Monday, November 10, 2008


Three shows, three nights. This is what it's about. The biggest show, of course, was Saturday night's show with The Toadies at the Paradise. But let us not forget Brooklyn on Friday night, when we played a subdued, yet fun show, even if it was the complete opposite of the night that followed or even Thursday night's funfest with Jesse Malin. We'll work into the Toadies show; let's start with NYC.

You never know what to expect in NYC. Prior to the show, Matt and I discussed how much we like the venue -- Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn -- after the last time we played there, and how we'd like to make it a regular thing to go there. Afterward, the mood was quite different. The show is free, which we like, but we don't make anything except for merch sales, which is painful after the drive down. Also, the place is cramped and encourages folks to sit, which is never a good thing for our shows. While we will be playing the much larger Bowery Ballroom next month, it feels worlds away from where we were Friday night. We went on at 10 p.m., or were supposed to, but the band ahead of us started late, and ended later. By the time we started, it was 10:35 or so. At 11:05, the band following us rushed the stage to tell us we had gone overtime. We did one more song and cleared off quickly, though they apparently still took a couple jabs at us from the stage. Eh, whatever. That's an unorganized night of music for you. At least we got to hang on Pete's awesome patio with friends, get some photos taken, and drink some Brooklyn beer. What more can you ask for?
SET LIST (to the best of my recollection): Madeline / Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This / There's a Reason / Cedar / Shotgun Wedding / Shine a Light

The funny thing about this Toadies show was that, at first, most of the reaction I got following the set wasn't a critique of our playing; it was people asking HOW we got the gig. A back-handed compliment, as Mike put it. Oddly enough, I recently explained that in this very blog. But most people were very positive about the set, including, but not limited to, my favorite Paradise security guy who told me that bills don't get better than Cassavettes/People on Planes/Toadies. I thanked him heartily. We tried to keep the set upbeat, but it marked one of our worst-ever nights for crowd interaction. We could get nothing going. But I'd rather have that than poor playing, and our playing was strong on this night. No major mistakes, save a missed beat at the end of "Don't Get Me Wrong," and plenty of good vibes coming back at us from the audience. It wasn't like the Kings of Leon show we played there last year, where the crowd was into it from the start -- more so, this was a challenge. The audience needed to be won over a bit more. And, judging from the merch sales, email list, and people talking to us, I'd say we did our job. The Toadies, by the way, were absolutely splendid and had a great crew with them. It really was like living out a childhood fantasy of playing with our idols. Plus, thanks to our passes, we got some of the best seats (well, standing room) in the house -- to the side of the stage. What a night!

SET LIST: Don't Get Me Wrong / Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This / Madeline / Nothing On You / On the Lam / Lights On / Cedar / Shotgun Wedding / Shine a Light

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