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Guest Columns Suicidal Road Thoughts

Suicidal Road Thoughts, Part II: On the Road With Suicide Forest

Z is back with the next installment of his tour diary as Suicide Forest make their way up the West Coast. 

Day Three

The air was thick with humidity as we departed our lodging south of LA. We awoke early enough to see the remnants of morning fog leave the coastal hills. One hill after another became another and another, as we ventured north to Oakland. Cityscapes turned to citrus scapes as the miles wore on. The perfect rows of trees became hypnotic until they eventually faded into rolling hills of dried grass. Distant and not so distant hills shows the blackened scars of recent fire. Perhaps the scorched earth was a sign.

ColdClaw opened the show with more energy and intensity than I have seen within such an intimate setting. I absorbed what I could and played until drenched in sweat. The electricity carried through the humid air and fed us all. Xenotaph began to absolute devastation when news came that our tour vehicle had been broken into. The intense energy of an absolutely stunning show with a phenomenal lineup immediately shifted as I gazed about thousands of pieces of shimmering sadness strewn across the parking lot.

While a bond was made between the three bands and the crowd, we exist in a place of separation outside those moments of elation. Stock was taken and frustration and anger took hold. While very little of actual value was removed from the vehicle, the damage was done and the tone of the evening was now reset. The road again became of a place of introspection and mediation. In the darkness, there were no buildings to watch pass, no cars to watch dart through traffic. It was our thoughts as we carried through the night to a new experience.

Day Four

Under the dark sky, surrounded by dark asphalt, we continued to venture north. The cool air helped to calm the nerves of the break-in, and the utter lack of traffic made the departure a hasty one. In what felt like mere moments, we arrived in the outskirts of Sacramento. The change of location seemed to support the manifesting of a new mindset. We felt drawn to present offerings and followed the path that presented itself. It felt cleansing.

A laundromat was also found. The significance of this is both in the mundane nature of watching a dryer tumble round and round, and also the cleansing of clothing worn for days sometimes. It’s something easily taken for granted when at home, but in this momen it was a chance to figuratively and literally clean and arrange. Our old friends Wandern made the journey from Hangtown to open the show. The evening proved to be a night focused on friendship. Old friends were caught up with, and new friends were made. Sacramento will not be soon forgotten.

Day Five

The impact of the nature that passes by has been impossible to ignore. Textured red patterns, complimented with brown and yellow accents now ascend towards the sky. Green hands delicately loom as wispy fingers spread and break up the luminous haze that sneaks its way onto the forest floor. What light has made it, now creates small pools of white and grey. There is no music performance today. Nature provides the show while I act as observer.

“Nor yield we mournfully, majestic brothers,
We who have grandly fill’d our time;
With Nature’s calm content, and tacit, huge delight,
We welcome what we wrought for through the past,
And leave the field for them.”

– Walt Whitman (Excerpt from “Song of the Redwood Tree”).

Day Six

Driving along Avenue of the Giants was incredible. It’s not always possible to take time to sightsee on tour, but fortune smiled upon us. The redwoods were truly magnificent as they towered above and filled immense swaths of land at their base.

The grey rain clouds of Arizona are all but a memory for me now. Instead the sky is grey with smoke from a wild fire burning in the distance. The classic camp fire smell invades my lungs, but it does not fill me with nostalgia. It’s a somber feeling now. The drive continues to be beautiful and the smoke subsides into the southern sky. The show was in Roseburg, a small place with a friendly atmosphere.

Remaining Dates

7/23 – Seattle – Highline Bar
7/25 – Boise – The Shredder
7/27 – Las Vegas – The Dive Bar
7/29 – Tucson – CANS DELI

Additionally, Suicide Forest have set up a GoFundMe to help pay for the replacement of the smashed windows on the band’s tour vehicle. Should you wish to do so, donations can be made here. Additionally, the band’s keyboard player had all of her vegan-friendly makeup stolen; she’s set up a separate GoFundMe to replace it, which can be found here.

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