Saturday, February 17, 2007

From the Big Apple to the Ferry




Whoa. This has been a crazy weekend. We knew it was going to be in advance, but I didn't know how it'd turn out. You'll be pleased to know (or at least I hope you will) that it all turned out rosy.

Yesterday was one of the worst days of my life. That's what I thought for MOST of the day. I was tired from not sleeping the night before, still having mono (only a slight case), working early and long, and being shorthanded at work at a job I'm still learning how to do. Plus, Fritz told us that he couldn't get out of work until later either! So, we weren't planning to leave for NYC for our gig that night at 11 p.m. until roughly 6 p.m. That's bananas. Regardless, there was no avoiding it -- so I sent our buddies Hymns a message, asking them if they'd switch slots with us if we happened to not show by 11. That turned out to be a good idea. Read on and you'll see why. Since this is President's Day weekend, everyone is leaving town. Whatever town you're in, you left it this weekend. When we finally got on the road, in four separate cars for some reason, we got stuck in traffic and broken apart. I ended up pulling up to the Knitting Factory at 11:52 p.m. to play the midnight slot (thanks to Hymns for being flexible). Matt and Fritz's cars had arrived, but Mike wasn't there until slightly after midnight. So, we skipped a soundcheck and hit the rock right off. And guess what? It was totally sweet! The most fun show we've had in NYC yet! The crowd was singing at a ridiculously loud volume (which ruled) and I felt good about the sound for the most part. Plus, my old friend Victoria from Texas was there, as well as some Boston buddies who joined us on the way down or were there, like the McLaughlins. It ruled! Despite being extraordinarily tired, I chose to drive back afterward, while Matt and Fritz chose to go to the bars. My car made it back by 6:15 a.m., amazingly. I was too tired to drive and in retrospect it was a bad idea. Either way, I was determined to get back. Now you've heard my side of the story; check out Mike's incredibly verbose take here. Pictures here by Julie and Fritz.
SET LIST: Shotgun Wedding / Loose Lips / Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This / The Nadir / Bad Luck / Research Blvd / Debts / On The Lam / It's Gonna be Alright



So, I slept for most of the day, then returned Tara's mom's car. After eating some American chop suey, it was time to hit Nuggets in Kenmore Square for a little acoustic show to promote the big gig at Harper's that evening. Fritz picked Tara and I up and we were off. However, when I strolled into Nuggets, the staff seemed bewildered as to why I was there. Apparently, the owner forgot we were playing and thought we had moved our date. He offered us the chance to still play, but we needed a PA and I was tired, so I figured it was best to reschedule for March 24 before our Great Scott show. So, that was that, and the band went for burgers.



Then, it was time for the big show. I love the two bands we play with -- Three Day Threshold and Girls, Guns & Glory. Their fans come early, and stay late. And they're total partyhounds. It was a really fun night. When we first got there, I was so tired and downtrodden about Harper's that I didn't expect it to be very fun when we played. I was wrong. While the crowd didn't make a whole lot of noise, they were paying really close attention. I saw a lot of smiles and a lot of head nodding. Then, when we were off the stage, both Scott and I noticed more people than usual stopping us and commenting on the tunes. It was awesome. We also made a fair chunk of change in merch and from ticket sales. The show sold out early, and they let people in as people left so really there was a lot of cash coming through the door. Plus, we pulled out some folks I don't see much, like Esther and Chris Haner. It was a really cool night. I talked with Jake Brennan for a while about SXSW and we worked some stuff out. Good man. I was feeling good. I drank all the free water (I'm not drinking beer while I've got mono) and felt real good. I watched two of my favorite bands in the Northeast rock the hell out of the club, and I felt proud. Speaking of rocking the hell out of the club, Kier put his foot up on a monitor and it rolled out from under him and he went flying. If this had happened to me or Mike or Scott, the band would have stopped playing, I'm fairly sure. But Three Day kept it moving, and Kier grabbed the mic and brought it down to the floor with him and didn't miss a beat. We're not talking about a light fall, this was a hard fall with a banjo! It was UNBELIEVABLE. 100 PERCENT ROCK. Then, Girls, Guns & Glory did what they were born to do -- serenade the crowd with drink-friendly numbers, including one awesome Stones' cover of "Dead Flowers." I stayed at the club long enough to see the bouncers fight with some fans and see the cops show up after a couple slugfests broke out. It was truly an evening not to forget. Photos here by Julie and Fritz.
SET LIST: A Hard Rain / Shotgun Wedding / Loose Lips / Seasons / Trouble From The Start / The Nadir / Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This / On The Lam / It's Gonna Be Alright / Shine A Light

Julie recently posted some videos from our Bulfinch Yacht Club show last month. They're pretty decent quality, too. Click related links to scroll through songs.

