CHICAGO — Tyler Stephens, a roadie for touring punk band the Irony Boards, called off all attempts at helping him load equipment for tonight’s show and insisted he can do it himself in a single trip, witnesses confirmed.
“He just said, ‘You guys go on and warm up, I got this,’ and slung a third amplifier cord around his shoulder before picking up the bass cab,” said Irony Boards drummer Clayton Green. “It’s at the very least 300 pounds of gear, and he has to go up two flights of stairs for the load-in.”
Stephens began his work by taking the band’s guitars out of their cases, slinging two around each side of his torso in a crossing pattern. As he put guitar pedals and drum sticks in various pockets of his cargo pants, the band made their way inside.
“Yeah, when Ty gets like this, it’s best to leave him to it,” said bassist Chris Millsap. “I remember when he insisted he could drive us from Boston to Tucson in eight hours. Not only did we miss the show and end up in Denver, he refused to stop and ask for directions. Whenever one of us said something, he just threatened to quit… which wouldn’t be so bad if this wasn’t his van.”
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After securing the accessories necessary to perform, Stephens stacked the drums in ascending order by size and stared at the tower for several minutes, contemplating his strategy.
“I’ve done this plenty of times before, but each time, it’s like solving a puzzle,” Stephens said. “I do whatever I can to make sure the band is fully rested before they have to perform.”
“Maybe if I carry these fuckers while I slide the amps across the parking lot with my back?” he added. “Yeah, that’s what we’ll do.”
The impressive display of coordination ended abruptly several steps after it started when Stephens collapsed, buried under the band’s equipment and suffering a strained lower back and several fractured ribs. He has since announced plans to “walk it off while the band sound checks.”
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Article by Mark Roebuck @mark_roebuck.