We have to admit, we’re surprised, too. We didn’t think we’d be here. We didn’t think we’d spend the first day of Labor Day Weekend plugging in dates for Kathleen Edwards or adjusting the schedules for Nickel Creek and the Eagles. We thought we’d be well on our way to the mountains by now. Or the beach. Or maybe the desert. Yeah, the desert! Vegas, baby!

But it didn’t’ work out that way, for the tour date biz is a harsh mistress, a brutal dominatrix in the form of a 24/7 job that doesn’t recognize holidays, vacation days, fun days or dung days. The concert biz goes on, presenting shows by Jimmy Buffett, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and Andrew W.K., and as the live music industry’s Web site of record, we’ll stay right here, documenting, translating and flagellating all the way through Labor Day Monday, so that you may enjoy the maximum tour date experience as specified under the Internet’s rules and regulations, paragraph, four, sub-paragraph two, lines six, seven and eight.

But we’ve never lied to you in the past and we’re not going to start fibbing now. To be honest, we’re just like you. Well, most of you, at least, for we’re still not too sure about that guy in Des Moines that likes to get naked and see how many different ways he can call up the schedule for Cher. But we’d also like to be out hiking in the mountains, swimming in the seas, camping in the forests and vamping amidst the trees on this final holiday weekend of the summer. Bummer.

But management took us aside and explained the facts of life. They told us that you would need to be able to look up the dates for Ari Hest, check out the schedules for Millencolin and Hanson, and eyeball the itineraries for Thin Lizzy, Bobby Vinton and Dream Theater. Furthermore, management also promised us, that by this time next year, our servers would be totally automated and we wouldn’t have to stay throughout the Labor Day Weekend monitoring the dispersal of routings for Hot Tuna, Rancid and Linkin Park.

Needless to say, all of us are very excited over management’s pledge that we won’t have to work during next year’s Labor Day Weekend. In fact, we can recite management’s words line for line and syllable for syllable, and we’ll remember management’s promise come this day next year as Labor Day Weekend 2004 begins.

Actually, it’s pretty easy to remember management’s promise verbatim. After all, they told us the exact same thing last year.