Day 48: Singers
It’s been an interesting weekend so far. After the Omaha show, we made our way toward Hays, Kansas. In all of our travels we have actually never been in Kansas before. And quite honestly, I’ve never even heard of Hays before.
We had to stop in the small town of Concordia, KS so that Nate could take a conference call. The rest of us walked around the town’s Main Street, the only things open were a few antique shops. One of the stores was full of every sort of thing, from books to furniture to an old telephone switchboard. After browsing there a bit, Mochello and I went to the pizzeria and grabbed a pineapple and bacon pie, the new go to since the famous D.C. pie at the beginning of this tour.
After we ate, Stevie G and Mochello decided to go back to the bus and Root and I went to hang at a barbecue joint so that he could get lunch. The owner was a pleasant older guy, who kept us entertained with stories of his life’s exploits.
When Nate was done his call we resumed our journey.
We were tasked with running sound for the night, so as soon as we got to the club we began the arduous task of running all the cables and setting up all the speakers, as the club had completely broken down the whole sound system after their last show. Once all the cables were ran and all the mics and amps were set up Root and I stepped back to the sound board. The board was a new digital one, that none of us were familiar with. We figured out getting sound through the P.A. system and into the room, but couldn’t figure out how to set up the stage monitors. Those monitors are crucial so that the guys can hear themselves on stage. Time was running out as our set time was getting close, and things were definitely NOT looking positive, and there was no one to call as a ‘phone a friend’ to get us out of the sticky situation that we were in. Thankfully, it’s 2013, and we were able to find an online video showing us the missing steps that we needed to take in order to get our stage sound set. With a crisis averted, we finished our soundcheck just in time for the doors to open.
Having been a last minute tour date addition (the show was booked about a week ago), and given the fact that we’ve never been to Hays before, we had no idea what to expect. The bartender (hands down best bartender of the tour so far!) told us that being a college town, Saturdays tend to have some sort of crowd that wanders in, especially since it was set to be a free show. True to her word, people started to trickle in. We decided to start the show a bit later, so all of us started working the room, talking to everyone we saw. We found out that there were two groups of people that were there to see us specifically, one that had been fans through Twitter for a while already, and another that looked us up through the venues website.
Once we got started, I set up camp in the booth, prepared to be running both lights and sound. (The bartender kept my supply of jäger steady, so I was more than happy behind the board!) The club wanted a full night from us, so we did our regular set, took a break, then we did what has been come to be know as Man on Earth After Hours (no it’s not a Late Night Hbo special), a call it out collection of material not in the usual set.
After the show, a drunk heckler gave Nate some grief, which was seen by a local police officer. She insisted on sticking around while we loaded out and gave us an official escort to the highway.
It’s funny how you never know how a night is going to turn out. We headed to a last minute gig in an unknown town and made more friends than we sometimes do in a higher traffic city. I gotta say, I’m digging Kansas so far.