Off the Air

A collection of press clippings, special projects or appearances including Garrison Keillor.

Summer Love Tour: Thriller, thriller night

August 26, 2011

PHC staffer Nic Vetter is on the Summer Love Tour with Garrison, Fred Newman, Andra Suchy, Heather Masse, Sara Watkins, and The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and will update us periodically from the road.

Wine is to Saratoga as beer is to Chico, evidenced by the endless parade of neon signs, sidewalk chalkboards, and banners promoting the amount of craft brews on tap at any given establishment. It's a college town, but there is a lot more to this NorCal city than the shade-wearing, longboard-riding, beer chugging undergrads. There are the trees, for one, which are enormous and everywhere and provide necessary solace from the midday sun; the gorgeous, sprawling municipal Bidwell Park, with its variegated terrain contrasted with the ample trees and flatness of one side and the rock formations of the other, and the gorgeous Chico Creek running through the middle of it all.

The show took place in the auditorium of the university but the recently arrived students must have been busy studying, because the audience was moreover composed of of-age Chicoans, who sounded like they were having a lot of fun. It was a change of pace being indoors, but a welcome one for the nice acoustics that the musicians' ears are more accustomed to.

We pulled out of Chico around 11:30 pm and hit the long dusty trail for to Bend, Oregon. After what felt like 15 seconds of sleep I awkwardly unfurled out of my bunk to a completely empty bus. It was eerily quiet; the scattered Oreo cookie wrappers and empty bags of popcorn looked jarring in the early 7 am light. Was this all a dream, or I was suddenly in the plot of a post-apocalyptic zombie movie? Something made a ghastly groan from a bottom bunk--a pale, corpselike hand pushed out at my feet. I stood ready to wield my 4-wheeled briefcase and send this thing back from whence it came, but out rolled our sound man Tony Axtell, who was apparently just as dazed as me. Only two days on the road, but all this living has left me dead tired. Time to rest in peace until we have to be up in a few short hours to prep for tonight's show in Bend.

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