Monday, September 24, 2018

To Hell and Back

This week, the Yacht Rock Revue went to Florida for a couple of gigs before returning to Atlanta for a Saturday night gig at Venkman's. 

Thursday: The Beacham in Orlando. I'm pretty sure I saw Tower of Power play here in the early 90s. 

While I'm happy that we're in a venue closer to Orlando (previous gigs at the House of Blues next to Disney are far away from most of our target audience), I don't think The Beacham is going to be our new favorite place to play. Decent crowd for a Thursday.

Friday: Tallahassee.

we hit a lot of bugs

Friday's show was a street party before Saturday's FSU game. We'd played one of these maybe three years ago, and it was enough of a success that they've been trying to get us back every year since then.

Quite a party! Even if they had no idea who we were, the crowd was good and enthusiastic, and pretty entertaining. We had one drunk girl climb the barricade, pull herself on stage, get escorted off, and immediately returned to her spot in the front row before we'd finished the next song. The cops took up positions on the back corner of the stage soon afterwards.

Saturday: Atlanta. We got drove home from south Georgia Saturday morning and set up for a birthday party at Venkman's. It was us, but it wasn't specifically a Yacht Rock gig--a little of everything. Some Tom Petty, some U2, so Zeppelin, some Beatles, and some of our regular stuff. An easy night.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Fortune and Glory, Kid

Back to Indy, this time for a corporate gig. This one was an 80s themed party, and though it started with an awkward quiz from the client (..."You got some Jump (Van Halen) for me?"..."Um, no"..."You got something from Top Gun?"..."Uh, no, but we do have Kenny Loggins on the set list"..."You got some Wham?"..."No, but we could do some George Michael") and took about forty-five minutes to get the people movin' and groovin', we eventually won them over. Easy gig, good backline, a pretty venue, and really nice people. Plus, check out the incredible backdrop for the stage!

C+C, and A Whole Lotta Indian Food

This was a long one by Yacht Rock Revue standards--three shows in California, two days off in Salt Lake City, a travel day, and then three shows in Colorado. 

Friday: We flew from home (Atlanta) to Los Angeles to meet up with our gear (which had been driven west earlier in the week).

After a nap, I watched the movie about Mr. Rogers, Won't You Be My Neighbor. Excellent stuff, even on this tiny screen!

Two nights at the El Rey!...

...but first, a short run around Beverly Hills!

There's an Indian restaurant across the street from the El Rey. I ate there before both shows on this trip. I think Samuel L. Jackson was in there on the second night. Otherwise, it was a guy who looked exactly like him who gave me a look like "Don't you DARE stop and say anything to me."

Night one was a little clunky for me. We added two new songs--Even the Nights Are Better and Tiny Dancer. I always need a half dozen attempts of playing my parts with the band before I can be comfortable, so it felt in both cases like I was chasing the music. We also hadn't played together in a week, so there was some rust there, too. It was enough to get the machine up and running, though.

We were super damn tired by the time this one ended. Fortunately, we did not have to pack up and load out!

When we finally headed for the van, somebody was shooting a car commercial in front of the theater.

There was a waxy Robert Pattinson (on the right) in the lobby of our hotel.

I went to bed at 1:30 AM, which felt like 4:30 AM. Long day.

Saturday: Slept like a dead guy, then went for a run. We were right down the street from the Hollywood Bowl, so I ran by it.

I made a left and headed up the hill, but ran out of sidewalk. When I crossed the street, the intersection was the end of Mulholland (a street I've heard of!), so I ran/walked up Mulholland.

Not the best place to run--no sidewalks! So I headed back down the hill on the other side, passed Hollywood High School (I guess I never thought there was such a thing in real life), and headed back to the hotel.

After lunch, I took a short lap around the area.

many a hit record has been recorded here

Jimmy Kimmel Live is just a stage in their parking lot

The Chinese Theatre. Star Wars opened here. Nuff said.

funny internet stuff from Friday night
Night two at the El Rey was, for the most part, much better. Sleep, food, and one gig down helped, and the sold out room gave us extra energy. Special guests for the evening: Elliot Lurie of Looking Glass, Peter Beckett of Player, Matthew Wilder, and Joe Sumner (Gordon Sumner's son).

The two new songs were better for me (though still not nearly perfect), and I recall a moment in Tiny Dancer when we hammering it and I thought "Holy shit! This sounds just like the record!" and the emotion of the song really hit me. On the other hand, I was so mad by the time I'd finished fucking up Minute by Minute that I thought I was going to have to leave the stage. Also an emotional moment, I guess.

All in all, though, this one had a lot of fire behind it--we put on a great show for a packed house.

Sunday: Pete told me that he and Nick had hiked in a canyon around the corner from our hotel, so I thought I'd stay off Mulholland and check this out instead. I think I took a wrong turn going up the hill, though, because the trail got really narrow, and I was ducking under branches and crawling up inclines on my hands and knees.

 I finally reached the top of the ridge and headed down a much more organized path.

And then, off to San Diego! But first, a shitty Mexican lunch.

The Music Box in San Diego is a cool venue.

The lighting guy reeeeeaaaaaallly loved his haze machine, and at some points I wondered if I was even visible in the cloud. Also, this light was blinding.

Surprisingly, this was another great show--no big letdown after Saturday night's big gig, and the crowd was tremendous, especially on a Sunday night. I am also happy to report that I had none of the wireless microphone problems that I'd had the last time we were here. Note for Future Dave: select microphone frequency AA next time--it's clear.

Monday: The van and trailer headed east, so we a few days to kill. I went for a long run before our flight from San Diego to Salt Lake City.

Our flight was delayed by a couple of hours, but we got upgraded. Free bananas!

Salt Lake City--went for another run, ate at an Indian restaurant, went to bed early, slept like a dead guy.

Tuesday: nothing to do all day. I walked to the campus of the University of Utah and went swimming at the pool.

After lunch (more Indian food!), I detoured over to see the Mormon Temple.

Got it. Seen it. The rest of the day consisted of a run and more Indian food (not the other way around, thank you very much).

Wednesday: A run, some breakfast...

And then the van picked us up to drive to Colorado.

Amazing scenery in the Utah desert.

I drove today, so two bananas and three oranges.

We spent the night in Grand Junction, Colorado. The usual stuff: a run, dinner at an Indian restaurant. When I returned to our room, though, my running clothes smelled so bad that I had to use the hotel laundry.

Thursday: Scenes from my run.

Just for the record, I ate Indian food for lunch.

The trek to Aspen! More driving, more beautiful scenery!

This evening's show was at the Belly Up in Aspen. We had to set up early so that they could show the Thursday night NFL game first.

what a sweetie!

the last time we were here, these hills were covered in snow

Another packed show! This place holds 450, and if I remember correctly, we had 415. Pretty cool, especially on a Thursday night where we've only played once before.

Friday: a little run before we left for Boulder.

our hotel

wildfire burn

The Boulder Theater show was tremendous. It was nice to stretch out on stage after behind jammed into the Belly Up. The room was once again very full, and very excited to see us, we played well, and I almost got Even the Nights Are Better and Minute by Minute completely right.

Saturday: After Friday's show, we went ahead and drove to Denver to spend the night so that we could spend two nights in the same hotel. Sooooo...I went for a run, and then went to a hipster Indian restaurant for lunch.

just a statue in a parking lot

Last gig! The Ogden Theatre in Denver. What a neat room! Things sounded really good in my ears, and we almost sold this one out. I can't believe how many people showed up--it was kind of amazing. We played pretty well, but it also felt like we were getting tired.

Sunday: We made it! Denver-->Atlanta. 3 hours home.