Wednesday, Jun 11th, 2014 and they're off…hello meow meow tour. we aren't even done with our first week of shows and we have already met tons of cool folks and played with some great bands. a big shout out goes to stabby unicorns for being so nice to us in reno. ampersand was a cool little spot in down town reno and we had a great time playing for a very appreciative crowd. after the show we crashed at daisy and eric's place from stabby unicorn and nearly welcomed up the sun sitting on their patio telling stories and talking about music. we got a wake up call from their fun loving labs, who definitely had plenty of energy as they tore around the living room. fortunately they weren't too early of risers and we got a pretty good night's rest on perhaps one of america's top ten most comfortable couches. nice and cushy.
from reno it was a drive through the hot hot sun to vegas. the landscape is pretty cool out there, but a bit desolate. if it weren't for all the strange military complexes and billboards for area 51 slash ufo sites it could be a pretty boring drive. there were several speed traps in those little towns, and we saw plenty of people pulled over by the fuzz, but we managed to avoid johnny law and pulled into a bumping' las vegas. after driving through the traffic we made our way to the double down and planted out front to meet the other bands. we hooked up with no cigar from montana, who we are playing several shows with, and they definitely didn't disappoint at the double down. since we pulled out of town in such a rush i worked on finishing up the curtains for the van while it got dark. our friends from southern california the blank expressions showed up and we had a great time hanging out with them and catching up since we saw them last a couple of years ago down in vegas. rita delivered an inspiring performance breaking tables and chairs, spilling drinks, and crawling all over the bar while not missing a beat with the vocals and groove. a masters class on how to be a front person for a band. props to andre, johnny, izzy, and dogface for keeping up with rita's energy. we always enjoy a blank expressions set and once again they did not disappoint.
but the best of the night was really the last set that never really was by the eyesores. sean and i were taken back to our days playing with the nox lords at the blue moon. after taking a half hour to set up and get in costume, metalhead and the rest of the band proceeded to tune for 15 minutes with many arguments on stage between the various band members about who was more out of tune. we honestly thought it was a gag, and after the bartender yelled at them to play something, they finally went into a one minute tune that was either called moose head or computer cow. after that they went back to tuning for another 20 minutes at least. i completely thought we were getting punked, but the doorman and bartender wanted nothing to do with it and pulled the plug on their hour long set that included about 60 seconds of playing, 15 minutes of arguing on stage and another 45 minutes of tuning. it was the first time we have ever seen the staff openly hazing a band and yelling at them that they suck. we thought it was all in fun and people should chill. we were even chanting 'let them play, let them play'. the eye sores weren't too happy about being cut off during their set and a few tables and chairs were tossed about until the lead singer, metal head, got the boot from the staff and was escorted out and off the premises. i talked to the guitar player, bobby rocker, after the show and asked how long it usually takes for the place to cut them off. he said this was the first time it had ever happened and that they weren't really trying to mess with people. i was a bit shocked, as i couldn't believe anybody could really be that bad without trying to, but it turns out there is a reason why musicians have tuning pedals on the floor. i'm sure alcohol had a bit to do with it also, but it definitely was memorable.
this time we saw the sunrise on the next day after some late night grub and people watching at the hard rock casino across the street. we found a hotel on the outskirts of town to crash at for a few hours sleep and showers before we made our way to grand junction colorado for a house party. the house party turned out super cool, and lloyd and tyler were great hosts. everyone was super cool and a ton of great music was played down in the basement. we totally enjoyed billy's set, allison may's set, and especially deer people, who were in town all the way from okc. very good stuff and great crowd. we wrapped things up for the night and had a ton of fun playing for all the hard core music lovers that were there. we definitely are going to keep an eye on all the musicians we met and plan on getting back to grand junction again. after all these years, this was really our very first official house show and really hit the nail on the head with why we like to get out on the road and play for folks. what a great circle of people and a cool little set up they have for bands that are touring through colorado's western slope. lots of fun and good times. sean was even cracking eggs and handing out the life lessons to his 20 year younger version of himself (tyler), who lived there. a lot of ribbing and joking all night, and by the end it seemed like we had all been good friends for a long time. we finally crashed on some recliners in the living room after everyone passed out, and up with the sun for some breakfast and out the door to denver.
we hooked back up with no cigar in denver again for a secret late night show at bar bar with our friend marty behind the bar, who showed up with an estocar tShirt on (hello) and was ready to pour shots down our throats from the start. i held off because i remember the elevation gain messing with me a bit the last time we played in denver, and sure enough i was sucking wind just a song or two into our set. the band that played before us told the crowd at least 10 times they were from LA and were a touring band and this was their thing. okay we get it your from LA :) though we couldn't quite believe it since they had zero touring band etiquette. unbelievable enough they went on a beer run after their set instead of breaking their gear down, so we got to stand around and wait for about 40 minutes for them to break down their gear and get off the stage. the band members, who went on the beer run finally returned, but instead of loading off they proceeded to try and fix their PA speakers for 15 minutes. on stage. frickin' rookies. we should have called bullshit on them, but always try to be friendly to the other bands, so didn't really say much. in that vein we won't mention the name of their band, but we have them filed away in the flaky, clueless, douche baggery, and over inflated sense of self worth bin. they stuck around for about 5 seconds of our set and i felt pretty good that we don't do that kind of bullshit to bands. we get on and off and always listen to the other groups sets, cause meeting the other bands and hearing their thing is one of the best parts of touring. it is always a little surprising seeing the opposite attitude, especially when we are all truly underground musicians. but, there are always a few bands we meet that think they are stars and should be treated as such. good luck with that i say.
we went on a bit after midnight and played an extremely abbreviated set so no cigar could go on before the place closed. no cigar played through our gear to speed things up, and they sounded even better than they did in vegas. great energy and delivery. we'll get one more chance to play with them in a couple weeks in their back yard in montana. looking forward to it. renfro set us up with shots and beers for going all out with our set and energy even after standing around for most of the night waiting. all in all the night was fun and as always we met some cool folks.
the next night at the lion's lair was cool, and quite the opposite schedule wise. we showed up at 9pm and the first band was just finishing sound check and starting up as we loaded in. both of the local bands (black fysh and wind and sails) were super cool, and ace the sound guy, dean the door person and corin the bartender were very friendly and welcoming. we got to go second and played a fun set. wind and sail put on a good set after us, and we proceeded to make friends with a couple groups of different folks who just happened to slide by to check us out on a whim. thanks to stephanie, bryan, joshua, and jessica for supporting and helping us have a memorable time. we learned a fair amount of new jokes, and sean spun a bunch of great tunes on the lion's lair's formidable juke box. leonard cohen, replacements, inxs, sabbath, violent femmes and manny more. from their it was a walk to go get some late night slice's at benny's down the street. the slices were cheap and big, which is how we like it. not sure it was as good as the noble pie we had in reno (which the venue bought for us), but it was good zah. steve and i tried to rent a couple of the public bikes they have at stations through out denver, but i guess the city doesn't want people taking them out after midnight, so we were shot down. probably for the best, but we were a touch bummed as we had been planning all day to get a couple of those cruisers out before the day was over. next time i guess.
in the van right now listening to some my my my to get fired up for our show in wichita tonight. looking forward to getting back to kirby's and back into the midwest for some shows. until then. lh