Monthly Archives: April 2013

Strikes and spares

Day 26: Cleveland

Another venue in a bowling alley! Not as eclectic as Brooklyn Bowl, Mahall’s in Cleveland, OH has a very retro bowling alley feel. There are no digital screens for score keeping, scoring is still done with paper and pencil. The decor is very 1960’s with their multicolored bench seats, oak paneling, and V.C.T. flooring.
The stage was in a separate room, and was simply constructed of unpainted O.S.B, and all the ambient lighting was provided by clamp on incandescent painter’s lights, the kind with the 8.5” steel reflectors. I jokingly said that they should rename the venue to Home Depot Hall, being that it would be very apropos. Everything was solid though, and not even Flagship Romance’s foot stomp made the stage bounce. There was a curfew on the night, since the venue was near apartments and noise ordinance laws required us to be done by 10:30 pm. With the amount of bands on the bill we were all limited to 25-30 minute sets, which made the night fly by. Oh, and we filmed another killer video update that Nate is editing as I type…. We are coming into the home stretch of this tour, and having rounded 3rd, the realization that we’re almost done is right in my face. People tend to ask before tour if we’re ready to go on the road… Funny thing is, I’m not sure I’m ready for tour to be over. This past year the bus has been more a home to me than anywhere. I’m already anxiously waiting for summer tour….

A house in the Hamptons

Days 24/25: Fort Wayne

In all the time we’ve traipsed back and forth about the country we’ve established a few ‘second homes’. To me, second homes are cities where we have a solid home base, great working relationships with the clubs and local media, a developed fan base, and all the wonderful people that come with it. In the south, we have Jacksonville, Fl. Tim Hall, Steve, all the crew at Jack Rabbits, Shawn, Jordyn, Brett, Brad…. and the list goes on and on….
In the Midwest, we’ve got a Lil city in Indiana called Ft. Wayne.
Saturday’s show was our third time in Ft. Wayne, and our second time at the Neon Armadillo. The Neon Armadillo is actually a known as a country bar, but they have for the last year or so been having Rock music nights in association with the local rock station Wbyr. Both the club owners and Wbyr have been very supportive of Man on Earth, so it was a very welcoming environment. Oh, and did I mention that Gail and Ben live in Ft. Wayne?
Gail, the head of our street team and her husband Ben opened up their home to all 3 bands, cooked for us, and made us feel more at home then any place outside of our own homes. After the show everyone made their way over to Gail’s house, including our friend Amanda who flew in from Charlotte. (Except for me, I played hooky, and disappeared downtown with Gail’s cousin Sam who drove in from Perdue for the show. We painted the town red per our custom, then she and I got some breakfast, then headed to Gail’s.)
By the time we got to Gail’s, it was about 4am, and we expected to have to sneak quietly in because everyone’d be sleeping. On the contrary though, when we pulled up all the lights were on and only 2 out of 15 people were asleep. (I’ll deliberately leave you wondering which two, but I guarantee the probability of your first two guesses being wrong is extremely high).
Everyone was just hanging out, two people were jamming away on acoustic guitars, conversation swirling through the air like a teenage ballerina with an abusive dance mom.
By the time everything winded down and the dust cleared it was 7:30am. Everyone had slowly gone to bed, leaving me sitting on on a corner of a couch. I dozed on and off until the smell of Ben cooking pancakes hit me like an angry Vince Wilfork, knocking me off the couch and making me drag my sorry self to the counter for fluffy goodness. We spent the day catching up on necessities, (internet work, laundry, past episodes of The Walking dead {well, Gail and I did, everyone else wanted to wait for their girlfriends…. Sell outs!}) Tacos, chicken, corn, and potatoes for dinner, and then getting ready to head to Cleveland the next day.
I can’t wait to get back to Indiana. We really never know where the highlights of each tour will be. Unless Fort Wayne is on the calendar. Then there’s a given!

The birth of Sal

Day 23: Detroit

For years I’ve heard horror stories about Detroit. Stories of unemployment, drugs, murder, and all sorts of other happenings that make most normal people cringe. Apparently everyone’s heard the same stories because more than a few people in our troop had visible trepidation about playing in the Motor City. Personally, I grew up in a ghetto, so I’m not even sure what it’d take to scare me about an environment, plus I knew we were going to be in semi decent neighborhoods, so I knew we were alright.
Detroit is the home city of our tour sponsor, Motor Energy Drink. They set us up with hotel rooms, so we cleaned up and then went to meet with the owners of the company. Dinner, then on our way to the ‘venue’.
The venue was not a traditional venue. It was actually an art gallery. Odd pieces of modern art lined the walls, the strangest in my opinion being the blown up renditions of cancer cells superimposed over pictures of the affected body parts.
The gallery was packed, something I didn’t really expect. The Motor Energy crew brought in a good party crowd, and for that night the art gallery was a rock venue.
After the show we headed back to the hotel. Nate and I decided to share a room with Flagship Romance, and we dubbed the room the Quiet Room. We had figured the rest of the guys and Gone by Daylight would be up hanging out and we wanted to get an early jump on the day.
After a video update and a bit of story telling, we all decided to go to sleep. But not before a bit of prank calling. Shawn called each of the other rooms we had pretending to be the front desk reporting a noise complaint. The best part of it was that the Quiet Room was the only one awake! The pranks followed up the next morning, and there’s some video you can check out on Flagship Romance’s Facebook page.
I know I’m behind on these blogs, but I’ll get caught up tomorrow!