Our trip to Knoxville started like any other, but thanks to some Tennessee State Troopers who feel that swerving during a monsoon is an offense worthy of full body cavity searches, it certainly did not end up like any of our other shows. I want to be fair and mention that the troopers were very nice to us while they rummaged through all of our belongings – but in being fair I must also mention that our traveling partners in (almost) crime, Viva Radio, were pulled over and searched to the hilt for this same offense of swerving. For those of you driving through TN anytime soon, hands at 10 and 12 people (and try not to be Northerners or have anything to do with the music industry while you’re at it).
Later that evening, we found out from our new friend Mary from Knoxville (formerly of Memphis and California), that there was a murder the night before. The victim being a young, well-liked female within the community, Mary said there seemed to be a black cloud hanging over Knoxville on this night. Indeed, Ponytail did not make this show as once scheduled and Panther played to a very receptive, yet diminutive audience. They kept their set short and sweet, leaving the crowd wanting more, but with a 10 hour drive to DC ahead of them, they had to keep on schedule.
The evening ended with us all hanging out at Mary’s apartment with one of her roommates and her OTB friend. While relaxing post-show with the locals has been a regular occurrence on this trip–and Mary and friends were more than cordial–things still seemed a bit off, so we all chose to hit the road early, leaving Knoxville before sun up. I know this city and State has much more to offer, but to say I was relieved when we left Tennessee would be an understatement.