Saturday, October 13, 2007

Day 2 & 3: Unfamiliar and familiar

Scituate, Mass. - These last couple days have been an interesting test of the tour waters. For one thing, we finally did what I've always wondered about, staying at the home of a person we randomly met at a show. Then, we came back to our home state and the temptation to head to our familiar beds, which we resist for the sake of the touring experience. Thus, I write you now from the home of Bruce Bagley IV and the lovely Jan, hanging around late into the night until we head to Washington, DC, or what I consider the "true" beginning of the tour (as in, the part we can't normally do on a weekend). But let's recap a bit.

When last we spoke, we were at Lauren's apartment in Queens, NY, getting ready to head to our show at The Oasis in New London, Ct. I wasn't particularly thrilled about the New London thing -- not sure why. I didn't know anything about the town or who we were playing with. Maybe it just felt too close to home (which is actually a benefit because we can go back to play there again, but hey, the emotion wasn't the most logical). Heading up, we hit terrible traffic, stretching what was supposed to be one of this tour's shortest drives (around two hours) into about five hours of agony. Luckily, we watched Dumb & Dumber and tried to kill some time. Anyhow, when we finally got to New London, it was surprisingly chilly outside and we needed to bundle up. New London is a port town, filled with sailors in full garb on the street and a beautiful river walk. We grabbed some burgers, met up with the GGG guys (who were down to a three piece for the evening), and got ready for the show.

Now, despite what the owner's girlfriend told us of the club, we didn't have high hopes for a big draw. For one thing, we don't know anyone there. Well, she assured us, we were wrong. And we were. After waiting around to start the gig, with time ticking by, the crowd was ample by the time GGG hit the stage. Mike even joined them onstage for a couple songs, filling out the vacated lead guitar role. When we went up there, I was weirded out by the two-level stage, which positioned me two feet above the rest of the band, and maybe six feet above the audience. But to the crowd's credit, they were into it. One particularly crazy dancer named Pat jumped up onstage a few times, and after being egged on, said he would FLIP off the stage. I wasn't too sure, so I put it to the crowd: "If this guy flips off the stage, who here will catch him?" A large number of hands went up. So in the next song, "You'll Be Crying Soon," he leapt onstage, pushed aside my microphone, and sure enough, flipped off the stage. And a crowd of people caught him. First time ever. Anyhow, the night turned out great. People were too kind, the club wants us back, we made a decent pay and sold some merch. All in all, it was the best we could ask for in New London. We'll be back for sure.

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

After the show, we were supposed to head to Matt's old friend's house, which was an hour out of the way. However, some rowdy coast guard guys told us they wanted to hang, and I asked if they could put us up. Sure enough, they did. It was a great house in Groton, Ct., where we stayed up late, having a few beers (Matt drank a martini which was nearly 100 percent vodka and raw egg), eating homemade chicken noodle soup, and talking. These guys were gracious hosts, but this party just wouldn't stop. I loved it. I fell asleep around 5 a.m. while everyone was watching "Spinal Tap."

After an early wakeup call (the guys had a cable guy coming by), we caught some extra sleep and then headed to Massachusetts again for a show in Hull at a place called The Red Parrot. We couldn't thank our hosts enough. I'm always wondering if people act cool at the club and then take bands home and turn out to be weirdos. These guys weren't that, though, they were just AWESOME people. We shall hang again. Anyhow, we grabbed a LONG lunch after fixing some tire problems, and headed for Hull. I've never been to Hull either, a beautiful beach town with this cool, giant club. The show was cool, I feel like we played fairly well until some technical problems hit late in the show. The opening band was called First Friday, a band of former Notre Dame friends who once signed to Sun Records. They did an awesome set of classics. The place had a wedding party vibe to it, which was OK. It still overlooked the ocean and all, but GGG had to bring all the PA equipment. When we got on around 11, we cut the set down to make sure GGG got the time they definitely deserved. They pulled out all the stops tonight, with the full lineup reunited. But in our set, the bass started cutting out during "Loose Lips" and continued until an equipment meltdown in "Shine A Light." Scott's bass stopped working, then my guitar, then the keyboard. I blame faulty electricity. Either way, the song stretched on without bass, and when everything I played some working, there was absolutely no bottom to it. I tried to communicate to Matt that the song needed to end, and I thought he shook his head no (this led to a fight, which was my fault). Either way, it seemed like an eternity, but finally the show did end, and surprisingly there were some very kind people with nice things to say. That eased my concern a bit. Hey, there wasn't anything we could do, and besides, the show ruled.

SET LIST: Valley of Gold / Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This / You'll Be Crying Soon / On The Lam / Shotgun Wedding / Loose Lips / Shine A Light

The tough thing about this show was that it was close to home. TD came to the show, as did Julie (surprise visit), and it makes it that much harder to do the goodbye thing again (we just did three days ago). Either way, it was awesome to see Tara, and an inspiring kind of show. A rare treat, but still tough stuff. Que sera sera. At this point, we just hit the road and keep looking forward. It's going to be good.

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