Day 11: Road 34, Fort Collins, CO 7/16/11
Man, it’s a long drive from Lawrence to Fort Collins. With Oliver in a coma in the back of the van, Austin and Alex passed time with more movies, Seinfeld Season 7, and Patrick Warburton’s short-lived live-action version of The Tick.
But first up was the Redbox pick of the day, “Meet The Fockers.” We had such high hopes for the latest installment in the Fockers saga, but sadly, it was focking terrible.
We arrived at Road 34 in the hip city of Fort Collins just as Oliver awoke from his 11 hour slumber. Even after pointing out the snow-capped mountain range sitting on the horizon, Oliver was convinced we were still in Lawrence, Kansas.
Road 34 has an eclectic menu of sandwiches, all of which are fantastic. Austin and Alex split two sandwiches including one called the Pleather Jacket that came smothered in face-melting hot-wing sauce and bleu cheese. It did a number on us (a number 2, if you know what we mean!) and somewhat hampered an otherwise flawless Noise FM performance. Common Anomaly from Fort Collins played a danceable set of rock next, and Photo Atlas finished out the night.
Day 12: Hi-Dive, Denver, CO 7/17/11
A Colorado chain of burrito joints called Illegal Pete’s hosts the “Starving Artist” program. We’re always starving, but it’s debateable if we qualify as “artists.” Regardless, we contacted Illegal Pete’s ahead of time and were given vouchers for free food. Illegal Pete’s is like a Chipotle without any sort of sanitary regulations or standard portion sizes. And it’s delicious. Alex ordered the Big Fish Burrito which is a burrito roughly the size of our van. Austin had the shredded beef tacos. Oliver ordered a burrito bowl because he likes his burritos to not be burritos.
With Bill from The Photo Atlas as our guide, we took in the sights and sounds of downtown Denver. It was hot.
The final show of the “Too Hot To Tour Tour 2011” stormed the Hi-Dive in Denver. Common Anomaly kicked off the night followed by The Noise FM and a scorching set from The Photo Atlas who were joined by all of the bands onstage during their last song.
We finished off the night with late-night corn dogs, quesadillas, and indigestion at the bar next door.
Day 13-14: The Long Road Home
In an attempt to beat the traffic of central Kansas, we departed Denver bright and early. An otherwise smooth trip was horribly tarnished by a blown tire and ruptured fuel tank as we entered Kansas. Alex was driving when the left rear tire burst. His instincts honed to perfection by years of life on the road and natural evolution, he was able to maneuver the unwieldy van to the center median on Highway 70. Gas fumes in the air and heavy traffic speeding by, Austin and Alex darted to safety. As we watched in horror, Oliver emerged slowly from the van, lit cigarette in hand, unaware of the leaking gasoline. While we were momentarily tempted to see what might happen, we decided to warn him.
After 5 hours, $413.12 in repairs, assistance from a highway patrolman, firefighters and a tow truck, and more time spent in Grainfield, Kansas, than anyone should ever have to spend, we were on our way home.
We arrived in Chicago after 4,854 miles on the road and $1,187.66 spent on gasoline.
Without a doubt this has been the most fun we’ve had on tour. The Photo Atlas is a fantastic band and great friends. Check them out if you have not done so. A special mention should go to Austin who booked pretty much this whole tour on his own. All of the shows were great, and the new bands we met and performed with were awesome. Thank you to everyone who came out to a show and offered to put us up for the night. If you look hard enough in your backyard, there’s a good chance you might find Oliver.
See you this fall!