As you look off the back porch to the left, the high volume of the French Broad River is immediately apparent. The subtle rush of the river water in the background continually reminds you of its presence, and helps to create a cool unique setting. The wide open backyard at The Bywater is a drinking sport enthusiast’s heaven. There were horseshoe pits, volleyball nets, frisbee golf goals, fire pits and barrel BBQs in every direction. Anything you could want to do with a beer in your hand was available, and Foss and I quickly took to one of the horseshoe pits with our pints.
The timetable for the gig was nice and relaxed. After another pint, we casually started to setup an outdoor bandstand under the back awning of The Bywater. I was happy to have lots of light placement options for our light rig, and ended up with a very tasteful, well lit stage after it was all done.
As we started playing, I took survey over the yard and enjoyed the sight of the many patrons enjoying their beers at the various sets of tree log tables and chairs scattered along the river bank. The outdoor setting allowed the sound of the bands to push out over the open air. I could hear my amp really well, and the band’s stage mix was great. As the evening set in, the lights really started to show up and a cool little atmosphere started to take shape. After our set, we passed the baton to The Archrivals, who completely killed it. I loved their style and flow. As evening fell on The Bywater, the stage looked great, and the whole backyard was partying. I was all into the music and the scene, and at one point reminded myself that this was a random Tuesday in May. Not bad. After The Archrivals wrapped, both bands hit a cool place called Universal Joint for some afterhours food and beers.
During our time at UJ, a crazy electric storm blew threw and lit the sky up for a few solid minutes. When we returned to Sam’s to crash that evening, we found that the power was out in the house. We lit some candles and told ghost stories. Max was truly in his element again when it came to the ghost stories, and he would hold the candle to his face each time he reached the scariest parts of his stories. During his last ghost tale, he was building up suspense that had everyone in a frenzy. Then, just as he was about to raise the candle to his face for effect one last time at the climax, the power came back on. Everyone immediately shifted their attention to the TV and started playing Nintendo. The next morning we said our goodbyes to Katz and were back on the road.