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- Posted on Oct 18th 2007 10:00AM by Mike Spinella
Sweden's Shout Out Louds are currently touring the U.S. behind their album, 'Our Ill Wills,' along with openers Johnossi and Nico Vega, and Spinner is keeping tabs on the troupe with updates sent straight from the SOLs and their fickle tour bus. It all begins in California with a few hills and some faulty brakes.
Every good road trip has some bumps along the way, but getting the Shout Out Louds tour started from Los Angeles began with a full-fledged fall. Just north of the famed COWswitchz along Highway 5, and just south of Bakersfield, the tour bus broke down for seven hours. Finally it was up and running again, but as we rolled into the city with the biggest hills in the U.S. -- San Francisco -- a concern developed over the ability to use the brakes. The white-knuckled joy ride down Fell Street with two minutes left on the air brakes provided the adrenaline that fueled the night's performance at the Independent.
The tour opener was a stuffed house, with Nico Vega taking the stage first and winning over the crowd with their inspired performance. Swedish newcomer, Johnossi, then delivered their audio assault to an impressed crowd, while Popscene's DJ Omar dropped songs throughout the night in preparation for Shout Out Louds, who let out their frustrations on the day on a set that was brilliant. It was only cooled off by the downpour of rain on the way to the after party at the Poleng Lounge with DJ UFO. At midnight, we all celebrated the release day for Johnossi's self-titled release on the Control Group with champagne before climbing back on board the war bus. We were told it was "fixed."
Then we woke up outside of Vacaville, Ca., on the side of the road and spent the next 12 hours entertaining 6-8 mechanics, tow trucks, Burger Kings and a whole lotta nothing.
All told, the bus broke down an additional three times over the course of the day, causing SOL's and Johnossi to have to cancel their performances in Eugene that evening. Former Eugene residents Nico Vega still played the show and carried the weight for everyone.
Back with the Swedish brigade, we ended up splitting up into two SUV's with the trailer and drove all night to make Portland on Thursday, in a Suburban whose floorboard was warmer than Satan's forehead. 14 people in two cars is like trying to fit an elephant in a Volkswagen. Once there, Johnossi paid a visit to Lizard Lounge for drinks and a CD signing before all three acts played Babeti's Pan.
A new bus arrived by 3am and life on the tour returned to normal as we headed up through customs in Canada for Richard's on Richards in Vancouver.