Austin, Texas — Deep in the heart of Texas, we hit its capital city and the Haven club. It went like this:
Last night before bed, I thought, “Ahhh… tomorrow is Sunday….,” then quickly realized that it is not a day of rest, but that we’d be doing this party all over again… and again… and again… and again….
2:45 p.m.: After being woken up by the sound of Markus yelling my name, I stumble into the common area to be scolded for leaving my shoes on the floor. The bus driver talks about a former band on the bus, warning of the importance of a musician not tripping over something and breaking their hands. Considering Markus’ nightly bike rides, I’d say he’s putting himself at risk more than anyone else. Let the sibling rivalry begin for the day….
We take a break from the bickering to have brunch at the funky Frank diner, where old-school hip-hop is setting a good mood. As we sip our caffeine, Markus sings and chair-dances to “What People Do For Money.” KhoMha says we need Melodyne at the table.
4:00 p.m.: After checking on setup at the venue next door, we head back to the bus. I get to overhear more inspired conversation between Markus and KhoMha, this time about longevity.
“My dream is to be a legend—not to be No.1,” his young protégé wisely responds.
Markus sneezes into his hand and attempts to throw his germs at me, then goes on a rant about how he’s never sick, because his immune system is boosted by being constantly exposed to germs, and that I shouldn’t be so paranoid. I tell him I’m going to hide my shoes in random places all over his bedroom. KhoMha tries to break things up.
“She started it!” my bratty brother-from-another-mother proclaims.
6:00 p.m.: The M Machine and Markus are interviewing each other live on Ustream, and I’ve been thrown in as the moderator, keeping them on track and asking the questions from fans that were sent via Twitter. The flow between them is natural, and again, inspiring. I can sit and listen to artists talk for hours…
8:00 p.m.: The whole crew is provided BBQ at the venue. We have about 15 minutes before doors open. I’m invited to watch our tour manager “manhandle” his pieces of chicken.
11:45 p.m.: Markus is once again dancing in silly ways, while The M Machine wraps up its set. “They’re really nice guys and they’re talented,” he comments.
It has been an overall goofy day. Markus says that he needs to loosen up and start having some fun, and I think we could all use a night like that. It’s in the air. Thankfully, tomorrow is one of a couple off-days, because some people aren’t on their best behavior. The tour manager puts The M Machine’s Swardy in timeout, then does his best impression of Markus on stage when we notice they’re wearing matching outfits.
2:15 a.m.: Markus asks for a bottle of water 15 minutes into post-set fan time. I toss one to security. It explodes all over him. Oops.
A bit later, one last fan is escorted onto the bus to meet Markus after we’ve all retreated. “I’m dying!” she says over and over.
We head across the street to a Philly cheesesteak food truck. I order with terrible judgment.
A young man who was at the event is bleeding from his head. Markus discovers his condition and tells him, “Nothing will make me happier than to get you home safely tonight, and for you to message me tomorrow, so that I know you’re OK. Are your eyes OK? I look like Markus? OK?” He pays for his taxi home.
April 22: It’s an off-day in Austin
I finally don’t feel like I’m constantly on a moving bus. Hallelujah.
6:00 p.m.: While Markus is out exploring “Unicorn Country,” I convince KhoMha to try kayaking, despite the fact that he never learned how to swim. Apparently, he was too tall to need to learn. We share a tandem, and within a few minutes of our 2.2-mile, hour-long adventure around Town Lake, he has become the pro and is giving me direction. “Gianetto!” he yells whenever I get off-rhythm, echoing my last name off of the lush cliffs.
Afterwards, it’s time for delicious Tex-Mex at Chuy’s. My arms are so shaky that I can hardly pick up my tortilla chips. New diet fad?
Midnight: A few of us go down to 6th Street for some chill-out drinking time at Handlebar, where there is random playground equipment. Eric from The M Machine (who has an actual handlebar) teeter-totters with me. I challenge KhoMha on the rocking horses. I suffer many bruises.
2:30 a.m.: We’ve taken off to Tulsa, and Markus is sick.
Markus—Mr. Immunity—has a cold.
Something about these late nights and living in such constant excitement is that it can get very lonely, very fast once it’s over and you’re headed to another city in the middle of the night and can’t sleep. Especially on a weeknight. I sit alone at our dining table, having said goodnight to everyone else, and eat self-pity pizza.
And then, all of a sudden, the boys are out of their beds and in the living room again for some reason! We listen to classic songs about life on the road, like “On The Road Again,” “Faithfully,” and “Turn The Page,” introducing KhoMha to another piece of American culture at the same time.
“Loosen up! We’re on tour! This is supposed to be sex, drugs and rock-n-roll! So, party it up!” Markus demands. “Just don’t leave your shoes on the floor!”
I think he took too much NyQuil.
We end the night giggling hysterically to YouTube clips of Sesame Street and the Muppet Show.
- Sarah Gianetto