photos and words by Shannon Claire
"Really, though, if your kid’s life depended on it, what body part would you sacrifice to let your kid live?" Not one hour into our drive and the conversation had covered cannibalism, cloning and bath salts, too. The debate of such fine subjects became our travel music for the first couple hours of Icky Blossoms' three-day tour, now headed for a concert in Omaha at The Waiting Room tonight.
The band, made up of Tilly and the Wall's Derek Presnall, Nik Fackler of InDreama, the forever captivating Sarah Bohling, the Faint’s Clark Baechle and Saber Blazek of Machete Archive, was en route to Columbia, Mo. They'd embarked on a tour to support their friends The Mynabirds, who were closing in on their summer East Coast tour.
After a couple glorious pit stops later to fill ‘er up, have a smoke and grub on some station tacos and Dairy Queen, we were pulling into Columbia overheated and ready to take shelter from what felt like the breath of Satan.
Great American Desert's Max Holmquist greeted us as we arrived at Mojo’s where he was passin’ through and hoppin’ on the bill for some happy hour sounds. Holmquist swooned the happy hour folk with his storytelling and drifty, old soul vocals.
Mojo’s pulled in a great crowd despite the death-defying heat, and I had accepted the fact that I was just going to be a sweaty hot mess for at least 24 hours and looked to the whiskey to keep me good. The venue was small, the bartenders were rad, and the crowd got down.
Icky Blossoms were well received, with a relatively new DMX-controlled light show as their backdrop they performed a never-before-heard track and I assume collectively sweated out about 5 pounds of water by the time their set was done.
As I awoke early Sunday morning curled up on the floor snuggled between the air conditioner and the bathroom, the Icky’s were still fast asleep. Blazek on the floor cozied between two full size beds where Presnall and Clark and Bohling and Fackler bunked. Clark was caught spoonin’ w/ the house resident, Mr. Roach, while Bohling woke up to a small but hot and saucy package at the foot of her bed.
With a quick jaunt over to St. Louis, soundtracked by a country radio station and van dance-a-thons, we braced another day of face-melting temps and arrived early to the Firebird. Needing a cool down and social media fix we chilled out at Hamburger Mary’s under their glamorously campy sky.
You would think in a place like St. Louis, the city would be ready for an all-nighter, even on a Sunday, but the bill had to be done and out by midnight. With a strict venue schedule, the group took to the large stage in front of a smaller and more unaware crowd than the night prior. Still, they ended with a well-performed, energetic and great sounding set, new fans storming the merch booth after.
The Mynabirds invited the band up to the stage to join in on their last song of the night "Body of Work." It was a sight to be seen with Fackler whippin’ his locks back and forth and Presnall taking a liking to Laura Burhenn’s now known-for headdress. Blazek swayed his hips along with his fancy feet work and Baechle grabbed a couple sticks and added into the drum beats with The Mynabirds drummer, Nicole Childrey, while Bohling hopped and danced about in her admirably quirky way.
The weekend was a wrap on a sublime note, and just made everyone that much more excited for the next two nights to come.
THE FULL SET
Stay tuned for part two where you find out what happens when you talk to strangers, how we celebrated The Mynabirds tour closing show, and Icky Blossoms CD release show at The Waiting Room.
Shannon Claire is a Hear Nebraska contributor. She wants to let you know that if you don't make it to tonight's show, your existence in this lifetime will be meaningless. Also, Get In, Let's Go is a documentary project; if your band is hitting the road and would like some coverage, let Shannon know. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.