Friday, August 31, 2007

What a difference a week makes

When last we spoke, I was preparing for a show at TT's. Since then, I've played the show, gone to N.H. on a family vacation, had my extended family meet TD's vast family (twice), formally and officially graduated from college, and for some reason, had alcohol every night but did not get very drunk once. This is not a bragging thing, it's just quite unusual. I'm still a very light drinker, but I guess this is a week with many celebrations and the alcohol just shows up. So that's that. I'll start with the band stuff.

Last Friday, we played TT the Bear's Place with an awesome lineup of good buddies: The Luxury, The Sterns, and The Motion Sick. We were third in this lineup and by the time we hit the stage, the crowd was grooving on it. I attribute this to The Sterns and The Motion Sick really getting the night set up nicely. But, man, when I say they were grooving on it, believe me, they were. Which surprised me because I had fretted that we may not pull a large crowd -- in actuality, we had a good-sized crowd with some folks I don't even see too often (like Tod Shaffer of Barn!). But we went out there and delivered a fairly solid set, I believe. Matt stood up while he played drums. Mike got down on his knees at the altar of rock. And there was lots, and lots, and lots of hair flying. Don't believe me. Photographic evidence:

SET LIST: You'll Be Crying Soon / Loose Lips / On the Lam / Six Hours / Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This / Golden Fleece / Trouble From The Start / Debts / Shotgun Wedding / It's Gonna Be Alright

That show was recorded, so we'll get some songs posted ASAP. As for the rest of the week, the New Hampshire trip was fun, I played a fair amount of guitar. My mother was planning to use the song "Seasons" in a slideshow for my grandfather's 80th birthday, but it didn't load properly. Instead she used CSNY. It was weird being away from work and the computer for so long -- I felt like I was missing some serious tour planning. Alas, I came back and we only had one genuine bite, though a big one: a show in Virginia. Still working on that one. Also, I just read an article that says we're playing a benefit show in Western Mass tomorrow... uhh, this guy never called me back to confirm and I didn't sign his contract, so I hope we're not ditching...

I talked to a lot of folks about the van situation while I was there, and I'm feeling more and more inclined to get a trailer and take it behind a car, actually. I haven't gotten the chance to discuss this with the band yet, but it makes sense to save a fair amount of gas. Problem is, who's car would we use? Matt doesn't want to take his minivan, Julie and Mike are looking to sell their car... we'll figure something out soon. I also asked a buddy in the biz if we could reach a monetary agreement for him to loan us his 15-passenger van for a month. Still working on that, too...

Last night at graduation, I felt very silly. I don't like those sorts of ceremonies -- they are so impersonal and I can't help but chuckle when someone can't stay in their seat because they're constantly waving to family. I know, I'm a horrible person. I had a fairly large family contingent there, which was nice, but as I told Tara, I felt bad that they had to sit through such a bore fest (even if they say that graduations are more for the family than for the graduate). I would have felt more proud if they saw Cassavettes perform at a show, or saw something that involved them in that way. Here, I just walked onto a stage with 800 other people, dressed like a weirdo. But I was touched that Mike and Scott not only came, but ASKED to come. And dressed up for the occasion. Not every friend would do that, knowing how boring a graduation can be. See, I told you they were supportive. My feelings about the ceremony aside, it really did mean a lot to have a lot of family and friends there. I love those folks!

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Stupid memory

I've been really concerned about my personal memory lately. It used to be good, but for years I've had a reputation as someone with a bad memory of my own life. Now, not so much. Watching that BostonNOW video, there were too many times when I said, "Oh yeah, I remember saying that." It had been filmed like four hours earlier. That shouldn't happen. It makes me wonder how much I forget... probably a lot. The other day I was reminded by something of the time I had an encounter with Arthur Sulzberger that led to an awkward situation. I tried my hardest to remember WHAT exactly happened. I couldn't. I wonder if people are mad at me because of something I said and forgot, or if people's defining memory of me is a joke or something stupid I said, and subsequently forgot. What is taking up all the space in my brain if I can't remember my own life?

Anyhow, that's just an annoyance. It's bad in a band because we meet new people all the time, and I forget names and faces quickly. Terrible. And it's kind of scary when someone starts talking to you and knows your name, and you wonder if you've ever seen this person before in your life.

