North Carolina Tour

photo by Pete

Yacht Rock had a tough little tour last weekend up to North Carolina and back.

First indication that things weren't going to be easy:  we made it to 85 and Clairmont before we pulled over to add air to the trailer tires.  It was then that we noticed the steel tread showing through on the left wheel!  No good…change that tire!

Several hours later, we were still on 85 (this time just north of Charlotte) when we noticed smoke coming off the right trailer tire.  We peeled off at the next exit and investigated--it seems that the bearings in the trailer axle were fried.  Some quick smartphone work found us a UHaul place in Salisbury, NC where we could rent another trailer.  Unfortunately, we had trouble hitching it up to the van.  We eventually got the UHaul hooked up and all the gear in it, but weren't able to get back on the road quickly enough to make it to the Lincoln Theatre, so we had to cancel our gig.  Bummer!

hiding from the cold in our empty trailer

We spent the night in Salisbury.  There was a Japanese steakhouse nearby that provided dinner and entertainment.

The next morning, a couple of the guys got our trailer over to a repairman, who quickly fixed our axle bearings and got us back on the road in a couple of hours.  We reloaded our old trailer and got back on 85, this time headed to Charlotte.  We stopped this time (in a sleet storm) to add air to our van tires.

Our first gig was to be at the Visulite Theatre.  We made it, though we had to jump a curb to get around a downed power line.  It's a pretty easy load in, through the back door, down a half dozen stairs and on to the stage.

Soundcheck provided me with the discovery that the octave key mechanism on my alto was messed up--it must have taken a hit somewhere along the way that bent the rod.  I noticed last week at my House Live gig that a few of E and F# with the octave key felt weird and then felt fine.  The bent rod was causing the octave key to close slowly (thus the weird note and then fine once it closed).  I pulled the mechanism apart, WD-40'd the rod, and then forced the key tubing over it until it smoothed out the bump.  Scary stuff for saxophonists.

The show was pretty awesome!  Our first show in Charlotte drew 350 people on a night with horrible weather.  It might've sold out under better conditions.  Yay for us!  The room was cool and sounded good;  everybody (except for Dannells) played well.  I had a really good solo on Takin' it to the Streets.  It was a fun night (except for Dannells).  Hopefully, this gains us a foothold in Charlotte, as it makes for a good stop on our tours to the Northeast.

A couple of videos from the show:

A tweet from a fan:

The next afternoon, we loaded into a club for a delayed wedding reception--they were married a few months earlier.  Another neat looking room, though they were having some sort of trouble with the furnace, so it was freezing!  It didn't help that the front door was open for half the night.

This gig was pretty good.  Private gigs never have the same vibe that public gigs do.  Later in the evening, a couple of attendees were drunk enough to get REALLY obnoxious, grabbing microphones, falling down on the monitors, knocking over the PA, and grinding on Pete.  Hmmm.

Bencuya front lines it

We hauled ass out of there as the club was opening to the public.  Fifty minutes after the last night, we had our gear and the PA loaded into the trailer.  Not quite our record, but in the top five.

We drove back to Atlanta, swapped out gear, and made our way to King Plow for our final gig of the weekend--the Team Hidi benefit.

Friend of the band and local chef Ryan Hidinger has stage IV gall bladder cancer which has spread to his liver and lungs.  Yacht Rock helped out by playing a benefit to help raise money for his treatment.

It was an amazing event.  A lot of the local restaurants chipped in for the event (which was packed to the gills!).  Good food everywhere!

Our set was a throw-and-go situation.  We plugged in and went for it without much of a line check, let alone a proper soundcheck.  Knowing it was going to sound rough, I had low expectations, and they were met.  Still, no biggie--it was tolerable for the hour or so that we played, and if it helped the event, I could deal with anything.

We're at the 40 Watt in Athens this Friday night.  Come see us if you're around.

Upcoming public dates:

February 1, 40 Watt (Athens, GA)
February 15, Taste of Dunwoody (Dunwoody, GA)
February 16, Cannery Ballroom (Nashville, TN)
February 24-March 1, Rock Boat XIII (the ocean)
March 2, Park Tavern (Atlanta, GA)
March 14, Wonder Bar (Asbury Park, NJ)
March 15, Theatre of the Living Arts (Philadelphia, PA)
March 16, Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY)
March 17, The Hamilton (Washington, DC)
July 11, Mohegan Sun (Montville, CT)
July 20 (Atlanta, GA)
October 19 (Atlanta, GA)

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