Riders on the Storm

Alec Weaver

Alec Weaver

April 19, 2012 3:43 PM EDT

It's late Friday afternoon, April 13, 2012 and I get a panicked text from my Mother. "There is going to be storms tomorrow" it says, "please reconsider your plans for tomorrow". Despite her wisdom I choose not to heed her warning, not out of defiance mind you, but for the sheer fact that I've worked up a considerable wanderlust and this adventure might just do the trick. A few months ago, my friend Will invited our group to accompany him to a Sleigh Bells concert in Omaha, Nebraska; I was the only one who had the desire and means to go. The weather reports on Friday before the day of our "Broadtrip" were foreboding. Warnings of both the size and severity of this storm peppered our path to The Slowdown Theater, but despite the weather we were all set on going—two riders on the storm who were going to boom into Omaha on the back of a cyclone like flaming hellhounds! Our adventure actually began that Friday night with a concert at The Granada. Treasure Fingers performed for a crowd that was composed of 95% foreign exchange students from Asia, 3% odd, misplaced frat guys, and 2% people dancing like the world was burning (we fell into the latter minority). Sticking to my standard "Ecstasy fingers" dance, the opening DJ asked me if I slipped Treasure Fingers some sort of pill. I didn't, but apparently my trance-like dancing made me appear as if I might possess some designer drugs. Upon leaving the venue, my blonde compadré and I stumbled into the night amidst party-goers and bar hoppers. We arrived weary to the home of OO's own Jeff Hinshaw and slept like the dead.

In the morning, after a rousing game of D&D, we checked the weather forecasts and were on the road. Grabbing some Taco Bell near the state border, we found the energy to zip through po-dunk towns and arrive in Omaha just in time to get rained on. With time to kill, we went to a record store that bore the moniker "Homer's". Looking through their Rod Stewart albums for a gift to give my parents, I had worked up a considerable appetite, so Will suggested we hit the town for some sustenance. Our wild sprints through the rain led us to "Spaghetti Works". Filling up on carbs for the show, the meteorological conditions kept us on our toes, so when the time came to make the journey to the venue, I grabbed another paper cover festooned with an image of Jimmy Buffet to shield me from the torrent of rain. Arriving early, hands stamped and ready for the show, we sat in a booth and observed the crowd. It was colorful. Punks in leather and studs, hipsters in thick glasses and Urban Outfitter t-shirts, a father who brought his 10-year-old son, short bulky guys with bald heads and beards, and no shortage of attractive females. Making our way to the floor in front of the stage, Will noticed the wall of monolithic amplifiers and turned to me only to say, "We are going to die". The opening acts were interesting in their own way. The first, Elite Gymnastics, had an aesthetic that I can only describe as sounding like if you went to a Korean Karaoke bar, gave everyone a cocktail of Peyote and Robitussin, and told them all to sing NIN songs out of key with the volume turned way up. The second though, Javelin, brought the house down with a great, innovative sound. Finally it was time for the main act. "How was the show?" you may ask. Well, you tell me. After the loudest show of our lives was over, we once again took to the road. Two disheveled, young Turks speeding through the night while thunder and lightning came crashing down around us. After a few stops and with eyes burning from fatigue, we entered Topeka. Two strung-out kids returning from an experience neither will forget for a long time.