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Intronaut's Tour Diary: From Playing Clubs to Opening for Tool in Sports Arenas

Intronaut. (L-R): vocalist/guitarist Sacha Dunable; bassist Joe Lester; vocalist/guitarist Dave Timnick (not pictured: drummer Danny Walker).

Sacha DunableIntronaut. (L-R): vocalist/guitarist Sacha Dunable; bassist Joe Lester; vocalist/guitarist Dave Timnick (not pictured: drummer Danny Walker).

See also: Intronaut's Tour Diary II: Buying Weed in the Middle of Nowhere

Intronaut's thunderous blend of sludge-doom and post-rock (most recently on display in their 2010 album Valley Of Smoke) has earned critical praise as well as tours with metal luminaries such as Mastodon, Isis, and Animals As Leaders. Now, the L.A. quartet has embarked on their biggest excursion to date, opening for Tool on their current arena tour. Intronaut vocalist/guitarist Sacha Dunable kept a diary for us on the first day of the tour, which was this past Saturday in Reno, Nevada.

Hi, my name is Sacha. Eight years ago I started a band called Intronaut with some friends I've known for half of my life. For the next couple weeks, we'll be on tour in arenas throughout North America as support for Tool, which is a pretty significant change from the club shows we normally play. We are only a couple days in on this tour so far and I'm still wrapping my head around exactly what is going on around me, but here's a brief rundown on the madness that was our first day.

1/14/12, 1:00 pm - We arrive at Reno Events Center and find a parking spot for our Dodge Sprinter van amidst Tool's six tour buses and six big rig trucks. This is the first of many hilarious examples of disproportion we would experience throughout the tour. Tool's production manager takes one look at our van and asks us if we'd be interested in having them carry our equipment in one of their trucks, since it takes up approximately 1/100th of one truck. We now get about one million more miles to each gallon of diesel. Thanks, Tool!

1/14/12, 3:30 pm - I'm guessing Intronaut has played over 500 shows in our eight year existence, in all kinds of clubs and theaters around the world. I don't think I've ever had any real reaction to a room we were about to play, let alone been completely overwhelmed like I was when we walked into the enormous Reno Events Center Arena. I don't know exactly why the thought of playing to 8,000 people is so much more intimidating than playing to 800, but it is, and if you don't understand that, you probably don't have any feelings.

Dressing in sports arena locker rooms: a new experience for Intronaut

Sacha DunableDressing in sports arena locker rooms: a new experience for Intronaut

1/14/12, 9:00 pm - For some strange reason, I didn't get nervous at all before our set. Even at club shows, I'll get light jitters for the last few minutes before we play. It could have been the fact that we were in a locker room like a mile from the stage, or that I was a couple beers and shots deep at whatever high elevation Reno is, or that a couple of the Tool guys stopped by to say hello before we went on. Whatever the case may be, we hit the stage in good spirits and rocked it. I could seriously get used to playing arenas.

1/14/12, 11:30 pm - Tool are one of the most awesome live bands I've ever seen. Someone I know recently made the statement that they are "the Pink Floyd of our generation," and fair enough. They are the masters of the ultimate full on audio/visual performance. It's inspiring to see a band go to the lengths they do in order to provide that experience for their fans. It's also interesting to watch the after-show load out done by the team of maybe 100 locals and touring crew. If I were to imagine Egyptian slaves building the pyramids, it would look a lot like Tool's end of night tear down.

Intronaut. (L-R): Dunable; Lester; Timnick; Walker

Adam Murray PhotographyIntronaut. (L-R): Dunable; Lester; Timnick; Walker

1/15/12, 8:00 am - I wake up freezing in the front seat of our van, which is parked at a gas station in Tonopah, Nevada. We have to be in Vegas by 2pm, so we're driving overnight. Zach, our driver/tour manager/sound man, is asleep in the driver's seat. Here we are in yet another seemingly contradictory situation, just having played our first ever arena show, the pinnacle of being in a rock band, and we're still sleeping in our stinky show clothes in a parking lot. I'm not saying I mind at all, in fact I guess I'm proud of roughing it enough to tell you people all about it. Stay in school kids, because AC/DC had a point. It really is a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.

See also: Intronaut's Tour Diary II: Buying Weed in the Middle of Nowhere