Anyhow, last night I did an interview with Inside Connection magazine. The contact came from a guy I met at SXSW while passing out CDs. The other day I was cleaning out my wallet, stumbled upon his card, and thought he might be able to preview the tour (or the NYC date of it). I wrote him, and he said he'd just been thinking about me. Apparently, he had our CD still lying on his desk from SXSW, and was thinking "Are these guys ever going to get in touch?" He considered stowing it away under a pile of other CDs. But serendipity, baby. It's a treat. As I told him last night, "Some unseen force obviously badly wants you to write this article."

His interview was great. Amongst journalists, his questions were more thorough than the standard fair. For one thing, he didn't ask all the usual stuff about how we all go to Boston, why we left Texas, etc, because he read our detailed history on this blog. Mostly we talked about Matt, for some reason. We talked a lot about that first jam session with him, how we overlooked his jamband/metal tendencies, and him calling us "bitches." I explained that we had a feeling Scott would be coming up here and it would potentially be an awkward situation for whomever filled the drums role as the ONLY non-Texan guy. Every press clip would say three Texans and a Bostonian. I felt it could be very isolating for the fourth member, and I was specifically looking for someone who was not only talented on drums, but also self-assured enough to ingratiate himself into the fabric of the band without dwelling on what could potentially single him out and make him feel left out. And although Matt called us "bitches," that was somewhat of a comfort factor for me, in an odd way. He was obviously going to be OK, and we would make him our brother as much as he'd make us his. Plus, he could play.

Of a 30-minute interview, I'd say we talked about Matt for 20. So we'll see how the article comes out when it previews our Oct. 11 show at Kenny's Castaways. Maybe the headline will read, "Cassavettes have man crush on own drummer." It wouldn't be far from the truth.

Anyhow, TT's show tonight. Us, The Sterns, The Luxury, and The Motion Sick. I got a call from Emeen in the Sterns last night, concerned because he'd heard I was upset they accepted two other shows this week (another one tonight that IS a big deal for them and one next week that's free). In a short conversation, I tried to diffuse the situation, explaining that there was nothing we could do now. We got offered both shows, we turned both down because I didn't want to upset TT's or blow out our draw in Boston. My main problem is that the free show this week will feature both The Sterns AND The Motion Sick, half of tonight's PAID bill. It's being heavily advertised in The Dig, because it's a party for that paper. And each band can do what they want, and I won't consider them any less of friends of ours. I just don't want to be held out to dry by TT's now. It's happened before...

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cover boys

So, our friends at BostonNOW tell us we're actually on today's cover. I posted the story last night when it came online, but now I've got to check out that print edition.

Also, on an unrelated note, several months ago (April), we played the WBCN Rumble. A guy named Joe Harrington took photos on his own, and just sent them, saying we could use them as long as he is IDed as the photographer. I don't recall, but apparently I had sideburns to my neck and was growing a beard at the time. Ah, forgotten memories. So, anyhow, here they are... Thanks, Joe!

The BostonNOW video has popped up on a couple blogs. Check out Largehearted Boy and Sooz's blog.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Doing the interview thang

As I said, I was out of it when BostonNOW interviewed me the other day, but John did a good job salvaging the quotes. Here's the article (with video from tonight!):
Staying away from easy labels
Cassavettes concentrates on just sounding good
John Black,

Asked how best to describe the kind of music Cassavettes plays, singer/guitarist Glen Yoder takes a long time to answer. It might be because it's only 10 in the morning, generally not a good time to interview musicians, but Yoder's hesitation seems to stem more from an honest inability to slap a label on the music they make.

"Some reviewers have called us alt country, but I think it's tough to describe what we play because we're still on a learning curve ourselves. There are times I write a song and bring it to the band and by the time we're through with it, it sounds unlike anything I could have imagined. And that's good. It keeps it interesting for us," he said. "Putting a label to it won't help anybody. We were nominated for a Boston Music Award in the Americana category. That's the first time we've ever been called that."

Yoder added that anybody not satisfied with his interpretation of Cassavettes music should come out to see the band play a show. That, he said, is the truest way to hear what they are all about.

"When we go into the studio to record, we always try to play it live. We didn't want it to have that stagnant sound of the studio, but it still gets compressed in the recording process," he said. "Our sound is much fuller when you hear us live."

Here's the video, featuring Matt and I just talking randomly at the Common before getting a couple beers at Cheers. Note: BEFORE beers.

