... 2:53am... if only you could see the breakfast area of the Super 8 I'm sitting in right now.
Oh wait... you can!
... I feel like I'm in a cottage... I have no idea where we are aside from NY state... only 4 hours from Sayreville though so hopefully the drive is easy tomorrow... 9am van call... last show tomorrow.
October 22, 2013
Big show today... Metropolis can hold over 2,000 people and if it's anything like Quebec City, it should be nuts... I'll spare you the suspense... it was pretty nuts in there. It's funny how quickly an audience can go from "into it" to "into it" over the course of about 2-3 songs. We warmed the crowd up pretty good... Pop Evil took things to the next level... but Papa Roach came out and destroyed in about 15 minutes.
I haven't seen a pit this crazy on the tour and there was tons of crowd surfing going on. The security was really cool about it though... they'd pull people down, ask them if they were ok, then direct them were to go to get back into the crowd... I also think they warned them to not go up again... but still... they were cool about it.
There's been a couple venues where the bouncers have been real dicks about it, and kicking people out of the show. As if crowd surfing is a problem in 2013.
... so I'm pretty tired right now... like vomit tired... I took a bunch of pics today so I'm just gonna dump a bunch in and talk around them.
Oh wait... might as well get this out of the way. Breakfast was pretty good. *Insert several paragraphs worth of details here*
Moving on. :-)
Oh I should get this out of the way too...
Matt and I grabbed lunch at a near by pub/sports bar. They had tons of TVs showing soccer... I was curious if any of the groups of 3 TVs, showing 3 different games, would show 3 different dives simultaneously... only got to 2.
So my ordering in french success rate sorta went up today... the menu was half 'n half (french/english)... so I couldn't really order in french unless I ordered something in french just for the sake of ordering something in french for the sake of improving my ordering in french success rate. Still with me? The club sandwich looked really good though and did not disappoint. I'll give myself half a point on this attempt since I did say "merci" and didn't point once.
1.5/3, 50% "ordering in french" success rate.
... actually... I'm gonna give myself 0.75 of a point because I'm still at 50%.
1.75/3, 58.3% "ordering in french" success rate.
... there we go. Steady improvement if I say so myself!
We milked our late checkout as much as we could today... then drove around the block to the venue and loaded in.
Metropolis is awesome.
I think it's arguably the best venue on the tour... arguably only because a couple people argued with me about it. I'd say Flames Central gives it a run... but as far as a rock venue goes... the setup and sight lines at Metropolis are perfect. Tons of space but still feels small enough you can really enjoy the show. Sound system is great, stage is great, load in/out area is great. It's great!
They had this loading bay elevator side stage... it looked really cool with the fog and the lights so I decided to set my drums up there while Pop Evil was line checking and took some pics.
... then Matt came over and asked me if I wanted him to grab a pic of me on the kit. I'm a pretty poorly documented human being so I said sure why not.
... and then Matt hopped on my kit... and called for a pair of sticks...
... yeah he totally just showed me up on my own kit on my own photo shoot... the nerve of this guy.
... I was laughing pretty hard actually... I snapped a ton more pics but you get the point... he was pretty into it! lol.
I was poking around stage a bit and grabbed this pic of Tony's (Papa Roach) tamb mounted on his kit. I love tambs... but his is all rusted and stuff... it's bad ass. I'd buy this at auction... for the record. (<-- no pun intended)
... moving onto the venue pics.
... yeah this place is pretty big.
Sound check went fine... I was cracking up again because Matt decided to tape off a "no guitar player" zone on the floor. He was getting annoyed Brent and Trev would bump into him/get in his way while he's singing backups.
I mean... he's got a hard enough job as it is hitting root notes on the 1's... trying to sing harmonies and dodge two dudes zippin' around on stage... stuff happens. I thought it was amazing though. I wanted one... but nobody ever really runs into me back there... hell... people don't even know I'm on stage or in the band half the time! lol.
... such an awesome crowd to play in front of. Typically you can't really see past the first few rows when you're on stage under the lights... but the pics give you a better story.
