Every good band has a decent opening band and every tour it changed. This time around, our opening act was a group with a couple chicks and a few guys. They traveled in another bus, played while we were getting ready, and were off stage before we even came out.
Their stage setup was simple in the sense that all of their instruments were removed and replaced with ours within fifteen minutes. To say I had never met our openers would be an overstatement.
We left our manager in charge of interviewing and hiring, we just showed up to play. We couldn’t have cared less about them, as long as whoever was chosen raised the house and we brought it down.
Tonight was different though. This little shithole in Oregon didn’t have enough room for the two bands to stay separated. The back room was small and compact. It had barely enough room to fit the guys, as we ramped up and put on our stage makeup.
The walls were white and drab, while the kitchen contained only a small fridge, folding table and a singular counter. There was a single sofa in the middle of the room, which may or may not have contained bedbugs.
“Are we like, new shit again?” Jason asked with confusion, looking around the room.
“They must have confused us with the opening band,” Asher scoffed.
“Nope,” Henry, our manager followed, “This is it boys. It’s only this one stop. It’s the biggest venue, but it’s got a small set room.”
“What the fuck, Man?” Gabe finally entered the room and looked around.
“This shit is because you needed the larger venue,” Henry stated as Nick entered, “You sold out. Suck it up, bitches, and think of the money you’re making here.”
“We don’t even have enough room in here for Chris’s pussy,” Nick’s voice sounded behind me as I leaned my Spector on the folding table.
“Fuck you,” I growled, looking around at all the crap the opening act left in the room.
On the small coffee table, they left two makeup boxes, a flat iron, curler, and a bottle of Captain Morgan. A couple of sweatshirts were strewn on the couch and standing in the corner was a pretty pink bass with a black bridge.
“Where are we supposed to do meet and greets after the show?” Gabe asked, looking aground the shoebox of a room.
“Not here,” I chuckled as I pondered what the bass player was playing out there if her kick was back here...
“Outside, boys,” Henry explained, “A lot more space out there, so more fans can meet and greet. More autographs and more money. You’ll be hanging with your opening band too, good for publicity.”
“Dude, we’ve been playing these gigs for nearly fifteen years now!” Gabe fought, “You’re telling me we’re slumming it again?”
“It’s ONE venue,” Asher grumbled, “Get the fuck over it, princess. If you don’t like it, get off the fucking bus!”
When I turned around Henry was gone, leaving us to fend for ourselves.
We all set our stage makeup and had a few drinks. It only took me a few minutes to apply guy liner and fuck up my face, so I had time to kick back.
This place was too fucking small for five guys. I sat on the couch and attempted to relax, but my eyes kept moving to the bass in the corner.
Normally I’d pull out my bass and start plucking, but I suddenly felt the urge to go pretty. I couldn’t help but pick up that pink bass. That’s what she got for leaving her shit piece in the room.
I lifted it off the stand and honestly wasn’t surprised that it was a flimsy piece of shit. They were an opening band after all.
“Awe...” Asher started in on me, as I sat back on the rickety sofa next to him with the piece of crap, “Chris is gonna play us a tune on his princess patty. Next he can compare vaginas with your mom Gabe!”
“Fuck off,” Gabe mumbled, sitting on the folding chair with his Purity electric in hand.
“His mom’s is bigger,” I joked.
“Fuckin’ seriously, Guys?” Nick rolled his eyes, taking a seat in another folding chair. Nick viewed Gabe’s mom as his own, so he didn’t enjoy the comments.
I strummed the cords and they were all fucked up.
“Dude, that band’s gotta suck!” Jason said sitting next to me.
“Shit’s obviously way off,” I cringed and looked at the clock. I had time to tune the bitch before we went on.
“Dude,” Jason warned me, “You’re fucking with a woman’s shit and not in a good way.”
“She fucking left it here. Of course, I’m fucking with it,” I shrugged him off and tuned while I tossed a couple back.
We had a decent set; not our best, but far from our worst. No one broke anything, got booed off the stage or pissed themselves, so we were good. Until we got back to the dressing room.
We knew that we’d be sharing a room with the main band. Not an issue. Until we found that the rum was gone.
“Those fuckers...” Mike huffed, shaking the empty bottle in unison with his head.
“Dude, seriously?” Lou shook her head as well.
“Wasn’t there a liquor store nearby?” Ryan asked, sounding depressed, “Why’d they need to take our shit? They can afford their own.”
“I’ve got more on the bus,” I rolled my eyes, putting my purple, metallic beauty in her case. Guitars were my life and I’d played since as early as I could remember. I’d always wanted to be like my big sister. The band and the guitar were no exception.
“I got more too,” Mike continued, “You’d just think that with all the money they got they don’t need to drink our shit.”
I rolled my eyes, moving to Victoria in the corner to pack her into her case. Lifting her felt different. She looked different. Her pick was in a different place.
“Who fucked with Victoria?!” I snapped.
“Ree?” Lou asked, coming to my side, “You okay?”
“Someone fucked with Victoria!” I snapped.
“How do you know?” Ryan asked, coming over to look at her.
“Because! I always leave her the same fucking way, Dickface!” I yelled at him, my anger building.
“Chill,” Daryn shrugged, “It obviously wasn’t any of us, Ree.”
“Shut the fuck up!” I shouted. I lifted my sister’s bass higher, as I looked it over from top to bottom.
I was seeing things, but not really comprehending. Who would pick up someone’s bass and fuck with it? Who would think it was okay to fuck with my shit?
I paused on the machines; I knew this bass inside and out. I hadn’t changed a single thing on it since I pulled it from her car. Someone had really fucked with my Victoria.
“Someone just tuned it, sweetie,” I heard Lou’s voice speaking softly. “It’s still here, still in one piece.”
I was numb. I couldn’t feel my extremities as they moved over Victoria.
I could hear and feel Lou trying to calm me, but I couldn’t comprehend anything. Someone had messed with the only thing I had left of my sister. How could Lou be so calm about it? She’d lost Viv too!
“Ree,” Lou tried to calm me, “It must have been someone from Black Heart, no one else was in here. Maybe we can talk to them later at the meet and greet. I’m sure they’ll understand, sweetie.”
“Of course, it was someone from their band,” I told her numbly, “Had to be the bass player.”
“Ree,” Lou’s voice sounded far away, “Please, calm down. Breathe. We can’t lose this deal, honey.”
I put Victoria back on her stand and turned to walk out of this crappy little room.
“Where’re you goin’, Ree?” Mike called after me.
“To get more booze!”
I needed to calm down, or I was going to get my band kicked off the Black Heart’s tour.