Friday - January 23, 2015
… I just want to sleep! It's 1:40am and to say there's still a party going on in this hotel/casino would be an understatement… party animals like myself know when to shut it down though… especially now that I've eaten dinner.
Speaking of eating… again... the nice thing about casino gigs are the comps… usually rooms, sometimes food and rooms. Here we've got the food and rooms. So breakfast was an awesome buffet… really looking forward to getting up tomorrow and doing that again. They have oatmeal!! That's my staple at home.
I'll admit, I spent most of the day laying in bed… nodding off here and there. After those two monster drives my back is still loving the feeling of being horizontal… I'm lying down right now… it's awesome!
So the venue at the casino is called The Venue I'm pretty sure… it's a giant "tent-like" structure where you have to walk outside the casino to enter.
It's pretty huge.
I think it'd comfortably fit 2,500 people. Sales were decent and even at 2/3's full it was still pretty busy.
We were direct support today and it was an early show. Soundcheck was at 4pm. I was a little concerned about the slap coming from the back of the building from the stage/speakers. Once on stage it sounded fine though… sounded great actually.
One thing I will remind people though… well more people in bands than just random people who… well maybe they can find some way to apply this to their own life… during our soundcheck we spend most of the time making sure our monitors have decent levels/mixes.
It's really annoying when you come back to what you spent time setting up and things have changed… but unless it's REALLY screwed up… just roll with it. That's what today is! I felt my levels were pretty wonky once we actually did our set… a couple of the other guys said the same.
I have my own mixer beside me so I can make adjustments, but a couple other guys had similar issues.
… I'm fairly certain Dane's mic wasn't on at all during our set. He was checking it at the beginning of our set and nothing was coming out… sorta made for an awkward start to the set… things felt good though once we got a few bars into the first tune.
The set felt really solid tonight actually… it was another 30 minute set so we didn't leave much time between songs to try and do 7. (We have 40mins tomorrow so it'll be a little more relaxed).
I saw a fight during Buckcherry's set! I don't really know what happened but of course they play a ballad and two dudes decide to get into a shoving match.
… yelling leads to shoving, shoving leads to fighting… and fighting leads to 4 large security personnel holding you down with their knees in your back… and then kicked out of the tent.
You can imagine what they look like too… it was one of those "of course you're that guy" type moments.
The venue filled our entire rider tonight I'm pretty sure… same with The Wild! who we were sharing a backstage space with.
… I'm sure you can do the math after I type this next bit.. but our full rider, plus not having to drive tonight because we have accommodations within walking distance of the venue… means people are making good use of what's on the rider… and the Grey Goose didn't last too long tonight.
Good times though… it was nice to see Buckcherry's set in full, plus they only had an hour tonight. It's a pro and con that these shows start and end early. My guess is they want to get people back into the casino… drinking or drunk… to spend some money.
Can't blame them though…the amount of money I see people dropping in machines… I haven't gambled anything (yet) by the way.
I think we left the venue around 11:40pm. We just missed the dinner buffet… but I was starving so I was sorta nudging people to make our way back to the hotel rooms to dump off our stuff, and then go find food.
There ain't much to eat this time of time… or at least things we can use our credit towards.
The one restaurant that was open though was the one with the hockey rink… and there was a men's league game going on! Trip worth it!
There was a 20 minute wait but I like to think the hostess pushed us up because we are "in a band".
It was probably 1am by the time we sat down to eat… I'm starving… I haven't eaten since breakfast at 9:30am. Sorta my fault but I did good this morning and wasn't too hungry until a song into our set.
Buffalo Chicken sandwich and a salad… I'm trying to be healthy! … as much as I really wanted fries and ketchup.
After we'd eaten, a fair number of fans or people from the show kept asking us for pictures and wanted to chat. Even the staff were asking to get pictures.
I kept joking with Dane that people don't even have any idea who we are… Dane looks like a rockstar most of the time though so that's what does it.
Dress for the job you want!
… the job I want right now is "sleep study participant".
Short drive to Calgary tomorrow… 3-4 hrs I think
… we'll see how many of us make the 11am call go head out… my money is on 25% of us.
P.S. Watched a ton of Food Network the last couple days... food is awesome.
Thursday - January 22, 2015
… I've been waiting for this day to come… playing a strip club again!
… joking… it's 3:42am and we're checked into the hotel in Edmonton. We got in around 2am but Matt and I ended up walking around the hotel/casino for a bit… then I decided to catch up on some emails before getting to this… I think I've been up since 8am.
The day started out good… had the complimentary breakfast at the hotel… they had quite a bit available... had one of those waffle stations there... with a woman (arguably 35 w/ young kids OR 14 with two younger siblings) making (attempting) a waffle.
I'll be honest… I just assume when things aren't working right, that they are broken… it rarely crosses my mind if the thing isn't simply "on".
So she was making a waffle but it wasn't turning out too good. She ended up scraping it out of the machine, covering it in syrup, and calling it a day.
I went to make mine after and figured something was wrong… or that it was just broken. I mean… the thing was pretty hot… it's just that the timer wasn't working.
Then the guy behind me, somewhat impatiently suggested the machine probably needed to be turned on.
So the on switch was flicked and the road to better waffles was soon to be paved…
… or so I thought.
This thing took a while to heat up. I mean… it was 9am… breakfast started at 6am… why wasn't the machine on and LEFT on? Other hotels, that's the case.
So another horrible attempt at a waffle was made… this one was much more edible though… ended up pawning half of it off on Matt… he didn't seem to have a problem with it.
