Nashville + Indy

On the road again!  Yacht Rock made stops in Nashville and Indianapolis last weekend.  Dig it:

Thursday:  We hadn't made it far up I-75 before we stopped for gas.  When we did, we discovered that the cap on one of the trailer axles had come off, exposing the bearings to the world.  This has happened to us before, and it's not pretty.  All of the grease is spun out and the bearings burn up.  Very fortunately for us, we happened to be at an exit with a truck/trailer repair place, who sent us up to the next exit to another trailer repair place.  The new cap cost us $5.   Back to my nap.

We arrived at the City Winery in Nashville a little bit late (which caused us to miss our field trip to the RCA A Room, a legendary recording studio which would have been really cool to check out).  Too bad.  More importantly, we had to deal with the trailer of gear.  By this photo, I would say it was not my best packing job of the suitcases.

Pretty easy load in.  We were set up in a decent amount of time.  I also had enough time after soundcheck to thoroughly warm up.  Maybe it's a coincidence, but I had a much better time on saxes and flutes tonight.

I guess City Winery gives you commemorative bottles of wine when you play their room.  Nifty.

So...City Winery.  The load in is painless, the on stage sound is good, and the green room is nice, but the layout of the room is very weird.  The room fans out in an arc from the stage, and directly in front are tables that line up like spokes on a wheel.  Halfway back, they put up a barrier/fence, and behind that is standing room.  The seated people tend to be very reserved and the standing room people go nuts, so from the stage you can hear the roar of the crowd, but can't see where it's coming from.  The last time we played here, they didn't put up the fence halfway, and as the night progressed, standing room people made their way down between the tables.  Mayhem!  I understand that the table people are worth more money to the venue (they buy more food and drink), but I wish there was a way to give the standing room people access to the stage.

The setlist, with a little love for our Nashville friend Scott Sheriff.

Friday:  We stopped for gas somewhere in Kentucky, and a dude who may have just been a dude, or may have been the local distributor, gave us a two six packs of local ale.  All based off of his conversation with a few of us while waiting to pee.

We crossed into Indiana right around noon.

Lunch was Mexican food at some hole in the wall place.  Very good!  My only complaint would be their posters advertising dessert.  There's no desert in southern Indiana.

Controversy of the day:  we left at 10 AM instead of the original 9 AM, opting to sleep more and show up less early.  We made it to the back door of the The Vogue in Indianapolis a half hour late.  Oops.  By the time we'd dragged our gear in and set everything up, we were right up against the time to open the doors to the public.

Friday (today) was at one point a gig in either Cincinnati or Louisville, but we couldn't find a suitable venue, so then it was going to be a day off in Nashville or Indy.  Two weeks ago, we settled on playing a night of Beatles in Indy at The Vogue.   Sweet.

I did my big warm up again before the gig.

Pre-gig, The Great Bencuya and I walked around the corner to the Cuban place for sandwiches.  Though I'd eaten a ton of food at lunch, I was concerned that by midnight, I'd be falling apart with no good options available.  This hit the spot.

Kip joined us, demonstrating how to eat without wasting any energy holding the sandwich.

This show was not particularly well attended (less than two hundred), but I was relieved to be playing tonight instead of sitting in a hotel room or running around wasting money somewhere trying to pass the time.  The Beatles show is almost as much fun to play as Yacht Rock.    Plus, no loading in gear tomorrow (or loading out tonight!).

The Indiana guys (Nick, Pete, and Cobb) all spent the night with their parents, so the rest of us headed to the hotel after the show.  I'm glad that I ate the Cuban sandwich so that the vending machine wouldn't be responsible for providing dinner.

Saturday:  We slept late and killed time until our 3:30 PM lobby call.  The Weinermobile was parked at the hotel next to ours.

On our way to The Vogue we passed a Yat's (a chain of New Orleans style restaurants in Indiana that I love, even though the one in Columbus uses instant rice, which is gross and shameful), and the Jazz Kitchen, one of Indy's jazz clubs.  When I was in college, a carload of us drove up from Bloomington to see Chris Potter right as he was starting to become famous.  I remember he was playing on #4 or #5 reeds (he said it hurt for weeks before he got used to it), and we cornered him after the show to ask him music school student questions.

Another nifty tidbit that I hadn't noticed at the time:  Mark Buselli was playing that night--his name is on the poster right above the SUV windshield.  Mark was a grad student when I was an underclassman.  My college roommate could do a hysterical impression of him, and the thought of it still makes me smile twenty years later.

More alcohol with our names on it?  Reports from the more experienced beer drinkers said that this was pretty bitter.  I think Zach (our excellent monitor guy) ended up drinking most of it.

The Vogue is great, but if they could figure out how to make the dressing room big enough to accommodate more than one person, it'd really help.  Fortunately, the weather was nice enough that we could hang out by the stage door before the show.  We have the same conversation every time we're here--"How does [whatever famous band] handle this shitty green room?"  We're guessing they use their touring vehicle as the green room.  It's a bit like loading into Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta.  Every time you drag your gear up those rickety back stairs, you wonder why the venue has never done anything to improve what is otherwise a great gig experience.

This show sold out--in fact, it sold out a while ago.  The first set was a private benefit, and then they opened the doors to the general public.

It was a very long night, but very cool to play for a thousand people crammed into the room.  Indy loves us, and vice versa.  We'll be back soon!

Sunday:  7 AM shuttle to the airport for our flight back to Atlanta.  Getting up that early wrecked me.  Better than spending the day riding home in the van, though.

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