As a result of our “work” listening to a ton of Tritonal music, watching videos and viewing photos – and recruiting our friends to do the same – we won a “flyaway” trip to San Bernardino to meet Tritonal and see them play at the Crush mini-festival.
We debated about driving to the airport or taking the bus down to the airport and Car2Go back to JT’s office. The cost being the same, we decided to park in the airport econ lot ($7/day for 2 days). We arrived at gate 13 of the Austin airport, and sat down to wait until our 12:30pm American flight nonstop to LA began boarding. JT looked across the terminal walkway and saw Dave of Tritonal! We were surprised to see that they would be on our flight, and JT went over to shortly say hi. Dave was quite friendly and they chatted for a few minutes before JT left so as not to be a bother.
Upon arriving in Los Angles, we picked up our grey Volkawagan Jeda from Avis (a “free one-class upgrade” which we are not sure was really an upgrade as the car seemed to have issues). Then we ate lunch at El Pollo Loco, stopped by Ralphs to get two Rockstar energy drinks (to energize us for the concert) and lunch supplies for our Sunday hike, and bought a simple Canon point-and-shoot camera at Fry’s (which was really strangely decorated). We did all this within a few miles of the airport before starting the 1.5 hour drive to San Bernidino. Katie tried to sleep during this drive -since we had a very late night ahead of us – but found it hard to do so with the traffic and horrible road conditions.
We went to the Quality Inn San Bernardino (Booking.com), where Tritonal’s management company had booked us a room. However, when we tried to check in, the hotel showed no reservation for us. After JT made a few calls to the management company and we waited about 30 minutes, it was discovered that they had made a reservation for JT and Katie Benter. We took a nap for about 30 minutes before leaving for the show.
We stopped for In and Out Burger (which was disappointing as the food was cold) on the way to the National Orange Show (NOS) center. We paid $12 for parking (although the ticket gal tried to charge us $15), and got our will call tickets around 8pm. We then had to go through a line for scanning IDs (JT’s wouldn’t scan), then a line for security checks (pretty through body check, but the purse check seemed lax and you could really hide things in your shoes we bet), and finally a ticket line (although we just had to show our wristbands).
Then we were in. The show (called a rave by many attendees it seemed) was held inside a larger hanger and then there were some outside areas selling drinks and food. The first thing Katie noticed about the show was the neat light / laser effects and quality (but extremely loud) sound.
We arrived in the middle of Super 8 and Tab‘s set from 8pm to 9pm. We hung out about halfway up the hanger, slightly off center, in an initially-not-so-crowded area. We generally had enough space to dance, but did get bumped pretty frequenyly and jumped on or elbowed a few times. It’s really important to pick predictable neighbors at a show like this!
We enjoyed the set by Super 8 and Tab, and then Candyland came on. This 60 minute set was more dubstep and electronic house than we like – but there were some good songs in the set (which we had heard through Tritonal’s podcast before). Their DJ-ing skills certainly need improving, as they made some rookie mistakes (songs prematurely ending or beginning). Then Congorock took the stage. We didn’t listen to much of his 60 minute set, as we went to the portapotties (there were probably over 50 so the line was not long), bought two black Tritonal t-shirts, and hung out outside for a bit before going to meet Jasper (our promoter contact for the meet & greet) at 10:30pm at the gate at the back of the outdoor food area for our meet and greet with Tritonal.
Jasper gave us pink “all access” wristbands from Nocturnal Texas 2010 – apparently Insomniac was using old Nocturnal wristbands for credentials at this event. Then he led us over to Chad and Dave (aka Tritonal).
We introduced ourselves, and chatted for a bit. They said the listen to ‘chill’ music when relaxing, and never EDM, since they do enough of this for work. They also said they have two studios in Austin, although Dave’s studio is currently not functional. They also noted they plan to play a show in Austin in 2014 – perhaps for Tritonia 050. Of course, we got pictures with them and got them to sign our new Tritonal shirts.
