Los Angeles – It’s the end of the line, and it’s been a blast. So, here’s the final entry to this blog, written from the Scream Bus Tour finale at Avalon Hollywood this past May 11-12. It all went like this:
Saturday, May 11:
12 Noon: “If I sleep until 8 p.m., even better. Someone can get the laptop for sound check, but otherwise, I’m to be left alone.” So begins a weekend of everyone being segregated to hotel rooms in Hollywood, our busses still parked outside of Avalon for who-knows-why, other than to store my moving boxes that are en route to Miami.
8 P.M.: Sound check. Markus is giddier than ever. It’s the happiest I’ve seen him on the tour, and that says a lot, because he is almost always smiling. He tweets that this is the most “outrageous production in any L.A. club ever,” but all I see is a massive wall of LEDs – three or four stories tall. Impressive, sure…
We sit on the bus for a few moments afterward, visiting with 2009 America’s Best DJ winner, Z-Trip (also from Arizona), and I think, “All my friends are really cool.”
9:45 P.M.: A press conference is held at a nearby restaurant. The legendary radio jock Swedish Eagle is one of the attendees. I sit back and snack on a cheese plate, while actual journalists do work. Markus announces Scream 2 and its accompanying tour in the Fall. Uh-oh….
11:30 P.M.: KhoMha is in the middle of his set in front of a thousand people…or two. I find the schedule for the night, and am exhausted just reading it. They’re playing until 8 A.M.? No wonder Markus wanted to sleep all day. I, on the other hand, got no nap. He can have his tour back.
12:30 A.M.: The club is absolute madness, including our VIP area, and I am scared. I escape to the back of the club where there is some breathing room. It isn’t long before I’m approached by a dude practicing one of my biggest pet peeves. (Boys, don’t walk up to a girl and just blurt out, “What’s your name?” Introduce yourself like a gentleman.) I run to find another safe place, pushing past a stream of people coming into the club, and am stunned to find a life-sized unicorn. I continue to our merch booth, and wish I could be back behind it for once.
1 A.M.: Markus’ intro drives me back to the main floor, and I’m in total awe. During sound check, I hadn’t noticed that we also brought in LEDs for the ceiling, or that there were even more wrapped around the back balcony. They are strobing brighter than the sun. I turn around to find the head of DC3 behind me, smiling at his work, and give him a high-five.
Go-go dancers painted white like unicorns—complete with slash wounds that are bleeding rainbows—throw blow-up unicorns and light-up swords into the crowd. Markus gets on the mic a few moments into his set and says, “I feel like I’m at home!”
Sunday, May 12:
7 P.M.: Sound check. The life-sized unicorn that greets everyone at the front doors is covered with a sheet. The horn is missing. You can’t have a unicorn around when you’re promoting this “unicorn slayer” thing and not expect someone to slay it, Markus. “Yeah, but that’s MINE to slay!”
We take a group photo with 28 people involved in the tour. “Shouldn’t Sarah be in the middle, since it’s her tour?” Yes, I should—and doing a headstand! (Well, whatever, they got back at me. Everyone looks lovely in the final photo, while I’m looking away and making a hideous face.)
8 P.M.: End-of-tour dinner. Toasts ensue, congratulating Markus on the success of the tour. It’s a proud, yet somber time. I love so many of these people, but I don’t really want to talk to any of them now. It’s a form of detachment, I guess, to protect my feelings in the end. At the same time, I want to have short cuddle sessions with all of them, and I can’t help but think of one of my favorite movies, the Madonna: Truth or Dare documentary.
I had never understood the intimacy she had with her crew, so much that she said goodbye to them while they were in her bed. All of these weeks spent in close quarters with people working toward a passionate goal will produce that kind of familiarity. Not in a sexual way; like, in a platonic, slumber-party way.
11 P.M.: Once again, I check the schedule. It only lists Markus as going until 4 A.M., but then reads, “What curfew?” I am scared again, but the crowd has a more chill vibe than last night (younger and less intensely serious), so I feel more energetic. My friends from Phoenix are sending #ScreamBusTour tweets, so that I can read them on the projection screens on the side walls.
Downstairs, I discover all of the blow-up unicorns stuffed into plastic bags, and can’t handle their giant, innocent eyes. I rescue one like the dork that I am.
1 A.M.: Markus takes the stage once again. Bright lights, confetti, cryo, unicorn girls, toys, etc., all ensue once again. The difference is that tonight it is being filmed for MTV’s “Clublife” (be on the lookout starting later this week). Markus greets the viewers, saying, “All you’re watching right now is me having fun with all of my friends!”
3:30 A.M.: Markus and KhoMha are dishing out a mean hour-long tag team set, and our tour manager is finally broken. Dead asleep on his “prodo” desk, he may or may not be cuddling with a blow-up unicorn.
Monday, May 13:
9 A.M.: We’re off to Miami. In the car on the way to the airport, Markus is already making a to-do list for the Fall tour, despite having gotten zero sleep. He doesn’t quit!
2 P.M.: All I want to do is sleep, having only gotten a couple hours between the final show and having to go to the airport. I would kill to have my on-bus sleeping problems in comparison to this. I would rather be in my bunk now, in a veritable hotel room on wheels… no TSA yelling at us, no indecent feeling of being stripped of privacy, no flight delays, no 12-freaking-dollar turkey sandwiches, nor having to wake up a stranger so that I can go use the restroom…
Viva la Scream Bus Tour!