A Ruined Oak West Coast Tour Day 9: Reno

We awoke as early as we felt feasible on Saturday for a burrito breakfast and a quick game of catch

This tree is 15 feet from Eric’s front door.

I think the trunk was about six feet around. PORTLAND

We took a bittersweet leave from Eric Faucette. I think we all hope that we can do another show with him in the future. Later that night, Sam had this to say: “If you were a guitar player in the mid-aughts in Houston and you wanted to play in a band, you might be a fan of Matt Pike or Brent Hinds, but Eric was the guy who you were influenced by.” A pretty astute analysis of his lasting importance in the Houston scene.

I believe I may have been mistaken earlier when I said that the run from Oklahoma City to Denver was the longest of the tour, because Portland to Reno definitely took more time. However, the varied and often beautiful scenery on the route we took made it go by much more quickly.

We cut west at Eugene, Oregon to take state road 58 through the Umpqua and Willamette National Forests. As the forest grew thicker, I found myself in the mood for “something British” and requested the classic 1980 album Lightning To The Nations by Diamond Head. Less than two minutes later, we passed a sign for Diamond Peak. “Spooky,” said Sam.

As we climbed toward the Willamette Pass, we entered a cloud bank, which sorta messed up some of the views

When we finally exited, though, we were rewarded with a spectacular burst of sunshine on Klamath Lake on the far side of Diamond Peak.

As I took this picture, BING went my phone

Reconstructing our route on Google Maps, I noticed something:

BRB, creating Change.org petition to rename this area the New Wave of British Heavy Mountains

As we wound our way towards Altamont, the national forests got both less “national” and less “forest”

And around the time we passed into California, we were passing through desert.

“I don’t understand, it says the Modoc national forest is directly ahead”

“What are you blind?! It’s RIGHT THERE.”

OK, we’ve hit desert! Reno’s in the desert right? Must be almost there.

It was almost 9 PM when we rolled up in front of our destination: Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor.

Saturday, October 8: Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor (Reno, NV) with Sans Ami and Vie

A dingy yet spacious, bright and welcoming watering hole, Jub Jub’s has claimed the gold for the best-named venue Omotai has ever played at, unseating Super Happy Fun Land after its many years in the top spot. Just riffing on it can provide hours of amusement on the long drive to Reno- here’s a few samples from our morning:

Jub Jub’s Hunger Dome
Jub Jub’s Pleasure Palace
Jub Jub’s Funk Bunker
Jub Jub’s Jib Jab
Jub Jub’s Sex Chamber
Jub Jub’s Jimmy Jam
Jub Jub’s Chub Hub
Jub Jub’s Consensual Pony Play Emporium
Jub Jub’s Travel Agency

Hahaha OK enough of that noise. Jub Jub’s is party town! And party we did.

Sans Ami bill themselves as something called “skramzy hardcore-” I had to look this up and it turns out “skramz” is another word for “screamo.”

 

Sure enough, I thought a little of the old emo band Still Life when I was watching them because of the combination of the screamo type vocals with some chunky palm-muted guitar.

We liked them- check out their Bandcamp page for a sample– but you know who REALLY like them was this gentleman:

Guy, I like your enthusiasm!

We played second.

Dead
Blackjaw
Adders
Ruined Oak
Green Vial
Back Office
Tusk Aurora

The stage setup at Jub Jub’s is a little weird because there’s a fairly large drum riser in the middle of the stage and not a lot of room on either side. As a results we were forced to set up the bass cab on the riser behind my left shoulder, and I ended up so far over to the right side of the riser that the stand for my china walked off the riser a couple of times.

This was also a tough set to get through- Blackjaw, Ruined Oak, Green Vial and Back Office are some of the best songs to bring across live, but perhaps not coincidentally they are also physically punishing to play. (A local production company called Juan, Two, Three took some video of Adders’ Land if you’d like a firsthand experience.)

Combine these factors with the long drive and late arrival and this didn’t feel like a particularly strong set. So I was pleasantly surprised when we got a strong response from the locals after the show- especially Andrew from Sans Ami, who kept paying me compliments I somehow had difficulty taking- and Reno ended up being one of the best merch nights on the tour.

Vie closed the show.

I’m fond of bands that come out of small scenes because they often have more personality than bands in big cities- the artificial limitations that come from a small talent pool can end up throwing people together with disparate tastes, and when the chemistry is right, the result can be a style that isn’t easily pigeonholed.

That’s how I felt about Vie- they didn’t necessarily all feel like they were coming from exactly the same place creatively, but the result was a blend of ’80s crossover thrash with more modern hardcore styles and maybe some skaterock in there too. And the songs were good!

Thanks to all the cats in Sans Ami and Vie for rocking with us. Many good vibes were shared this night. Thanks also to Dave and everyone at Jub Jub’s- Dave was super supportive from the moment we booked this show, and he pulled triple duty last night by managing, bartending, and running sound (from an app on his phone no less). Great job Dave! Thanks to you an Jub Jub’s for welcoming us!

We had been slated to crash with Nate from Vie (Thanks Nate, and Andrew for setting it up!), but after the long drive we decided we’d treat ourselves to a hotel. Unfortunately we had failed to reckon with the market forces of a resort town on a holiday weekend and no rooms were to be had.

What will become of our heroes? Will they bed down in their van seats? Or will Sam shepherd them through Donner Pass while Danny rants semi-coherently about his favorite Mastodon riffs? STAY TUNED!

 

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