Day 20: Denver
For me, Denver was a hometown show. Being that I was one of the co-promoters, it was probably the most stressful show of the tour for me.
Our bus treks across the country slow and steady, like a determined geriatric headed to the jello line. We usually average 60mph, but, given the topography of southern Colorado, we were lucky to stay above 50. This put a damper on my day of show promotion plans, and while I knew it was beyond any of our control I felt my frustration rising like an ocean tide. We finally got to the club late afternoon, loaded in and made our way down to 16th street mall with Flagship Romance to grab a bite and promo.
One of the local burrito shops/venues Illegal Pete’s runs a deal for traveling musicians called the Starving Artists program. The deal is, if you are playing a show in Denver Illegal Pete’s will give each member an entree in exchange for promoting them. Truth is, they’re frickin good burritos and I’d recommend them even if they didn’t give us free lunch, but they did, so it’s a win/win for everyone.
After lunch, we hit the pavement talking to everyone we saw (except this group of crackheads and this homeless guy who was begging for money so, in his words, ‘he could go buy a joint and get high…… At least he was being honest!)
We headed back to the club and began prepping for the show. Three Kings Tavern has a great aura about it. There’s a large stage, decent sound system, and an adequate lighting situation. Pool tables, old school arcade games like tetris and astroids, and pin ball machines line the walls and fill in the back end of the club. Stickers from hundreds of bands, some known, most unknown, and nostalgic style art populate the wall space.
People began piling in, and it became apparent that the club hadn’t expected us to do so well on a Tuesday night. (Final count was over 70 people, triple their usual Tuesday night crowd).
I found myself bouncing between my normal tour duties, the things I had to handle as a promoter, and hanging with all the different friends that came out to support my home show. I felt like one of the pin balls in one of the machines that lined the club’s walls. After the show we had to pack up right away and hit the road. The 8 hour drive to Lincoln, Ne is the one stretch of road I’ve dreaded this whole run. We’re half way through that drive now, and yes indeed, it sucks just as much as I remember it. See y’all on the other side!