October 19, 2013
We just found a hotel 20 minutes ago maybe. The first place we tried was asking $150... second place just up the road was $115... that's more up our alley.
... oh... and it's 1000X better.
... $150... seriously. We're only going to be here for like 7 hours!
Anyway... today didn't start out great... breakfast at the... I don't even remember where we stayed last night... bottom line... breakfast was pretty weak.
Raisin Bran, Cheerios, toast, english muffins, bagels w/ cream cheese, orange juice, apple juice, tea, coffee. That was everything. I tried to fill up but pretty much everyone ended up at the McDonald's next door... which is pretty good I must say.
Pretty uneventful day... 4-5 hour drive to Burlington, VT. One of the Pop Evil crew mentioned that you have to be careful going there because you can end up on the wrong side of the water and either have to drive several more hours around it, or take a ferry across... in the back of my mind I was constantly wanting to ask if we were on the right side of the water. That's how my brain works.
... all good though... in case you were wondering.
The drive was kinda slow... felt like we drove through countryside for most of it... which isn't too bad to look at but starts to eat away at you when you just want to point Green Machine (van) in one direction and go (interstate). We ended up stuck behind a few cars that just refused to do the speed limit... and because we're on single lane roads, it's almost impossible to pass.
Matt delivered one of the best horn honk moments I've ever been witness to. It must of been over an hour following the same 4 cars, led by a small red SUV. Matt finally reached his limit... and just laid into the horn.
... you could tell he felt better after. I know I would... horn honkin' feels good. It works for all emotions... even sadness... try it... you'll feel better.
Anyway... just going through my pics from today.
... so this was a bit before the country roads but in short... everyone was staring at this couple with a mattress tied to their roof. I couldn't/didn't want to get a better picture... the girl in the passenger seat was visibly embarrassed... but it was the least aerodynamic thing I've ever seen.
If you inverted the Wright Brothers calculations... you'd get this car.
Everyone on the highway was looking... and wondering what they were thinking. Who cares what they were thinking... they'll make it home eventually... they'll probably argue about the trip home then have make up sex on their new bed. They'll be ok.
We arrived in Burlington around 3:30pm. Everyone was starving... gotta just grind through it though. In the back of your mind, at any venue, you're wondering if they'll feed the bands. When you're per diem isn't much, you stretch the money as far as you can... and free meals go a long way. I finally broke and hit the Burger King adjacent to the venue. Fast food is again, mega cheap here. Value menu FTW.
The venue (Higher Ground) was actually really awesome... the set up/layout was great for bands. Staff was pleasant and did a great job stocking all three dressing rooms (yes you heard correctly) with drinks and snacks.
I meant to take a pic of backstage tonight but... I think I did and deleted it because it was crappy. It wasn't spectacular but having your own room, with food and drinks... it's awesome. Again, it's just nice having somewhere to go that's not the venue floor or the van.
The Pop Evil crew had a bunch of family at the show as guests and they brought tons of food. They invited us and Phantom Sons (opening act) to Pop Evil's room to grab a plate. I didn't end up having any because I was full but it looked/smelled awesome.
It was a really cool vibe tonight actually because it wasn't a huge venue and there was so many friends 'n family around.
The stage was pretty tight after Pop Evil put their gear and drum riser up. I looked at the left over space and though it'll be really tight but whatever... we'll make it work.
That's when it happened... they started striking their drums.
... we're going to get to use their super awesome drum riser.
... or at least I was thinking that was the case unless they were going to strike the riser too... but that'd be kinda silly in this room.
... then it was official... we get to use the riser!
Now... a little more personal info about me. Pop Evil's riser is pretty high and I'm not a big fan of heights. Also, there's no real easy way to get up on said riser... you have to climb up it. I'm not flexible. This could be a problem. I asked their guitar tech half jokingly...
"... possible stupid question... but is there an easy way to get up there?"
"... nope... figure it out."
So now I'm basically trying to build a set of stairs... and secretly... while trying to act casual... practicing getting on and off this 4ft (I think) riser. It might not sound very high but try and climb up something that high... with very little space to stand or grab onto.
I figured it out though between a milk crate and Brent's guitar cab.
... no ripped groins or jeans.
I was hoping for the best at the beginning of our set that I wouldn't fall, break through the milk crate, knock something over... or my ass crack would hang out or something. So many possibilities! This is how my brain works.
I made it up though... it sure was bouncy up there.
... I was determined to rock it though.
The opening act was called Phantom Sons. Crowd response was good and I caught a few of their tunes. I was also keeping a close eye on their drummer who was using my kit... seeing how springy it was for him... I might have to hold back a little tonight.
... game time... intro track was on... it was go time to get up on this riser... cool-ly.
... made it.
... it actually looked higher now that there were people there. I've been trying to take pictures at the end of the set for fun but I always forget. I'm usually more focused on getting our crap off stage so we don't get yelled at. I decided to take one at the beginning tonight.
... crowd seemed pretty dead.
I'm starting to realize if you hold a camera up long enough... eventually someone will clue in you're taking a picture... and they'll rock more... and it's contagious. They'll start cheering if I wave my hand around too.
... a little blurry... but there we go. Gonna be a good night.
We played pretty well... a bit of funky stuff going on in the guitars but all good. It was fun hearing some people singing along with the tunes. The record hasn't been out in the US very long but a few people seem to be coming out to see us...and/ or just super stoked to hear we are one of the support acts since they were going to the show anyway.
There was apple pie left upstairs so... because I could... was eating pie while watching Pop Evil's set. It was awesome... pie and rock show!
We stuck around a lot later than planned to sign some stuff, take pics, and chat with people. It's sad people seem so surprised we'll take the time to chat for a bit. Obviously we can't chat with 500 people after a show... but we do our best to be accessible. So far so good at least.
... signing shirts is hard by the way... especially when you're writing is crap.
We left the venue around 1am... drove a bit... and now here I am in another hotel lobby... 3:10am.
... shower... off to bed... continental breakfast here (looks promising), then it's back in the van for 9am and off to Quebec City.
Three shows left.
P.S. I'm pretty sure I saw a little girl playing soccer in a storm trooper helmet during the drive up... she's gonna go on to do great things.
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!