Days 29-33: Lost Lake Lounge
The road to Denver from Indianapolis was long and fairly uneventful. I’ve already blogged in the past about my ‘love’ for the states of Nebraska and Kansas, so I’m not even going to get into that. Stevie G had flown home the previous day, so the running joke of the 12 hour run was whether or not we forgot him at a rest stop, or if he was sleeping in, or the fact that he had nothing to say during our conversations…
We arrived in Denver on Sunday evening. Nate had tons of work to do, so he got a hotel room for the few days that we were going to be in town. The hotel was about a mile from where I stay when I live in Denver, so shortly after we got into town my friend Nate (not Steven Nathan! Don’t get confused!) picked me up. The rest of the guys stayed around the hotel area for the night, and took advantage of some much needed downtime after the long drive from Indy.
I headed toward the downtown area because my friend told me that our Kempo (a martial art) instructor was in the hospital. Apparently, he had a blood clot close to his heart, but the doctors found it in time and he is expected to make a full recovery. After visiting him, we headed back to the apartment that I call home when I’m out there working.
For the last few years we have been on the road so much that I haven’t really been able to settle down and have a place of my own, but it’s worked out that I have been able to stay with friends and family in the interims. While Western Massachusetts is my hometown, I have a strong feeling that Denver is where I’ll wind up. That being said, it always feels like coming home whenever I get back in the 303.
The next day, which was a Monday, the guys set up shop and did some office work while I headed to work a bathroom remodel with Nate (again, not Steve Nathan!). That evening Nate (yes, Steve Nathan!) had to run to Colorado Springs to meet with one of the bands that is signed to the label that he works for. Root played Zohan and spent the evening styling and dying Mochello’s mohawk. After I was done work for the day I went back home and Nate (not Steve Nathan!) and I finally watched the second Hobbit movie that the two of us had been trying to see since it came out last December.
The next day, I got up early (well, early considering I was still on rock-n-roll time, which is being up until the middle of the night, then wake up at about 10am to drive to the next city…). I headed back to the bathroom remodel while the band continued their office work.
Because it was the week after Coachella, there was a lot going on in the Denver music scene this week, as many bands are stopping in Denver as they make their way back east from the California festival. One of those bands happened to be Arcade Fire. One of my friends is their drum tech, so Tuesday night I met some of the Arcade Fire peeps downtown to have some drinks and watch an NHL playoff game (they are all Canadian, after all). Once a last minute goal sealed the win for Montreal, everyone had to go back to their hotel, as they had a huge show at the Pepsi Center the next day and they were all exhausted from Coachella. I told them they better be prepared, because we had a show a mile away at the same time they did, and we were going to steal their whole crowd.
After everyone left I headed down to the Gothic theater, where Nate (yes, Steve Nathan), Root, and Mochello were at Sevendust’s show. (Stevie G had flown in that afternoon, but he was spending time with some of his Denver friends up to the northwest of town.)
Sevendust is in the middle of an acoustic tour, which in all honesty, made it so that I had no idea what to expect from the show. Their typical sound is fairly aggressive, the thunder of hard rock permeating every note that the band creates, from drums, to vocals, to guitars. Their acoustic show, however, is a whole different animal. The acoustic show is really a semi-acoustic show, with the two guitarists playing acoustic guitars and the bass player plugged directly in to the sound board, but the drummer had a full drum kit and there was a keyboard player as well. I was honestly blown away by how good the band sounded, of how well the singer’s voice fit in the stripped down sound, and also by the overall performance of the band. They kept things fun, in almost a vh1 storytellers fashion.
Nate (yes, Steve Nathan!) works with Sevendust’s drummer, Morgan, so we had some of the best seats in the house, right up on a balcony side stage. I couldn’t help but feel like we were Statler and Waldorf, just non heckling Statler and Waldorf’s. After the show we met up with Morgan backstage and he told us their classic rock-n-roll stories, which involved everything from the extravagancies to the harsh realities of the business side of the music industry. We also met the rest of the band backstage, and they all seemed like genuinely nice people (and they liked my stache, so maybe I’m a little biased… Maybe). After leaving the show, the guys went back to their hotel and I went back to Nate’s (not Steve Nathan’s).
The next morning I went to work again while the guys did some more office work. They picked me up in the late afternoon and we headed uptown to get Stevie from his friend’s place. Denver rush hour traffic is some of the worst in the country, so we ended up jumping off the ‘expressway’ and taking side roads most of the way.
After picking up Stevie, we headed down to the club. Open Air Stereo had a video shoot that night and they had the sound engineer with them, so we had to take some extra time to get the sound right in the room.
In Denver there’s a burrito shop, Illegal Pete’s, that has an amazing love for traveling musicians. If you’re playing a show in Denver while you’re on tour you can register for your band and crew to each receive free burrito in exchange for promoting their business to your fans. Traffic prevented us from having time to stop there, so we set off to find some dinner. Root and I found a pizza joint down the street from the club and decided to get a full pie because we didn’t think that two slices each would be enough. When it arrived, we looked at each other quizzically. Apparently we had ordered a 26″ pizza. (For those versed in the Queens math, that’s over two feet in diameter!) As hungry as we were, we still had plenty of leftovers (half a pie, to be exact!)
Once we were done eating we walked back to the club. Lost Lake Lounge is a smallish club, with the bar in a separate area from the main stage area. I don’t really like when venues are set up that way, because it causes people to hang out at the bar as opposed to paying attention to the music that’s going on in the other room.
It was cool that my friend Nate (not Steve Nathan!) finally was able to make it to a show. The last time we were in Denver he couldn’t make it because a nail gun malfunction on the job site gave him a slight concussion. It was one of those things that finally connects the dots in life. When I’m on the road, I’ll refer to working with, or things that happened with my friend Nate (not Steve Nathan!), and vice versa. Having those two divergencies intersect is a pretty cool thing.
After the show we decided to head out toward Salt Lake City without delay. The drive was going to be a long one, so we wanted to knock a few hours off the top. The previous few days were exhausting, so I climbed in my bunk to try and sleep. The bumpy roads prevented it though, and I wasn’t able to fall asleep until a few hours later when we stopped for the night. It seemed as if once the engine was switched off, so was I. I passed out almost immediately.