February 11, 2017 - 9:38pm
Yup… writing at the show again. There’s a couple local support bands so I have time. Not a lot of AC plugs in this venue (Adrenalin) but I found a corner… probably look like a weirdo, click-clackin’ away… maybe they think I’m playing internet poker… we are in Vegas after all!
I dragged myself out of bed at 8:15am... breakfast was only 6am-9am here.
… and breakfast turned out to be pretty garbage.
I don’t like saying that because there are lots of hungry people out there… but most of it wasn’t edible… I’m pretty lenient on the quality of hotel “complimentary” breakfast but aside from the oatmeal (packets).. and yogurt cups (that’d expire in a week), everything was either stale or “off”. The worst was the fruit… typically a safe bet. I had one piece… and I recognized that acidic aftertaste.
… well… hopefully we can hit a Denny's or something... we haven’t actually been there in a while so maybe it’s time.
I scrambled around after “breakfast” to use the business center. We had a bunch more CD’s to mail out and I wanted to restock our set lists, merch signs, input lists, etc.
I think I printed off 60 sheets.
(... go, go gadget laser printers! Don’t be shy!)
Ended up driving the wrong way for a bit to the post office… but that lead to getting Jimmy John's for breakfast… then finally finding the post office lead to a Starbucks stop. I hung out in the Bucks parking lot eating, and a guy waiting for the bus came over to ask if I was in a band… seriously surprised how many people ask…
He kept looking over at us from the bus stop after the rest of the guys came out… I’m sure the guys thought it was odd… then he started singing really loud… yeah it’s time to go.
The drive to Albuquerque was nice… desert (I think)…. I didn’t feel like I was going to die out there and that’s partially what I think of when I think of desert.
Reid was pushing for a desert highway “van jam” so we found a safe place to pull off and get out.
People were honking… I thought it was funny.
I held the camera (again) but unfortunately the reception in the desert was too weak to properly stream.
(… well, we tried!)
… super nice scenery on the drive though… just started sinking in how much of America (highways at least) we’re getting to see on this tour.
Arrived at The Co-Op in Albuquerque and found a sweet spot out front to park our van and load in.
(… as much as it sucks inside the van having no space… having no trailer means more parking options!)
The venue was neat.. really decent stage for the size of the room. Apparently it’s where some “school of rock” programs take place.
… which is a pretty cool thing kids (and adults too) have access to. Not all kids have enough friends who play music growing up… I consider myself lucky that way... I had friends who played instruments and places parents allowed “drums”.
… oh shit.
… there’s no bar in here.
Great stage, awesome lights sweet sound system… nowhere to get drinks.
… this may not end well.
There was a local support band called BlindDryve playing direct support to ALY… and I was hoping they’d draw… I really was… then I saw they had promo for an upcoming show with tickets they were selling.
… this really may not end well.
“I think I just bought my amp.”
Reid said after coming over to me at the merch table.
The guitar amp/cab we rented has a wonky caster wheel… sometimes it tips/leans… three legs on a four-sided table does not make a sturdy structure.
… I guess the guitar head took a tumble… and no longer works.
… well… we're up to 2 guitars and a guitar amp now. It’s one less thing to put on stage but that’s a bummer since I like the dynamic… and the MDD tunes sound good with 2 guitars.
… ah well… we'll deal with it later… later being tomorrow.
Brendan and I headed out for food.
National pizza day!! ... and we ended up at a pizza place!
… I wish I had it on video… there were 2 slices left.
“Do you have any other slices coming out?” I asked the pizza guy.
“No, we’ll make another one after those 2 are gone.”
“Which one do you want?” I asked.
“I’ll take the cheese one,” replied Brendan.
“Those two are sold, did you want to wait 15 minutes for another one?” Asked the pizza guy.
… we backed out of there… couldn’t tell if he was high or not… but I was too hungry.
… Jimmy John’s it is… twice in a day.
(... 1st World problem when you aren't in the mood to have someone make you a sandwich.)
"Where are you guys?? We're on soon, Lullwater is almost done."
... that text was from Reid.
I honestly had no idea the show had even started... there was nobody there but bands... even then, the bands weren't even really there... we'd all snuck out for food!
... there was no house music on... no... typical show "stuff" going on... just a room... with a big ass stage... and awesome lights... and no bar.
... this is not good.
I asked Brendan to be the Godparent of my Jimmy John's before I ran back to the venue.
(... I actually ran... running on the treadmill has really helped!)
... I went inside the venue... yup... that's Lullwater... rockin' out to nobody.
... I'm trying by best not to cuss in these blogs... but it was sad... it was fuckin' sad.
It's tough playing to nobody, but it truly was playing to nobody... I didn't even see the sound guy.
