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.
Tuesday - January 20, 2015
… buffet breakfast… buffet dinner… 15hr knee destroying drive is forgiven!
Alarm went off at 8am to hit up the breakfast buffet here… it was pretty good actually… f*n awesome for $6! All the usual suspects except I didn't feel like stuffing myself as if it was an olympic sport to get my money's worth.
… straight back to bed for me for a few hours while the guys ran some errands. It was nice to have some quiet time… people are usually talking and doing stuff which is cool… but you need to find spots to just enjoy some silence.
… and sleep.
We headed over to the venue for 2pm to load in. We knew (better) there'd be nothing to do for a few hours… Buckcherry was sound checking when we got there… just like the good old days! It was more about getting our gear out of the trailer to warm up... especially the drums. It's about -15C here... we'll bring our guitars in but the hardware was pretty chilly when I opened up the bag!
We've probably done 20 shows with Buckcherry now but it never gets old watching them… especially the guitarist… both are just wicked players.
Today they were jamming on classic rock tunes for fun… basically playing as much as they could of whoever started the riff… sorta like a game. Good times.
That's a band! I still don't like jamming but it's fun to watch guys like that jam!
So we set up to sound check around 5:30pm… to be honest, I think I was more nervous to sound check then actually play tonight. Considering this was our first show this year (and we only played one show last year)… there are all these little things you need to get back into the groove of… and setting up on stage is one of those things.
… and I have a lot of things to deal with on stage.
It went well though… Live Out Loud… and half of Bombs Away if we feel the need… the usual.
One thing that isn't the usual, we're doing this tour with one guitar player. Brent couldn't make the trip and Trevor and (Mike) Diesel couldn't make it out because of their own bands. So we decided to just roll with Dane… throw a few rhythm tracks under solos (in the tracks) and see how it goes as a 4-piece.
… yeah that's right we run tracks. Funny story…
So tonight during our set, which was a bit rushed getting set up on stage (we were on 2nd and The Wild! went over time a little... good band though!)… I forgot to grab some water… yeah we're our own techs/roadies too! I grabbed one of Matt's but wanted to replace it... figured during a guitar change was a good time.
We finished Justify, I took out my in-ears and went side stage to grab a couple more waters. I went back to the kit, put my in-ears in and was like "why the hell is Dane playing the riff… he knows better!"… one of my pet peeves is when people play riffs of songs, between songs, before the actual song… and I started hearing the riff for Ready To Go…
I'm actually quite pissed at him right now… then I look over and realize he ain't playing it… then I'm all "shit… that's me playing guitar! My tone is awesome!!!"
Dane and I look at each other and laugh. I hit pause... yeah I forgot to hit pause on my iPod before I got up… let's chalk it up to rust!
The best part about it though was the guy in the audience who yelled out "BUSTED!!!"
… dude… we have congas going on in Justify… we have a string section going on in Live Out Loud… we run a few tracks as hair and makeup, not a crutch… lots of bands run tracks… and incase you couldn't tell, we don't have a conga player or string section on stage with us and nobody seems to care too much... and it sounds great!
… i'm sure some people would've been horrified… I thought it was pretty hilarious.
Overall we all felt the set went well. A couple hiccups but we felt good... and definitely fun to get on stage in general.
Packed up, watched Buckcherry's set, and now we're back at the hotel watching School Of Rock.
… we got a wicked fruit tray… that's our "1,000 brown M&M's" on the rider… never really expect it but when it's there… it's awesome. The Wild! were all "we got pizza!!! we never get pizza!! Nobody ever even looks at our rider!!!" The staff at The Oak did an awesome job with the bands tonight.
Long drive to Lloydminster tomorrow… but at least we have tomorrow night off so there's no real rush.
... meanwhile... 7am buffet it is in a few hours.
P.S. We got our rider food AND dinner buffet at the hotel/venue. Had turkey and all the fixin's for dinner… then took an epic nap!
P.P.S. Here's the water slide none of us got to slide on today… I know. Le sigh.
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!