Summer Tour, Part 2

Back on the road!

Wednesday:  the Yacht Rock Revue got up waaaaaaay early (for me) and flew to Baltimore to pick up our gear, all right where we left it.  From there, it was onward to Washington DC for our next gig.

The show in Washington was at Kastles Stadium, which is a tennis stadium right on the Potomac River.    It was broiling--really uncomfortably hot.  We shared the (thankfully covered) stage with an opening band, and neither they nor the audio company knew quite how to get their stuff together, so even though we were a little late getting there, we stood around and sweated for a while before things finally got moving.  Thinking about it now, I'm kind of surprised that one of us (in YRR) didn't get annoyed enough to start telling everybody else what they needed to be doing.

We waited in an air conditioned portable office.  Short on seating, but it beat standing in the heat.

The show was pretty lukewarm.  I don't think we played poorly--in fact, the playing part was a lot of fun--but the crowd was there for the all you can drink and the fireworks, and really didn't care that much about what we were doing.  The heat also crushed some of our enthusiasm.  We played for about an hour and a half and then the fireworks began (we had a fine view of the show in between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial).

On the way to our hotel, we listened to board tapes (CDs) from our show at the Canal Room in NYC last week and made some sound adjustments (and also had some good laughs at our mistakes).  I really liked hearing that--not just because it sounded good, but I could hear how different things were coming through the mix.  My organ playing is reaching the point of obnoxiousness.

Thursday:  up early again!  We drove all day to get from DC to Asheville, NC for our gig at The Orange Peel.  Cool!

This might have been the best room we played on this tour.  The Orange Peel is pretty legendary--when you tell people you're playing Asheville, they ask if you're playing at The Orange Peel.  We pulled up, and they had a crew of guys to haul our gear to the stage.  Hell yeah!  While they were bringing up gear, we had the opportunity to check out the Moog exhibit in the lobby.

After soundcheck, Andy Elliott from Elliott Guitars asked our guitar hero Mark Dannells to try one of his custom guitars.  A very cool experience, even though I was just a bystander.

The show was a lot of fun.  It's a big room with good sound.  We played some good shit in there, though I spaced out for a while mid-set.  I was watching some hippie girl watch me, and it dawned on me that I was supposed to be playing saxophone.

The audience was WAAAAY into the music.  Small in numbers (200 people?), but mighty in their enthusiasm.  We had crazy hippies, people dressed in YR clothing (one guy who I thought at first glance was Jim Ramsdell!), friends and family, and some guy who'd discovered us on YouTube and had been waiting a year to see us.  Neat!

In the middle of our set, our friend (and trumpet player for Please PleaseRock MePaul Poovey walked in with John Bryant (another IU guy)  and a couple of other guys!  A crew of wild brass players in town for JB's wedding.  Great to see familiar faces!

After the gig, the crew loaded our gear back out…rock star treatment!

P.S.  It was 77 degrees that evening when we went to eat supper.

Here are several YouTube clips from the show.

Friday:  an easy day, by comparison.  We got up and walked to brunch (where we once again ran into Poovey, JB, etc).  On the way back, we had several people in town ID us as Yacht Rock and congratulate us on last night's show!  Cool!  We'll be back!

brunch art by Mark Dannells
We headed to Nashville for a show at the Cannery Ballroom, sharing the bill with My So Called Band (90s tribute).

First stop was a quick tour of Zac Brown's new Southern Ground Studio.  Nice place.

We loaded in, soundchecked, and ate…usual stuff.

The Cannery was sold out.  Lots of people were jammed into that room.  We played pretty well.  Here's my solo from Good Thing:

 Good Thing Sax Solo by David B Freeman

You can buy the real thing here on iTunes.

Walter Eagan was gracious in joining us for a couple of songs.  He said it was like he was back in the seventies, but with hotter women.

We played his songs, beginning with Only the Lucky.  Before Magnet and Steel, he announced "Here's a song I wrote about Stevie Nicks."  We followed it with Go Your Own Way, also written about Stevie Nicks!

We loaded our own gear out.  Boo.

Saturday:  we boogied on back to Atlanta for a show at Riverside Park in Roswell.  I heard the estimate on the crowd was 3,000-3,500.  Nice!  It's good to be home.  People in the suburbs like us, too!

There was rain passing through about a half hour before the start, which probably kept some people away, but on the whole it was wildly successful.  We had another good show (though the sax mic had some feedback that the front of house guy never could solve).

Yay!  Another successful tour.  We're doing some recording in Athens, but otherwise it's a pretty slow week ahead.

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