Sold Out

Yacht Rock is back in Atlanta today following last weekend's run of sold out shows in the northeast.  Here's a quick recap:

Thursday:  We flew to Boston for our show at The Sinclair in Cambridge.  This show had been sold out for a month or so (550 in attendance).

The flight was uneventful (I fell asleep just after take off), but the decent into Boston was a little rough--very windy and the plane was making a strange noise.

Kip and Zach picked us up in the van and trailer and we headed to Cambridge, where a prime parking spot awaited us.  Unfortunately, a truck was there unloading food for the restaurant.  Fortunately, the guy had the most awesomely stereotypical Bahstan accent.  We enjoyed that a lot.

We were early to load in, so after the truck moved and we parked in our spot, everybody broke up for lunch.  A few of us went to an Italian restaurant down the street.

After lunch, we still had two hours to kill, so I walked around Cambridge and Harvard.

Harvard Yard!

This was our first regular Yacht Rock gig in three weeks.  In that period we'd played a lot together (the thing in Vegas, Dark Side of the Moon/Abbey Road), but there was definitely a little bit of rust on our show!  I felt like I was a split second off for most of the first set.

Regardless, it was an outstanding crowd and a really solid first show.  The second set felt better than the first, and we gave into the rabid fans and encored with Baker Street.  I'm so happy that Boston has become one of our regular stops in the northeast!

There a couple of clips of Baker Street floating around on Instagram, one of which captures the moment where I flubbed a note in the riff.  What crappy luck!

Post show sugar rush:  waffles that had been fried and topped like doughnuts.

Friday:  on to New York City!  We stopped in New Haven, Connecticut at Modern Apizza for lunch.  Their Italian Bomb pizza (sausage, pepperoni, bacon, mushrooms, onions, pepper, and garlic) was fantastic, and much more appetizing than the Clams Casino pizza (made with real clams!) that Monkeyboy insisted on ordering.   I'm pretty sure I ate half a pizza (an apizza?) here.  Totally worth it.

Our New York show at Irving Plaza featured Steve Augeri and Robbie Dupree.  As it was April 1, we also worked out our April Fools show opener.  It looked like this (you have to sit through about a 65 seconds of us coming out on stage).

In between the soundcheck and the gig, I ran around the corner and bought socks and a belt, as I had left my accessories (hat, shades, belt, socks) out of my stage clothes bag.  Bad, bad stupidity.

Here's a couple of random things about this gig:

1.  Tenor reeds...I use synthetic reeds on the Yacht Rock gig because I have to pick up my horn after it's been sitting for an hour or more and have it make sound.  A traditional reed would dry out.  The plastic reeds that I like are ok, but I can't quite decide whether I like the medium or medium hard strength.  On this trip, I only brought the mediums.  One gig into this run, and I wish I'd brought the medium hards as well.  My reeds felt bleah, like there wasn't enough resistance to deal with the air I was putting in the horn.  The medium hard reeds often feel a little too strong, though.  I need a medium kinda hard.

2.  Crappy solos on Takin' it to the Streets.  Good solos on Robbie's I'm No Stranger.  I like playing that one a lot.

3.  I was asked to learn a new harmony part for Lovin', Touchin', Squeezing' at soundcheck.  I had it fine, but I was worried that in the three hours between soundcheck and playing that song at the end of the second set, I'd forget it.  For some reason I had it in my head that the part started on A (then F# and E), and when it came around on the gig, I tried like hell to make those three notes fit...unsuccessfully.  After about three attempts, it clicked that the part started on B (then A and then F#).  Damn.   The right notes sounded so much better, and it was so much easier to sing.  I suck.

4.  Zach mutes my keyboards when Nick is playing them and I'm out front on saxophone (otherwise, that's all I'd be able to hear), but sometimes he forgets to unmute them when I return.  This was the case on Robbie's Hot Rod Hearts, which I played with no sound--just looking at my hands and trying to hear it in my head.

This show sold out!  1,100 people on a Friday night in New York felt really great.  As always, we rose to the occasion and delivered an awesome show.  Robbie and Steve were both in perfect form and the crowd was electric!    Now that I'm comfortable on Robbie's other songs, they are fun to play, and the Journey stuff with Steve can't be topped.  Don't Stop Believing felt like we were on the verge of a riot.

After the show, we drove about an hour north of the city to our hotel in Connecticut.  Unfortunately, their computer system was down.  The first room assigned to Monkey and me was occupied (which I'm sure was great for the occupants when we tried to open the door and 2 AM).  We went back downstairs and got a new room.  The room keys wouldn't work for that room.  We went back and got another set of room keys.  Back upstairs.  Those didn't work.  Monkey went back downstairs, and the security guy came and let us in the room.

Still without a functioning set of room keys, we were confined to our room until the next day.

"Sleeping" in the hallway outside our room, waiting on the overnight security guy to let us in.

Saturday:  I need coffee in order to live.  The guy at the front desk finally got us a set of room keys, and not a moment too soon, because after trying unsuccessfully for 10 minutes to order a cup of coffee from the bar in the restaurant, I gave up and walked up the street to McDonald's.  Shitty coffee is better than no coffee at all.  Norwalk, CT, I love you but you're bringing me down.

The gig of the day was a birthday party for a friend of the band at a mansion in Connecticut.  Robbie came with us to load in and soundcheck, and spent a good chunk of the down time amusing us with a ditty inspired by Kip's spot for his mixing console called The Bar Becomes the Barrier (Eee Oh Eee Oh Eee Oh).   The only other line I can remember off the top of my head was She was too big/I could not marry her/Eee Oh Eee Oh Eee Oh.

As is often the case with these kinds of gigs, we had a good time and didn't work too hard.  The first set included special guests Robbie Dupree and Steve Augeri (former lead singer of Journey!).  The birthday boy joined us on drums for a few songs in the second set.

It's quite a house!

Load out was quick (everything in the trailer in under an hour) because of bad weather on the way.  We went back to the hotel in Norwalk and fell asleep to the sound of thunderstorms.

Sunday:  We woke up to a light dusting of snow (and a lot of wind), and after a quick coffee stop at Starbucks, pointed the van south.  Destination:  Washington, DC.

By the time we'd pulled into the loading dock at The Hamilton, our DC show had sold out (700 people).

The Hamilton is an exquisite venue.  I don't think we've ever had a bad show there.  My in ear mix was the best of the weekend here.

My flute face sucked real bad on this one.  I had trouble with the first note everytime the Lowdown riff came along, and the piccolo slipped off my lip on Call Me Al.

Post gig, the manager took us up on the roof for a quick look around Washington at night.  Pretty cool.  I bet the snipers on the roof of the White House were happy to see us.

We drove to Baltimore to spend the night.  Mark Cobb was as sick as a dog.

Monday:  Fly day.  The end!

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