Rachel’s Year in America

Compared to Sasha’s first year abroad, the span of Fall 2008-Summer 2009 wasn’t nearly as interesting for me. I had just gotten into the live music scene and hadn’t gotten my fill of concerts and festivals just yet, so I was focused on trying to get out there and see shows while trying to crack my way into the music biz.

Moving Back Home

Hanging with the girls.
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Hanging with the girls.

As the summer of 2008 came to an end, my internship was finishing up and I had no job prospects.  I packed up and headed back to Johnson City intent on having a year off (a gap year as some call it). I found a lame job waiting tables at a restaurant near my mom’s house and worked my schedule out to only be Monday–Thursday, so most weekends I went wherever the music was. First up was the Trinumeral Festival just outside Asheville, NC. That was a crazy weekend to say the least.

On Two Fresh Tour

On the first Two Fresh tour!
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On the first Two Fresh tour!

My friends Two Fresh were just getting started as a band in JC and I wanted to help them as much as I could, so I helped them get to Murfreesboro for one of their first shows at a house party there and then we moved on to Kentucky the next day.  Those guys play prime sets at big festivals and headline their own tours now, so it’s cool to look back and remember those early days.

All About the Live Music

A typical scene from this point in my life.
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A typical scene from this point in my life.

I also saw as many STS9 shows as I could because they were my favorite at the time (and they actually toured). I went on a short run in the SE in early November after seeing Bassnectar for Halloween. Then I saw WSMFP on Thanksgiving in Asheville and finally the STS9 NYE shows in Atlanta. The Disco Biscuits did a short SE run at the end of January and that was an interesting weekend. In February there was Umphrey’s McGee in Atlanta.  Basically, the winter was spent working a few days a week to see live music the others.

 Spring and Plans for Summer

Partying with friends after another show.
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Christmas party with high school friends.

Then the spring was a blur of awesomeness between birthdays, DJ shows, and frequent trips to see friends. All this time I was constantly keeping in touch with Sasha by Skype calls and following him on Facebook and his blog. I was having a great time going to see live music, but I was always jealous of what he was doing. He may not have been going to crunchy shows every weekend, but he was seeing more of the world than I had ever seen. I flirted with the idea of going to visit him. I even downloaded and printed the visa forms, but in the end I decided that it would just be better to wait until he got back. Phish announced they were getting back together and doing a summer tour and that was enough motivation to get him back in the US in time for summer. We made grand plans to traverse the country together, seeing Phish shows and working at music festivals. I was anxious and excited for the months to come, and you should be just as excited to read about our ridiculous “Summer of Bruce.”

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