... ok, they were playing to the guy sitting at the door collecting cover... which as of right now, a job that rivals the "all-time leaders" of meaningless work.
... he wasn't even facing the band!!?
They had a couple songs left... I know their set now... but they were half going through the paces.... this is a practice... it's tough to not make shows like tonight a practice.
... like... what do you do with your banter??
... you have nobody to bant it off of.
They finished... and luckily a few people had filtered in by then so it wasn't just the sound of 5 hands clapping.
... I don't even know what that means right now... just assume one person was on their phone I guess... it was sad though.
Change over was good considering how much gear was backstage.
... and a few more people had come in still... so we're at least playing to 15-20 people.
... now... Lullwater is a straight ahead 4 piece rock band... so are we except we have two (2) additional inputs... an effected (distortion) vocal mic.... and a DI by me for tracks/samples. Both XLR... both fairly easy to deal with.
I swear we were waiting 15 mins for a line check... this is after we had set up.
... sitting on stage like that sucks... since you're just waiting... and I've played enough shows to know what's going on... and I had no idea what was going on or why things were taking so long.
... it got to the point where I started texting people about how long it was taking... it was passing the time.
... 2 additional lines... seriously.
Finally get those 2 additional lines patched and then struggle through a line check... which should've been the same from Lullwater....really... and then finally get the green light to play.
... we play.
... highlight was Reid attempting to climb the lighting rig... it looked not as secure as somewhere like Providence so I'm glad he didn't make it very far.
I thought we played well... there were people in the... in attendance who knew some of the songs which was awesome... always awesome.
It was very anticlimactic though.... you give all the energy and it's bittersweet because you're in a good mode from playing, but disappointed because you fell nobody was there to throw that energy back at you.
We loaded off... and helped load up BlindDryve.
I was quite curious to see them... another female fronted rock band... been a few on this tour so far!
They were good... but I'll skip ahead to a moment that stood out.
I first saw Reva (lead singer) when I walked past her on the way into the venue. I said a half-hello... but she has a reasonable amount of tattoos, piercings, and vibrantly black and red streaked hair.
My problem... I think tattoos and piercings are neat... and I catch myself counting and analyzing them... which is awkward if you're 2 feet away from someone that doesn't know you... just being honest.
During the show she made a point to say a special person was in the audience... her sister... who's never seen her perform before.
Now... in this crowd, it's easy to point out who her sister is... because if she points out in the audience, it's easy to see who she's pointing at.
... between her and her sister... it's easily apparent they chose different paths in life... just based on the visual.
Playing in front of friends and family is the toughest crowd you'll get... so in a crowd like this... it has to be a mixed bag of emotions... and maybe I'm reading into it too much, but the vibe I got was "I'm glad you finally got a chance to see me doing what I love to do."
... she also wished her mom a happy birthday who came out.
I'm not sure I'm able to articulate it... but that small moment moved me a little... there was a connection there between family... between siblings... and I know not everyone is as lucky as I am to have a supporting family... despite me being pretty quiet and almost secretive about my career in music. I know enough people whose family or even partners/spouses, downplay their dream to do music... they're just waiting for that dumb dream they have to die already... stop wasting their time.
... for better or worse... for some people, that dumb dream is all the want and that's all they've got.
I'm not saying it works out for everybody... I'm reminded of that often... but that's a decision someone has to make themselves... and even then... fittingly in this school of rock... even if the dream dies... that doesn't mean they can't still do it for fun... it brings them joy... and on the honesty tip... that's something that took me a long time to understand.
... I've made peace with the idea I won't make the NHL.
... probably won't make the NHL.
... old re-occurring groin injury... hard to explain.
ALY was good again, but unfortunately the room cleared out again after BlindDryve.
... tough night in Albuquerque... sounds like a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
We had to drive a bit after the show... it was a trek to Scottsdale AZ... and tonight was the first time I had to mutter the words...
"... what about a Motel 6?"
Only the best accommodations so far on the trip *cough* but we were already 3:30am and needed to be back on the road early... so for $50, it's totally worth it just to sleep.
... the room we had... had a bit of charm to it... it was certainly a smaller than the rooms we've had so far... well... except "the van" room.
I quickly got into bed... and encouraged everyone (no fun dad style) to get to bed asap.
It was all laughs until we all finally fell asleep... good times.
... Scottsdale, AZ tomorrow.... home of Austin Mathews.
P.S. I woke up remembering I'd originally ended this with a different Motel 6 (ending)... I remembered what Motel 6 ending that belonged to... so if you missed it... you'll have to wait... this is what happens when you're a week out trying to remember a detailed blog. lol. *tear*
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!