Monday May 3rd, 1999 at The Replay in Lawrence, KS
The Anniversary

What a kick ass night! I left work early to be home in time for a 6pm band practice. We were practicing at a special time to accommodate Josh (our potential new guitarist) but he didn't show. And since he was going to show neither did Chris. That left Pepper and I to lament the demise of the band which seems to be falling apart and to go see SLC Punk playing in Olathe.

Well the movie was 10 times better than the best band practice we ever had. Pepper thought it should have been called SLC Post-Punk because it really explores "the question," namely what happens when you're done rebelling and dying your hair funny colours. What does punk mean when you loose the uniform and integrate with society? A simply divine everyone should see multiple times.

After the movie Pepper headed back to Lawrence and I started questing for batteries for the digital camera. I think it's on its last legs as it is going through 3 lithium batteries every show. That's fairly expensive.

During the movie the night had turned really electric. Big storms were moving in and the air was all charged and shifting. I love nights like this and my moon roof and all the windows were open to take it in. They didn't have the batteries at Super Target in Olathe and it was already after 10pm so I thought I better hurry over to Lawrence.

So there I was driving down the highway at night with all the windows open, heading into lightning and listening to a black metal compilation (Blackened Vol. 3) and all was right with the world. I stopped at Hastings in Lawrence but they didn't have the batteries I needed so I guessed on which direction Wal-Mart was and headed out there. I was pretty proud when I found it right where I expected it would be. For once my knowledge of Wal-Mart's plans for global domination has a benefit instead of just pissing off relatives and acquaintances.

I got to the club and found out that Vehicle Birth weren't playing because they had broken up a few days earlier in Portland or something. The rumour was that the band actually left two members in Portland and went back home without 'em. Ouch. Oh well Portland is a nice town to relocate to.

I didn't know anyone in the club so I played that Tekkon II video game that Michael and I played a few weeks before. I was the ogre and I was kicking ass. 1 quarter gets you two plays so you can play like an hour on a buck. I played for like 2 quarters worth and saw the band was about to start so I took a stool and readied the camera.

Just then it started pouring. The clouds totally opened and hella big winds were blowing the club door open and misting the club. The TV in the bar was tuned to the Weather Channel talking about the tornadoes and such. NPR the next morning would talk about the 50 dead or whatever in Wichita. It wasn't that bad here though, just awesome.

The band started off with "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" and then were joined on stage by Sasha on violin who played "One Hundred Ships" and "On Reconsidering Photographs" with them. The set was fairly tight though the lack of monitors at The Replay always seem to effect the band and the vocals were a little shaky at first. The audience (about 35 folks) were all friends it seemed so it was a very informal affair. They even let a particularly drunk friend count them into songs. Other than one song in the middle of the set, it was largely their normal set of new songs. They didn't play "Alright For Now" from the first 7", and despite being asked to do an it as an encore, they packed up for the night.

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The band didn't seem too happy with the set and at one point Josh said "Sorry about the sound" then recanted saying "No wait I don't want to have to read about that, let me just say 'sucks for you'." I guess that was my official outing. When I started accounting the shows in KC in the fall of 97 no one had an idea who I was. I didn't think that folks in the scene would actually read the accounts. I guess I didn't think anyone would read the accounts actually. I guess they do. Anyway the sound wasn't bad, the set wasn't bad, the band just didn't have much energy with the exception of Janko who played numerous drum solos between songs. He was quite cheerful that evening.

I said bye to the folks in the band (though there was some tension there after the scrapped CD), did my usual nods with the folks in The Get Up Kids and walked through the misty rain a little after midnight. I stopped to pick up a dozen donuts from Dunkin' Donuts and then headed back to Kansas City in the middle of the most incredible light show.