I rolled into Waco, TX in the early afternoon on Friday knowing that I probably wouldn’t play music until later in the day. Waco was a pretty quiet town for a Friday and there wasn’t a lot going on.
The downtown area of Waco is similar to many college towns I’ve been through. It‘s awash with many bars, restaurants, and shops. There are many older buildings which look like they’ve been around since the early 1900’s.
I set up my gear on Austin street out in front of a theatre. There were only a handful of people around but nonetheless I was determined to play and see what would happen. For how many people were around, I was surprised that anything significant happened at all, but it did! There were a couple taking videos of me form their car, another man stopping to ask what I was doing and knowing a lot of the songs I was playing, a woman from an art collective asked if I wanted to play in front of the shop she worked at. I played for about 3 hours and it was a supportive experience overall and somewhere I would definitely play again. While I don’t like to think about how much money I make as a barometer for success, I was very grateful for what I did make and it allowed me to carry on to college station without having to spend much of my own money for this trip. Right now I’m still behind overall but that’s ok. The experience, and the courage it’s taken to just roll with the punches I know on some level is invaluable.
All said and done, I played for 2 1/2-3 hours. For how few people were around, I’d say overall it was a success. I would equate the amount of foot traffic to that of a town or city after midnight on a weekday. I’d be curious to see what it would be like on a college football weekend.
After getting done playing, I went to a grocery store to get something to eat, and then found what I thought would be the place where I camped for the night. Around midnight I opened my eyes to 2 police cars out the back of my truck. They were speaking to someone else and searching her car as she sat off to the side. Eventually, they got done with her and came over to me. I climbed out of my truck and they informed me that the park where I was camped out was closed and that I wasn’t allowed to be there. I gave my license and my story about what I was doing and after about 10 minutes they let me go.
It took another hour before I I eventually settled somewhere else and slept until morning.
I didn’t sleep all that much last night and instead of hanging around in the morning, I got up and drove to Bryan, Texas, an adjacent town to College Station, which is home to Texas A&M. At the moment, I’m sitting in my car trying to figure out where to get something to eat before I set up and play. Onward and upward!