Daily Archives: April 6, 2014

Sparks

Day 12: New York City
The Bowery Electric

New York City shows are always some of the most hectic for us. On top of the normal issues that are inherent with playing gigs in the city, the guys also have the added dynamic of having to split their attention with their significant others and families. And rightfully so, seeing that we are on the road so much.

Adam and I started our day in White Plains 3 hours after we got there. The bottom step of our bus and also the tail pipe have both been in need of some attention, so while we had the bus up at Root’s place we capitalized on the chance to put a band-aid on them. We also used this time to take care of our laundry.

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The welding took up the whole morning, and soon it was time to shove off. We made our way down to the city, doing our best to avoid the minefield of abundant potholes that cover the streets of New York.

When we got down to the venue there was a movie being shot right across the street. That meant that parking, which is already a ridiculous experience in the city, was that much more of a pain. We circled the surrounding blocks countless times, like vultures waiting to swoop in at first opportunity. Giving up for the time being, we parked at the edge of an intersection, unloaded our gear, and then Nate took over the search. After he found a place to weigh anchor, the guys set up for soundcheck.

On this tour, Miggs and Open Air Stereo are co-headlining, which means that whoever is headlining that night get the opportunity for a full soundcheck. The rest of us get a quick line check, which is a sped up version of a soundcheck. Being that this show was our hometown album release party, we were given the headlining slot, with the longer soundcheck. Once they were done, getting all their levels correct, the guys headed off to an interview.

Gail, the head of our street team, had flown in for the show, so I went with her and some of the band girlfriends to grab some dinner. Afterwards, we headed into the venue for the show.

The Bowery Electric is a narrow venue, so once the show started there wasn’t much room to move about. To get from one end of the bar to the next was at least a 5 minute trek of excuse me’s and push throughs. The club is well aware of that so they had a camera set up pointed at the stage, that fed to tv screens above the bar.

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Some unforeseen circumstances led to the departure of our Merch girl, meaning that I was sentenced to the booth. (Ok, it’s not so bad… It’s just that I’m not used to being tied to one area all night… And I miss the light board!)

After the show everyone went back to their homes, and Gail and I went to Nate’s. The lack of sleep the night before got the best of me and I passed out faster than a hemophobic at a slaughterhouse.

Can You Feel It In Your Belly Come On

Day 11: Manayunk, PA
The Grape Room

Just outside of Philadelphia, Manayunk, Pennsylvania is an interesting little town. After our morning routine, the GPS brought us down into the town on the strangest roads. It didn’t keep us on the main road into the center, instead we found ourselves careening down steep hills on very narrow streets, that, with the parked cars that lined the curbs were BARELY wide enough for two cars to pass each other, let alone our bus and a car.

After a couple of close calls with moronic drivers we pulled up to the club. Jensen, the tour manager that Miggs brought on the road, had the street blocked off with cones making it so that we could park right in the street directly in front of the club for load in.

The Grape Room is a tiny place. Once our gear was loaded in it looked as if there was hardly going to be room to move. As things got set up and the empty road cases were stored out of the way, the room opened up a bit.

Outside, the guys worked on the tedious task of finding parking on completely packed streets. Our tour package has two Sprinter vans, each towing a trailer that is about 15′ long, and then our short bus. So, as you can imagine, when a venue doesn’t have parking and were forced to find street parking, it’s a bit of a project. Open Air Stereo found a spot less than a block away, fortuitously. There were two spots directly in front of the club, but neither was big enough for either Miggs or us. There was a SUV parked in between the two spots, so there was a frantic search started to find the owner of it to see if they would move to a spot that opened up across the street. One of the club employees happened to locate the car’s owner, and Miggs pulled their bus into the spot. Nate thought that our bus might fit directly behind them, but there was just not enough room. He set of, cruising the streets, looking for a new spot.

A few minutes later, the owner of the car parked in the next spot behind Miggs happened to get into their car and leave. I jumped on the phone with Nate and directed him back, yet again, to the now big enough parking spot.

The Philadelphia area has been fairly good to us over the years. When I first started working with Man on Earth, Philly was one of the band’s second homes. Over the years, we’ve made a lot of close friends in the area, so, being that this was our album release run, there were a lot of familiar faces in the completely packed room.

Halfway through the night, I developed some sort of random stomach issue (another part of the reason I’m so behind on this blog! I know, I know… Excuses….). This was the first time that I really felt super sick in all the time we’ve been out on the road. Well, sick in a non-self-induced way, that is. I had the suspicion that the nausea I felt was food related, but I couldn’t be sure. The first thought I had when I started feeling ill was that I had to avoid the guys. Not knowing exactly what was up, I quarantined myself in my bunk. The last thing we need while out on the road would be for one of them to get sick. It would create a boatload of issues that we don’t need.

After load out we hit the road for New York City, which is only a few hours from Philly. I stayed in my bunk, trying to fight my way to sleep so I could feel better. Thankfully, we stopped for diesel shortly after we left the metro Philly area, because the poor quality of the roads on the way to the city had been the final straw for my nausea.

After I threw up in at the rest stop I was finally able to fall asleep. I awoke some time later, mid-air, the bus having hit one of the horrendous NYC potholes. After a quick self-check, I realized that I felt 80% better. We dropped everyone off and Root and I headed up to his place in White Plains so that we could do a few minor repairs on our bus in the morning.