Welcome back readers! This is the fifth part of William France’s sojourn in the wildlands of Australia (right? The entire place is just wildlands, right?), on tour with After the Burial and Born of Osiris! If you haven’t yet, check out the first, second, third and fourth parts! If you have, hold on to your socks because things are going to get a bit bumpy. Head on over the jump for your fifth taste of this rollercoaster. And remember: DEFEND SUMERIANCORE.
Unfortunately, during After the Burial’s set, I witnessed an incident in the pit where a young boy made accidental contact with a much older gentleman. The kid was with two other friends, all of them obviously enjoying themselves, until the older male tried to start what was essentially a dick-showing contest. He was highly offended that the boy’s hand had come into contact with him and proceeded to violently threaten him and his friends. I didn’t know either of the two, but from what I saw, and from how both parties were behaving, the older guy was clearly in the wrong. I approached the three boys after ATB’s set to outstretch a gesture of friendship, and promptly told them to alert me or one of the staff if they were approached by the older guy. The worst part is that the poor kid felt uncomfortable enough that he left before BoO started playing. To quote King Parrot, I was fucking ropeable. I kept a close eye on the older guy from the merch desk for the duration of the night, in case he tried to approach the kids, but unfortunately he slunk off shortly after BoO had finished. Not without his UFC Tapout snapback and overly large singlet, mind you.
After the show everyone migrated to the green room to celebrate and reunite with friends and fans. Being the driver, I wasn’t really in the position to be getting intoxicated, so I packed down what was left of the stage equipment and readied everything to be transported to Melbourne. If you’ve been lucky enough to be inside the Fowler’s green room, you might have seen the life-size plastic kangaroo that guards the door. My most memorable moment from that night was seeing Lee, Trent and Justin from ATB attempt to ride the white kangaroo around the room. Surrounded by band members in a foreign city, this was the first moment where I stood back and thought “This is like something from a movie.” It felt completely surreal.
We arrived the next day in Melbourne, cutting it close but with a little more time to spare than we had in Canberra. The combination of ridiculous Melbourne traffic, not having showered in three days, and having eaten the tenth large Ultimate Double Whopper meal of the tour (7 days at that point), had put me in a disgusting mood. All I wanted to do was change out of my sweat-soaked clothing and take a hot shower, but the venue only had a toilet, and I wasn’t prepared to bathe in a mouldy sink. So I shuffled around unpacking the merch while the bands sound checked, trying to keep a distance from non-tour people in case they caught wind of my terrible odour and dropped dead on the floor. So far there had only been a handful of bands (most of which I had already heard/seen) who I had been impressed by or enjoyed, and Wrangler Studios was no different. One of the bands was setting levels and started playing a song from The Faceless‘ Autotheism. I recognised it instantly and my focus snapped directly to the stage. “Finally, something different!” I thought. I was dead wrong. Unfortunately, I was audience to yet another thirty minute breakdown. The show itself went well, even though there was a minor hiccup with BoO’s set. The crowd were faithful and they eventually got back on their feet. From my perspective? That was hands down the worst venue I’ve ever photographed a band at. The fairy lights were brighter than the actual lights, and because of this I only bothered to shoot the first fifteen minutes of each set before slumping back into a chair at the merch table. I ended up with roughly forty photos, all dark, all shit. A fraction of the amount I could have taken had there been more light.
As the evening concluded, the crowd migrated outside where the bands were chatting and hanging out. A few of the BoO guys had organised to go fishing and extended the offer to me, but by that point I was well and truly #rekt and so I politely declined. Our group split up and went their separate ways. We were staying at a friend of a friend’s house. All I could think about was having a shower and going to sleep. When we arrived we were greeted by three bearded men and a lady with bright coloured hair; I later found out that this was 3/5 members of IRE and one of their girlfriends. We followed the three inside, where I was able to take a shower and charge my phone. One of the things I didn’t foresee was how little battery my phone would have while on tour. I figured I’d be able to charge it in the car or at venues, but it’s surprising how quickly electrical sockets are taken up when there are fourteen different people trying to charge their phones at once.
I walked out of the bathroom after a well-deserved shower and to my absolute surprise, everyone was gathered in the lounge room passing around magic cigarettes and playing GTAV. I literally could not have imagined a better scenario than the one that played out that night. After an exhausting week on the road, all I wanted to do was kick back and play video games, and that’s exactly what we did. As it turns out, the part of the group who went out after the show had asked to come back to the house we were staying at for the night. The only appropriate way to wait for them to arrive was to play PS3 until four in the morning, of course. The next morning we started to prepare the merch for the rest of the tour; the boxes had to be divided up so that we could send it on the plane (because Perth is too fucking far to drive to. You’ll die, literally.) while still having enough for the show that evening. This involved unloading every single item so that we could get to the back of the trailer where the merch boxes were. Before going through each one individually to ensure that we had five of every shirt, jumper, and CD. Can you guess what we had to do after that? That’s right, load all of equipment straight back into the trailer.
We’re nearing the end folks! The next entry will be a bit longer but also the last! William will be summing up this impressive and life changing experience and will share the last moments of the tour. Stick around for the conclusion to this tale. We hope you’ve enjoyed the ride so far. I for one am certainly envious of the man and can only hope to one day have a story like this of my own, to share with you all. Thanks for reading!