Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Little Run: On the Road with Little Man

Little Man got out for a little tour run this past week hitting Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago trying out new songs and promoting Orbital Amusement. Here's what all went down.

DAY 1: A van of drummers and me.
My old Little Man drummer Sean Sauder came along for tour help. It's great to have someone to help with driving, moving gear and to sell merch. Happy to have him along. Then there's my current drummer Sean Gilchrist and my bass player Brian Herb who is also an accomplished drummer. Packed up gear and drove to Milwaukee. It wasn't until a couple hours in that I realized that the van conversation was all drums and that I was surrounded by - drummers. I have to say drummers are usually interesting characters. You probably know some crazy folks. They might be drummers. These guys here in the van are great. I love 'em. Thankful to have them help me out and be a part of this band.

It's a beautiful drive across Wisconsin from the Twin Cities in the summer. We made it through just fine with a stop at the good ol' Subway. Swarmed in the parking lot by an entire high school cheerleading squad. I so wanted them to spell out the band's name. L-I-TT-LE...M-A-N! That would have been fun.

We played a place called Club Garibaldi in Milwaukee. Cool spot. Very Minnesota "nordeast" feel. Carved wood, brass and vintage looking stuff about the place. Very nice staff. We really enjoyed hanging out and having dinner outside over at The Palomino.

The Cactus Club is just next door. First night out was slightly rag-tag for me starting off, but then we rolled right into the set real good. Plus I got try out a guitar pedal from ZVEX I brought along straight from their office called the Machine which gave me some inspiration. Big room, meet some real nice people here. The night ended at The Sleep-In. This hotel was really great. Plus we got the big handicap room to pile into. Whiskey party.

DAY 2: Celebrate with The Mel's and the ghost's.
Headache. Perfect place for lunch was Glorioso's. An amazing Italian deli in Milwaukee. You HAVE to go there.

It poured rain at this time. Hop in the van and on the road to Madison. We got to spend the afternoon at Sean's sister-in-law's place not too far from the club. It was really nice to have a place to chill out, sit on the porch, grill and nap. Beautiful day.
Here's me at the cool little shed out in the back yard.
The club was The Frequency. We had played here before not too long ago. Love this place. Great rock & roll club. Staff is awesome. So I'm sitting at the bar with my feet tucked back on the stool rung and I thought someone's foot bumped into mine. No worries. Then it happened again about 2 minutes later and I look back to see who's kicking my foot and NO ONE WAS THERE!!! Here's when I asked the club manager Darwin about paranormal activity. "Oh yeah," he said, "this place used to be a funeral home." He's seen a couple strange things including a little girl. That could have been who was playing with me. He's also heard voices as clear as day in the basement. Pretty neat stuff.

Our friends from back home, The Melismatics where on the bill to celebrate the release of their new album. It sounds great. All of the people in this band are really very cool folks and it's always great to be on a bill with them. They put on one hell of a show. Fun to get in a slot hockey game with bassist Mark in the haunted greenroom basement. 5-3 me. I love those things. Also Garbage guitarist Duke Erikson was in the club and we got to talk a bit about guitar gear. Very cool.

We played a great show here and it was a fun audience. After bar we shared a bottle of Prosecco on our host's deck till the very wee hours. Salute and bouna notte.

DAY 3: My old residence, Chicago!
After a great home-made breakfast we headed to Chicago, Illinois. Sometimes I miss this city and it feels real good to roll in with the band back to the place I lived for about 8 years. Tonight we play at Reggie's Music Joint for their 6th anniversary bash. Real cool to be a part of that. We played with some great bands including The Ghost Wolves out of Austin.This is a fantastic place with a great vibe. Lot's of people here all night. Got to meet up with some great friends. Some old friends even from way back when I lived here, and most of them saw Little Man right at the very beginning of getting the band started in the late 90's. Real strong show hear and I loved every minute of it.

After the show we checked out The Dictators next door for a few songs. Then we loaded out and headed for my good friend Dave's place. You know Dave? He was one of my drummers with Little Man when I lived in Chicago. He plays with Ike Reilly now. We're musical brothers. Our beer run on the way to Dave's took us four tries at the late hour, but we found some. At Dave's apartment we got to listen to new mixes of ours and Ike's. Great to hang out with him, but yes, now I'm hanging out with four drummers. Old Style (hey we're in Chicago!), PBR beers all around and more whiskey.

DAY 4: Travel
Continued party till 4, up at 8. Drove home to the Twin Cities. Construction was hell. It took us an hour to get to the freeway. We couldn't even make it onto the free way before the guys wanted to stop and rest at the Dunkin' Donuts. Construction still on the freeway and tolls on a very hot mid 90's weather with no A/C made for a longer trip back, but boy what a fun time. Great run. TOURRRR!!!!!