Road Trip!

Yacht Rock spent the past six days doing a run of shows up the eastern seaboard.  Not exactly a life on the road, but that's ok because I had limited underwear.

Wednesday:  travel day.  We drove from Atlanta to Washington DC and spent the night.  I can't think of anything significant other than a really good pizza I ate that night somewhere in Virginia.

Thursday:  we made the rest of the trip to Asbury Park, NJ, for our first date--Wonder Bar!  Asbury Park is still feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy.  You can't even make it onto the boardwalk.

The Wonder Bar is cool because it's pretty legendary even though it's kind of a small room with a small stage.  We had a decent crowd--maybe a couple of hundred people?  It was sort of 10 High-ish.  I think we had a pretty good show, and it was good to warm up for the bigger stages later on.  There were some problems with the up front monitors, but the back line guys were generally satisfied.

The promoter for the show made all sorts of promises about the numbers…no such luck.  Everybody had a good time (especially the promoter, who got a little wild and was escorted out by security).  I was hoping for Marisa Tomei, but she failed to show.  Again.

New Jersey was cold and windy that day.  Still winter!

We were all well on our way to sleep when Greg discovered the Eagles documentary on Showtime, so the whole band stayed up until 4 AM watching.

Friday:  thankfully, we were not up too early--1 PM lobby call.  Unfortunately, Bencuya and I woke up at 1 PM.  Oops.  It was OK, though, because we ended up staying in NJ at a bar to watch the IU game.

Our next stop was the Theatre of the Living Arts in Philadelphia.  We've never played Philly.  Nice!

The word was that this show was destined to be cancelled because of poor ticket sales, but we had a good burst at the end (TLA also gave away some tickets to fill the room).  The final numbers were around three hundred--really good for our first showing!

TLA is cool.  I own a great Michael Brecker bootleg from the Tales of the Hudson band--Naked Soul--recorded at TLA, so everything was a "Michael Brecker was here" moment--Michael Brecker maybe changed clothes here, Michael Brecker maybe sat on this toilet.  Probably.

We had great pizza at a hipster pizza joint.  Afterwards, Mark Cobb and I walked the length of South Street.  Lots and lots of shoe stores we did find.

Our show was terrific.  Bigger stage, bigger crowd, bigger performance.

Saturday:  on to New York!  We got into Manhattan and drove around for about an hour trying to find street parking for our van and trailer--no easy task.  After that, it was lunch and then a bar to watch the IU game.

We loaded into the Gramercy Theatre that afternoon through the front door.  As we were opening the trailer, some guy walked up next to us and threw up some kind of red clay right into the street.  Welcome to the city!

This was THE major show of the tour.  We had a good soundcheck and got everything just right (due to space limitations, the monitor guy was in a perch overlooking the stage).  The only blemish was that the monitor guy knocked my EWI onto the floor and broke the antennae on the MIDI transmitter (just like the guy did at the Park Tavern a few weeks ago).  Thanks for that.

Before the show, we walked across the street to a restaurant called Stix.  Awesome Greek/Mediterranean food, and the owner had already sent the band a Facebook message welcoming us to the neighborhood, so when we showed up, he toasted us with two bottles of champagne!  The food was fantastic.

So, the Gramercy Show…HOLY SHIT!  The room was right about at capacity (600 people), and when we jumped on stage to begin, the atmosphere was electric.  It stayed that way for the whole night, and the band responded with one of our best shows ever.  Wow.  We were legitimate rock stars for the night.

A couple was thrown out of the show for having sex in the seated section.  That's inspiring!

Afterwards, we had to hurry up and pack up and get out--the stage crew cut the stage power, possibly damaging our electronic stuff (four keyboards, two keyboard amps, guitar amp, bass amp, recorder).  Someone on the crew knocked my EWI over AGAIN and left it on the stage.  I can't imagine them being so casual about knocking over one of our guitars or my horns.  Not cool!

We crashed for a few hours in our SoHo hotel before heading out again.

Sunday:  Washington DC!  Our last gig for this trip was at The Hamilton right in the heart of DC.  This is one of our favorite places to play--underground parking;  the crew helps load in and load out;  the stage is a good size and sounds good;  the lights look great and they put our logo on the back wall;  the room is super hip.  It's so easy to play a good show there.

I wondered how we'd do after the euphoric NYC show, but everything was fantastic.  The crowd was good (sold out) and the band was hitting on all cylinders.  Great show.

Those guys are so cool that they even shot two camera video of us and gave it to us, plus the twenty-four track recording files from the entire show.  Wow!  New promo!

After we'd/they'd loaded out our gear, they took us up on the roof for a look around.  Amazing.  We were a few hundred yards from the White House.  The guy said, "you can kind of see the snipers on the roof looking at us."  Geez.  Too cool.  Still rock stars!

Monday:  a long van ride back to Atlanta.  No more rock stars.  At least we missed most of the bad weather.  Great trip!

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