Bands go to great lengths to make their way to Gainesville

Published: Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 11:32 p.m.

Bands will cram into overstuffed vans, sweat, drive a day straight and sleep on the floor for the privilege to play in Gainesville during The Fest weekend.

"Every band has certain obstacles they have to go through," said Nick Marrero, vocalist for From The Embrace, a metal band from Tampa. The band came to play at Backstage Lounge Saturday night.

The van they were going to use was totaled days before they were planning to travel to Gainesville. Instead, they had to travel in two smaller cars, meaning they had to spend more on gas.

"We're musicians and we have to spend money on the band ... we can't afford nice vehicles," he said.

Members of From The Embrace piled in among their instruments and gear. While in Gainesville, they spent the night sleeping on whatever friend's couches and floors they could find.

Josh Nelson, drummer for Bent Left, said he and his group drove 23.5 hours straight from Kansas City, Mo., to play at Rum Runners Saturday afternoon.

"We brought down 12 folks with us," Nelson said. They drove an old Ford Econoline diesel converted to use vegetable oil and had a small tail car.

"We crashed on a beach at St. Augustine Thursday," Nelson said. Bent Left stayed at the Holiday Inn during The Fest.

The Fest was part of a much larger tour for the members of A Wilhelm Scream, according to Nicholas Angelini, the drummer.

They travel with a van and a trailer.

"We've been on tour for five weeks," Angelini said.

They played across Canada, from Quebec City to Vancouver; they then came south through Washington state and California then headed east, playing across the country.

After The Fest, they're heading up the East Coast, playing in Philadelphia and New York, ending their tour in Providence, R.I., 30 minutes from their hometown of New Bedford, Mass.

"I'll keep on touring until people stop coming to the shows," Angelini said.

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