Fresno, 140 miles and 2 hours away. Not a long trip, but enough to keep me away from there for everyday trips. Last time I went I took my friend SeanPaul (yes one word, no not after the rapper) we went to a rave that was supposed to be awesome, but was ok. We had fun, but it was know where near as awesome as we were expecting. So after some planning with our very own ImmoralMinority, I was set to pick up the tickets he was giving me from him at the Fresno Cars & Coffee the Sunday before the show. Well that weekend my car decided the transmission and the engine no longer needed to connect via the flywheel. Well crap, now I can’t get the tickets. Monday rolls around, I get a loaner car from work (2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R, write up soon), and plans to pick up the tickets from ImmoralMinority’s receptionist before the show.
Tuesday December 6th comes around and I am pretty amped. I have to leave work by 14-14:30 to pick up SP, and then make it 2 hours away to get the tickets before the offices close at 17:00. It is 14:58 when we leave SP’s school and get on the road. Thank god I had the 3.6 version of the Outback because I could hammer it with the “same” effectiveness as my GTO. Most of the CA46 and CA41 from Paso Robles to Fresno is 2 lanes, but thankfully with ample passing zones, few officers, and not much traffic between the two. Leaving Paso Robles my phone said I would get there 1 minute before closing. So I drove like I had somewhere to be and gained about 20 minutes on my ETA. It was really funny hearing SP trying to do punk makeup in the passenger seat as I accelerated, decelerated, and passed vehicles allegedly over the speed limit. By the time we were outside Fresno I had gained 20 minutes on my ETA. I was feeling good, but then TRAFFIC! We hit Fresno about 16:30 and there were so many people. Weaving in and out to get to my exit a few miles down. Finally off and on the side streets, but my phone says we are going to get there 3 minutes after they close, fuck. Ring up the office. Talk to the receptionist. Thankfully she says if it is right after 17:00, there should still be people there. Pull into the lot, drive partially around and realize I don’t remember the building number, I open Oppo, pull up the thread and boom, and right there in front of where I stopped is the office I am looking for. Run in and get the tickets. Huh? The envelope contains 4 tickets… I was only expecting 2, I didn’t ask how many there were, but I assumed 2.
Relieved that we have our tickets and there are 2 hours to the show, we find somewhere to eat. Driving toward the venue, SP is hooked on getting Pho because we don’t have any near us. After a little side tracking, we find a neat place and go in. Everyone in there seemed to be the same family going off of how they acted together. Got a couple of Pho beef bowls and a couple beers and enjoyed our food. The next struggle was to find a gas station to buy cigarettes and use the restroom. After heading the wrong direction for that, we got to the venue and had a stress relieving smoke outside till they let us in at 19:00.
I had decided that since I was given the tickets for free, that if I saw anyone outside in need of some I would give them away, but no one was there, so we went in got our VIP badges and a beer. Then we went over to the Merch booth to get our VIP swag bag. Pretty cool stuff in it and I bought a baseball Tee. Thankfully being over 21 I could go in and out and put the swag bags in the car. After returning and getting a second beer, the booth was slow so I took one of the extra VIP tickets and the guy let me trade it for a badge and swag bag for ImmoralMinority. After running that to the car, the opening band Small Wigs started playing. They were pretty good, though hard to understand partially due to the venue and the sound guy. The female singer and bass player was funny. She would talk between a few songs and say the same lines, “Hey, yo, hi, how’s everyone doing? Everyone excited to see X?” It was quite entertaining.
After their set there was a break and we went outside for a smoke and still no one there looking for tickets, but that’s ok. Finally X was starting up. What a crown of interesting people there to see them. A lot of fans from back in the day and a lot of new ones too. I had only heard them a few times on cassettes I have from my dad and SP had literally never heard of them. One thing you have to know is that true punk rock fans and metal fans are surprisingly polite. One of the best concert crowds I have been in in a long time. They started off with a couple of oldies which was really great. Then they went to their “deep tracks.” I hadn’t heard of any of these song, but I did enjoy them a lot. After a few beers and some slower songs we went out for a cigarette and while out there a couple walked by and stopped at the door to listen a little. We were getting toward the end of the night, but I still had one ticket left. I went up and offered it to them and at first they said no that’s ok, but I told them it was free, I didn’t want anything out of it and the girls face just lit up. They were shocked, but the BF said he would go home and start dinner if she wanted to stay for the rest of the show. She was so happy and that was all the payment I needed.
After that we went back inside for about 4 more songs, then they were done. At this point it was about 22:40. We of course they came back for an encore. That lasted about 6 more very great songs and we were done. I mean you kind of know your main fan base age range, being a Tuesday, and most people having work the next day ending after 23:30 some time was great. Unfortunately unlike the LA and SF shows of their tour there was no meet and great. A slight disappointment, but not the end of the world for a wonderful spontaneous trip out to the Valley. I am so freaking happy I went and was able to use the tickets instead of no one going. Got back to the coast about 2 hours later and was in bed by 01:00. So it was almost like a normal night out at the bar but FAR FAR better.
So thank you ImmoralMinority for the amazing night.