Monday, September 10, 2012

Little Man Mini Tour Log


It’s just a little mini tour. A beautiful day for travel as we packed up and headed for Madison, WI. Saw a bald eagle on the way! Once in town we got set up at the Hilton (great view of the capitol building from our room). The Iron Man Triathlon is happening in town so there’s a lot of people in florescent colored running shoes around.

We headed over to The Frequency to check the club out about two blocks over. Cool place with a lot of character and a great staff. We got a review in The Onion here! Picked up some fish and chips at the Irish pub a block over and then prepared to unload and sound check.

The show was solid. We played about an hour set. I was very happy to see a former guitar student of mine and her boyfriend there who had just moved up to Madison for college. The greenroom was super cool. We played one of those old slot hockey games and a Popeye Nintendo sit-down console. The band we opened, for was from Seattle and we were in such awe with what they were doing. It was jazz. Sax though some awesome effects, guitar, stand-up bass and drums. Very impressive.

Feels good to be out playing. We mention we’re from the Twin Cities and people talk about The Current and bands like The Melismatics. It’s cool to recognize the reach of the TC community on the road and play our part in that too.

A little bit of rain in the air today. We slept in passed the Triathlon. Lot’s of people huffing and puffing about, walking their bikes and such. Grabbed some lunch on the way out of town. Bass player Benji, for this tour, is killing us with his Paul Stanley and Christopher Walkin road directions. Drummer Sean is cuing up interesting info from his iPhone. We listened to David Lee Roth’s vocal track only of Van Halen’s Running With The Devil. Crazy high James Brown style stuff he‘s doing.

Arrived in Dubuque, IA. Beautiful riverside city with some cool bridges. We’re down a notch over at the Days Inn from the Hilton last night but at least we get free wi-fi and a continental breakfast. The club is The Bank and when we arrived I recognized it as it’s old name of The Silver Dollar Cantina which we’ve played before. Super hospitable staff and a complimentary meal.

We got to play two sets (just us on the bill tonight) so we were able to sneak in some acoustic songs here and there. It feels good to settle in with a couple of sets actually, but for me I’m pretty whooped afterward. Met some very nice folks here too that I feel can really help spread the word for us next time. Band party, just the three of us, back at the hotel afterwards. “We have Two Women waiting there for us” we’d say of the Wisconsin beer we picked up of that name. It’s been the inside joke the past two nights. Tomorrow’s last night is in Des Moines.

Today we travel over to the middle of Iowa to Des Moines. We hit the coffee shop in downtown Dubuque on our way out for a quick breakfast and had a better look at the city in the daylight. The weather’s awesome today. This part of Iowa is cool to travel through. Lots of hills and rivers. All farm land. About a 4 hour trek. The Stone’s “Exile On Main Street” and The Faces “Never A Dull Moment” are great albums to listen to driving through these parts.

We arrived at the Quality Inn and grabbed some Vietnamese for dinner. The restaurant was called A Dong, so add in your own jokes. We saw the sign and had to stop. Very good food. Also the architecture is really neat in this city.

The Vaudeville Mews is in a cool part of town. This club has one of the best sounding rooms. Tall ceilings with a balcony. The drums sound huge in here. We were supposed to play the middle slot with 3 bands on the bill, but we get there and now it’s just us and one other band, and of that other band, only two of it’s members were there. I would have loved to have heard the full band because I liked what I heard from them. So we ended up headlining the night and played a longer set.

We played one of our bests shows. A truly fantastic set. We opened things up and jammed quite a bit and enjoyed how the sound was on stage. The room it’s self was inspiring with it’s natural reverb. The turnout though was not so great, so that was a bit disappointing with such a super performance. You can’t let that get to you when you’re playing, especially having it be the last night of the run. We just have a fun time playing so we give it %100 no matter what. The folks that were there appreciate that and were very supportive. We sold some merch too make up for everything.

The next morning we hit the pool for a swim before heading back to the Twin Cities. About halfway there a nasty smell filled the van like burning rubber or plastic and then some smoke stated to come up through the dashboard! Hit the hazards and pull over!! The smoke stopped as we jumped out of the van wondering if we should start pulling the equipment out. We waited a while for everything to cool down. Started it up. Vitals were still all good and we tried to find the problem but couldn’t see anything. We decided to proceed with caution and everything seemed to be fine. Some sort of electrical problem. Getting it to the shop first thing in the morning. Whew!!

And that’s it. Just a few days on the road. At this point it’s hard to come home just starting to get into the groove of everything. You want to just keep going. But these short tours help out in the long run. All in all a real good time hanging out with these guys and spreading the music out beyond Minnesota.

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