I had not seen Bad Religion in 2 years. While I saw a few of the crew in LA earlier in the year and Greg and Brian when I was on the east coast, I had not seen the collective since my last jaunt with them.
With everything going on in the world, I knew that this one was going to be different. I reached out ahead of time and got the rules and plans. I was on board with anything that was required just to be able to see my friends and be closer to them than I had been in years. I laid low in the week leading up to things to be safe. I woke up early on Sunday, threw everything in the car and headed out.
There was a church thing at the venue (IRONY!) so I ran a few errands and got lunch while I was out. Brian hit me up to give me the lowdown. We locked in plans and I headed over to the Marquee. Brian needed to take care of a few things so we got to head out, hang, and catch up since Jersey. We followed all of the normal safety protocols, got our shit done, and got back to the venue. From here on in, there were no real plans. Only outside hangs were permissible, so I had brought a camping chair. I posted up and got to hang and catch up with everyone as they got their shit done and rolled by.
I was hungry and walked up to Pita Jungle for dinner. It was worth the walk, the food was something that I could process, and I headed back to the venue. As I crossed the bridge, I saw an amazing sunset. I've been a little more keyed into them recently. I'd spoked to a friend that moved to Spain a few weeks ago that had mentioned missing the dramatic desert sunsets. Since then, I've been a little more cognizant of them. Fueled up and back at the venue, the night began for me.
The hangs before the show were great. Time and interactions were limited, but I appreciated every fucking minute of it. Greg and I got to catch up, discuss real estate and cats, and shoot the shit. Rick told me about some upcoming ventures that he has going and the future for them. Ronnie and I got to just hang, be lifelong friends, tell jokes, and laugh. I missed the openers and the time drew near for BR. I headed inside.
The show was great. I was told that the band was bringing their own audio and lighting rig on the tour. It was the right choice. Between having consistent lights and Dave at the helm, the presence and atmosphere was fucking stunning. The sound was amazing. The Marquee, with a concrete floor, tends to throw sound. Ronnie had it all dialed in and it was so fucking good. I watched a bit from the sound booth, a bit from the balcony, and then closed out at the sound booth again. After 75 minutes of punk rock hits, they closed out and called it a night.
I didn't hang around much after the show. I knew that everyone was busy and not really able to hang. I shot off a few texts, drove back to the house, and reminisced about the many drives from Tempe that I have done in life. I am supremely grateful that I was able to hang and see everyone, that everyone was safe, and I look forward to seeing them all again.