Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Day 4 & 5: Home away from home

Virginia Beach, Va. - This has been an awesome break. Right now, we're at my parents beach home resting up and it's a world away from what the first few days of the tour were all about.

After we played in Hull, Bruce of GGG put us up for the night. However, foolishly, we hardly slept. We had an early wakeup appointment, about 7 a.m. to hit the road by 8, and we didn't go to sleep until maybe 4:30 or 5. This was not smart. Sunday was a day of major travel, an eight-hour haul from Hull to Washington, DC, and we needed the energy. Either way, I woke up at 7:48 a.m. with a start. No one had woken up. So we scrambled to get the troops together, and when all was said and done, we were on the road by 9. I tried to sleep in the car after I stopped driving, but I just couldn't do it. I hope I can later this week en route from Nashville to Delaware. Anyhow, GGG left long after we did and somehow BEAT US to DC. That's par for the course with these guys. Whatever they accomplish, it's completely unstressed. Like Michael Jordan, they make it look easy.

When we finally arrived in DC at the club called Grog & Tankard, they were closed. Why? I don't know. It was like 7 p.m. The one perk of this was that we could go to a pizza place next door called Kavanaugh's and grab what may be the cheapest dinner of this tour. In hopes of getting a Shiner Bock now that we were in the south, I instead settled for ordering a very filling plate of spaghetti with butter off the children's menu for $3. It ruled. Anyhow, the show finally got going around 9:30 with us on first, GGG on second, and a Houston, Texas band called Western Civilization scheduled for third (please note: THREE out of town no-name groups with no local support = a recipe for disaster). When we realized that absolutely no one was coming to the show, or hopes of Georgetown kids dashing through the door dashed, we decided to basically hold an open practice. We played a couple songs we don't normally play, not particularly well, and then got off. GGG put on a solid set as new guitar wiz Jeff gets used to the new digs. The last band, who was suffering from some violent illnesses, chose to pack it in and leave. I couldn't blame them. This may be the first ever show for NO ONE except someone doing something that night (playing, running sound, bartender). We kind of expected this, though. I take heart in the fact that I think every 3-5 shows, we'll have one really awesome one. New London was it at the beginning of the tour. Cincinnati was it on the last tour. Nashville will most likely be it, and then Delaware. I expect good things. So, just because DC was empty and a near boondoggle, it doesn't get me down. We're doing it, either way. We joked that the third band should have paid the cover since they didn't play and got to see the show. But that was just for gassin'. Needless to say, we didn't get paid for one of the longest drives of the tour. Oh well. As Scott pointed out, this was possibly a new record or record-tying show for us: the fourth night in a row. But a day off kills that record. Tonight, we start working on a new one, which will take us through five shows before a break.



SET LIST: A Hard Rain / Shotgun Wedding / Loose Lips / Lightning In A Bottle / She's A Bright Light / On The Lam / You'll Be Crying Soon / Better Than This

Because we had nowhere to stay in DC and no one to stay with, we decided to take our lumps and drive the three extra hours to Virginia Beach. That way, we could camp out, get a couple good sleeps in, and just hang until our show at The Boot in Norfolk on Tuesday. Leaving DC, we got lost but got decent looks at the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the White House. GGG got lost and ended up at the Pentagon. Finally we got out and on our way. Almost the entire way we drove on narrow two-lane highways that were giving me flashbacks of hitting the deer in upstate NY. We saw a deer severed in half (or "Uni-ed" as Jeff called it) and my tense nerves grew far tenser. I put the brights on, and to my dismay, the roads were lined with feeding families of deer, all looking poised to pounce in front of the van. Eventually, I was looking into the lights so carefully that my eyes began to play tricks on me and I thought deer were everywhere. Somehow, we made it out alive, and so did the deer (except that half deer).




Yesterday, we spent a full day in Virginia Beach. It ruled. I took the car in to get looked at for alignment purposes, and they rotated it for free. Matt and I bought two cases of Shiner for everyone, and we hit the beach. GGG went fishing off the jetty, while Cassavettes wore my father's various swimsuits and went bodysurfing and boogieboarding while playing with the dog in the sand. It was awesome. Although you technically aren't allowed to drink at the beach, no one was is around during the offseason to enforce it. So we had a day at the beach, literally. My mother made us a turkey dinner with potatoes and corn, and Bruce fried up his various catches. Somehow, I was persuaded to eat a fish eyeball. I did it, and it wasn't so bad. It crunched like a nonpareil, and then tasted like salt. That's about it. That night, we walked about three miles to the boardwalk bar Abbey Road to watch the game and grab some drinks. I was tempted by Shiner, but they had a special for 24 oz. Yuengling for $4.50. Can't beat that. While the Sox lost, everyone still seemed pretty excited about hanging. We bought a couple more cases from 7-11 and walked home. When we got here, we decided to take a couple chairs down to the beach and just hang out. That proved to be perhaps my favorite part of this tour so far. It was awesome. Just an awesome time.



Back in the house, everyone was deliriously tired and in some cases, or most, a little zuzzed. Bruce accidentally open my parents' bedroom door and tried to get in bed with my mom. She found it hilarious.

Tonight, we play The Boot in Norfolk and I'm expecting just to play for my parents and a few of their friends, most likely. There isn't a local on board, I don't think, but hey, we'll hav fun anyway. The plan is to sleep here tonight and then head out to Johnson City early tomorrow. Should be good. I'm really looking forward to Tennessee.

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