Off the grid

Several months ago, my buddy G-Rob was lamenting his lack of availability for an annual trip to Las Vegas. Due to work and family issues, he was forced to stay behind while the rest of us took our yearly December trip. Living in G-Rob’s brain would be nearly impossible for most normal human beings. The fact he was going to be stuck in a South Carolina winter while we played Weekend Warrior Degenerates turned him into a manic individual. We married men who suffer from constant suburban ennui have often remarked to each other that simple survival in a world of responsibilities is only managable if we have the fabled, “something to look forward to.” Because he needed that something, G-Rob hatched a plan.

“Want to go to Langerado?” he asked one night.

It didn’t seem possible at the time. I already had way too much travel scheduled and, as has been mentioned here recently, there is a little move to Canada we’ve been negotiatiing for several months.

G-Rob was relentless, though. Every day, he had a new Langerado update–what bands were playing, what kind of RV he was planning to rent, and, yea verily, finding a beer with his name on it for the trip (maybe someday I’ll let him tell the story of how he ended up with a couple free cases of the high gravity brew). Finally, after several weeks of pushing, G-Rob pushed me over the edge. I convinced the wife it was a good idea and we committed to a five-day adventure to the Everglades for one of the biggest music festivals in the country.

By this time tomrorrow, we’ll be two hours on our way to South Florida. It is simultaneously a good and bad idea. The travelers on this trip are all rather likeminded, but (as recent history has proven) can push the edges a bit during times of exceptional exuberance. Fortunately, the people with whom we’ll be rolling are among my favorite people in the world: my wife, Pauly, the Joker, Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot, G-Rob, his wife, and Uncle Ted. I’m predicting a 95:5 fun to stress ratio. If that holds, we’ll be good.

So, why would seven thirtysomething rational people spend several days in a bug-infested backwater? Well, largely for the music. Here are some of the bands and artists I intend to see: Les Claypool, Dark Star Orchestra, Backyard Tire Fire, Sam Bush, New Mastersounds, G. Love and Special Sauce, 311, The Roots, Beastie Boys, Umphrey’s MCGee, STS9, Phix, Railroad Earth, The Wood Brothers, Avett Brothers, Ben Folds, MSMW, REM, The Lee Boys, The Disco Biscuits, Hoots and Hellmouth, Government Mule, Phil Lesh and Friends, The Felice Brothers, Josh Ritter, Dr. Dog, and Blitzen Trapper. Will I make it to all of them? Hard to say. I absolutely will make it to Sam Bush, The Roots, and The Wood Brothers. Everything else will be based on my mood at the time.

G-Rob, because he does this kind of thing, has managed to secure me a photo press pass for the length of the festival. It remains to be seen whether I put it to any good use. In the meantime, I’m going off the grid. I’m not even taking a laptop with me. Well, okay. I’m taking my cell phone and may Twitter a bit along the way. But that’s it!

We’ll see everybody on Tuesday.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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5 Responses

  1. StB says:

    What, BadBlood isn’t going???
    Enjoy the Leinenkugels. You won’t be disappointed.

  2. skip says:

    Ahhh, the Leinenkugels and the open road… Reminds me of a fond night back at the Heidelberg where Brad and I killed off 2 orders of the chili cheese fries and maybe a dozen Leiny Reds. I still refer to it as the Night of Rectal Armaggedon, but, good times…

  3. BadBlood says:

    StB, given my musical tastes, are you really that surprised? 🙂

  4. Dr. Chako says:

    Speaking of music, I just wanted to let you know that the Steve Earle guitar has changed hands. You will be getting an email from Danny soon and I’ll have a post up about it as soon as I can get the picture loaded.

    I can’t thank you enough. That guitar kept me sane out here in Iraq.


  5. Jen Leo says:

    Canada? Did you get a job with Poker Listings? – I’m just catching up after a long hiatus – and I have to turn my Twitter on!

    What’s the news?