Up To Chicago

The Yacht Rock Revue headed up to Chicago this past weekend via Chattanooga and then Louisville. An usual string of cities for us, but it turned out to be three great gigs in a row.

Thursday:  we convened at our usual meeting place pretty early to load the trailer and head to Chattanooga for our first stop at the Riverbed Festival.  I was operating on a couple of hours of sleep, so I slept the whole way.

We set up and sound checked around 12:30 PM on a nice stage.

I'm not sure what I imagined myself doing in this picture.

After a pretty good lunch, I went back to our green room and passed out on the floor for a few more hours.  Sleeping on a hardwood floor is not the best;  I was so stiff when I finally woke up, I thought I wouldn't be able to stand up.

Our stage for the evening.  A jam band from Nashville opened for us.  I think they were probably better than they sounded--their front of house mix was pretty rough.  I gave up pretty quickly and took a stroll.  Not far from our stage the Humane Society had a dog adoption tent set up, and I briefly considered adopting a hound/lab mix, but I wasn't sure how well we'd do with a dog in the van.

We started at 8 PM.  Nice gig!  The crowd filled out pretty nicely--estimates were a couple of thousand.  We had both Kip and Zach for this run, so the sound was good and consistent.  Those guys really make the gigs easy for us.

After a long hiatus, Baker Street has finally returned to song rotation.

Friday:  We drove a few hours and stopped for barbecue in Nashville, where we met up with our booking agent.  Great food.  I had a sammich, mac and cheese, green beans, and tea.

The afternoon drive was a snooze fest.  Lots of nothing.

We made it to Louisville and loaded into the Mercury Ballroom.  We played here a year ago;  they've finished building a really good green room, and the room still looks and sounds good...plus we had Zach and Kip.

Turtle still showed up again after soundcheck.

Another nice gig!  This one had especially great sound in the in ears--we collectively guessed that the room had enough natural reverb to fill out the sound coming through all of the vocal mics.

We had maybe two hundred people show up.  While that's not a particularly impressive number, it's around three times more people than we had last year, so it's definitely an improvement.  We hung out and talked to lots of people after the show;  I once again had to answer questions about whether or not I was really playing the saxophone or just pretending.

After the gig, Monkeyboy was pretending to flip out about something, and he threw a water bottle that hit the wall and exploded all over Pete.  Oops.

Saturday:  Chicago bound.  Somebody in southern Indiana smells really bad.

I slept until lunch in Indianapolis, and then drove the rest of the way to the gig.  Kip was navigator.

The wind farm on I-65 in northern Indiana.

We played Joe's Bar on Weed Street.  It's a sports bar with a pretty big stage in the back room.  We played late (10:30 PM), following the Stanley Cup Finals game (the Chicago Blackhawks were playing Tampa Bay).  Chicago won 2-1.

We discovered some strange radio interference on the stage, and Kip and Zach quickly figured out that we wouldn't be able to use wireless microphones.  Fortunately, they'd brought regular mics and cables.  I'm so glad we didn't have to personally deal with that (or sit around while the in house production figured it out).

Another strange thing about this gig.  They got the name right on their marquee and the website...

The O in rock is upside down.  It bugs me.

...but they twenty or so TVs in the room all said "Yacht Music Revue" during our show.  What the hell?

Anyway...massive crowd for the gig--550 people, and they stayed there for the entire gig.  Absent from our gig, however were members of the band Rush, who were rumored to be planning to attend.  Unsurprisingly, they failed to show.

Chicago was great!  Love it!

We crawled into our hotel rooms around 2:30 AM.

Sunday:  we were all up in time to catch the 7 AM shuttle to O'hare for the flight home.  Ouch.  As much as I hate getting up that early, flying home beats two days in the van headed back to Georgia.

Kip and Zach drove our gear back.

Our next gig is this Friday at Park Tavern.  https://www.xorbia.com/e/pleaserock/yrrjunept2015

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