I made a comment to the guy behind me in the waffle line… asked him if he was the "resident waffle expert" and he shot back a smile that was half "yeah bud" and "I will punch you if you're being a smart-ass"… with a dash of "… don't take this from me… this waffle means a lot to me."
Tim had the same trouble with the machine apparently.
… he tried to hide it but the truth poured out once I shared my story… you see, the thing is the instructions for said waffle maker is placed off to the side… when they should be above the machine… since you're killing time looking around when you finally find the instructions posted and realize you probably missed some steps.
… just saying.
I think I was back in bed by 10am... hanging out watching cartoons... rock and roll!
Our late check out was 1pm… sort of sucky since we had nowhere to go except the venue… knowing sound check was realistically at 5-6pm (we opened) and our set was at 9:30… this was going to be a serious day of hurry up and wait.
We decided to go find some lunch… tour rule I'd like to remind people of… "eat what you can see". We could see Wendy's, which just happened to have a Subway beside it so the guys went to grab a burger while I met up to them with a sub.
Lunch was good today… it's a different vibe being 4 instead of 5 but it was a good bonding experience. We talk about how shows/rehearsals go but today at lunch felt like the first time where it was a team.... where you're just hanging out... not at work.
All things considered, even with the two monster drives, it's a pretty short and basic tour at the end of the day… the times when you're eating together, hanging out at the hotel, sitting in the van, etc, these are the times where the real team building occurs.
Again… 23 1/2 hrs you aren't on stage… and you only sleep so much.
Back to the venue… sound check… hang out in a little upper area… sorta acting as a band room, sharing with The Wild!
We had almost 2hrs to kill so I did a mental rehearsal to pass the time… where I put my click track in my ears and visualize playing the set. I didn't feel super good during sound check so sometimes this helps.
… yes I can play the entire set against the click in my brain.
… I fell asleep 3 times though I think…it's surprisingly relaxing!
The set went well… crowd wasn't huge but apparently Buckcherry comes through pretty often… and word is the oil prices have affected the city quite a bit… which I could understand.
… but anyway, crowd was still good… it's always awesome having people up front singing along. That makes it worth it.
Afterwards while packing up my kit I was quickly reminded the venue is a strip club 7 days a week… all the girls were polite and understanding of my drum stuff scattered in the hallway… curious how they dress in the summer though if that's how they're dressing in the winter.
We didn't stick around too long after… it's only 2.5hrs to Edmonton and we had rooms here already… decided to take advantage of that… plus we have insane amounts of food buyouts/vouchers here.
Apparently there was a few fights during Buckcherry's set we missed… it's too bad, we had some PRIME seats for all the antics that apparently went on… ah well… I'm sure we'll be through Lloydminster again.
I like casinos… said it before, and I'll say it again… can't say I got the itch though when Matt and I were walking around. I'm sure I'll throw $20 in (high roller, I know!) here or Calgary, but I should get to bed… there's a pool here too I'd like to hit tomorrow… not to mention breakfast… gotta start chipping away at these food vouchers.
... oh... we all caved and went to McDonald's after the show tonight... Dane and I found crayons.
P.S. There's a hockey rink in the casino!!!
October 8, 2013
.. I'm not sure you can tell, but it's, as far as I'm concerned, the perfect bottle of water. A 3-4" layer of ice chunks at the top. Oh man... I wish I had one of those right now. I love ice cold water... it's amazing stuff! So cold!
Anyway... Thrillhouse (check out their facebook page here) went on at 8pm, we were on at 8:30... I thought we played pretty good. Stage sound was great and that makes things easier.
Our transitions between songs was a lot better tonight too. It's gonna take time to work out the kinks as I've said before... there's only so much you can do in the rehearsal space... it's different having a crowd there... things are gonna happen and you just gotta roll with it... good and bad.
... highlight... Trevor jumped off the stage at one point and went over to this dude in a wheelchair and everyone over there was banging on his guitar... I don't know what it sounded like... I can't really hear guitar too much in my in-ears (I typically just get vocal on smaller stages), but it looked super cool!
Another was actually during sound check... we usually play "Live Out Loud"... it kinda covers all the bases... but just after the bridge I was thinking... 'wow... we are really killing this song today... like... I don't think we've ever played it this good... ever... in two years.'
... now what it sounded like out front, I have no idea... but feel wise... we destroyed that song. I felt like we got to Edmonton, unpacked our gear, set up our gear, and then threw down "Live Out Loud" better than ever.
It's a great feeling... and the goal is to make as much of the set feel that good... it's a natural progression though... sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't.
(... 4:15am... maybe I'll just stay up and listen to music. I haven't done that in a while! lol... I can be the 6am alarm clock to make sure we're on the road for 7am)
Pop Evil was awesome again... but because of the drive, we had to skip out after Papa Roaches first song. I was sorta bummed I couldn't get a pic of them in the venue... iPhone died. I did snap a few pics of Pop Evil though.
We stopped by McDonald's on the way... Bacon Cheeseburger X2 + small fries is the way to go. You can rock both 'burgs separate or remove a top bun and create what I'm going to name right now, a McBaconMac w/ cheese.
... I gotta chill on the fast food though... it's only been a week and I already feel a little jiggly up top... it doesn't take long people.
... 3.5 hours later, we were back in Calgary.
Looking forward to Regina tomorrow though... we played there back in June (I think) and it kinda sucked (I know)... time to throw down for real... for real in Regina.
P.S. This happened... again... twice in one week!
... unless you're gonna change that sh*t... don't take that sh*t.
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!