On The Road Again: Direct Hit’s European Vacation, Part Three

June 6, 2012 by Bryne Yancey

On The Road Again: Direct Hit’s European Vacation, Part Three

DIRECT HIT! recently wrapped up their first-ever European tour, and vocalist Nick Woods sent AP his dispatches from across the Atlantic. Download free music from the band here. Their full-length, Domesplitter, is physically available from Kind Of Like Records.

Looking back over the past few weeks, the biggest difference between touring the States and touring abroad is how much you have to rely on other people to help you out. That sentiment fell into sharp relief the last week of the trip, which felt like an extended goodbye to all of the new friends we’d made–It was the first time we’d spent each and every day meeting new people, rather than hanging at a friend’s house, or driving for six hours. Touring Europe shows you how DIY is often kind of a myth.

Our two shows back on the mainland were in Belgium again, first at a small café called Bacchus in Geel, and second at a jeugdhuis in Tessenderlo. Bacchus was owned and operated by an awesome guy named Juiceman, who had a Three Musketeers beard, and let us stay in the apartment above his venue. Some guy who called himself "The Insane Carnie" or something was playing there the next week, but he wasn’t wearing Juggalo makeup in press photos, which made him both baffling and hilarious. All of the Priceduifkes’ friends who had been at our shows in Belgium two weeks prior were there to hang out again, and they brought it like none other in Tessenderlo the night after, too. There’s video of everyone in DH screaming into microphones during their set, and even a guest appearance with Danny playing drums on their song “White Christmas.” I was the jerk who passed out early that night on a mattress, but apparently Danny and Devon and Robbie were up until the sun was out again, ringing out the last show in our favorite country on the trip.

We said goodbye to our merch boy Giel the next day, and headed off with our new dude Lawrens to Germany, where there are McDonald’s everywhere, and they all serve McRibs year-round. Our first show was in an awesome town called Weisbaden, which looked like something out of a movie–gorgeous, old-looking buildings that our host Ben said weren’t that old, even though they were 800 years old. The show that night was in what looked like an abandoned subway tunnel, which would’ve been creepy, except for the fact that we were all so hopped up on Club Mate Cola that everything was exciting, whether it was creepy or not.

The following two nights were in rehearsal spaces–much more familiar territory for a band that plays more houses than actual legit clubs. And it felt a lot more familiar too: Enthusiastic crowds that covered themselves in as much cheap beer as they drank. Both cities–Regensburg and Hannover–were awesome too, but probably not as awesome as the doner kabab that is probably still digesting in our stomachs.

Our last two shows were in Luxembourg (which is too tiny to have different cities than…well, Luxembourg, apparently), and Rotterdam. Though Belgium took the cake for coolest country on the trip, I think we had more fun in Rotterdam than anywhere else. It’s a gorgeous town with water everywhere, and lots of open space for walking. And while the cafes are nice, the real attraction are the people, who all looked like they had stepped right out of the pages of Vogue and GQ to look disgustedly at the Americans who kept gawping at how awesome everything was.

We didn’t have much time for anything after the show before we had to head to the airport to fly home. We said goodbye to Senne, who was jetting over to France with his family, and Kasper, who had a long drive ahead of him home as well. So it was up to Mambo, Ricky and Lawrens to drop us off at the airport, where we sat up in a daze for four hours, waiting for the check-in window to open so we could head home. We boarded our flight, psyched to see our families for the first time in almost a month, but pissed that we were leaving behind so many awesome people. Can someone just drop a bomb into the center of the earth so the tectonic plates will rearrange themselves and put me within eight hours drives of Herenthout? That would make my day. alt

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