Tulsa, Okla. – After a night off in Austin, on April 23 we have another off in Oklahoma of all places—but the winter weather curse has caught up with us again.
“Yesterday, it was 75-degrees and I was wearing shorts!” the local shuttle driver shares. Well, now it’s in the 30s and raining. My arms are sore from kayaking, my butt is sore from bar playground equipment, and I am covered in bruises. Bumpy travel is certainly leaving its mark.
We are still needing to blow off steam. I go bar hopping with a couple people from production, starting in an ’80s arcade bar and ending at a strip club. In Tulsa. On a Tuesday.
I end my night in quiet solitude, exploring Cathedral Square, practicing headstands on the bus and doing dishes at 3 a.m. while everyone else sleeps in the hotel. I’d say I lead a balanced life.
April 24: It’s show day at Cain’s Ballroom.
11:20 a.m.: Bus call time was 11:15 a.m., and KhoMha has been “oil-spotted.” This is what happens when text messages don’t make it through. Luckily, his lesson only cost him a one-mile taxi ride to catch up with us. Markus records a video promo for MTV and the upcoming Avalon show. BBQ catering is delivered to the crew for lunch, but I’m over it. I think my first tour hangover just kicked in.
5:30 p.m.: I wake up from a much-needed nap. KhoMha is working on music in the bus studio… again… and is still not speaking to anyone after this morning’s incident. Markus is at his laptop on the dining table with his headphones on, and all I hear is him smacking his gum. I want to smack it out of his mouth. He catches my stare and spits it out. “Sorry. I get captivated by the music and start chewing to the beat.”
Before I know it, he has climbed into the (usually empty) top bunk and all I see is his arm flopping out. “I took too much NyQuil,” he groans. “I can’t do the show.” He starts mumbling and whining in a Spanish accent. Oh, brother.
8:00 p.m.: It’s an early show tonight at the legendary Cain’s Ballroom. The club has been thumping for an hour already. I can hear the 4/4 beat coming from the main building, across the gravel lot, over the noise of the two bus generators, and over the TV showing “Big Bang Theory” in the green “building” we’ve been afforded for the day. The Tour Manager and I play ping pong for one minute before giving up. Maybe I can juggle the paddles… Nope.
10:00 p.m.: Markus takes the stage to yet another roaring crowd. It’s a full-on rave in here. In Tulsa. On a Wednesday. Markus gets on the mic, “I can’t believe I’m here! This is amazing!”
Signs and flag wave in the air, people are sitting on each other’s shoulders, a blow-up unicorn from the Dallas show made it over, and kids are so decked out, you’d think they were at EDC. Instead, they are underneath a neon star and oversized, autographed portraits of the likes of Hank Williams, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers…
Each night, the way each venue explodes into a sensational party amazes me—no matter what the day feels like, which day of the week it is, which city we’re in, what my expectations may be. And the show has definitely evolved. I’m getting a huge kick out of watching all of the new video content that wasn’t at the beginning of the tour, for example. So much stimulation!
Midnight: It is the end already, and while the crowd chants Markus’ name as his sound fades out, the crew is on standby next to the stage, ready to bust ass to tear down the show and get it on the road to Denver. After signing more autographs and taking more pictures, he heads back to the bus, chugs a bottle of water, and records the voiceovers for the next Global DJ Broadcast.
On to the Mile High City…