When I walked through the front door of my house, I had no idea that my roommates were hosting an after-party for the Coup that evening. I had no idea Boots Riley and his notoriously talented group of backing musicians were even in town or that they had just played a show at Seattle Center. I had no idea that our address had been circulated at this show. I had no idea what I was in for.
Opening acts were hastily conscripted into service, our basement was converted into a venue, and somehow we cleared enough room to accommodate the mounting number of people showing up out of the blue. After three solo opening acts and still no sign of the Coup, the party was pulsing with nervous vibrations. Eventually, they showed up. It was late, and everyone there was getting very drunk, me and my roommates included. Until that night, I had no idea that this was happening, so imagine my surprise when all of a sudden the band began talking to me about what gear they were going to need. My roommate and I started scrambling to assemble the drum kit, track down amps, figure out the PA, and get ahold of every cable in sight.
Somehow it wasn't enough. We were still down one amp and several cables. I started to freak out. The crowd was getting impatient, and the band was getting pissed. Part of me just wanted to melt back into the crowd and let this all figure itself out. As I hastily plugged audio cables into the back of the PA, the drummer rose from his throne, looked straight at me, and said, "Fuck this."
As he came out from behind the kit, I silently begged for death's sweet release. He walked right past me and took the joint that had been doing laps for the past 20 minutes. I panicked—but at that same moment, I felt more driven than ever to make this show work. Fuck them for being mad! Fuck their rock-star attitude! When was the last time they played a poorly run house show in a dirty basement? No one had told me what equipment we would need or that they didn't have their own gear! I was doing great! My roommate had to go pick up a friend's bass amp from a nearby house, but in the end, I was vindicated. The band got what they needed and played an absolutely killer 1.5-hour-long set.
Turns out they had their own cables the whole time.