Day 45: Nomads
After a late night in the studio, and being that we didn’t have any driving to do that night, everyone took the opportunity to sleep in the next morning.
The bus rumbled to life about noonish, and the decision was made to head to an IHOP for breakfast. When we were done we went to shower, then set up camp at Starbucks. I took some of the office time to play Cinderella and clean up the bus.
Having 5 people on board and all the gear we do requires a fairly regular maintenance routine to prevent our habitat from developing the air of a disorganized 15 year old soccer players bedroom. Once it was time to head out, we all packed up and headed downtown.
On the way to the the gig, we stopped at First Avenue, the legendary rock club that was used as Prince’s musical testing ground, and was also featured in Prince’s movie Purple Rain. We snapped a few shots to prove that we were actually there, then headed to the club.
The Nomad had a interesting stage situation. Half the stage was hinged, and in drawbridge fashion, was lowered on to a pool table, helping the stage achieve it’s full length potential. It’s like the Transformers of stage systems.
Dr. Fink met us at the club, we loaded in, then grabbed a bite to eat at the venue. The opening band was a group of kids that were fourth year School of Rock students, which was very interesting to see. The school is a very similar to concept to the one put forth in the Jack Black movie, although they are unassociated. The kids were in their mid to late teens, playing a set of mostly covers, with a few original songs peppered throughout. The kids had visible fostered talent, and you could tell that they had been educated in everything from playing their instruments to how to act on stage. While this makes the band more proficient, I personally notice a marked difference between a band that is good by being formally educated in how to be a band, and a band that earns their stripes in the trenches. Don’t get me wrong, I think the School of Rock is an amazing thing. It provides an excellent base for young musicians to stand on, but it comes down to the age old ‘book smart vs. street smart’ competition. There’s a certain corporate Disney channel feel to a book smart band that can only be shed when a band finds their heart. Now, they may find that early on and come out of the gate light years ahead of their peers. On the other hand, it could take years, or never come at all. Regardless, with that type of formal education becoming more readily available, it will be interesting to see how the industry of indie music changes.
Man on Earth played their normal set, with Dr. Fink sitting in on keys the whole time. The Dr.’s talented key work added an amazing layer of flavor to the songs that I have become more than a little familiar with. The last time we had some one in on keys was when the guys played the Simple Plan ‘Get Your Heart On’ album release show in NYC. It’s always a welcomed addition, and to have an icon like Dr. Fink putting his touch on the songs was a real treat.
As they were about to play the final notes on the sets last song, Bang Bang Bitch, Nate stopped everything and asked the crowd if they wanted one more song. As a positive unanimous sound echoed through the room, the guys broke into a cover of Prince’s ‘1999’, with Dr. Fink leading along on the keys. A little side note, the guys learned the song the night before, and didn’t actually get a chance to practice the song through with real instruments. They pulled it off rather well come show time, which is the important thing. I was running the video cam all night, so hopefully some clips make it to the web so y’all can see for yourselves!
When the show was done, we said our goodbyes to the Dr., as he had an early flight to catch. The high that the guys were on after playing with Dr. Fink lasted throughout the gear load out through the crackhead infested streets, all the way to our Casa de Walmart, and I imagine, into their dreams for the night.