Warrant’s Steven Sweet Issues Road Report


August 11, 2008

Warrant drummer Steven Sweet posted the following ‘road report’ at www.myspace.com/warrantband:

August 1st, 2008
Clearfield, PA

Well, where do I start? (rhetorical question, please don’t send me your answers) Sorry it’s taken a few days to get this together, I’ve been trying to sort out all the fantastical events of the Clearfield County Fair since the “happening” occurred. Those of you lucky folks who were in attendance know what I mean!?

The band and our entourage of sordid gents flew “non-stop” (yay!!!) into Pittsburgh (Birthplace of that beautiful freak, Andy Warhol) where we were soon whisked away by super fancy limousine (of course, but not really) into the wilds of Pennsylvania. Some of you may be asking, “weren’t you afraid of all those Amish gangs that roam freely through the heartland of the state?” Yes, some of us were addled with trepidation at the prospect of being ambushed by horse and buggy, and possibly buggy whip-whipped? (the amish, though formidable foe, and excellent candle makers, are forbidden to carry guns, hence the extremely violent practice of buggy whip-whipping) YES, we were scared as HELL, but nonetheless we forged ahead to our destination… (Dun, Dun, DAAAAAHHHH)… The Red Carpet Inn.

Now the Clearfield County Fair is steeped in all the Americana infused County Fair tradition you might imagine from a Fair that is in it’s 135th year of existence (or something old like that). The first event of long standing tradition came conveniently at precisely the time when we were going through our set-up and gear check that early afternoon. First the smell of horse manure, then the horses came… I’m not talking, ponies, or Appaloosas, or even Quarter Horses but full blown Budwieser hauling Clydesdales (point is they were freakin’ HUGE). This was the first time I was ever told NOT to make noise at a sound check for fear of “Spookin’ the horses”. Conveniently the Horse pull event was scheduled at the same time as our load-in. After about an hour of cruelty to animals (oops, I mean awesome American state fair tradition) the team of Bud and Light won, by speed-dragging a metal sled loaded with concrete blocks (probably around 20 tons or so… or at least alot) through the dirt in front of the stage.

Moving on (that’s my way of saying, a bunch of stuff happened in between then and after then, but I just don’t feel like writing about it) show time came and the grandstand is full and the capacity crowd is primed by our friends in Great White, which is perfect because it happens to be “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel (AWESOME!!!). I get to spend a few moments with my cousins who made the drive all the way up from the Altoona area (yes, through the Amish infested woods… but they’re used to it) and reminisce about the times when we were all in diapers, not simultaneously, and certainly not recently (I hope). The crowd was absolutely the best I had ever seen at the Clearfield County Fair (no lie) and we couldn’t have done the show without ’em.

Now here’s where the details get fuzzy… we hit the stage running, Jani comes out and just nails it start to finish as do Erik, Jerry and Joey (I think I did pretty well myself, for the most part). (I have to confess something here, this is where I was planning ..ping, keep it short and sweet, but some things, no matter how unbelievable or fantastical mustn’t be hoarded so I will give you the details of what happened in the middle part that I was going to leave out.) We actually get about half way through the set then something happened, I look over to where Jerry is normally standing near his amp and the strangest thing happens… his shoes ignite with a sonic boom and he just shoots, I mean SHOOTS up into the rafters. I KNOW… I couldn’t believe it myself! I of course, have to blink and do a double take. He shoots into the rafters and hovers for what seems like… I don’t know, at least 5 seconds then does sort of a half turn towards Joey’s side of the stage and begins to fly, headfirst, not missing a note, across the stage. By now the crowd seems to notice that Jerry is flying across the stage, they of course think that there are cables rigged, ala Cirque Du Soleil, but the insanity of it all is, THERE ARE NO CABLES, just some strange magnetic hum which is barely audible because of the sizable P.A. (I don’t mean Pennsylvania, but Public Address System). There is a strange smell of burning hi-tops mixing with the night air, most just dismissed it as Fog Juice (no, I’m not talking about some kind of Caribbean Rum based Cocktail, but the stuff that goes in a fog machine to produce smoke on stage). So, Jerry’s flying across stage like Chris Angel and I now notice that Joey’s head is on fire, I’m talking blue flames (kinda looked like Marge Simpson). I AM FLIPPING OUT AT THIS POINT, but I manage to keep it together, still play and not look like anything is out of the ordinary. Joey then notices his head is arcing like Nikola Tesla’s condensing coil, but continues to shred as if it’s just another day at the office. I look around to see if Erik notices what’s going on here, and to my utter horror he has turned into some sort of “Hulk-like” manifestation of his former slender self. His T-shirt is ripped to shreds and hanging like rags around what is now this behemoth, monstrous, guitar wielding, Erik-beast! His hands have become massive hairy-knuckled mitts that dwarf the fret board of his Peavey, though for some reason he is still able to pick out single notes even with fingers the size of Bratwurst (simply amazing, really).

By now, the entire audience is in some sort of Funnel Cake induced daze at the spectacle before them… As the set nears the end, we kick into Cherry Pie at which time the insanity of strangeness is at its peak; with Jerry zipping back and forth through the air, at times nearly scraping the lighting rig above, Joey’s head whipping flames into the air like some sort of human torch and Erik Monster-Moshing back and forth from stage left to stage right. I happen to notice Jani standing calm as a cucumber at a garden party, in the middle of the stage, almost in suspended animation. It’s at this point I have come to terms with the fact that the universe is imploding and I am sitting behind the drum kit, like one of those wind-up monkeys with the cymbals, just going through the motions helpless to break from the routine and react in any other way. Jani calmly, cooly, with the deliberation of a Tibetan Monk leading a transition and realization circle, produces one of those mind erasing devices they used in Men In Black (1 and 2) and presses the button. An enormous flash of light emits, enveloping the entire site Clydesdales and all, with a spectral shock wave so strong that I nearly miss a beat (I said “nearly”). All of the on stage madness is zapped away in an instant, and returned to normal as the last note of Cherry Pie rings out – which is the ONLY REASON any of this could possibly be refuted OR debunked… the ONLY REASON!!! Thank you Clearfield… and good night!

Courtesy of www.myspace.com/warrantband