June 5, 2008

Reports From The Road by Bryan Devendorf (Post #7)

Yesterday, we received word from San Diego. Today Bryan Devendorf sends us balanced, well-constructed prose from Los Angeles, the city of angels and The Dude. In this post, Bryan finds himself playing the legendary Hollywood Bowl with REM and Modest Mouse. As you'll soon find out, rock stars other than The National have played there, too. Read below to learn some Devendorf family history, why playing at 6:30 in the evening sucks, and one of Bryan's favorite haunts in LA.

DAY SEVEN (5/29): The Hollywood Bowl

Traffic or apathy (or both?) have kept the crowds away for our set. "No one shows up at 6:30" floats in the air over the dry, eucalyptus-ridden Hollywood hills. The view from the stage puts me in mind of the domed ceilings of planetariums...

The Doors played here the night my parents were married - nearly forty years ago to the day. So as Jim Morrison pranced around this very stage and talked to an invisible cricket, my parents were enjoying their first hours together as man and wife. (Soon thereafter my dad would ship out to Saigon to fly a Chinook, lifting broken-down tanks out of the soggy terrain and delivering pallets of The Lizard King's own preferred Budweiser to thirsty sailors in the South China Sea.)

Again, our performance is pretty good. (Though with no one there to see it, does it even matter?) More and more, I feel like a refugee in search of a home in the desert. Given a small strip of land in which to set up shop, I am quickly and brusquely evacuated by men in black wearing walkie-talkies and dark glasses.

REM finish and I organize an outing to a Hollywood dive called The Powerhouse. The horn players are there along with an old roommate of mine whose girlfriend is roundly ejected after multiple Jamesons. I lose a windbreaker in the deal. Around two a.m., I return to the bus and not a moment too soon. Fifteen minutes later we are heading north, to San Francisco. To freedom.


There you have it. Bryan's experience of LA? San Francisco = freedom, a rendevous with an ex-roommate, and a lost windbreaker (hopefully not the Helly Hansen). Such is life on the road. For updated pictures, head over to Flickr; for a list of upcoming tour dates, click the shows page. Until next time, take care.

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