A Guide To Road Tripping to Concerts

It occurs to me this country is quite spaced out. Not in the drugs sense, although God knows that happens too, but in the sense it is really quite large. I mean, have you seen a map? That shit is humongous. Furthermore, there are only so many places poor overworked touring bands can play. Often, an artist you desperately want to see may end up in a town the next state (or three) over. At this point you have two choices. Either stay at home and be really lame, or pack up the car and head out on the highway, lookin' for adventure, and whatever comes my (your) way. You'll need some advice for these road trips though. Here it is.

See also: -Music Etiquette archives -The Worst of Rocklahoma 2013, Starring Axl Rose

• A playlist for the car journey is of the utmost importance. I cannot stress this enough. It should be themed around, but not heavy on, the band you're journeying to see. No one wants six hours of listening to a band and then another two hours of that same music but live. If you're going to see a classic rock concert then obviously don't bother, because every other station is a classic rock station. If you're going to see AC/DC, then just leave the radio on a random frequency and within minutes "Back In Black" will arrive.

• Be sure you like people you're going to be spending hours in a car with. You might be so bored of their constant need to eat or pee by the end of the trip that you can't stand the sight of them by the time you've got to make the return journey. If your friend has a whiny partner, simply buy one less ticket than your party requires, and/or leave them at a rest stop somewhere in Arkansas.

• Take this chance to stock up on incredible amounts of foods you otherwise normally wouldn't eat in huge quantities. Never in human history has there been a better chance to eat chips in amounts that would be antisocial anywhere else apart from in a car. I can't explain why this is. Bonus points if you are driving and manage to get the passengers to feed you.

• Coffee and soda are good, but only in amounts that mean you won't have an energy crash as soon as you arrive at the gig. Unless, of course, you incessantly consume them throughout, alongside the six bags of chips you just worked through.

• If you work a normal 9-5 and you're doing this on a weeknight, remember to prepare a work excuse for the following morning which you will inevitably spend asleep. The best excuses involve reference to car troubles which if like me you regularly drive twenty year old cars hundreds and hundreds of miles to see shows, will probably have some if not all of their basis in reality.

• Dude, that playlist had better be good. Seriously. You've got the whole car's musical enjoyment, on a trip based solely around music, in your hands. Make five playlists and then have back-up plans. On a related note, if you're roadtripping alone because no one else likes the band, then some music that will keep you awake on your lonesome trek, like full-volume Slayer, may be a good idea. Plus, Slayer will make you get there faster. It's just a fact.

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Gavin Cleaver
Contact: Gavin Cleaver