EXCLUSIVE BEARD DESTROYER ’09 TOUR WRAP-UP WITH BATILLUS DRUMMER GEOFF SUMMERS!
On Sunday night we caught the Beard Destroyer 2009 tour with Hull and Batillus (sadly for us, Salome didn’t play that date). It crushed even harder than we thought it would, so we asked our friend, Batillus skinsman Geoff Summers, to do a tour wrap-up for us. We hope you enjoy!
So, here I sit with a mild case of PTD (post-tour depression) writing up this wrap report for the so-called Beard Destroyer tour featuring Salome, Hull, and my band, Batillus. We had some good times, and we had some bad times. It rained. A lot. Everywhere we went. Fortunately, though, the good dwarfed the bad. Let’s recap…
9/12/09 – College Park, MD – Before heading to this, the third show of the tour, we stopped by Sears to pick up a new pair of tires for our van. The left rear tire was damaged somehow and had developed a nasty bald spot, causing the van to bounce violently at speeds over 60 mph and threatening to blowout at any moment. This set us back a solid $330. When will American bands get government grants like bands get in Canada, damn it?
9/14/09 – Virginia Beach, VA – Fifth day of tour. All three bands bunk up at The Castle Motel just two blocks from the beach. Next day Hull’s Nick Palmirotto, Carmine Laietta, and Drew Mack and myself made our way down to the beach to get some sun and sand while the rest of our grimm, pasty crew stayed behind in their roach-infested rooms. Apparently being tan isn’t very metal…
9/15/09 – Raleigh, NC – En route to Raleigh, a tractor trailer blew out a tire immediately in front of our van on the highway. I was driving at the time, and there was nothing I could do but drive straight through the debris. Luckily, the spent tire went under our van without much of a fight, but when we stopped for gas minutes later, we discovered that it had nearly knocked our front license plate clean off. It was sometime around this incident that we renamed the tour the ‘Van Destroyer’ tour. Other popular names for the tour: ‘Beer Destroyer’ tour, ‘Bowel Destroyer’ tour, and ‘Liver Destroyer’ tour. Later that night, the bouncer at Volume 11 in Raleigh took away our Miller High Life, and we all pouted like babies.
9/16/09 – Savannah, GA – Somewhere around this time the fireworks wars began. More on that later. This was also the worst show of the tour. There were two, yes two, people in attendance. And our third song was a train wreck. Before it even left the station. I hope some people were able to catch us doozing all over ourselves on the Live Wire Music Hall live feed.
9/17/09 – Atlanta, GA – Still raining. Rain rain rain, everywhere we go. A star-studded audience tonight, with Zoroaster’s Will Fiore, Juan Montoya (ex-Torche), and Jarboe all in attendance. Brent Hinds of Mastodon was across the street at The Earl drinking away, but he didn’t make an appearance at our show. But since I know he’s reading this because I know he has a google alert set for “Brent Hinds,” I have a feeling he’ll come to our next ATL jam session. There’s a shot or two in it for you, Brent.
9/18/09 – Nashville, TN – Played with Dark Castle tonight, who ruled. Lights, fog, wind, riffs, tone, volume, guy, girl, drums, guitar… Need I say more? They gave everyone in the touring bands Dark Castle beer koozies, thanks guys! It was also around this time that we realized Hull drummer Jeff Stieber looked exactly like Ian Curtis of Joy Division. So, Jeff’s name for the rest of the tour was, needless to say, ‘Ian Curtis of Joy Division.’ He retaliated by calling me ‘Captain Morgan of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum,’ but I don’t really see the resemblance, and besides, Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum sucks. I’d rather drink the sweat wrung out of a pirate’s pantaloons.
9/19/09 – Asheville, NC – Planet Caravan Festival! YOB! Orange Goblin! Pentagram! YOB killed it, despite sounding a bit muddy and having to dial in borrowed equipment (Marshall amplification, of all things…). Pentagram were… entertaining. Or, should I say, Bobby Liebling was entertaining. Ask Batillus guitarist Greg Peterson to do his impression next time you see him. Played for our biggest crowd and sold the most merch of any date on the tour. Party.
9/20/09 – Cincinnati, OH – So, never go to the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. Two members of Hull were robbed immediately outside the venue by five men, three of them armed with handguns. Thankfully, no one was physically hurt, but wallets, phones, cameras, and other personal effects were lost.
9/21/09 – St. Louis, MO – Played with a couple mall metal bands tonight. Don’t remember their names, but the first band to play had the whole crab-core stance, pee pee dance, Attack Attack! schtick down pat. God love ’em, they’re just so adorable.
9/22/09 – Kansas City, MO – Fireworks wars continue as Hull and Batillus toss Black Cats and other assorted incendiary devices at each other. Salome choose to remain neutral, like a bunch of Swiss pussies. Some sort of security ‘officers’ came by and shook their finger at us, but they weren’t real cops so they couldn’t do anything. After they left, we hopped in our van and, as we were driving off, I rolled down my passenger side window and firebombed the ass-Hulls one last time before we hit the road. So long, suckas!
9/23/09 – Chicago, IL – Went to Kuma’s Corner for lunch. You know, the burger joint where all the burgers are named for metal bands. I had the High On Fire which, if I remember correctly, had prosciutto, pineapple, chili sauce, and roasted red peppers on it. Delicious. Soon, you’ll be able to order a Batillus Burger. It’ll be a ground baby seal patty topped with rotting seaweed and a drizzle of crude oil.
9/25/09 – Columbus, OH – On our way to Salome drummer Aaron Deal’s parents’ farm in eastern Ohio after the show, Hull, who were driving but a few yards ahead of us, mounted a mobile assault in the fireworks war by lobbing a firecracker over their van in our direction. Fortunately for us, the charge detonated in the road ahead and caused us no harm.
9/27/09 – Brooklyn, NY – Back home again. Nick Palmirotto said it best: “We’re really happy and really unhappy to be back.” In closing, I’d like to extend a very humble thank you to everyone who helped make this tour happen – the bands, the venues, the promoters, the bloggers who helped spread the word, the local acts, the friends and family that offered up their homes to a horde of sweaty touring musicians, and, most of all, all the fans that came out to support these shows.
-Geoff Summers, Batillus