Northeast Tour

We put the band back together for a trip to the Northeast last weekend, with dates in New York, Washington DC, and Connecticut.  It was a great trip and some great gigs!

Thursday:  the four of us pictured flew from Atlanta to New York (JFK).  Pete flew in from Indianapolis, Mark Cobb flew in from Nantucket, Nick was already in New York visiting his sister, and Kip and Zach had driven the van and trailer up to meet us.  Ugh!  JFK!

We ate at a restaurant in JFK that had iPads at every table for ordering.  You could also surf the web.  It seems like it would be convenient, but it turned out to be pretty annoying (you can't ask questions or make substitutions easily).  Plus...the food was pretty crappy.  Also, the internet kept crashing.  Plus, JFK sucks.

Our first gig of the run was in Great Neck, NY.  After the van rescued us from JFK, we drove out to Long Island with time to spare.

The original plan was to play outside with the marina in the background--perfect for us--but the forecast had rain as a significant possibility, so they moved us inside to the high school auditorium.  Pretty nice room!  Built in 1926.  Beautiful.

Right out of the trailer, I notice that my keyboard stand had a broken weld, rendering it unfixable.  I did my best to get through the gig with a mile of gaff tape.

Notable alumni of this high school:  Francis Ford Coppola, Kenneth Cole, and Andy Kaufman.

Light attendance.  It got a little better, but the rain certainly didn't help.  I guess we were lucky that the room was very dark and we could barely see anybody in the seats.  It reminded me of those scenes in The Last Waltz where The Band is performing on a sound stage with no audience.

Our green room.

This gig was a good warm up to the rest of the weekend--it'd been several weeks since the seven of us shared the stage.

Friday:  a long day of driving from Long Island to Washington DC for the evening's gig at The Hamilton (one of our favorite venues).

We've had good luck in the past with stopping for food as soon as we hit Delaware, and this find was no exception.  Tex-Mex and Cajun food.  Yes!  I had a bowl of gumbo and then shrimp étouffée.

The Hamilton is a wonderful room!  The crew is great, the room sounds good, the room looks good, the audience is always fantastic, the food is great...all good. Plus, this run had Zach and Kip on sound, so no problems at all on that end.  Our crew is awesome.

The gig sold out right around the time that we hit Washington D.C., and we were informed after the show that our gig had set the record for food and drink sales.  I guess that means we'll definitely be back!

My keyboard stand made it through one more gig without giving way.  I started thinking about this kid during the show:

However, at the end of the night, the wireless transmitter on my tenor went on strike, so to speak.  When I picked up the horn to play Born to Run, it said it had dead batteries (red light).  I grabbed the batteries from my alto pack--still dead it said.  I grabbed from my spare batteries in the back of my rack--still dead.  What the hell?  So I played through my vocal mic (and Kip was on it immediately).  After the gig, still dead, still dead, still dead, and then ten minutes later, it magically came back on (green light).  No logical explanation.  Maybe the White House blocked my signal or something.

Saturday:  another big drive back to New York--this time for the evening's gig in Manhattan.  We made it early enough to park (found a spot next to Gramercy Park) and go eat.

Photo shoot next to the van.  Nice shoes.  Both of you.

Instead of eating, Kip, Zach, and I went to Guitar Center for a keyboard stand (Kip bought some cheap adapters while we were there).  They didn't have the keyboard stand I wanted--they had the same crappy one I've had--twice--and both have eventually died.  I wasn't really excited about a third one, but it was all that was available.

After ten minutes of waiting, the dude still hadn't brought it out, so I walked out of the store.  We still had an hour before load in, so I decided to hoof it twenty blocks north to Sam Ash to try my luck there.  They DID have the keyboard stand I wanted (hah!  Suck it Guitar Center!).  The only tricky part was carrying the giant box back.  After some quick iPhone research, I figured out that if I could get a couple of avenues over, I could grab the N,Q,R at 33rd and 6th and ride the subway back down to Union Square, saving myself twenty blocks unnecessary pain.

We set up, sound problems.  The stage at Irving Plaza seems like it should be bigger.  I guess because it will hold more people (1,100, as opposed to our other usual spot--Gramercy Theatre--which holds 650), I think the stage would reflect that, but they're about the same.  It's not too tight, but I'd be disappointed if it were any smaller.  We had just over 650 in attendance--full without being packed.

It also has a small band bathroom.  You can brush your teeth while sitting down, though.

Anyway, the gig was electric!  New York is always a great crowd.  My new keyboard stand worked great, my wireless packs worked great, my in ears sounded great...great gig.  I wanted to high five everybody in the room.

And New York liked us back.  This was on the driver's side window when we came out to the van.

We spent the night in White Plains, just north of the city.

Sunday:  a short drive awaited us, so we went out to lunch before the gig.  Coming out of a gas station, the trailer took a hit.  Oops. to Connecticut to the Ridgefield Playhouse.  Another beautiful room.

We've never played a public gig in Connecticut, so the crowd was small in numbers, but they got into it.  There were a few handfuls of people who did know who we were, and you could see their captain's hats dancing in the seats.

When we got back to the White Plains, we noticed that the trailer tire was smoking.  Uh oh.  The hub had come off one of the axles and the bearings burned.  Not good!

Kip and Zach had the unfortunate task of dealing with that.  They made it back to Atlanta by Tuesday night.

Monday:  We flew home on a small, bouncy jet.  Clowns to the left of me...

Jokers to the right.

Our next gig is this coming Saturday, July 18, at the Carrolton Amphitheater ("The Amp at Adamson Square").  FREE SHOW!!!!

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