I went to my first concert in two years!

I drove to Knoxville to watch Whitechapel play at The Mill & Mine on Friday. I had a great time being outside of my house, drinking Miller Lite and listening to music with like minded people.

But what about COVID

I struggled with my decision to go and I'm still struggling with my feelings about having went. On one hand, I still see people shouting EVERYBODY STAY HOME THERE'S A DEADLY PANDEMIC on the Internet. On the other, I'm vaccinated & boosted, and we literally never leave the house. Rachelle and I both work from home. I feel like there's this giant group assignment and very few people are actually doing the work. I think this tension about the pandemic is a contributor my janky mental health lately.

There was very little mask use at the venue. It was mostly staff and I think I only saw one or two concert goers who were wearing one. I'll admit, I did not wear my mask even though I brought one. I purposefully stayed away from shoulder to shoulder areas. I did not get into the pit, even though that's something I do and am interested in doing. The venue does have a large, nice outside area (near the bar!) and you can position yourself in such a way as to still see the stage, perfectly clear so I ended up spending most of my evening outside.

I know that concerts are considered a high risk activity. I also know Omicron is popping off right now. I could have done better. I should have worn my mask. But how could I get my drank on while wearing a mask. Not great Bob.

On avoiding big tech for this trip

As I was planning my trip, I was anticipating having to use Google Maps and Lyft for the trip. After some encouragement from people, I ended up just adding the hotel I was staying at to OpenStreetMaps and using Organic Maps to navigate. There was one hiccup with the navigation: Organic Maps wanted me to turn left when no left turns were allowed at the intersection right after getting off the interstate. I've added that and a couple other things to my OpenStreetMaps TO-DO list.

Additionally, I just called a cab to when I was ready to head to the venue. It was fine. The cab was good. The driver was good. Everything was good and I didn't have to install the Lyft app or contribute to the problematic business model of the sharing economy.

On to the show!

A metal band plays on a stage in dimly lit venue.
Realm at The Mill & Mine

I've never been to The Mill & Mine and I have to say, I think it's a really nice venue. It's not a huge venue but it was nice and seemed newly remodeled. The outside area is especially nice IMO. The bathrooms were nice. The floors weren't even sticky anywhere!

Realm was my favorite opener. They definitely have a doom/sludge vibe and picked up a CD to rip.

The other bands were pretty good though nothing really stood out for me specifically. Whitechapel was great of course! It's the first time I'd ever seen them and I was not disappointed.

I made a few single serving concert fiends and we ended up walking over to a bar after the show. There was a foosball table there so I got to play some foosball too!! When one of my single serving friends started talking about wanting to fight someone, I thought that was probably my sign that it was time for me to get myself back to my room. I called the cab again, and she took me back to the room. No problems!

What a great evening. I got to hang out with a lot of like minded people. I made some single serving friends. I got to play foosball. Now let's see if I get sick and die about it.

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