I watched a bit of Papa Roach side stage... we had to head out fairly early because of the drive... way she goes... got to see Angles at least.
... some dad guy ended up, upside down in the pit/crowd surfing. It was awesome. I tried to get a pic but it does not do it justice... it was like watching a synchronized swimmer with their legs up in the air... awesome.
... that was pretty much the day.
Crowd response was great again... still sorta shocked how good it's been considering nobody really knew who we were going into this tour. New fans every night so far... Facebook likes steadily climbing. Lots of compliments from people in the crowd and stopping by the merch table. Good times.
We headed out around 10:30pm... decided to do the boarder crossing (dude was super nice and we chatted bands for a couple minutes) asap and grab a room wherever we were by 2am. I'm so glad we found a reasonable place first try... it sucks driving around finding a place at 2am... in case you were wondering.
I gotta go to bed though.. 3:33am now... if I had my own jug of milk I'd be eating a bowl of Raisin Bran right now... it's staring at me... no wait... it's the neighbouring Frosted Flakes that are... damn you Tony...
P.S. I don't really know what this was supposed to be... probably "art" or something... but it was on the wall in the lobby/stairs at Metropolis. It's neat.
... it's like an Escher drawing... but in drum form.
P.P.S. I know I said I didn't like being in Quebec a couple days ago because it makes me feel uncomfortable (because of the language thing), but I had a blast this time. Montreal especially has such a cool vibe. I'd like to actual come back and visit sometime... when it's warmer of course. :-)
... some serious sleep was had last night... housekeeping has some work to do.
October 21, 2013
I just checked my iCal. Today was the first day since we started that we've been able to wake up whenever we felt like it, and able to leave for the next city whenever we felt like. We had the day off and were determined to act like it.
I didn't get to bed until around 3:30am last night... set my alarm to go grab breakfast at 8am. It wasn't anything to write about... but why break tradition! I'm on a roll apparently talking about food. lol.
As far as continentals go... it was pretty weak... they didn't even have Raisin Bran... they had All Bran... not sure if that's a step up or down to be honest. I considered filling up on Fruit Loops (just because I could) but I wasn't sure what kinda consequences might come into play considering there's some McDonald's still working it's way through me from a few days ago. Too much info maybe... but from past experience... those wacky Loops do funky things to my insides.
There's something going on with apples out here too... outside one of the gas stations they were selling huge sacks, like 15 lbs bags of them for like $5. The lobby had the same looking ones sitting in a bowl on the front desk. I grabbed a couple... they were ridiculously good.
To answer the age old question... "how do you like them apples?" I love them apples. In hindsight, I should've taken the rest... one at a time... awkwardly... Harpo Marx style... I figure the guy at the front desk already thinks I'm weird for hanging out alone so much in the lobby.
I filled up as much as I could and then went back to bed until around 11am. We headed out around 1pm (they gave us a late check-out of 3pm... which was insane if you know anything about late check-outs) but first we had to find some breakfast... since not everyone was up in time for the free hotel one.
What to eat... Tim got really excited about pizza for breakfast... Matt was pushing towards chinese buffet... the rest of us were voting for a diner.
... long story short... through construction, closures, and some wonky GPS directions... diner won.
... I'm gonna order breakfast in french... so help me God I'm gonna do it today.
So we enter the restaurant. Waitress asks how many.
(I held up my hand too... all five digits spread just in case.)
We get the menus... I find the 2 eggs, with bacon, ham, or sausage, plus home fries and toast... I'm good to go.
Our waitress comes over to take our drink order.
... language barrier birdy takes flight.
... it's amazing how quickly a simple conversation/transaction you take for granted can quickly go into the dumper as soon as two parties start trying to over think what's going on. "Just water for everyone" seemed to make no sense at all to her... and we just kept saying it louder. She left after taking just one drink order... returned with a pitcher of water... and then asked "do you want the english menus?"
