Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day 10-12: Hours of home

Somerville, Mass. - We broke the tour last night and headed home for a couple reasons. First of all, we were close enough to do this, after playing out in Worcester, and second, because our other options were to drive to Buffalo, NY (the only place remotely close to our gig tonight in Rochester where we can sleep) or find a hotel en route. I was against the hotel idea mostly because we rather frivolously blew $120 on a hotel the previous night when we could have done this exact same thing (though we were foolishly trying not to for the principle of the tour). So, we're home, though I'm not sure what's happening or when we're leaving because when Fritz dropped me off last night I expected to see my van in the driveway and Matt's van (which has been parked here) gone. Instead, I guess Matt took my van elsewhere and was towed. So maybe coming back wasn't a great idea.

In the past couple days, we've played two shows as we headed back up north: Sparta, NJ and Worcester, Mass. Both were entertaining in different ways, so let's cut to the tape.

Before hitting Sparta, we soaked up Philly -- with not one but TWO trips to the world's most famous Philly cheesesteak stand. Ay yi yi. Arteries were clogged. But I got awesome popcorn downtown and we saw those huge game pieces, the huge paperclip, some huge statues, etc. Philadelphia: City of oversized novelty items.

The Sparta show was in a strange little fancy town in NJ near Lake Mohawk. It was quite scenic, to say the least, and the downtown consisted of only Dutch-style houses. Pretty cool. We played a bar called Krogh's, where we were paid $100 in food and drink. The place had nice food -- steaks, seafood, pastas -- so it was a welcome payment. Unfortunately, I was feeling sick and couldn't hardly touch my fettucine alfredo. There weren't many people in the place, either, but a few that were there were really cool, most notably the owner and the sound guy. The owner really liked Bon Jovi and kept asking for covers, which we don't have, and when Bruce was brought up, one bar patron yelled a homesexual epithet about Bon Jovi and Springsteen. Scott ridiculed this person from the stage. Surprisingly, that guy liked us, it turns out. Very odd night. But par for the course in Sparta.

SET LIST: You'll Be Crying Soon / Debts / The Nadir / She's A Bright Light / Research Blvd / Loose Lips / On the Lam / Shotgun Wedding / Valley of Gold / Lightning in a Bottle / It's Gonna Be Alright / Golden Fleece / Trouble From the Start / Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This / Shine A Light

We were given directions to a nearby motel, which really just looked like the sound guy took a pen and scribbled for fun all over the paper. He was trying to illustrate the winding roads, but it just led to confusion. Miraculously, after dodging the forewarned obstacles of deer and animals, we found the place: it looked exactly like the motel from "Vacancy." Matt described it as a murder hotel. To get a better rate, we send in two people at a time, asking for a two-bed room, so Mike and I went knocking. No one was at the desk and a little doorbell was lit up, so we rang it. After about five minutes of no response, I was ready to pack it in. Then, a voice came through the intercom. It was fairly obvious we'd woken this guy up (it was 1:30 a.m.) and he wasn't too pleased. He told us rooms were available and we went inside. Turns out, he didn't have any two beds left, just king size. When Mike and I told him we needed two beds, he gave us a look like, "You two seriously can't share a bed for just one night?" He told us he'd roll a cot into the room and we insinuated that that might make the person on the cot jealous of the person in the king size. Finally, he asked, "How many people are sleeping in the room?" We hesitated and eeked out, "Two." I started doing the "That's OK" thing and backing toward the door, like this guy would lock us in any second. He kept pushing for the sale, I kept backing for the door. I was hoping he would just lock the door behind us after we were gone, because if he came outside he'd seen all of us in the car together. He shut the door and we ran to the van. Right as I buckled up, I looked up to see him standing at the door with his arms crossed, taking in the sight of Scott on his computer in the front seat and Matt in back, proving our lie. He looked pissed, I started laughing, and we high-tailed it out of there. We headed for Massachusetts, and stopped at a hotel in Bristol, Ct., getting thoroughly worked over for cash for a six-hour sleep.

We got into Worcester early in the day, so we headed for the local music shop, Union Music. I got my amp repaired in record time, for a price tag of only $65, and it's working great now. This was the true victory of the day for me. While we were there, the salesman was asking me about the band and the tour and I told him we were playing Tammany Hall that night. "Have you been there?" He nodded and gave me a very strange look. "Is it a good place to play?" He stared at me for a few seconds and then leaned in and said, "It's legendary." Sure enough, the place was great -- a bar more than a hall, but the biggest stage we've played in a while, which is awesome for a group that moves around as much as we do. We played fairly well from what I could tell, though everyone else in BOTH bands (this was one of two reunions with GGG) said the onstage sound sucked. Beyond not hearing vocals, which is par for the course, everything sounded OK to me. I just hope this place has us back, since there was like a very small crowd there and we're close enough to home to not use the tour as an excuse. Either way, we tried to tailor to what this homecoming crowd would want to hear, and I feel we did a good job. Did we sound like the well-oiled machine we hoped to? Who knows. But did we enjoy it? I sure did.

SET LIST: You'll Be Crying Soon / On the Lam / Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This / Golden Fleece / Trouble From the Start / Loose Lips / The Devil's Arms / Valley of Gold / On Our Own / Whitewashed / Shotgun Wedding / Shine a Light

Now, the wait is on. Will we get the car back? When? And will we make it to Rochester in time to play the show tonight? All this and more in the next installment of "The Fickle Mistress."

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Blogger Chris said...

i already drank all the kroghs beer

just kidding

25 October, 2007 13:22  
Anonymous fritz said...

that sucks about the van. hope ya made it out to rochester ok.

the sound at tammany hall did need some improvement. the vocals kept getting feedback and was not loud enough at times. great show though and nice to hear the road stories!

25 October, 2007 19:56  

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