Daily Archives: May 24, 2014

Not A Lightsaber, But It Can Fry An Egg

I’m a huge fan of things that can set stuff ablaze, so you can imagine my glee when I stumbled across this flashlight from Wicked Lasers that can focus it’s emitted light in to a beam that is hot enough to ignite a forest fire.

The flashlight has an internal rechargeable battery that lasts between 10-40 minutes depending on usage, a military grade casing, and a 4100 lumen light output.

The $200 price tag is the only thing that stops me from purchasing what has to be the ultimate emergency flashlight. One day, when I have disposal income I’ll have all the cool toys. Until then, I’m sure my friend Jake is silently rejoicing that I don’t. Because you know one of the first things I’d try to do is see if it could singe off his arm hair….

Video below:

The Show Must Go On

Breakout Tour: Day 2
Camp Hill, PA

Short distances between shows and multiple gigs in a row is a recipe for shorter blog posts on my end. For me, last tour created a number of issues regarding this day to day transcription our journeys. Firstly, the amount of driving and days off that we had in between shows left a lot of empty holes in our goings on that really forced me to constantly have to lump multiple days together just to have a readable length blog post. (Because let’s face it, there’s only so many ways that I can describe us going to Planet Fitness, Starbucks, and driving down a highway…. There’s a lot of ‘Groundhog Day’ moments when you’re on tour…)

The plus side of having so much time is that I was able to put extra effort into formulating what I felt were slightly more descriptive posts. That in itself is a double edged sword though, as I found the more open time schedule was killing my creative buzz, which in turn left me constantly behind in my blog. Having a daily deadline forces me to knuckle down and spend the few hours a day it takes to write these.

Anyways, we did our classic morning routine of waking up at a Walmart, getting coffee, then heading to Planet Fitness for a work out and showers. (Obligatory boring stuff out of the way! By the way, with the amount that I plug Walmart, Planet Fitness and Starbucks you’d think I’d get some sort of kickback… Someone make that happen!) After all that we headed over to the club.

Gullifty’s is a combination restaurant/rock club, with an upper middle class dining area and billiards tables upstairs, and a full bar with a stage downstairs. The area it is in is a strip mall, so there was plenty of things to walk around and see.

We got to the venue for load in at 5pm, but our set time wasn’t until 10:15pm so we had a bit of time to kill. I walked around for a while with Nate, then decided to crawl in to my bunk and watch a movie. (I watched Pompeii, which I went in to with no expectation except that I might fall asleep. While it wasn’t a ‘this-movie-is-so-great-everyone-should-see-it’ kind of movie, it did keep me awake and entertained!)

When I was done watching the movie, all of us went and had dinner at the venue’s restaurant. The food was surprisingly good, and it left me with enough leftovers to save for a whole other meal.

After dinner we headed downstairs to watch a bit of the band that was on and to prep for ours. Once that band was done we began the set up process for us. While we were getting ready Dive noticed that someone in one of the previous bands had accidentally smashed the screen to the laptop that they use to control their lighting system and click track. Panic mode kicked in as they frantically tried to come up with options. The solution hit me fairly quickly, so I told them not to worry, I had a fix for the night. I went to our bus, grabbed Root’s tv and one the VGA cables from our projector, and hooked it up as a second screen that mirrored whatever was on the laptop’s screen thus allowing them to see what was going on on their computer. Crisis adverted, the show went on.

Man on Earth finally played their song ‘On Our Way’ again, which is on the new record but hasn’t made it in to regular set list rotation. It was actually only the second time that they played it at a show, the only other time being the March 21st show in Waterbury, CT that kicked off last tour. Here’s to hoping it stays in the set!

After the show we were told that the venue was cool with us parking in their lot over night, and had available outlets for us to plug in to so that we could have power on our buses. Since we only had an hour and a half drive to our next gig, it made complete sense to just stay there for the night. We hung out with the Dive guys for a while and then one by one everyone headed off to bed.

Just Like Starting Over

Breakout Tour: Day 1
Clifton, NJ

So I’m laying here in my bunk thinking of writing this blog and it feels like I’m planning the screenplay for a too soon reboot of a major motion picture franchise. Kind of like when it was announced that a new Spider-Man trilogy was being made only a few years after the third one in the Tobey Maguire trilogy was completed. It almost feels like a continuation of the last tour, but lower budget, and with different players. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking this tour when we’re just leaving the gate, I’m just stating the fact that this is across the board a much more D.I.Y. tour.)

So, welcome to the Breakout Tour, feat. Dive and Man on Earth! I’m not exactly sure where we’re breaking out from, but wherever it is I just hope that it doesn’t involve me having to tattoo the schematics of a prison on my back….

This run was booked entirely by Dive, hitting many of the markets that they’ve been cultivating for the last few years.

Just a little back history, the last time Man on Earth did a run with Dive was back in November of ’08, coincidentally the first show that I met Nate at. Back then Dive was a completely different lineup, well, except for Johnny Dive, the lead singer. (Man on Earth was at their beginnings too, Nate being the only one still around now that the lineup is solidified.) I haven’t seen Dive play since their 2009 album release party for their record ‘Picture Perfect’, another show that Man on Earth played with them. Needless to say, there was a bit of nostalgia seeing them take stage again.

I spent my morning/afternoon in transit, taking the bus from Great Barrington, MA down to NYC to meet up with the rest of the guys before heading across the river to New Jersey. My bus dropped me off at the Port Authority terminal in Manhattan, so I began to walk north toward the direction of Stevie G’s house, where the band was headed from. Traffic was so horrendous that I walked 12 blocks in less time then the guys could drive as much. When I saw them pulling up I just walked into the street and hopped on without them having to stop and pull over (being that traffic was at a nearly a complete standstill!).

The club was only like a 45 minute ride away from Manhattan… when there’s no traffic, that is. Three and a half hours later, we finally pulled up to the front doors of the club. Dive had save us a spot right next to the side stage door, so we had prime load in conditions. The bar had a classic ‘metal’ club feel, with black painted walls and a plethora of band stickers covering them on every reachable surface. Since Clifton is Johnny Dive’s hometown the staff was super friendly and treated us very well.

I finally was able to get behind the light board again, which felt like a long time coming. It felt good to actually be doing something that felt productive again during the set as opposed to sitting by the merch booth the whole night. Dive had their own DIY lighting system that has given me a few ideas for getting my own cost effective show in the works.

After the show we had to wait a bit to load out so Nate and I went across the street to another pub to grab a snack. There we discovered a new favorite snack…. They were these pizza roll bites, but instead of a doughy outside these had a crunchy egg roll shell. They were so good we had to get a second order.

After we finally were able to load in we took off and headed to a Walmart parking lot for the night. Most of the gigs on this tour are within a couple of hours of each other, so that gives us plenty of time each day. Because of that we fell asleep good, knowing there wasn’t a huge rush to wake up and hurry over to the next city…