We were both at the Rothbury Music Festival in Michigan, volunteering with the WET team on site all week. Through mutual friends, our paths finally crossed one afternoon on a trampoline. Rachel was seeing stars and Sasha was carrying around a bag of wine. She told him his name sounds like a brand of Russian vodka; it does. Sasha made note of a cute girl named Rachel and asked about her after the festival. He was disappointed when he heard that cute Rachel from TN was already in a relationship, until he soon discovered that there were in fact two cute Rachel’s from TN and the one he had met at Rothbury was very much single. He found out she was going to Camp Bisco.
A few weeks after Rothbury, we both found ourselves in upstate New York for Camp Bisco. Actually, we had both been there the previous year; we just didn’t know each other yet. This was the last hoorah for Sasha in the US, as well as the last festival of the summer for Rachel. Unfortunately for Rachel, her method of getting to Camp Bisco turned out to be a bit of a disaster. Luckily, a w00k in shining thrift store gear showed up with a Ring Pop, got on one knee, and simply asked, “Will you?” As she has about 22 sweet teeth, Rachel naturally took the Ring Pop and enjoyed its sugary goodness. Sasha would later try his luck at dancing with the lovely lady during the Biscuits’ set, and thankfully she did not push him away. We ended up staying up all night together, watching music, and getting to know each other. In the morning, however, we had to go our separate ways, assuming we wouldn’t meet again until summer 2009 at the earliest.
With precious little time left in America before moving to China, and tons of things to do, Sasha obviously decided to spend his last weekend and money he didn’t have by flying to Atlanta to visit Rachel. The fact that Umphrey’s and STS9 were doing two shows there together didn’t hurt, either. We spent the days together exploring Atlanta and then hit the shows with friends. On the second night, inclement weather resulted in the show being cancelled, but we wouldn’t let that get our spirits down. Rachel promptly invited everyone back to her place, where we proceeded to have a kick-ass party that lasted until the wee hours of the morning, and thus made Sasha miss his flight. Thanks to stand-by, he got back to the D eventually. We said goodbye, promised to keep in touch, and hoped to see each other again sooner rather than later.
Move to Beijing
On 8/6/2008, the day of his 23rd birthday, Sasha flew to the other side of the world to try his hand at teaching ESL in Beijing. He stayed there for 10 months, where he worked at a few different schools, learned how to speak Chinese, explored the city, and traveled around China quite a bit. Dive deeper into the details of his first year in China here.
Back at Home
While Sasha had had his fill of hippie jamband shows from 2003-2008, Rachel was just getting started. As a late-comer to the scene, T-Girl was eager to get out there and see more shows while trying to crack into the music biz. Check out her story of the ten months she spent bouncing around the southeast seeing STS9, Disco Biscuits, Two Fresh, and more.
Continue on to our epic Summer of Bruce traveling around the USA seeing live music.