Habibi Tour Diary Pt. 1
by Rahill Jamalifard
Man, we hit the road from Brooklyn the 9th to make it to Beaumont, Texas by the 11th. What the fuck were we thinking.
The band, Caroline Partamian on guitar, Erin Kristina Campbell on bass, Karen Vasquez on drums, and myself, Rahill, on vocals, hopped in a rented silver camry, and drove down to Gooskis in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for our first stop on tour. The car was named Cornelius after I was pulled over for going over a hundred in a sixty zone. The cop, Officer Cornelius, was most merciful and forgiving, he knocked the speeding ticket down to fifteen over, so naturally we decided naming our car after him would bring us positive vibes. Before he let us go he asked us what we sounded like, we didn’t have time to explain a subtle hybrid of post-punk meets old motown meets blablabla, so instead I went with what had just been playing, the Beach Boys, which seemed to please him. Cornelius was the man! He sent us on our way, and we arrived at Gooskis with time to spare and whiskey to drink.
Show at Gooskis in Pittsburgh
Gooskis was cool, I thought everyone was gunna hate us, they seemed to be super into Motorhead and chain wallets, but we were pleasantly surprised that folks wanted to buy merch after our set. We slept maybe a total of two hours in a five story mansion, no lie, and left at 5 a.m. for a brutal drive to Nashville, to play a show at 3 p.m. the very same day.
Karen and Rahill Outside Show in Nashville
Nashville sort of feels like a city where your family, (the members you actually love), live in, because we all collectively have so many friends there, that we are excited any chance we have to stop on through. This time was weird as fuck because we were playing a day show outside, at the end of a super rager festival weekend, for all our buddies, who clearly needed a gallon of water and more pillow time. They cheered us on like zombies on their last legs, so we kept our shades on and laughed through just about every song. We ate some pho after and watched scary movies with our home girl Pierrette, who was kind enough to let us crash at her place. Dude, remember the movie The Witches, with Angelica Houston? Yeah, we watched it!
We took off the next morning to head to Beaumont, Texas, a strange town full of really warm and welcoming people. We played at venue that was an indoor skate park and the stage was in between a steep wooden half pipe. Naturally we were pretty siked about this. I fell down it later on in the night testing my skills. Karen and I also got into super jock mode in the parking lot outside and were challenging one another to one handed cart wheel matches, she of course championed me, and I added a few more bruises to my elbow.
Rahill’s Bruise From Skate Ramp
Before we left the venue we all went inside and sloppily danced to our brother band’s set, Natural Child. It was prolly the best dance party we had all tour, Caroline incorporated the halfpipe into her dance moves and Erin caught on quick to this butt shaking move Karen and I had worked really hard at perfecting after my younger sister introduced us to it. Definitely a move meant for the clubs, but a rock and roll show in a skate park seemed fitting at the time.
The night moved on and we took the party, consisting of us Habibi’s, Natural Child, and Turbo Fruits, to a house party down the way. There, the four of us ladies and the gang of smelly dudes broke into a bottle of cotton candy vodka, moved a steel life size, knight statue replica into a shower, and stayed up way past functioning hours, laughing till our bellys ached, I should say ached more because the cotton candy vodka was pulling some tummy twisting bullshit on all of us by the nights end.
We woke up the next morning and collectively caravened to a taco joint, where we recounted the debauchery of the night before, and planned out our drives into Austin. We made it into the city by 7 p.m. Our first stop was at a Target where I stole a pair of cool socks, Karen ate some tomato soup, Caroline tried on some sweet cheetah pants and Erin bought some wet and wild essentials. We headed to the place we were crashing at, freshened up a bit, and hit the town to see how SXSW was doing. We got to Spider House, (the venue we basically lived at throughout the week), and were greeted by a lovely mess of familiar faces. I saw all my friends from Detroit, and we saw a bunch of friends from back in NYC, and pretty much all over. We stayed out mildly late hanging with our buds, feeling the vibes of the week that laid ahead of us.
Habibi - First SXSW Show at Scoot Inn
Our first SXSW show was HANDS DOWN our best. It was the SXSW jump off, with THEE OH SEES headlining, and just an all together killer line up. We started things off at 9 p.m. and I am positive I semi peed my pants on stage from a serious case of the nerves, good thing I was wearing all white. We were all on the same boat, pretty freaked out by the large crowd, the anticipation, and the intensity of finally being in the belly of the beast. But we sucked it up, put on some game faces and just dove in. Dude, people were getting so into it, which fuckin thrilled me, I actually felt like I could breathe. There was one dude on his hundredth beer up front, trying to take my mic and aggressively getting really excited about the music, which kinda was obnoxious, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind and everyone was dancing and cheering us on.
Scoot Inn Show SXSW, Rahill and Erin
Our last song sent some sort of fire ball into the crowd and people got all crazy, which at that point I was wondering if I was dreaming the scenario up, then I was grounded back to reality, when I looked over and Caroline’s guitar strap undid itself. She hit the floor on a knee trying to play the verse, which seemed pretty impossible, but we looked at each other with the same show must go on fever, so I ran over with mic in my hand still singing the lyrics and reattached her strap after several tries. Success! She got back up, and the crowd went wild. Home run for a Habibi!
Yeah, that was a sweet show. We were kinda on cloud 9 for a day after that, and it set the bar for the rest of our shows. Wednesday, the day after, was insane, we had four shows booked.
Crazy Schedule, Crazy Nails
The first being at Trailer Space Records for a Burger Records show. We played at noon dude, so early, but people came out! And the guys were so nice there, we had a lot of fun, saw some really great bands, and headed to our next show. The next show we played was just a few blocks up the street, we got there and with some extra time so we took my skateboard out from the trunk and skated over to an empty parking lot and filmed some silly tricks and bails.
Rahill, Erin, and Kyle from King Tuff
Kyle and Jake from King Tuff met us at the show and we hung out and laughed with them a bit till we had to leave to our third show.
The third show was for Get Bent at Spiderhouse. We got there and were pleased to see we were playing on a rad outside stage. We got set up quickly and jumped right into our set, about mid set, a bunch of my best friends I hadn’t seen from Detroit came marching into the audience and I’m certain my voice cracked over the mic a little at my surprised elation. It ruled to see all our pals in the audience.
Check back tomorrow for part two tomorrow! A million thanks to Rahill and buy Habibi’s debut single out now from Born Bad Records!!! -Cody