Camera2 Tour Journal: Michigan, Indiana, Canada, Maine, and New York (City and State)
Time on the road. Exhilarating and wearying. Exhausting and Stimulating. Nothing that I know of is quite like it.
I have been scanty on updates, which I admit has not surprised me. There is simply so much other stuff going on, and I don’t always have access to a computer, (I’m borrowing this one). Anyway, where did I leave off? After Cincinnati we made it to Grand Rapids and had our first day off. We spent the whole time doing laundry and I realized that a day off on tour is incredibly boring. Andy and I were talking, and we would much prefer to play a show than sit idly doing nothing. How many jobs are like that? Your day is better when you work than when you don’t?
My jacket was still lost at this time and had yet to be shipped back to me, and at one point in the evening while we were walking to a Chinese Buffet for dinner I slipped on a snow bank tumbled into the snow. It was so cold my bare hand was actually scalded by the snow and for the first time in my life I experienced what I now understand to be the danger of snow and cold weather. It is one thing to know that frost bite is bad. It is something completely different to feel it. I was having nightmare visions of being the one handed bass player as I walked into a coat store to buy gloves, and they were sold out. I found it strange and a little absurd that in winter Michigan there would ever be a time when a coat store would be out of gloves. I didn’t find anything useful for fighting off the sub zero temperatures, but I did find a totally rad solid gold jacket which I have been wearing on stage ever since! Yeah!
The next night we played at the Intersection in Grand Rapids and that was a great time. The show was fantastic. When I threw a T-shirt into the audience the damn thing got stuck in the rafters! So much for that. We met some very sweet girls at that show and hung out them at a bar called Stella’s afterwards. One of the girls told me her name so I could find her on facebook but I didn’t know how to spell it and have not been able to track her down! Alas.
The next day we pulled into Indianapolis and played at Deluxe @ The Old National Center. It was my first time in Indianapolis that I can recall and I enjoyed what I saw of the city. The venue was unusual, set in a basement on a small stage in a giant and ornate complex of what looked like ball rooms. At one point before our set I found a very large and totally empty banquet room, closed the door and turned the lights off, and then closed my eyes and cartwheeled and summersaulted around. Later during our set I threw a small temper tantrum and broke the head of my bass by smashing a drum cymbal. Whoops. I didn’t have the use of my high G string for a few shows after that… We caught up with a couple of new friends at that show and it was fun hanging out with them.
In the House of Blues in Cleveland we played a fun set. The Cleveland HOB was a bit smaller than the Chicago one which was a little disappointing because I enjoyed getting lost and confused in Chicago. The show was great though and despite my yearning to “mistake” Cleveland for Cincinnati I was talked out of that idea by my band mates who were concerned that Cleveland was not ready for my brand of humor.
Onward and upward, our next day we made it into CANADA! An agonizing 6am border crossing in which we were filed out the door of our tour bus in the snow and made to wait in the lobby of immigration for about 30 minutes started off the Canada adventure. I have never seen so many people file back into their beds so quickly in my life, and I was right at the front of that line. Our first show was in London Ontario at the London Music Hall and that show as awesome. We met tons of lovely Canadian folks and I cavorted with and was cajoled by a bevy of Canadian ladies suitable for the court of any king. The reasoning part of my brain managed, just barely, to override the more primitive biological part of my brain, and I go back and forth by the moment on whether or not I regret decisions made. Quite a scene they have going up there in Canada.
The next day was in Guelph Ontario at the Guelph Concert Theatre. That rickety old club held up to some rock that night, and there was a further bevy of Canadian loveliness to distract me from my work. Guelph was without a doubt the most difficult, and probably coldest, load in and load out of the tour, and I was definitely happy when the gear was back in the trailer and wouldn’t need to be moved again for a couple of days.
The second of our two Canada shows concluded, we were filed back out at the border, again at 6am, (who is scheduling these border crossings anyway?), before reentering the US. We filed back into bed again, and when we woke up we were at a hotel in Albany for the first of our two days off. The rest of the team wasn’t resting though, they were working on our production rig and lighting. I stood in the hall most of the time and danced, or read, or sat in the hot tub… Oh, and I got my jacket back! The people at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis shipped it to our hotel. A big thank you to them.
The next day off, yesterday, was in Portland Maine. I had never been to Maine and had always wanted to so I was very excited. We ate at an awesome Sushi place and I washed it down with a couple of whiskeys.
This morning, or afternoon rather, when I awoke, we were at the State Theater. I popped into a mom and pop bookshop and picked up a $3 copy of Plato’s dialogues. I actually had that book in my back pocket when we played our show. I girl in the audience yelled out “What’s in your back pocket??” and I answered with a snarky “you’ll never know!” Maybe she will. We had to leave the venue right after our set, much to my disappointment, because we had to shoot down to NYC for our next show, tomorrow night, at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square. I was disappointed to leave the beautiful people in Portland Maine because I like talking to folks and standing around being silly.
The other boys are excited about getting back to NYC and sleeping in their own beds for a night. I would rather be in just about any other city and would rather sleep in my bunk than my own bed. The mobile life is the life for me. I am excited to see my friends at tomorrow’s show though and like any other show I am excited to do my best to rattle the rafters and try to tear the house down.