If last night was the purge, tonight is the party. At 3:00 a.m., I'm dancing in the parked bus in a tribal throw-down. The vehicule is actually bouncing. Eighty limbs are bending, thrusting, pointing and hanging onto the ceiling for support. Twenty weary bodies rock Tetris-like in physical harmony as hooting and clapping back up the great Fela Kuti in song.
Before the show, Andrew Whiteman (The Apostle of Hustle) tells me to listen closely for the first part of his solo in "Almost Crimes" because he likes to add a different spice to it from time to time. Tonight "Maria" from Bernstein's West Side Story slinks its way in. It's an example of the artist finding a compromise between satisfying expectant fans and staying fresh and motivated each night. "Almost Crimes" was written nearly five years ago and has probably been performed more than 500 times since. The song was born of a passion and urgency that needs to be there each time it's played.
Just before taking the stage, Brendan mentions to me that he misses those basement jam sessions from which the band grew. "That's where all our best songs are from," he says. I'm elated in anticipation of what the coming break in touring will produce.
Near the end of the show, I lift my head from behind a speaker and see Kevin floating on his back atop the fans in an unexpected crowd surf. Jumping back on stage, he confirms that he hadsn't lost his passport in the ride. "Thanks Philly," he says, pulling out the worn blue book from his back pocket, "I still got it!"
Hustled out of the club after a rushed load out, everybody heads to a nearby bar. In a blur of Jager shots and flash bursts, the tone is set for a dance party. Back to the bus!