Day 26: The Elbo Room
Where we had stopped for the night was only about 45 minutes outside of Chicago, so we had a nice relaxing morning, took some extra time at the gym, and then headed off to do a radio stop in at Chicago’s Fearless Radio, which is a well established internet radio station. This was our third stop by Fearless over the years that we’ve been touring.
The radio station’s studio is on the third floor of an office building, and being that it’s broadcast solely on the web, is unencumbered by the need for giant broadcast antennas. Fearless Radio interviews are always fun. The hosts are excellent at not only keeping the conversation flowing, but also have a knack for making them interesting. They recorded the interview for release as a podcast, so if you missed it, here’s the link: http://www.fearlessradio.com/index.php/podcast/item/5050-man-on-earth-041614
On the way out of the studio we met a local female fronted rock band, Romantic Rebel, that was stoping in for an on air interview as well. When they heard that we were playing at the Elbo Room that night, they said they’d stop in and check out our show. Usually, such things are said as a form of pleasantries, and most people never truly have any intention of showing up. These guys bucked the norm, and the whole band showed up! They were very cool people to meet, and if you’re in to the harder rock, check them out, they’re on all the usual sites.
After leaving Fearless, we went directly to the club. The main stage at the venue is on the basement level, so it was another fun load in. (By ‘fun’ I mean not fun at all. I think I speak for everyone when I say carrying gear up and down stairs sucks!).
When they expanded the stage at the Elbo Room a few years ago the one drawback is that there now is a 12″ column directly front and center of the stage. For Nate, who moves around during his performance like an excited monkey, this posed little issue. I do imagine though that it has to be a bit of an odd dynamic for a band with a more stationary center performer…
I’ve always liked the lighting setup at the Elbo Room, but since I’m still stuck on merch duty, it wasn’t in the cards for me to be back there running them. Fortunately, since we have Trox, the tour sound engineer, the house sound guy was behind the light board. Aside from not knowing the queues (which he still read pretty well), the guy knew his system so well that he was able to put on an amazing light show just flying by the seat of his pants. One day, when we have a trailer and a bit more money I’ll get a setup like they have there to take on the road with us!
There was a really good crowd for a Wednesday, something that every venue employee kept repeating. For us, Chicago has been a building market. We’ve been there about a half a dozen times and each time we see plenty of familiar faces, and make tons of new friends. The other two bands that we are currently on tour with have some awesome fans, and it’s been great to have the cross-pollinization among the fan bases. In Chicago, there were some fans that even made friends with each other, and made plans to meet up at another one of our tour’s dates.
After their set, Miggs wowed everyone with an acoustic set in the upstairs room for the open mic night that was going on. I unfortunately only heard about it, my invisible tether to the merch booth kept me from going up to watch.
When the show was over, we packed up and hit the road. While Ft. Wayne is relatively close to Chicago, we wanted to get outside of city limits a bit before we found a Walmart to park at for the night.