Before I forget, here is the CD release show review in this month's Performer magazine. I know I posted about it several weeks ago, but I didn't have a link then. Now I do. But I think it may come off the web when the month is up, so here's the full text. Enjoy.

Cassavettes (CD Release) / Christians & Lions / Hats and Glasses / Mittens
Middle East Upstairs
Cambridge, MA
December 9, 2006

Boston-based Cassavettes got to pick the lineup for their gig at the Middle East Upstairs to celebrate the launch of their debut album, It’s Gonna Change. And what a thrilling, noun-infested agenda it was, with buoyant indie-pop outfit Hats & Glasses and the delightfully sweet sound of Mittens joining the ranks.

Also supporting Cassavettes’ CD release was indie-folk outfit Christians & Lions. The band offered up a knotty set of folk-tinged tunes. Lead singer Ben Potrykus performed effortlessly onstage, delivering an onslaught of fantastically catchy tunes, all lovingly tended to by the rest of the band.

While the vibe during the Christians & Lions set was dynamic but chill, the tone of the evening took a nosedive upon the arrival of Cassavettes. As the band colored the stage with full fiesta garb (including armfuls of maracas for the crowd), a gaggle of their excitable young girlie friends congregated at the front of the stage. But once frontman Glenn Yoder sunk his teeth into opening thumper “It’s Gonna Be Alright,” it was clear that, musically at least, it really was going to be alright. In retrospect, it was a shame the band opened with such a climactic song and didn’t wait until the crowd was really ready for it. Nevertheless, drummer Matt Snow successfully gave the song the kind of oomph it screamed for.

Yoder seemed vaguely uncomfortable onstage, and left most of the between-song banter to other members of the band. Bassist Scott Jones also seemed ill at ease with the task; however, he more than made up for it with his musical energy and enthusiasm. The tightness between Jones and guitarist Matt McCullagh brought warmth and a rhythmic dynamic to the band’s act, especially during the moody numbers, which were ubiquitous that night. For such a young band, Cassavettes sang with surprising maturity, weaving on-the-ball lyrics with pleasing harmonies in some truly raw numbers. That’s not to say the band is incapable of delivering concrete, anthem rockers like “Lightning in a Bottle.” Such audacious numbers showed the band’s versatility, in addition to pleasing the crowd.

What Cassavettes have is an all-round package of promise, evidenced by their enjoyable CD release show, which sold out surprisingly early. Both Cassavettes and Christians & Lions are two of Boston’s hottest indie-folk acts, and the show was certainly a huge success.

-Review and photo by Victoria Hutcheson

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7 Comments:

Anonymous scott said...

upon further review of my actual copy of the setlist from last night, the only songs that you mixed up were carolyn and on the lam. switch them and you're the golden boy. also i know we talked about this last night but again i have to disagree with you. if one of you guys fell down like kier, not to sound careless but i would NOT have stopped playing because it would have been so awesome. i mean as long as you seemed ok, like how kier grabbed the mic and kept singing on his back. in fact i totally love that kind of crazy crud at shows and i hope that one day one of us takes a really good fall. p.s. i fell down REALLY hard at afterhours and the band kept going! and it was like the only fun part of the show (for me)! last night ruled.

18 February, 2007 11:33  
Blogger Elyse said...

I like the phrase, "noun-infested agenda." From now on, all my agendas are going to be noun infested.

18 February, 2007 16:40  
Anonymous scott said...

the sad thing is i think the writer took that from one of the lamest on-stage jokes i have ever made. grammatically-based stage banter is never a good idea.

18 February, 2007 22:34  
Anonymous glenn said...

i guess i did post about that performer review before, but before i had a link. here's what i said...

Also, when we arrived at the club we got our first peek at the new issue of Performer, which features a live review of our Dec. 9 show. It's pretty good on the whole -- they pegged me as being uncomfortable that night. That's true, I had finals and was out of my element. Since then, I've decided not to let there be any internal distraction when onstage. And I've kept that promise thus far. So, the review was pretty good on the whole, considering that Dec. 9 was one of our "off nights," in my opinion. So, I'm pleased with it.

19 February, 2007 08:38  
Blogger cassavettes said...

also, scott, set list is fixed for accuracy's sake. and i didnt see you fall at afterhours, not that i doubt it, but just that i didnt get a chance to shake your hand afterward.

19 February, 2007 08:44  
Anonymous scott said...

i believe fritz actually caught it on video! (and put it on youtube) i tell yas the boy's crazy!

19 February, 2007 15:05  
Blogger Fritz Ceriales said...

yeaaaaaaaaah! check out scott falling over here (its at the end after the pictures):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKSO7VvuMXI

19 February, 2007 20:19  

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