04.18.17 – 3:06PM Eastern – Tuesday – Logan Airport Terminal B Gate 2, Boston
This portion of Logan Airport is so kicked to shit it’s almost retro. It’s like a dive. You could set up a “stage” in the corner, find a ratty couch for the other side of the room, get a half-busted P.A. and six local openers and put on every Tuesday-night show Boston has ever known. Plus it starts at 10PM.
Seriously. On my way into the terminal, checking in, the TSA agent warned me. He said there’s nothing in here. Just a snack bar and some chairs. He was not kidding, though I’m not sure I’d go as far as “snack bar.” I’m not really one to take advantage of airport amenities anyhow, but it smells like old-person fart in here and even the good folk of Air Canada working in this tucked-away corner of what purports to be a major international hub seem to know they’ve gotten the shaft. Like Boston took “Blame Canada” to heart in doling out what airline gets what gates.
I’m already nervous about flying. I’m already nervous about missing my flight home, plotting staying up all night and hiring a car to take me the 80-minute trip from the hotel in Tilburg to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on Monday morning. Thinking about what I’m going to have for dinner when I get back Monday evening. I haven’t even left yet.
Last night, incidentally, I had a grilled chicken caesar salad (no croutons) from the pizza place down the way — they do the best one in the area; rest assured I’ve fucking had them all — and a peanut butter-flavored protein shake for dessert that The Patient Mrs. was kind enough to make earlier and stick in the freezer for me. So if I die in a maple leaf-branded tin can on my way to the connecting flight in Toronto that will take me to Amsterdam, at least know that I enjoyed the living shit out of my last proper meal. Really. That’s a good salad. Another one is in major contention for when I return on Monday.
Oh yeah, and in between now and then? Roadburn 2017. This is my ninth time making this trip, and so much of this anxiety in which I’m presently boiling feels like ritual. I have a two-hour layover in Toronto, which is good because the plane is already delayed getting here — it wasn’t due to come in for another hour, now another 85 minutes, soon to be another two hours I’m sure — then on to Amsterdam and out to Tilburg hopefully getting there tomorrow afternoon in time to catch an hour or two of sleep before the start tomorrow night of the Hard Rock Hideout.
We’ll see how long my sunglasses last this year — they didn’t make it from the airport in 2016 — and we’ll see how crazy I get by Friday afternoon in general, but whatever. This thing is happening. I’m going to Roadburn.
If there is one advantage to having done this so many times at this point — aside from already knowing I’m going to be late for that flight back, rather than having it be a surprise on any level — it’s that I know precisely how lucky I am to be in this position. As crowded as Tilburg is going to be over the course of the next couple days, there will be even more people around the world who wish they could be there who can’t. I am incredibly, deeply fortunate to be making this trip. There hasn’t been a year since 2009 that Roadburn was not my musical highlight. I expect 2017 will be no different when I look back on it in December. One is rarely tempted to use words like “blessing” and “blessed.”
For the rest of this week and this weekend, I’ll be covering as much of Roadburn 2017 as much as I’m able. No one person — no 10 people — can see the festival in its entirety, but I am going to do everything I can to both enjoy myself and take in as much of it as possible. Because, god damn, right down to a spiritual level, I fucking need this. This trip is how I get right. How my head comes together. And as I’ve done nothing but wilt and fret for the last three months, I’m very much looking forward to a little bit of restoration for my general state of being. At least a little.
Did I mention I got effectively laid off last week? Yeah. My employment contract runs out in June. Made me feel way less guilty about taking this time off, I’ll say. But even with impending disenfranchisement hanging over, I want to get out of my own head for a couple days, and Roadburn — this magical fucking place that I’m so, so, so fortunate to be going — is where that happens. I know exactly how lucky I am.
I have a couple other posts going up tomorrow as well, but stay tuned for more and thanks in advance for reading if you get the chance.
The Roadburn 2017 coverage starts now.