And here's Matt and I jamming with a dude named Scott on some Neil Diamond:

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

That was a-rough

Exact, and complete, transcript of a voicemail received today from Matt: "Man, I think the important thing is we're not completely fucked. There is a ray of hope for this band."

The last word could either be "band" or "van," it's hard to tell because at that point, Matt takes the phone away from his face and hangs up quickly. Either way, it doesn't matter. The two words are rather interchangeable in this scenario. All of the band's hope kind of ride on a van at the moment. Namely, the two legs of this tour we are launching next month, and really riding in October.

Matt was following up on a previous conversation in which he told me that the van, which you'll recall was acquired by Julie for an anniversary gift for Mike last month, needs about $1400 of repairs to pass inspection. Actually, it needs a whole lot more than that, he says, but that's what we absolutely must have to make it through this tour. Or inspection.

Now, I'm not meaning to bitch, because as I previously have said, it's an awesome gift and does give us an option we didn't previously have. But those repairs are nearly three times what the van cost. When repairs cost more than the car's worth, isn't the car totaled? I realize we don't really have another option, and the van may be worth investing in because if it does work, it would provide a solid home-away-from-home. But the band hardly has any money right now, I know the members don't, and what little we do have, we've been saving for this tour (gas, some lodgings, food, paying rent while we're gone, etc.). Mike had initially kindly promised to pay for the repairs within reason because it is legally his car and he wanted to bear the responsibility. This $1400 pricetag, however, obviously is an occasion that would call for an all-hands on deck approach.

Matt has stated several times that he does not expect to make it through the tour without at least one severe breakdown. Yes, that is a risk when you have a van with nearly 250,000 miles on it and that is over 15 years old. You must be prepared. I always get an uneasy feeling when he says that because I'm scrapping for every date I'm booking right now, and I don't want to miss a single one because of something we could have avoided.

So what do we do? Well, here are the options:
-We could take Matt's minivan. It also has recently undergone some operations, it lacks a hitch at present, and we would all be seriously crammed in there.
-We could pay the $1400 to get the necessary fixes to the van to just make it through this tour, hopefully, and on the other side, re-evaluate whether the vehicle is worth making a deeper financial commitment in. This is the most likely option.
-May day plan: We abort the tour, citing serious lack of funds and resources. Perhaps it could be revived later in the year, when we've all saved more.

Either way, Matt is right to some degree. As he eloquently said, "We're not completely fucked." No, things could be worse -- the van could be facing even more repairs, we could have less money, we could lose our back up plan (the other van), or not have a back up plan at all.

There is a ray of hope for this band, because there is a ray of hope for this van. It's just going to cost a pretty penny.


Out of it

Yikes, man. I just did a brief phone interview with BostonNOW for an article promoting our show on Friday, and I was totally delirious (having just woken up 10 minutes prior and not really speaking yet). At one point the writer actually said that if I wanted to jump off and grab a cup of coffee that it sounded like I needed one. But nah, man, I don't drink coffee, let's just continue with an interview in which I'm talking nonsense. That's how it went. I think the article is out Friday, we'll see how it turns out. I wonder if he'll make note of the long pauses and lots of "uhh, what was I saying?" Ah, maybe he's used to it. Rocker lifestyle. Thursday I'm doing an interview with a NYC magazine to promote our tour. The interview is in the evening, though, so I should make a lot more sense.

Good practices the last couple nights. We're practicing again tonight, too. We've been working on a new song that jams out a bit -- it's currently our second longest song, clocking in around seven minutes. I would doubt it's going to be played at TT's.

I'll be away next week in New Hampshire on a family trip, but the work has piled up before I go. This is not what I thought my first week out of school would be like. Work days of 40 hours and three stories to write, including a bunch of interviews. One story, assigned last night, is due tomorrow at noon. Say what?

Well, I could use the money. We need to start saving for that tour. Big time.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

It's over

Well, I have finished college. Technically, I could still have to write one additional paper, depending on what my professor says. We'll see. But the classes, my time at Northeastern University, my degrees in journalism and history -- everything else is over. It doesn't feel real exactly, as I was told it wouldn't. It kind of feels like I'm going on co-op again, or actually, right now it just feels like the end of every week. Maybe it will set in soon. They increased my hours at work, so at least I won't be totally procrastinating. I do look forward to being able to write more, though.