... I'm sorta torn here. I wanna order in french dammit! I have a 0% "ordering in french" success rate I'm looking to improve significantly today... so this has to happen... for me... I need this.
Everyone places their order in english... I place mine last...
"Duex oeufs (hand flip gesture established for "over easy"), jambon, brown (toast). Merci."
(... nailed it... I think... and I know brun is brown in french btw.)
... yup... nailed it!
I gotta say whatever they did to their "pomme de terre" was amazing. If Ricky's shredded potatoes are a 1, these guys are a 10.
1 for 2, 50% "ordering in french" success rate.
... maybe after dinner I can push that up to 66%... or down to 33%.
We had a pretty good, relaxed meal and then we were off...
I slept most of the way to Montreal. We decided to try our luck at a Holiday Inn Express near the venue. Some of the guys wanted to explore downtown... I wanted to hideout in the hotel... basically hangout in sweatpants and do stuff online... I pretty much wrote emails and played Bloons TD5 all day. It's my day off. I'm allowed.
We did a load of laundry... Trev and Brent returned with really awesome pizza for dinner (no ordering in french necessary)... Tim and I went looking for the gym here and some how kept ending up in the wrong hotel.
Oh yeah... when we first got here... we had to park our van/trailer underground... very scary on paper but hopefully there are no issues getting out tomorrow. We unloaded our stuff, got in the elevator, went up to our floor... went to our room... and our key didn't work.
... my first thought... maybe we're in the wrong hotel...? Apparently we needed to use our cards to use the elevators... and we didn't.
Matt went to go get the keys checked out... yup... somehow we're in the wrong hotel. This is twice now on the trip we've done that... so it's obviously us.
When Tim and I were looking for the gym... he called down to the front desk and they said it was on the 2nd floor. There's a stairwell right beside our room so I figured let's just take those downstairs. It's exercise and we are looking for the gym after all.
... we go down a few floors... and we find ourselves in the other hotel again. Wtf is going on here. We walk back up, get in the elevator, take that down stairs, and end up on the right floor... in the right hotel... such a funny layout here.
... anyway, ate pizza and watched hockey during dinner. A few of the guys went out on the town for a bit... they're back now (1am) so they couldn't have found too much trouble. I would've liked to of gone out at least for a walk but I'm really loving hangin' around in my house pants right now. It's been a while.
I'll keep this short since I'll just end up rambling (more)... and I'd like to be in bed before 2am tonight. lol.
We're playing the Metropolis tomorrow... capacity is 2,200 apparently... let's see if it tops Quebec City... it certainly has the potential to. We'll probably have to drive after the show to Sayreville since it's 7-8 hours plus border crossing... 10 hours real world time... and then it's... home time.
... you always know it'll feel like it flew by once it gets near the end... 48 more hours and it'll be the end of this and hopefully not too long until it's the beginning of another... good times.
P.S. I'm gonna destroy this place in about 7 hours... they have the pancake machine.
P.P.S. I don't really drink so this kinda stuff cracks me up... 1.18L! Loss of motor skills combined with an increased need to urinate... perfect combo for any party!
... they had oatmeal. Today was going to be a good day.
October 20, 2013
... aside from seeing a full blown, end to end rainbow... nothing too eventful on the drive to Quebec City. We woke up around 8am, went to the lobby for breakfast (did I mention they had oatmeal?), then back in the van for 9:30am.
We breezed through the border... the officer actually gave us the thumbs up once he figured out we were a band... and then it was only a couple hours drive from there.
I need to get this off my chest... I don't like being in Quebec... I feel so awkward here.
I like Quebec, I like the people from Quebec, and I really do like listening to the language. I can read french and understand it enough in conversation... but I can't write it or speak it so the communication barrier (mainly mental) makes me feel really uncomfortable.
I mumble often and speak quietly in english... so toss in my butchering of a different language into the equation... and you don't have a recipe for success.
... basically... I feel like Mr. Bean when I'm in here.
I know some french lessons would solve a lot of my problems but I'm almost 30 years old... and part of me feels like it's just punishment for my not paying attention in grade 9 french class... or whenever we started taking french in public school.
