There's only one appropriate tourist trap to visit when you've stayed up until 2 a.m. chatting with extremely stoked University of Kentucky students: The Coffee Pot Building. The roadside structure in Lexington, Virginia, was formerly a restaurant and art gallery and was another Serena recommendation that seems to have just been built by Some Random Person in their yard. She is two for two with good recommendations, especially since this one was barely out of our way on our drive.
We felt we'd need every drop of actual coffee for the day's eight-hour drive, our longest of the tour. The morning weather was gray and rainy, but as we drove east, we were treated to some lovely blue skies in both West Virginia and Normal Virginia (which Max informed us actually extends further west than West Virginia). We hit some crazy fog between our lunch stop in Harrisburg and Charlottesville but otherwise had a smooth, speedy trip courtesy of Sean and our Chrysler minivan, which we have of course named "Felix Vandem."
Richmond strikes me as a cute midsize city. It felt especially inviting since we got to hang out with Max's former roommate Deanna before the show and our friend Warren from the band Dead Billionaires afterward. At Max's request, we also stopped by the famous Gwarbar and ate a truly bizarre dish called the "Chicken McDuckets." They're a beer-battered mix of duck confit, chicken and mozzarella cheese, and I imagine they were created by a heavy metal fan who dared to ask, "what if we made breakfast sausage patties but really jacked them up?!"
Of course, we were there to play a show, not just to hang out with friends. The venue was a sparsely appointed DIY space (a large and chilly garage near some warehouses), but a light kit brought by local act Sunflower'd helped turn it into a decent looking performance space. The other local band, Rubber Dagger, played some fun, Natty Ice-fueled punk rock.
Max and I have talked about how we want to incorporate some more showmanship throughout our set. Tonight's performance highlight came when we independently decided to do jumping kicks at the same time during our closer, "Shoplifter." It went over extremely well with our audience, so we had an intense choreography discussion where Max said “hey let’s actually do that on purpose tomorrow” and I said “okay sounds good.”