Although I'm not one for ceremony, I do consider this graduation to be an accomplishment, I suppose. No matter how much I loved the band, I consistently said that I would finish school first. I owed it to myself and to my family to finish. Last year, when the band won a Phoenix poll that was widely interpreted as being a bigger deal than it was in reality, a co-worker encouraged me (much to the dismay of other co-workers who preached a more stable lifestyle) to quit school and hit the road. "Ride the wave," he said, "You can always go back to school. But you can't always catch another wave." I nodded. I respect this man's opinion more than most -- he is a veteran journalist, a great writer and a good friend. But two things prevented me from throwing down everything and following this advice: a) At the time, I knew the band wasn't ready yet at a playing level or a popularity level, hence there wasn't a "wave" and b) I had made the commitment to finish school.

Since the very first time Mike and I discussed the possibility of starting a band, I knew I had to finish first. I was already too deep into school financially and credits-wise. I didn't want to leave it hanging unless there was an offer we couldn't refuse. Even then, it would have been debatable. And of course, that offer never came, even if smaller ones did.

But it's also a testament to the rest of the band for waiting. Most bands, I feel, in a positions like ours of perpetually rising would eventually grow impatient. They want to hit the road. See what kind of damage they can do. To ask three other guys to hold off for over two years was somewhat selfish of me, but the other guys also know it had to be done. They have been enormously supportive, even if at times it's obvious they wanted to take this farther than my situation allowed. And Matt himself finished school last year, and then altruistically stuck around Boston rather than getting the hell out like most Berklee kids. And since he's graduated, I've also done my best to be flexible for the band. I opted not to run for editor of my college newspaper, despite years spent establishing myself as the next in line, when the opportunity presented itself. I skipped classes only once, and rightfully so, to head to SXSW in March -- it was time well-spent, plus I did several school and work projects about it. I did my very best to balance school, work, and music, even if it almost drove me to the point of madness once in awhile.

Either way, the hard part is over. But rather than make life clear, graduation has made everything opaque. It's strange to look into the future and really have no idea where I'll be or what I'll be doing. All I know is that I've committed to this band just as much as I committed to school, and I plan to finish this, too. Whenever that is.

Love, Glenn

P.S. Things are getting interesting with the tour. We just booked a THIRD Tennessee date, thanks to Girls Guns & Glory. This means that we may skip Baltimore and play DC, then Virginia Beach, then North Carolina (Chapel Hill area?), etc. Things are getting crazy. Also, we're getting some help on our hopeful en route tour to MPMF in Cincinnati next month. Hopefully I'll get 1-3 dates locked down. I realize that even if we don't get a date in Buffalo itself, we're passing through it on the way, so we can probably stop off at my aunt and uncle's house to rest up (it's a long drive). Plus, as expected, look who else just joined the festival. The getting's good.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Weird times

Strange night thus far. Tara is shaken up after a serious incident with a cab driver (she is OK now), but it's really got me scared. I'm not sleeping because of some concern I have right now. To add to that, it is my final night of being a college student ever. Tomorrow I pass in a paper -- my last. Well, until grad school. But depending on this band, we'll see if and when I go to grad school. Journalists often don't anyway, there's no real need.

I've been wondering what it will be like to finally be freed of the shackles of school. To work part time, freelance, and have time to focus on music. How much more will I accomplish for the band if I can devote that much more time to managerial stuff? Probably a good bit. But I don't know what it feels like yet. Right now, I'm hanging in space, in purgatory, we'll say, for the sake of comedy. Just floating, not bad, not good. I can tell you one thing, I bet I'll be blogging more often!

Anyhow, in between writing these final papers this week, I've hit the tour booking lines harder than ever before. My conversation last Friday with a very helpful professional, who will go unnamed, has yielded some results -- The Corner in Knoxville, TN and good leads in Chicago and possibly Lexington, KY. Another source who is actually helping me do the booking itself has been extraordinarily helpful in the region of Baltimore/DC/Virginia. So far, he's landed us a gig in DC (headlining no less) and is close to one in Baltimore. I'll probably get the Virginia show myself, as I'd really love to play Virginia Beach. Not just because my parents live there, but also because that will be the midpoint of the tour and we're really going to need a good place to stop off and shower, rest, etc. Plus, my parents live there! Did I mention that?

