9:00 p.m.: Thanks to the help of great stagehands from the club, the crew was able to complete production in only five hours today.
I’m munching on a salad while Markus is at the bus’ dining table, jamming out behind his laptop. I don’t know what he’s working on, and can’t hear what’s in his headphones, but he seems to be thoroughly enjoying it. KhoMha comes out of the studio to touch base on the sets for the night, since he is closing instead of opening, at what will be his second appearance at Lizard Lounge in a few short months.
“Will you be playing the same set as last night?” he asks.
“Well, generally, but I’ll be changing some things, of course,” Markus says. “The idea is for the set to evolve over the tour.”
11:30 p.m.: Dinner arrives in the form of street tacos, another new food for KhoMha. “Taco Bell isn’t real,” I explain. I introduce him to the Jäger-bomber, and The M Machine exclaims that it’s the best news ever. I spend the rest of the night shot-blocking them and doing sloppy speed-Yoga.
Midnight: There’s a crowd outside of the pink (not green) room, waiting for their meet-&-greet with Markus. One giddy girl tells me that he’s her favorite DJ of all time, and that she’s afraid she’s going to say something stupid. Someone tells me I have the best job ever. I agree.
Once the meet-&-greet starts, and Markus is chatting with the winning fans, someone steps away from the circle around him to approach me. “Are you Sarah?” they ask with a grin. “Can I get a picture with you? It would make my day!” Sorry, Markus—it’s my tour! Time for a headstand.
1:15 a.m.: It’s 54-degrees outside, but hot as summer in the club. There are blow-up unicorns in the air, unicorn horns on girls’ heads, Scream Tour glow wands waving in the crowd, and the most amazing intensity from the crowd. Markus did a Global DJ Broadcast World Tour recording here a couple of years ago, and every visit since has been bigger and bigger. It’s electric tonight.
The M Machine’s beer bottles and speakers had kept vibrating off ledge during their set, so it’s like we can’t escape bus living. #firstworldproblems
I chat with fans here and there, including one who has been battling cancer, and who is so grateful for Markus. “If it weren’t for Markus and his music, I wouldn’t have progressed as much as I did.” I think of my dad, whom I’ve been taking care of for the last few months during chemo treatment, and wonder how he’s holding up without me around.
3:45 a.m.: A few fans getting pictures with KhoMha after his closing set beg, “Are you going to be at Vegas EDC? Even if you aren’t, just lie to me!!!” When he stays stoic, they add, “If you’re going to be at EDC Vegas, don’t say anything!”
A few moments later, we open the doors of the bus and are immediately greeted by Markus handing over a large plastic bag. “Here, find a place for this garbage!” I guess that’s called ego-balancing.
4:15 a.m.: Markus takes apart one of the new glow wands. “Boys like to figure out his things work.”
He departs for Atlanta to take a flight without some of us, so that he can squeeze the Magnetic Music Festival in, totaling him at six gigs in five days, and counting. He tells KhoMha he is the man of the house now. In his deep Colombian voice, he ponders, “What does the man of the house do? Nothing. Just work.”