Jasper then came over and said we could either hang out in the outdoor meet and greet area, go back into the crowd, or go backstage. We opted to go backstage with our all access passes, which let us go pretty much anywhere we wanted (except likely onstage – although we didn’t ask or try).
We hung out beside the stage for the first part of Tritonal’s set, but later moved to between the speakers between the stage and the crowd. We hung to the side mostly, but also got to go right in front of the stage too. It was really magical getting to dance right in front of the stage with no one crowding you – it’s impossible to capture this feeling with words or pictures. So increadibly awesome!
We moved around throughout the 90 minute Tritonal set. Being behind the stage was also pretty neat. For the last song we sat in front of center stage – and had such an awesome view of their final song and good-bye. Looking out at the crowd during the set was also fun. Chad and Dave had noted during our chat that the audience seemed to like “bangers”, which seemed to be our assumption too based on how they reacted to various songs in earlier sets. It seems that Tritonal tried to cater to the crowd by playing a “dirtier” set – although they still played many of their own excellent more-melodic songs. The crowd seemed to love Tritonal’s energy on the stage – which is truly infectious!
As Dave and Chad left the stage and headed for the exit, JT got to high-five and congratulate both on a great set.
We hung out backstage for a bit of the 90 minute Laidback Luke set, but we were really tired – both from dancing so much in the Tritonal set and from it being 12:30am (2:30am in Austin) by the time Tritonal’s set ended – so we left after about half of the Laidback Luke set. We left before the vast majority of the crowd and got off the property in no time. Back at the Quality Inn, we went to bed shortly after 2am pst, setting our alarm for 8am.
We awoke at 8am and went down to eat the included hotel breakfast. There were some older couples at breakfast, and we enjoyed watching their reaction to a girl (who was assume had been at the show the night before) coming to breakfast in her footed PJs. It was like watching two world collide.
After breakfast we checked out and headed for Adams Pack House in the Angles National Forest. The road up into the national forest was windy, steep, and unexpectedly narrow. Upon arriving, we found lots of people at the trail head – likely both because it is a popular trail and it was a fee-free weekend due to President’s Day. We bought a $5 trail map and eventually found a parking spot on the road not far from the Chantry Flats trail head.
We set off on a 9 mile hike shortly after parking. After descending down a paved fire-access road, the hike started in cool (both literally and figuratively) Santa Anita Canyon, where we even saw 50-foot Sturtevant Falls from both below and then above. Then the hike began to climb, skirting along some tight cliffs. Katie’s calves got extremely tired quickly, likely as a result of running recently and jumping up and down at the show the night before. We walked through a picnic area and a back country camp before summitting Mount Zion (3,575 feet elevation, 2,100 foot elevation gain from trailhead). We had our bread, peanut butter, and bananas lunch shortly after the summit. Then we climbed down an exposed trail until reaching the cool canyon again. All we had left was just to make the final push up the hill out of the canyon and to the road. Our whole 9.2-mile hike took just under 5 hours. Katie was extremly tired by the time we finished. JT was tired and sore, but definitely less so.
The hike was actually really beautiful. The side canyons, dams, mountains, lizards, birds, waterfalls, river crossings, mixture of warm and cold breezes, and forest service cabins all made for a great hike.
After the hike, we originally planned to eat at an authentic interior Mexican restaurant – but we ultimately decided we did not have enough time (and probably were not dressed appropriately after hiking anyway). Hence, we stopped at El Pollo Loco for a quicker meal. It’s a good thing we did, as we barely got to Avis to drop off the rental car an hour before our flight. Then JT could not get his electronic boarding pass to load and had to print a new one. The kiosk would not print the boarding pass as we were within 45 minutes of departure, so he had to get an agent to print a copy. Then in security they took the leftover peanut butter from JT’s backpack. We boarded in our designated zone soon after we got to our gate. It could have turned out a lot worse, but our departure was certainly not a relaxed one.
Overall, it was an excellent, action-packed 36 hour trip! Certainly a Valentines weekend to remember!