Anyhow, this is how it looks and where I want to go now, revised from last week. Asterisks mean it is booked.
10/7 boston*
8 providence
9 philly/NJ
10 philly/NJ
11 NYC*
12 conn (hampden or somewhere)
13 hull*
14 DC*
15 baltimore
16 virginia beach
17 asheville
18 knoxville*
19 nashville*
20 lexington/indianapolis/st louis
21 chicago/st louis
22 milwaukee/chicago
23 ann arbor
24 cleveland
25 pittsburgh/buffalo/fredonia
26 worcester/northampton
27 rochester, NH*

A lot of these clubs are not OK with two out-of-towners on the bill, so we may have to split up with our tour buddies Girls Guns & Glory at a couple points of the tour and re-convene later. It's a bummer, but that's the only logistical way this can be accomplished, I think. Either way, I've been able to get them on all of the shows we've booked so far except Nashville (but they have an offer in Delaware that day, so we're cool). Speaking of Nashville, we'll be playing there with Jabe, our old buddy and producer of "It's Gonna Change." He defected from Boston for Nashvegas earlier this year, and has warned us that the club is the size of Toad in Cambridge (i.e. tiny). But the club put us on without Jabe knowing, so they must be cool with it! Anyhow, I should wrap up the dates from 10/14-19 soon. I just need to book Baltimore, Virginia, and Asheville, NC. Then, we'll be rolling and I can start on the last week of the tour more (I've laid the tracks). Girls Guns & Glory are doing a lot of the booking for the first week, I believe, and some for the final week.

I'm trying to keep drive times under four hours normally, but some must be six or so hours. The real tough spot is the last few days of the tour, where we have to put a buffer date on 10/26 to ensure we don't drive like nine to eleven hours from Ohio or Pittsburgh to New Hampshire. It's also important that we go places where we at least know a couple people, both to have a semblance of an audience and to have a possible place to crash.

Also, we unfortunately had to turn down an offer to play an all-cover Halloween show. We'll be out on this tour and won't be able to work on our set, especially if it requires being a tribute of another band (we were thinking Queen or Bowie, neither is an easy task).

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

They're getting closer every time

Last night's show at Milly's Tavern was a glimpse into the future, presumably. A meager crowd, a foreign place, but a lot of good times. That's what I'm thinking this tour is going to be like. Hey, that's what we should expect. After last night's set list with Max G & The Spots, I'll tell you why...
SET LIST: She's A Bright Light / Six Hours / You'll Be Crying Soon / Golden Fleece / It's Gonna Take Time / St. Anthony / Trouble From the Start / Lightning In A Bottle / On The Lam / Shotgun Wedding / Loose Lips / Devil's Arms / Shine A Light

So, the tour is on track, somewhat. That doesn't mean I have more dates to add necessarily, but the foundation is there. A lot of people have chipped in with advice and routes, and it's all sort of coming together. Here's what I wrote in an email yesterday, and where it's headed. Note that the middle of the month could be thrown depending on whether CMJ or a festival in Delaware comes through...

oct 7- boston (CONFIRMED -- harper's w/ earlimart)
oct 8-10 - at this point we're going to stay nearby, hitting philly (almost done), providence (probably jake's), and probably the space in hamden, conn.
oct 11 - NYC (CONFIRMED -- kenny's castaways)
oct 12 - we may do providence on this date if not earlier in the week
oct 13 - hull, mass (we're coming back to do a special show with andy wallace)
oct 14 - DC (we got an offer, but we're looking for another one, justin's on this)
oct 15 - baltimore (we have a few good leads, but nothing definite)
oct 16- virginia beach (i have family here and have tried to land a show, unsuccessfully so far, we've been told to go to atlanta instead)
oct 17- NC (we have leads in asheville and raleigh, martin is helping a lot in this region)
oct 18-19 - tennessee (we have friends here and have sought a show, to no avail in nashville, memphis, and murfreesboro -- good lead in knoxville)
oct 20 - lexington (we know a booker here who is helping us out, but he hasnt set anything up yet)
oct 21- indiana (most likely, havent tried anything here yet)
oct 22- chicago (we have a friend who says hes close to getting us a show at 1 of 5 places, but we'll see -- maybe a schuba's date?)
oct 23- detroit (havent worked on this yet, though we did send a couple press kits to interested parties in michigan, like the blind pig pub, and we may hit milwaukee instead and push this back)
oct 24- ohio (our tour buddies girls guns & glory say they have something in the works)
oct 25- buffalo (it's not a mandate, but i'd like to play upstate NY, though we may stretch out the ohio dates)
oct 26- vermont (i havent tried to book this yet, but i imagine we can get something going here)
oct 27- rochester, NH (CONFIRMED -- big heads)

