It was incredibly hot. It was so hot that summer it was officially deemed The Grand Rapids Heat Wave. So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that VALENTIGER played an outdoor show during one of the hottest weeks. Children and the elderly were advised to stay indoors. Meanwhile, we were out and about hauling equipment and singing, dancing and slapping drums in the full sun. Kahler, who tends to run hot, was having a rough one. Rider and Shirey assured him, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” and the joke lives on forever.
The Celadon amphitheater is large enough to be comfortable but small enough to create an intimate performance. VALENTIGER fit right in with the mixed crowd, playing material from various records in their catalog. I particularly remember Shirey wearing a yellow headband that he’d acquired at a SXSW gig at a banana stand; an unusual move for him, but it was that hot. And so, they sweat thoroughly having setting up their own PA, but drank a lot of water throughout the evening. It was almost too hot to drink beer. The boys made it out alive at dusk, only to have the timed sprinklers come on and soak their gear. In the end, it was a nice warm up for Kahler who, recently joining the band, would be plunged into four hours of VALENTIGER material at the upcoming Short’s Fest.