They are so friendly.State Radio are just a killer bunch of guys.
I’m sorry- let me start at the beginning. Mike got in Wednesday. Seeing him back in town- it’s not just like him coming home; it’s like all of us getting home again. Brian Humphrey, our producer came in for the show on Friday- we found him ’cause he produced some of State Radio’s tracks in their first record. He’s an amzing guy, but I’ll write a separate post about this weekend and the 20 hours of rehearsals we had. Seriously.
Thursday we had practice with all 10 of us for the first time. Me, Matt, Jesse, Mike like usual- but we flipped Larry onto bass just for this show, and we had Jeff Brown holdin’ it down on accordion for us. But the horn section is where it’s really at. Amanda made it happen. She is so effing sweet. She got us Brian, our trumpet player, and Jeff V (little Jeff- he’s like 6’6″) on tenor sax. I helped get Matt Prest of Canasta in the room too. So we had a 4 piece horn section. I was living the dream. Brian plays in Doppler Shift and Jeff V. plays in Kemman. They all know it each other- it’s a very six degrees of Kevin Bacon Situation. We call them & the Hired Guns. So that makes us Cobalt & the Hired Guns & the Hired Guns. We’re finally living up to our name.
So. 10 people in a room. And it sounded pretty good. It was really cool having them come in and bring this new energy.
So Friday we loaded up early and showed up- it was kinda hectic. But Crystal greeted us again- she’s got pink hair. They helped us load in. It was cool- I remembered a few of them from last time- and some of them remembered me (or at least acted like they did). Cash is particularly friendly. But I think he and I bonded quickly, ’cause he’s the only other person I know (besides Mike) who plays through my amp.
Rachelle, the production manager informed us our set had been moved up 15 minutes and we would now be going on at 6:45 instead of 7. That was a bummer, but it was just one of those things that happened. The band was contracted…but they probably didn’t realize there was a hard stop at 10pm, and their sets were long. She’s business, but she’s good at it, and I respect that. Sometimes I have to be a stage manager too, It’s a tough gig. Our vip list was too long too- we got it all worked out though- had to buy a few extra tickets, but that’s what we do. It sucks though ’cause a bunch of the folks that were coming to review the show missed some of our set. I guess we’ll have to play more shows.
[ugh. i just deleted a bunch i’d written. sorry. here’s a pic of us rocking out instead] ======>>
Big D and the Kids Table were really cool folks- they offered to share gear with us, which is very generous of them, and rarely done. There were a LOT of people backstage. I think Big D had 9 people, we had 10, State Radio is just a trio, but they’ve got a tour manager too. So I think it was about 25, all told.
and then the show:
Cobalt & the Hired Guns climbed the stairs, had the largest huddle ever and took the stage. First I should tell you, the show was all ages. So there were a bunch of teenages pressed across the front, but I saw some 9 year olds in the balcony. Yes, 9. I went up later and checked. Some cool little 9 year olds, I tell ya. They started screaming just as we walked out. I love playing all ages shows. The kids are just excited to BE there. To be part of what’s happening. Their energy and enthusiasm is contagious.
The band was really tight. As tight as we’ve ever been. We only had a half hour so we made that set as concentrated as we could. It’s like drinking the Hershey’s Syrup without the milk, or Cranberry Juice Cocktail Concentrate (yes, I’ve done both of those things, thank you for asking) without dilluting it with water. It was worth it. The set, for those of you that know our song titles went like this: Rome, Of Summer, You Left Your Sweater…, Lazarus, Myspace (Like You LIke me Like Me), Wreckage, Uptown. and out. about 28 minutes all told.
The horn section became the kazoo section on You Left Your Sweater… that was a special treat. Oh and Joe Shanahan was there! He’s owned and operated the Metro for 25 years. He’s a legend in the scene and a straight forward guy. He told me his friend’s 9 year old daughter said “Cobalt & the Hired Guns was her favorite band in the world”. I need to meet this 9 year old and buy her an Italian soda or something.
So I stayed sober this time. Good call on my part. Passing out in the Metro’s dressing room is something you can do once, but that’s enough. Plus, you know, little kids running around.
Jesse pulled off a pretty epic stage dive during State Radio’s set.
Here’s the link to that: http://bit.ly/aQVNLK
Good gracious those guys are so nice. They’re friendly and outgoing- Chad complimented all of us on our set and gave us a shoutout from the stage….And we’re playing with them again TONIGHT! Down here in North Carolina as I write this, getting ready for our show at Cat’s Cradle in Carboro. We visited WKNC yesterday and had an interview with Justin. We got pretty goofy. SO GET UP AND GO ONLINE AND GET YOUR TICKETS AND COME ROCK OUT WITH US! Let’s do this again!
There was also a pretty sweet after party that involved the following things: deep dish chicago pizza @ 3am, alcohol, friends who’d never been to the rehearsal space before, the forming of a street team, and my dad.
Oh also PS- a good friend of the band is on American Idol- Crystal Bowersox. She’s a sweetheart and one hell of a singer, so if it’s what you do, vote for her. Her originals are even better than the cover’s she’s doing, but she’ll do those again when she’s not on FOX or whatever. But vote for Crystal, she rules.