Before the tour we've loaded up September with tons of gigs to get in playing shape for the tour. Sept. 1, 5, 7, 8, 11, 21, 22, and 28. That last show is a real special appearance at the Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati, thanks to a good connection, and it's going to be fun. The thing is, it's about a 14-hour drive, so I'd like to play 1-2 shows on both sides of the gig to get us going and break up the drive time. Can we? We'll see. But we could use it to hit the cities I'd like to play but that aren't in our tour plan, or can't be done. Problem is, it's in a month, so most places are booked. But we can try!

The other thing is that we must have the van road-ready in a month. Mike is getting a headlight fixed now, but I think he said that it's going to take two weeks. Then, I believe, he said it needs inspection. Oh man, I hope this works!

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Paint us on a billboard

One of the things that impressed me the most, and made me the proudest, was when our buddies Black Tie Dynasty got their faces plastered on a billboard in downtown Dallas. They got to the BILLBOARD stage. Crazy, man. I can't imagine a picture of me being blown up that big. Anyhow, while it's not the same kind of billboard, the music ranking Billboard has posted an online review of our show from last week! Nice things said about Matt, plus really good pictures of the group -- particularly the one of Mike.

After waiting an hour over the scheduled start time, the opening band finally took the stage – Cassavettes. Although their vocals were sometimes drowned out by the volume of their instruments (which may be skewed by the fact that my ears were about half an inch away from the speakers), this Boston alt-country quartet put on a lively show. There were a couple slower, more country-sounding songs in their set, but most of the music was upbeat with more of a rock edge. The drummer, decked out in a cowboy hat, was one of the most energetic drummers I have ever seen, and two of the guitarists traded lead vocal responsibilities throughout their set. I really liked the band’s sound, and I’ll hopefully be seeing them live again in the near future.

Anyhow, Mike and I went to record some guitars on the demos we've been laying down. I'm pumped up about them. They sound pretty cool right now and will make for a nice sample of the new tunes when they're done. I go back on Monday to wrap my guitar.

Scott is still in Texas so instead of regular band practice, Mike and I jammed on Thursday and probably will do so again tomorrow. I went to the Baseball Tavern last night again, and just in hanging, I inquired about a need for doing sound. I've had some interest in it for awhile now, but didn't know where to start. Considering Martin is a really cool, laid back guy, I figure he'll be a good boss and trainer. So, cool. New job. Not to replace my journalistic tendencies. Or my musical aspirations to be on a billboard.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dream gig, even if there was a snag

I'll tell you, last night's show at The Paradise with Cassavettes opening for Kings of Leon was worth Scott changing his tickets to go home one day later. Thanks so much to the Jones for making that happen, because this night was a big step forward, I believe. Playing a free show for a band far bigger than anyone we've ever played with (they're British tabloid fodder!), I expected a lukewarm crowd. Not the case. They were LOUD -- at points, they rivaled some of our loudest crowds on our biggest nights, which is no offense to past shows because this place was packed with about 750 people (I forget what exact capacity is at the Paradise). Now, I don't want to be catty and pretend I have all the details over why Kings of Leon stormed off stage last night (see the Phoenix's take), because honestly, I don't know that much. But a few people have asked, and so I'll tell you what we saw and what I've heard.

