Time to sleep the sleep of ages.
So now I'm in Chicago for a couple of days, staying with friends. Next comes the drive back to Phoenix, another 1800 mile extravaganza.
I have a lot of thoughts to share regarding the tour, but they'll have to wait until I've caught up on sleep.
My controller keyboard started malfunctioning about 2/3 of the way into the set, making it necessary to skip "Croupier". I'll have to sort that out when I get home.
So now we're headed back to Chicago, via the 84 East. I have lots of thoughts on the first leg of the tour overall, but some of that will have to wait until I have better Internet access and have caught up on sleep. We're driving to Chicago, then I'm driving back to Phoenix from there. That's a lot of damn driving in the next 4 or 5 days.
How very, very nice to be back in the land of cafe Wi-Fi. Today's weather in Oregon has been perfect, exactly the kind of thing that makes you glad you left home. We're at the venue now, setting up for tonight's show. More to follow later tonight...
This club is what other venues should aspire to be. Every aspect is professional - from the sound system to the stage and staff, it's simply top notch. If I were going to own a venue, this is precisely what I'd want it to be like.
The turnout wasn't bad - especially considering it was a Tuesday night. I had a couple of glitches with the set, but it didn't seem to bother the audience too much... and a number of friends and family tuned out, which is always nice.
Special thanks are due to Rik Nicholson, who videotaped the ARF set and got some really good stuff. I'll post some stills as soon as I have time.
Tomorrow we make our way towards Portland for the show at Sabalas.
The show at Bar Sinister went well, despite a few glitches with the lights (still not sure what happened there). I can't remember ever playing a show in a more exhausted state than last night's, but the turnout was good and the audience seemed receptive to all three bands.
Now, after a much, much -much- needed rest, we're off to San Diego for Brick by Brick tonight.
Another day here in sunny Lake Charles, Louisiana. Word from the transmission shop is that they'll be done with the Mystery Machine today. But we don't know precisely when. If they're done before, say, noon, then we stand a good chance of still making the Los Angeles show. If it's later than noon, the odds of getting to LA in time for load-in begin to diminish. If we're out of Lake Charles later than about 4pm then it's probably a lost cause.
With any luck the next update will come from the road, when we're on our way. But then, luck hasn't exactly been in abundance lately.
Update: Looks like they're almost done with the transmission, meaning that we -should- be able to get on the road by about 1pm (Friday). This leaves enough margin for error (though just barely) that we should be able to play the LA show. Time will tell, but things are at least starting to look up a bit.
Based on preliminary feedback from the mechanic it looks like we're looking at a -very- expensive repair (a new transmission, and a new radiator which apparently was the reason for the transmission going out). So we're confined to Lake Charles for at least a day, possibly two.
The only good news in all this is that the people here have been exceptionally friendly and helpful. While we were waiting for the tow truck, several people stopped to see if we needed help. The folks at the transmission shop were friendly and understanding about our situation. Even the hotel staff have been unusually nice to us.
I'm not really sure what to make of the awful string of events of late. One of my dogs passed away yesterday, and now this. I'm not nearly as upset about the van as I probably would be if it weren't for losing Cheese; that's foremost in my mind and probably will be for the foreseeable future.
"Some days you eat the bear, and some days the bear eats you."
The hotel turned out to be in the middle of a renovation, and didn’t have high-speed Internet running despite the assurances of the night clerk that it was. I often let that sort of thing go (these days a number of truck stops have high-speed Internet, though availability varies a lot depending on where you are in the country), but I’d gotten up early, foregoing a full night’s sleep so that I could catch up on email. So my “unacceptable situation” button got pushed and I negotiated a pretty steep discount on the room when I checked out. I found myself having to convince the hotel manager that simply offering a working phone line was not tantamount to offering high-speed Internet.
One of these days I need to look into cellular modems…
The next show’s in Austin, which is obviously not exactly a stone’s throw from Pittsburgh. So the next few days should be a mostly relaxed schedule of driving. No load-ins, no monitors to worry about, just lots of road. Oh, and lots of toll booths. Have I mentioned my severe, downright militant hatred of toll booths? That’s a topic for another time.
Actually, one thing was definitely sub-par for this show – the sound on stage was truly awful, though that’s never a showstopper unless it’s either way too quiet or way too loud. Instead, it was just badly distorted, which is annoying but isn’t that big of a problem. As CR pointed out, it sounded like “Godzilla’s ass”.
After the show one female member of the audience wanted an ARF baby doll t-shirt and asked Brian if she could have one in return for a peek at her, uh, t-shirt parts. Brian deferred to me, and I politely declined – but the offer was certainly notable as a first. I tried to give her a couple of stickers as a sort of consolation prize instead (hey, it was a creative offer – she deserved something), but she didn’t seem to be too thrilled with that idea. She said something to me, but between her intoxicated state and Godzilla’s ass, it came out as “THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP uhrrrb skklm mnn club brjehemmmmm THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP”. I’m not really sure, but I’m guessing that translated roughly to ,“Good sir, I respectfully disagree with your decision not to trade this fine women’s apparel for a look at my tits.”
The show in Pittsburgh is only about 18 hours from now, and Pittsburgh’s about 10 hours from here if I’m not mistaken. I’ve pretty much been running a sleep deficit since the start of the tour, so the next 24 hours is going to be interesting.
CR and I have a running debate about whether or not GPS is useful or needed for touring. I brought a laptop GPS attachment, which Chris poo-poos as being unnecessary. Now, granted, CR has toured more than I – so he’s a lot more comfortable navigating around the country. But I advocate knowing where you are, so that 1) you don’t waste time searching for the venue, hotel, or whatever, and 2) if you’re low on gas you know exactly which way you need to go, and how far. Yesterday we almost had to put that theory to the test, as we ended up in rural Minnesota with a nearly empty tank. We knew where the nearest town was (from the road signs), but not whether or not it was big enough to have a gas station. CR’s intuition paid off, and we were able to find gas without using the GPS – though to me it was a fairly close call. It doesn’t help that the tour van’s gas gauge is insanely inaccurate – it stays on Full until about 2/3 of the gas is gone, then it abruptly shoots down to 1/4, where it again sticks until you’re almost out. Not exactly conducive to long-haul driving.
Here’s a sign from a hardware store across from the venue in La Crosse. I’m sure we can all relate to this problem:
It’s hard to get “just the right amount” of fog, in part because every club is different in terms of airflow, volume, and so forth. It’s best to have a live human controlling the fog machine but for this show we were trying to keep things simple. So much for that plan… well, all told it wasn’t that bad of a screw up, but kind of embarrassing.
(note the scale of the lightning in this pic, compared to the semis on the road in front of us)
Page: 1 2 3 4
Total Weblog Entries: 64