NO SLEEP TILL BROOKLYN TOUR 2K9: Vol. 3 Philly/Clementon/DC/Boston/Northhampton

Wow. I’m getting behind. But that’s kind of a good thing. I’m getting pretty busy living it, which is nice.  We’re driving to northampton and I’m writing this on my crackberry.

Wednesday, July 15th in Philladelphia @ Pubb Webb
So where did we leave off? Philladelphia, right? We rolled in early enough to get Ethiopian food with an old friend. And we had long enough for the meal to settle before we had to head to the club. We dropped our stuff off at another friends house and headed to the club.

Pubb Webb is located right next to Temple University- it’s an interesting neighborhood. The venue was up a narrow staircase, which is perfect when you’re hauling 90 pound amps in flight cases. Downstairs there was a DJ spinning hip hop records. We played with Bayshore Drive who were both really good and super friendly. They fit into pop-punk pretty nicely and it was great when they stuck around for our set afterwards.

The stage was pretty tight, and they were short some mics, but the sound guys were really nice and did everything they could for us.

I love it when old friends that you haven’t seen in years roll in with like 5 friends. It’s heartwarming.
(Timeout- we’ve got the windows open on the highway and we just drove through a patch that smelled like barbeque. Ok time in.)

So we finished up and carried everything downstairs and rolled. We dropped jesse off in west philli (we split up that night). Then Mike, Matt and I all went and got late night pizza at ______. We walked there and then went home and crashed. And by home I mean the place we were staying that night.

Thursday, July 16 in Clementon, NJ @ The Cherrywood
I had to wake up early to move the van. That sucked. But I found a nice little outdoor place called the bean cafe on south street. It was a nice way to wake up- some tea, some coffee, and a bagel. Read the free local paper.

We only had to drive to clementon, nj that night so it was like a day off- or at least it wasn’t hectic.
Then Bayshore Drive called us up. The night before we found their guitar and kick pedal and called them to make sure they got it back. So they called to return the favor- they got us booked on a show @ the Fire in Philli for the 24th. So that makes 3 shows in philli this tour. Awesome.

We swung by Repo Records and dropped off a few records for consignment and left some promo stuff for our two remaining shows there. Mikey got a couple pairs of sweet shoes. And a haircut. I got brunch with a friend from highschool before she had to go catch a plane. It was really hot that day.
That’s also when I wrote blog 2.

Clementon wasn’t very far, but I napped on the way there. The bar is called The Cherrywood and it was right next to the fire station, and a Kmart- a strip mall type thing- big parking lot.
But they had a nice sized stage and Pat the sound guy had just finished putting in the front of house console. He also made a sweet wall mounted rack for the instruments.
And the locals CAME OUT. Lots of them. Some to drink, some to dance but it was a pretty good time all around.

Friday, July 17th in DC @ The Velvet Lounge
We woke up early for the drive to DC. Jesse grew up there, so we always stay with his folks. Who we love. And his english cocker spaniel, Willy. Jesse’s folks are awesome. I love staying there. His dad has amazing bikes. And the most amazing collection of records. Also, the entire basement is “Simpsons” themed. The animated TV show, not OJ, not Ashley, not Nikki. He gave me those ridiculous pink sunglasses I keep on insisting on wearing. People try to steal them more often than you’d expect.

But we did laundry and showered- matt napped. Jesse’s folks had ordered barbeque delivered, so that was amazing. I love barbeque so much. It’s not health food but that’s what sit ups are for. And someday I’ll do a few.

We hopped back in the durango and drove the ten minutes to the club. The Velvet Lounge…let me see…how do I say this tactfully? Um, there isn’t velvet anywhere.
It was just super unorganized. They never confirmed the lineup, they listed it differently in different places- the person who advanced us wasn’t around- none of that is really a big deal, it happens all the time, we work through it. Usually without conflict. But none of them were particularly friendly, and the sound guy was late. *(It should be noted that the other bands, however, were very cool. Which mattered a lot.) Which barely matters since there was no sound check or line check for anyone, despite the fact that When he arrived he was rude. His name is Sam. If you play at the Velvet Lounge, make sure he’s not your sound person. To call him that insults all the friendly, nice, professional sound people we’ve worked with on the road. He didn’t have enough equipment and he left thre board during every band’s set. By the time we took the stage, he was drunk. At the end of the night they didn’t honor the deal they had offered us and stiffed us out of a few hundred bucks. That goes a long way for us. So that’s too bad. But you know what? I felt EXULTANT after the show. Let me tell you why.

Are you ready for the good part? ‘Cause this is the good part.
The show was incredible. Turnout was huge. It was basically Jesse’s entire high school class having a reunion. But all of our people came. Larry (our bassist for the school year while Mike goes to grad school) came out and brought all his friends. I had left after we loaded in- walked to a friend’s house a few blocks away, only to find a party organized and mobilized to come to the show, and they basically all came. The front of the stage was packed and overcrowded- and it was probably 90 degrees in there by the time we took the stage. The dancers in front were mesmerizing and inspiring. (You know who you are. Thanks, we owe you.)

It was one of those shows where you play better because of how wild things get. Where nothing, not even all that shitty stuff from earlier, brings you down. It was the show that reminded me just what I love so much about touring.

We finished our set and the crowd started screaming “Encore! Encore!” But we figured we were done. Then they literally started chanting “JESSE! JESSE!” So we turned our amps back on, plugged back in and gave ’em one more song.

I may have ended up at an absinthe bar with certain other members of the band, who shall remain nameless here.

So we may or may not have rocked DC, but they rocked our faces off FOR SURE.

Saturday, July 18th in Boston @ The Middle East

The next morning we woke up early and headed out for Boston. Have you ever driven from DC to Boston? It’s horrible. It’s like 9 hours. But the merrit parkway is really pretty.

We got into Boston later than expected and loaded right in. They were REALLY pro at the Middle East. People came out and danced. There were a few really good surprises in the crowd. Dan, the sound guy, was awesome. We shared a moment. Really hoping we see more of him.

Somewhere along the was I tore my favorite jeans AND my favorite shirt. They’re good tears though. They add character.

The rest of the band stayed in JP, I stayed with some family in Newton. They went to brunch, I watched the Sandlot.

Sunday, July 19th in Northampton, MA @ The Elevens

Short drive up to Northampton to play the Eleven’s. We had friends that missed the Boston show drive up. The crowd dug it, the other bands were solid. The manager of Steven Kellog & the Sixers put us up at her place even though she’s out of town. Amazing.

We caught brunch with Kit of the Sixers. He’s so great. We hit the Green Bean in Northampton. Highly recommend it if you’re in town.

Now we’re driving to philli for our show at Kildare’s. And we’re all caught up. I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks for sharing this moment in my life. If you’ve read all this, you know me better. Over and out.

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