Houston, Texas – The Texas leg of the trek finds us hauling from Dallas into Houston. The gig is at Stereo Live and it went like this:

3:00 p.m.: We awake… and the bus is so quiet. Markus left after last night’s show to fly to Atlanta for the Magnetic Music Festival, leaving me and KhoMha behind for a peaceful, relatively short trek from Dallas to Houston.

4:30 p.m.: There’s a shower inside the venue, and we’ve been supplied with a pile of towels, so I figure I’ll conserve the bus water. But when I climb the dark, clanking metal stairs and enter the green room, I find Maraschino cherries and wristbands on the shower floor, an overused toilet (pee-ew), and a lack of soap. I chicken out, and feel bad for the rest of the crew, who don’t have a fancy shower on their bus.

7:00 p.m.: Soundcheck. KhoMha takes on the responsibility while Markus is away. Other nights’ parties have left multi-colored confetti stuck in the grates of fans high above the dancefloor. We’ll add white to them tonight. The M Machine plays with their new Nerf gun. We devise a back-up plan should
anything happen to Markus’ return flight.

8:45 p.m.: A few large bags of crawfish are delivered for dinner, and the boys are excited. I gag and opt for my Trader Joe’s groceries from Charlotte, instead. I’m a wuss today! Our merch guy animates one of the disgusting “mud bugs,” turning it into a raver with its hand in the air, then into a DJ, with one claw holding imaginary headphones up to its little lifeless head. KhoMha Skype’s with his family in Colombia, giving them a
virtual tour of the bus en Español. I wave “hola.”

10:20 p.m.: KhoMha takes the stage, but then leaves to get himself bottled water from the bus. “KhoMha, the club will get that for you!” I laugh.

Markus took a couple of key production people to Atlanta, so I spend the next hour trying to resolve a visuals issue. A talented woman is one who can run through gravel in 6-inch stilettos.

Fans want to know where the blow-up dinosaur is. I don’t even know where it came from last night!

12:20 a.m.: Markus has returned, and is getting hyped up in the bus, preparing for his second set of the night. We burst into song, “Everybody dance now!” Then, we quickly head to the stage. A moment later, everyone is asking me where Markus is. He seems to have disappeared, so off I go in my all-terrain heels, up, down and all around… Meanwhile, he was tucked away somewhere on stage the whole time. Markus announces that it’s going to get real weird in here for the “holiday.”

1:00 a.m.: Confetti blankets Markus’ equipment. Our attentive tour manager runs up and blows it away. There are so many shirtless boys, and so much neon in here; it’s like Spring Break.

2:00 a.m.: “That was one of the tastiest things I’ve ever had…” Andy from The M Machine returns from trying the hours-old mud bugs on the loading dock. I tell him he’d better knock on wood after he claims that he’s never sick, because he’s never scared.

I may or may not have eaten a whole container of hummus while listening to Mobb Deep. I think it would be fun to go into the front of the club where it’s all hip hop, but am met by a wall of smoke and do a 180.

3:45 a.m.: Markus, KhoMha and the Tour Manager are swapping out the bus studio CDJs for the CDJs from the stage/show, because they’ve had some issues during the tour, and tomorrow there’s time to troubleshoot to see what’s at fault.

“OK, goodnight, everyone,” Markus waves on his way to his bedroom at the back of the bus. KhoMha and I stay in the living room, playing on our laptops.

4:30 a.m.: Out of nowhere, I hear an excited, “Hey, it’s the hub!”

(I thought he was going to bed…)

“Uh oh… It’s the CDJs….”

This is yet another example of the professional dedication that has put Markus where he is today. But, please: go… to…. sleep……!