Me, Samantha, Matt, and Alex had planned a while ago to try and make it to this years Dark Lord Day beer festival. Last years event was a lot of fun, plus we got to see parts of the country we hadn’t visited before while on our massive road trip to get there. Alex wasn’t sure he could make it this time around, and even Samm and I were pretty hesitant due to just buying a new home. But then something happened that made this trip a must-go. In a twist of irony, we fond out that EYEHATEGOD was going to playing during the festival, inside the actual brewery. I got a call from Matt early one Sunday with the news. My response? “No fucking way”. I quickly called Alex and his response pretty much mirrored mine. We had to go now. We just had to. And damnit, we were not disappointed.
The trip started off pretty rough, with Samm and I missing our early flight to Buffalo and having to spend the better part of the day in one of the shittiest airports you can ever visit, Valparaiso. When we finally arrived up North, the sun was starting to set and jeopardized us seeing the first site of our trip: Niagara Falls. Matt picked us up and we jetted over to the Falls, and before we were even halfway there we could see a large cloud of mist erupting from the horizon. It was like Godzilla exploding out of Tokyo Bay. After walking down to the edge of the waterfall (Samm went OVER the railing for a few crazy photos), we were ready to cross the border into Canada.
Somehow, we always have the shittiest experience when driving into Canada. This trip was no different, we got flagged and had to get out of the car and explain ourselves. While not as painful as the past trips, this was still a huge inconvenience for a group of people just doing some traveling and wanting to see a new place. We arrived in Toronto way later than we had wanted to due to missing our flight, and thus missing the Raptors basketball game. One day I will get to see them play (I hope). Samm and I met up with Charnelle for a tour of Toronto. It was cool to finally meet her since we had all been working together with TH and EHG for several years via facebook and the online forums. Despite it being cold as SHIT (like in the 30s) and extremely windy, we still had a great time.
The next morning we headed to Detroit, which was about a 5 hour drive across Canada and over the bridge back into the states. Of course, we got stopped. While we were being detained, Alex was already walking around Detroit, going into abandoned buildings which seemed to be everywhere down by the river. The town itself was very nice, I loved to architecture. It was strange seeing such a huge city with almost zero foot traffic. The economic situation there still has the population low. That night Alex, Samm, and I went downtown to meet up with Nikki, another person we at TH have known for several years but finally got to meet in person. We picked a bar that was over 100 years old to meet up for food and drinks. Alex tried some absolutely terrible booze, but drank it down out of a chalice like a tru warrior, while I stuck to the German food on the menu since I had a race the next morning.
I had expected cool temperatures for this 5K race but not weather in the 30s with high wind. I ended up wearing my running jacket under my jersey but still was able to place 3rd overall. After the race it, was time to leave Detroit. We drove south to Toledo, Ohio since no one had visited that state before. Not much to see, it was just another state crossed off our list. We ran into trouble with the pigs but still made it to DLD with time to spare before EyeHateGod took the stage. We said whats up to everyone and I was able to film from the front of the barricade. This ended up being the best EHG show I had ever seen (maybe because I was finally SOBER for one), and we all agreed that this was an incredible experience. The band ripped through several old favorites and even played two new songs, New Orleans Is The New Vietnam and Medicine Noose. Afterwards we had a blast hanging out behind the brewery with the guys, and were totally overjoyed to be given 8 Dark Lord beers by the event organizer, Barnaby. What a class act!
We got another awesome surprise when we realized Matt Pike from High on Fire was walking around out back. The secret un-named band that was going to headline the show was none other than his band. After saying whats up to Matt, observing EHG telling some annoying drunk old man to fuck off, and several other instances of debauchery, it was time to watch HOF. All I can say about that show is….holy SHIT!!!! First time I was able to see them, and coupled with the fact it was totally unexpected it made for a badass memorable show. Afterwards, we hung out some more and then it was time to head to Chicago.
All in all this was a pretty crazy, thrown together trip with a lot of bumps along the way but because TH takes shit as it comes, we were fine. I hope we are all back next year and ready for pt IV.