The Broken West Tour Diary: Entry # 3 "High on the Weed"
Saturday, Feb 24 Tucson AZ
We opened for Limbeck at Plush, and boy are those nice guys! It was a great way to start the tour. We played well even though I had technical difficulties for the first time in about six months--never share a backline, boys and girls! Anyway, we stayed with Dan's Aunt Ro just down the street from Plush, plunging her normally quiet household into chaos for a few short hours. This was the last night it would be warm for quite some time.
Tuesday, Feb 27 Austin TX
After a grueling drive through New Mexico and west Texas, a needless stay in El Paso, and a viewing of Reno 911 that was borne of necessity, we arrived in Austin, Ross' home away from home. We stayed with Michael, of the Austin-based Glass Family, and his girlfriend Layla in their lovely new home. Ross gave us the Austin All-Star Restaurant Tour, providing us with no less than four delightful meals of all different flavors. The show was great, as we played with the Glass Family and also Brothers and Sisters, who both managed to draw lots of people and play their asses off. Emo's is a weird room in that it is made almost entirely of cement and is loud as hell. We had a good show regardless and partied hard until the wee hours.
(CONTINUED: Click permalink below for more tour diary entries from 2/28-3/7)
Wednesday, Feb 28 Dallas TX
Thankfully only a short drive from Austin, we actually drove past Dallas to Denton to hang out with my old friend Bustos. Rob took a nap in the van and the rest of us jammed with Bustos all afternoon, letting our minds explore the musical spaces around us. Then we drove into town to play a ridiculous show at a place called the Cavern (Beatles posters adorned the walls; how original!). The other band was alright but they screwed us so hard on the starting time that I am obligated here to say that they sucked. The stage was roughly the size of a Honda Civic and the normally silent, stolid Dan was so frustrated by the late start time and technical difficulties that he informed the audience that he had driven all the way to Dallas to get ****** in not such a nice way. (This was Dan's birthday and he explained to the crowd that that gave him the right to make such proclamations.) Nevertheless, the folks that were there were very nice and enthusiastic and we appreciate that they stayed out so late to see us.
We stayed in Celeste, TX with John Kent (who was the drummer in Radish and drummer for Ben Kweller's first solo record) in his studio/band apartment, which is a former morgue. Jon Shaw, our amiable keyboardist, thinks he saw a ghost. Special thanks to Tim Wheeler for dinner and to both Tim and Bustos for staying out so late for the show.
Thursday, March 1 Memphis TN
We were lucky that this is Ross' hometown, because nearly no one came to this show except his friends and family, but they gave a great lift and we had a pretty good show. Staying with Ross' family was a trip and a half, and all my questions about Ross were finally answered. His father is hilarious, cursing like a sailor while repeatedly telling a sober Dan that he looked like he was "high on the weed". Before we left in the morning we were given a tour of Ardent studios by owner John Fry and Big Star drummer Jody Stevens, who were both very, very cool. Hopefully we can record there, but it's fairly expensive so we will need the support of our label (hint, hint).
Friday, March 2 Colombia MO
Started snowing as we loaded into the venue. When I was a kid I used to get really psyched when it snowed; now I get pissed because the cold fucks with the guitars and I get paranoid about crashing the van. We met with up with the Iowa based Death Ships, with whom we'd be playing the next three shows. They are all laid-back, warm fellas, which probably explains how they could tour cross-country with Jay Bennett. Anyway, the show was alright even though the sound was piss-poor (sound guy: "I am so drunk right now!"), and the band after us had this cool girl drummer who kicked everyone's ass all over the stage.
Saturday, March 3 Iowa City IA
This show was a turning point for us. We had some great people drive out to see us in the bitter cold, and Death Ships brought out a bunch of folks for their hometown show. Ross had to do most of the show on his acoustic guitar, but the show still rocked. We did an encore for the first time on the tour and all agreed that it was the best show so far. Afterwards I talked to a couple of really crazy, absinthe-drinking chicks who wouldn't buy a cd or a t-shirt, despite my cajoling. Did I mention it's really cold in all these towns?
Sunday, March 4 Rock Island IL
Not really a show per se, but we did to a session during the afternoon for daytrotter.com in their absolutely kick-ass recording facility. We didn't even have to bring in our gear! They had so many awesome toys for us, including some priceless guitars and one of the best snare drums I had evern heard. Anyway, we did four tunes which should be up on the site soon. These guys are True Believers and we had a great time. We'll be back soon, fellas.
Monday, March 5 Cleveland OH
We got started on this drive the night before, and holy shit is it cold in Ohio this time of year. Ross' amp died on us so it was another acoustic-guitar show. We were all starting to get sick and hardly anybody came to this show, so there is not much to say about this show, except that it was one of the best shows we've played.
Wednesday, March 7 Boston MA
Tuesday was a long-ass drive to New Haven CT, but it was worth to stay with Dan's family and get some much needed rest. Dan's mom Cynthia is quite simply one of the best cooks I have ever been around, and this is always, always a tour highlight for everybody in the band. I cannot spell or pronouce alot of the dishes since I am not Italian, but everything is so tasty I don't really want to leave.
Our show in Boston was a great success, in spite of the fact that Boston is a huge pain in the ass. Dan had a bad fever but put on a guitar clinic anyway, and we got called back for an encore by the great audience. You know you're doing a good job when the ten guys from the other bands all standing there with their eyes glued to you. Either that or they were admiring our equipment. No, it probably wasn't the equipment. Poor Rob got food poisoning after the show and the taillights in the van went out. It is also super cold in New England right now, which I'm not sure if I mentioned before.
That's all for now, we'll have more to say once we get to Austin.