Chapter 1: Best (and Worst) of 2010!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
1. selling out the paradise and stepping up the tour-
ok, so to really appreciate some of our headlining tour accomplishments i think it's important to give a you a little background, especially for those of you who are new to the family.
i played in my first open mic about ten years ago. never had money or connections, (the two things that, for the most part, break bands). over the last 10 years it has been a game of inches...usually me on the phone or on-line, bugging the crap out of clubs until they finally agreed to book me. most of these, over the last 10 years have been bars. it is only very recently that aeg has had management and booking behind us, which has allowed us to hit some pretty frickin cool milestones in 2010.
the ultimate has got to be when we sold out the paradise. this is a feat that every boston band dreams about. the dise has been looming there for years, beckoning to us...(sometimes taunting).
for some of our boston family you may remember a couple smaller shows there over the years, but nothing compared to the "view from the root" cd release. we had no idea how many people would come out!
not only was it packed, but the energy coming from the crowd was truly inspiring.
it was everything we dreamed it would be, complete with special appearance from tom hamilton of aerosmith and josh lighting himself on fire during the encore.
(ok, the fire thing didn't happen, but i still contend that it's the only thing that may have made the night more exciting than it already was...maybe next time)
some other major headlining accomplishments for our little indie project have been selling out the mercury lounge in nyc, and tupelo music hall and stone church, both in NH. we also had amazing first time headlining experiences in great clubs like the iron horse in northampton ma, the empire in portland, me, schubas in chicago. also, as this was really the first year of aeg doing some serious national touring and we were able to headline for the first time in a bunch of new states for us - ohio, indiana, missourri, wyoming, colorado, maryland, and pennsylvania!
it's very exciting to be spreading our wings around the country, but more importantly, we're still adjusting ourselves to the notion that we are no longer a local bar band. don't get me wrong, we have not outgrown the bar gig, nor will we for a little while yet i'm assuming, but now, for me, the bar shows are played with a feeling almost akin to nostalgia...like i should enjoy these nights because this is where the true heart of a band is formed and our bar playin days may be numbered...
i am trying to savor every moment....even those moments when the train comes entirely off the track...which brings us to our first worst moment of 2010...
10 worst moments of 2010 (also not in any particular order):
1. the empty club in st louis -
yes we are now playing around the country with an ever increasingly intense tour schedule. this is incredibly exciting to watch unfold, but it also means that there have been some nights, when we are scheduled to play a show at a club and NO ONE knows who the fuck we are. (...yet)
there is no better example of this, and the magic that can come out of these nights than our show at "the gramophone" in st. louis. we knew something was off when we showed up for load in and the club was locked up tight, the sign on the door reading, "live music - tuesday through saturday".
it was monday.
but, never the less, someone finally came around to let us in and as we set up for the show we couldn't help but notice that not only was nobody coming into the club, but really no one was even passing the club on the street...ever see the movie "vanilla sky", when tom cruise is walking long broadway in nyc and suddenly notices the entire city is deserted? yup...kinda like that.
8pm. time to hit the stage. our first 3 fans came in and were waiting politely.
now, this wasn't our first rodeo, and as an indie band, over time, you get used to dealing with the unexpected. we were actually in pretty good spirits, making jokes and recognizing that this night, however it unfolded, would certainly be a memorable first st. louis experience.
josh, who later received the mvp award for the evening, noticed that the club had a camera set up facing the stage and asked the sound guy if we could live stream the show. he said absolutely, and we decided to send a message out to our facebook family that we would be doing a live streaming concert that night and were taking requests.
what happened next still makes me grin when i think about it. hundreds of fans tuned in and sent in requests to josh's laptop which he positioned on his keyboard.
we'd check the computer for a request, thank the requester on camera, play the song, then check again. wash. rinse. repeat. all night. over 100 people tuning in at any given moment.
...turned into one of our favorite nights of the year!
so perhaps st. louis was both a low and a high point all at once.
we had a few interesting nights like this, never as empty as st. louis, but another one that sticks out was our first headline in pittsburg at the "thunderbird cafe". there were about 20 people there, one of whom was michael glabicki, (lead singer for rusted root), who ended up getting up on stage and sitting in with us...another 2010 highlight!!
if you are out there reading this, you probably have friends in other states and towns that we will be touring through. let your peeps know!! have'm come out for a visit! lets gett'em on board!
they say it takes a village to raise a child.
well it's clear that it also takes a pretty bad-ass, global village to raise a band.
can't wait to see what adventure we come across in 2011!!
(stay tuned for episode 2!)