The Austin Chronicle

Worst Tour Stories Ever: The Black Angels

By Alex Maas, July 8, 2016, Music

Sometime in 2007, in Alabama, we were playing a very cool, quaint venue. It seemed like summer, an ominous hot and muggy night. We started our set with "Black Grease," sludgy and dirty.

I noticed someone near the front row with this swirly LED light contraption – sort of a homemade psychedelic relic. The man holding it was in his late 60s, and he specifically turned this device on every time Christian hit his fuzz pedal. He twisted, tapped, and waved it at us as if it was a wand of clairvoyance.

The man was gray with a long beard, resembling a late wizard from Bill Graham's Fillmore days. He was meticulous and in time with his gestures, seemingly orchestrating our band. At points, I couldn't tell who was in control. Him or us?

After finishing, still unsure what had just happened, I went looking for him to pick his brain. I found him outside looking up into the stars. He told me he had a secret about the future and said he thought he was a distant relative of Nostradamus.

He told me that our country was in turmoil and would one day be challenged by a bigot billionaire striking fear in a population that feeds on hatred in order to gain control of our country. He also said the man would "fail by his own tongue." I didn't think much of it until a year or so ago.

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