Euro Tour: Day 3, Ljubljana

17 Jun

We tried to clean up the mess from last night a little before heading back to the club collect our gear where we met up with Bruno and Sasha. We stopped at a gas station on the way back to Zagreb for eurodiesel and coffee. It was the nicest gas station I’d ever seen. With table service at the open air veranda that had an incredible view of the mountainous Croatian countryside dotted with orange-tile-roofed houses. We picked up our ATA Carnet paperwork which allows us to enter and leave the EU without being forced to pay taxes on our equipment. Then it was on the road to Slovenia. The border crossing took longer than yesterday because we had to present our Carnet documentation to both countries’ custom agents. They didn’t ask to open the van though one agent asked which one was the longhair in Bill’s passport. After a quick stop to change the last of our Croatian Kunas to Euros, we headed to Ljubljana.

The Menza Pri Koru squat was an insane compound with art and graffiti everywhere. Apparently, it use to be a military prison. One of the buildings, the former cell block has been turned into various artist studios. The other building houses a fully equipped venue, dance club, and god knows what else. Joe 4’s soundcheck was sounding awesome and when I told the soundman that, he replied “Thank you. I like music such as this.” The common area outside started to fill up around 9 and a poetry reading started around 10 on the floor of the venue with gallery seating all around. Around 11 people filtered out as the reading ended and Joe 4 began preliminary warm-up/set-up noises. A totally different crowd poured in. There was no entrance fee and the place filled up nicely.

Josip broke a string on the first song so I jumped on stage and readied my guitar and a replacement string. I swapped out guitars between songs like pro roadie and replaced his broken string while he played the next song with my guitar. Not quite his usual Electrical Guitar Company aluminum sound, but serviceable. I swapped guitars back out and then returned to the floor to be treated to the best Joe 4 set yet. The Shellac influence is readily apparent but they bring more finesse and texture to the formula with some truly gut wrenching vocals courtesy of drummer Damir. They are so rhythmically tight sometimes, it’s mind boggling. We couldn’t have chosen a better band to tour with, but it is a bit daunting taking the stage after them.

We played a pretty brilliant set, I think. About half way through, I realized I wasn’t so much listening to Bill and Jason as I was just feeling the music and just fucking playing. The crowd was very vocal and into to it. There was even a fair amount of movement and dancing! I broke a string on “State-Sponsored Terrorism” halfway through so I dropped out during the vocal part and then just attacked by guitar with abandon, not caring about broken string buzzing or the not-quite-right tuning. I thrashed through to the end of the song and people were going nuts. We had one more song on the set list but I figured we should just end it. We got yelled at for more. One girl even threaten Bill, “you play one song more or I will KILL you.” Josip thrust his guitar into my hand and we launched into “Reconsidering The Green Mile.” I pretty much hated playing Josip’s aluminum guitar with its heavy, unbalanced neck and weird thin fret board. The crowd was appreciative and showed it. We sold a decent amount of mercy, though sadly none of the new split 7″ that Fidel Bastro had shipped to us here in Ljubljana. We slept in the backstage area of the club while a dance party throbbed underneath us until 4am.


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