I do try to speak french when I'm here though... my main problem is I feel like I can't order food anywhere. I always end up having to point or use a number system. It's sad... but at least I try.
Anyway... new trip to Quebec... fresh start... I'm determined to not only eat today... but to order in french.. no pointing... but number system allowed. Baby steps.
So we pull into a service station just after noon. There's a St. Hubert restaurant involved and the guys decide it's a good place to grab lunch.
I'm hesitant to order anything... but I'm definitely hungry and decide to scope out the situation. At least if everyone else is ordering... I might be able to get lost in the shuffle.
... I check the menu posted above the counter... number system.
Awesome... I can do this.
I'm next in line... time comes...
"Bonjour... numero trois... please."
(I always say please... I can't help it.)
She looks at me with a blank stare... then basically mumbles 'huh?'
"... numero trois."
(I'm trying with every ounce of strength to not point at the sign.)
Same awkward stare... she motions to bring another employee over... aka the bilingual one. I'm starting to panic... everyone else has got their order and food already. I gotta say as far as fast food goes... this place is frickin' fast!
I try one more time before the other employee shows up... I'm running out of time here to salvage this attempt.
(I brought out the biggest gun I had.)
"... combo numero trois... s'il vous plait."
... too late. The bilingual employee had shown up to take my order... and to add insult to injury... without my knowing... I found my left arm, holding up my left hand... while it pointed at the sign.
"Allo, can I take your order please?"
"... number 3 please."
"Would you like a drink with that?"
I get my receipt, food is ready in 30 seconds... it's delicious but the loss stings.
0/1, 0% success rate
Ah well... I tried. I'll have to try again the next few days... unless I just live off gas station food for a bit... which is not a bad idea right now... ketchup chips have at least two food groups according to Dr. Denial's nutritional guidelines.
We arrived in Quebec City around 3:30pm. The venue is awesome. It reminds me of a cross between the Mod Club and Opera House in Toronto. Great sight lines, balcony, and lots of space for bands on stage and backstage. We had a dressing room too!
I'll skip ahead since the show went really well...
I wasn't sure how the crowd would react to us since Quebec'ers seem to love the heavy stuff and we're not that heavy... definitely not as heavy as Pop Evil or Papa Roach in my books... but then again all the shows I've played in Quebec over the years, the crowd will get into it. No exception tonight. I think they were already into our set halfway through the first tune.
I snapped a couple pics from my kit... tried to take a before and after.
It was hard to get a good 'after' shot because the house lights were so dark/low. They were pretty rowdy and singing along by the end of a few songs... our choruses are pretty simple that way which helps. I got lots of great shots during Pop Evil and Papa Roach though so you can see what the crowd looked like. It was rammed in there.
Yeah I run around a lot during the other sets... it's fun.
Definite highlight during Papa Roach... some poor lanky kid got picked up and forcibly... forced into crowd surfing. He was pretty scrawny... so once he was up there... he was basically screwed. The crowd was literally throwing him around... like... he was getting air. He was motioning for them to put him down but no dice. He might as well of been a beach ball.
Eventually he did make it back to his feet... and then went straight back into the pit. What a trooper. Kudos to that guy.
Merch went well after the show... took a bunch of pics... I had my disguise on (hat and hoodie) so people didn't realize I was in the band. It doesn't bother me... I'm just the backbone of everything happening on stage. *cough*
Great show though... amazing crowd. Safe to say it could be the best show/crowd of the tour... still two shows left though.
It's 3:09am... staying at a Comfort Inn... breakfast starts at 6:30am. We have tomorrow off so I might cast my vote to stay here until Wednesday The rate is good and seems like a decent hotel. Everyone just wants to sleep anyway... except McLaughlin... that dude wants to party.
P.S. Sometimes this what backstage looks like.
P.P.S. Did I mention I had oatmeal for breakfast? :-)
P.P.P.S Welcome to Quebec!
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!