First off, we didn't get much of a sound check, just a brief little thing even though we were told to be at the club by 5 p.m. (for an 8:30 set -- although we didn't care because the sound ruled either way mostly because those guys are awesome at their jobs). Most of this was because Kings of Leon needed a long check. Here's why, from what I can tell: The word coming from their techs was that they had lost a bunch of equipment on a plane in Japan. As a result, the were forced to spend what we were told was $9,500 on new equipment from Guitar Center the day of the show -- guitars and pedals, mostly. Each member of KOL's front line uses a veritable closet-full of effects and pedals (I got a good look at them up close and on stage), so obviously, they weren't too pumped at sound check that they couldn't get their normal tones. I understand this: A different pedal would make a total different sound, and it would piss anyone off. I asked Caleb, the lead singer, and he told me that they knew their equipment would be back by tomorrow (or I guess, today, August 1), and actually didn't seem as ticked as the rest of them (though this was before they played and the shit hit the fan, no pun intended). Nonetheless, the bass player was late to sound check and once he did show up, they gave him a particularly long check, presumably to make sure he was satisfied with the pedal options he had for the night. So, they left when we did our check (we heard they were headed to Legal Seafoods), and we did a quick check and had to set up our stuff IN FRONT of theirs (we had no problem with this, if nothing else, the Paradise stage is giant). We finished, I went to sell merch, the crowd called for them, and they showed up shortly before they took the stage (maybe 20 minutes after we finished), flanked by a bunch of fans. Their set seemed energetic, the crowd was definitely all about it, but it did seem brief to me (I was in and out). Now, from what I've heard, there were two groups of trouble makers at the front of the stage. One was a group with Irish accents and another was a group of frat-type dudes, who were on each other's shoulders and shouting for certain songs/harassing the band in all the ways bands hate to be harassed. Anyhow, one of the groups (I was told it was the Irish guys) was escorted out, but there was still a lot of animosity on stage. What I've heard from people up close ranges from a) the band was spit at, b) someone threw something, or c) people were just getting on their nerves. Others have said they didn't look like they wanted to be there from the moment they stepped on stage, but hey, I say that might just be the careless rocker look many musicians try so hard to obtain. Anyhow, after having enough, the band apparently threw down their instruments and stormed off stage (one person says Caleb gave the crowd the finger). When the techs began to tune up for an encore, another member of the crew walked on stage and motioned that there would be no encore. The guys headed out back for the after-party. On their way out, people seemed legitimately peeved that some hooligans had cost them a full performance (the words "prima donna" were thrown around a lot). I don't know if Kings were just in a bad mood to begin with and just had enough, but that's what it looked like to me. Either way, as they streamed out, people were very nice to us and gave us the "at least you're nice to fans" thing and signed the mailing list/bought merch, which was cool (hey man, we could use to profit from such a minor disaster in the grand scheme of things, I suppose). But as you'll see below, the night couldn't have gone better for us, anyhow.

Here are some of the many, many highlights for you (and hopefully some pictures will surface soon):

One of the loudest moments of the night was when we first walked on stage. We were asked backstage whether we wanted an intro tune or announcement, before we were shuttled quickly on stage. Now, my guess is that most of the audience didn't know there was an opener. Therefore, they thought we were Kings of Leon for about 15 seconds. This led to some uproarious applause -- luckily, that carried almost throughout the night. I quickly let them know who we were, trying to take advantage of the big applause.

This crowd was cool, real cool. They were just excited to be there -- free tickets, feeling good from the Garnett and Gagne trades earlier in the day. Everyone was excited. We were, too. There were some really positive vibes going, and a whole lot of Miller Lite (show sponsors) was consumed.

Kings of Leon's assembly crew helped us break down after our set, also a luxury I've never had. We had been talking to their drum tech earlier in the night -- he's a really cool dude -- but the rockers were aloof, and possibly understandably so.

Winner of most awesome crazy act of Cassadevotion last night: A few weeks ago at the 7/7 show, a British couple came to see us and apparently loved it. They talked to Scott about it, and since then I've heard tale of how cool they are. Well, get this... Because they didn't win tickets to last night's show on FNX, they paid $100 to buy tickets on Craigslist! And they don't even care much for Kings of Leon! That is the most -- by far -- anyone has ever paid to see Cassavettes. So, we were chatting after the show and they were telling me how big we'd be, how the Brits will love us, how they think we have to be the best local band they've seen, all this cool stuff that you never really expect to hear. So, they are emailing me a list of where to play in England, should be get our passports, and I told them they are guest-listed for any future show they want to attend. Unbelievable.

A small example of how sweet this night really was for us. On the whole, I think everyone had fun. It had a couple tense moments, but all in all, I think most of the audience seemed to have legitimately enjoyed it. After all, it was free.

SET LIST: Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This / You'll Be Crying Soon / Golden Fleece / Trouble From The Start / On the Lam / Shotgun Wedding / Debts / Shine A Light

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