Tag Archives: ohio

There’s Nothing Wrong With Ohio

Breakout Tour: Day 8
The Auricle
Canton, OH

The Auricle very easily became one of my favorite venues that we’ve played so far. Everything about the club, the sound, the staff, and the vibe of one of Canton, Ohio’s hidden gems makes you feel like you’re playing a hometown show.

We started our time in Canton by grabbing some lunch at a pizzeria and then meeting the guys from Dive at the club to wait for the owner to show up to let us in. Dive told us how their technical issues continued, when the night before they realized the motor mounts on their generator were shot, rendering it out of commission. That made their previous night sleep a bit hellish, because their A.C. has to plug in to a 110 outlet (like the one on the generator) in order to run and they don’t have any other ventilation in their bunks.

The building that the club was located in had us a bit leery of what to expect because it had a very ‘medical’ feel to it. At very least it felt like an office complex, with large glass entrance doors, high ceilinged hallways, and separate suites, each of which had blank, windowless, slab doors covering their entrances. It was next to impossible to shake the feeling that I should have my insurance card ready when we loaded in.

When the owner, Josh, finally arrived that preconceived notion was shattered. We all walked down the stairs that led to the main entrance of the club and into the perfect rock-n-roll club environment. A long granite bar lined the one wall parallel to the stage. The stage was huge, to get a visual of how big I’d say it was large enough to easily accommodate a 6 piece band and plenty of gear comfortably. While the room was essentially a huge rectangle, black curtains hung on the same plain as the front edge of the stage, creating a faux side stage area for storing empty road cases. Around back behind the curtain was a green room rivaling any large club that we’ve ever played.

The club owner was a former touring musician, which is why the place is so accommodating. He had done the runs where venues treated musicians like peasants and decided that when he started his place that that wasn’t going to be acceptable under his roof.

There was two opening bands on the bill before us, and then Dive took the stage after. One of the highlights of the night was hanging with the crew of fans that we had met on our run with Miggs and OAS. They had driven a few hours to catch the show, and stuck around until the very end. Oh, and the soft pretzels. The ones that the bartender miraculously made appear. Those were definitely another highlight of the evening.

After the show Dive decided to stay in the venue’s parking lot so they could have power (air conditioning!) for the night. Not wanting to have to wake up at 7am to unplug before the offices above the club opened, we opted to drive an hour or so and stay at La Casa de Walmart.

Share it Fairly But Don’t Take a Slice of My Pie

Days 19 & 20: Club Cafe
Pittsburgh, PA

A few days up in Massachusetts is always enough to refresh me. Mid-tour that doesn’t happen a lot, since my hometown is off the beaten path a bit, and we normally don’t have three days off in a row in NYC. The time off made rolling in to Pittsburgh that much more stress free.

I wasn’t with the guys the last time they played Pittsburgh, I had to fly back to Denver and couldn’t finish the last few shows of that tour. What I missed the last time was Mochello falling in love with the city. For the last year and a half or so since that first visit, every time we’ve rolled into a new city we hear, ‘Oh, it’s nice, but it’s no Pittsburgh…’. So you can imagine my interest in seeing what he was comparing everything to.

Pulling in to the city I tried to get a grasp on this vision in his head, but everyone’s taste buds are different. There are some cool painted bridges, and some New England artsy style buildings, but in all honesty, I wasn’t overwhelmed by the desire to move to the city as he is. Yet, there is something about it that appeals strongly to Mochello… Hey, I don’t judge!

Club Cafe is a smaller venue on a side road off the main street of the section of Pittsburgh that we were in. Before soundcheck, the club took a food order for all of us, something that you would think that bars and clubs with food on site would normally provide to the artists that are performing, but rarely do. When the venue offers a comped meal to the performers, I tend to view it as a sign of the good character of the owner, and it tends to hold true. Personally, I’d rather a comped meal over drink tickets any day. Most bands will probably disagree with me, but the way I see it is the mark on booze is typically at least 400%… Food is usually about 200% (Here’s my time spent helping with restauranteering endeavors speaking…) To explain: For a club to offer two drink tickets to a single band member costs the club about 2 bucks. Those two drinks probably retail for 8-10 bucks (at least!). On the other hand, let’s say they comp a $10 entree. That meal on average would cost the club about 3.50, plus the time to prep, cook, clean up, etc. It’s mush cheaper and easier to throw a few drinks at someone. So in my opinion, for a venue to offer a meal shows that they care a bit more about the artists, and that’s why I see it as a good sign

After dinner and soundcheck, the club had an acoustic opener on the bill. It’s honestly a flip of the coin in today’s concert going crowd as to whether or not a local’s crowd will stay. The sad fact is that a good percent of the time the local’s crowd dissipates throughout the evening, and by the time our show is done we’re lucky if a few of their people stick around. Pittsburgh was one of the good 50%, with almost everyone that showed up for the opener staying around, and being attentive and rocking out to boot.

Trox, the tour front of house sound engineer, was impressed by the venue’s sound, commenting that it was some of the best on the tour so far, even beating out some of the bigger clubs.

After load out, we headed off toward Kentucky, stopping just outside of Columbus, Ohio for the night. The next day we did our now all too familiar routine of Planet Fitness/Starbucks, and then decided to do a band dinner at Olive Garden. Root was the only one who didn’t succumb to the trap of their highly addictive breadsticks. I’m not sure what they put into those, but I’m sure that they have to be on some DEA list of addictive substances, somewhere between crack and heroin…. After dinner, we drove a bit more, then everyone finally let the food coma fully set in, promising themselves that they would work off the pasta carbs at the gym the next day.

Day 16 – Cleveland rocks! Or does it? No, it definitely just rains.

Man On Earth made their debut in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. No really! Well, we gave them a CD, so let’s just see where that takes the guys. 

It was the best way to spend our time before hitting the stage! Any of you guys ever been there? What’s your favorite exhibit? Steve snuck a few pictures of the Beastie Boys exhibit. Ssshh, don’t tell security, whoops. 

Spent a few minutes before having to load in bullshitting the parking attendant in the parking lot behind Wilbert’s to avoid paying the parking feee. Angelo’s plan turned into making us look like fools and giving a pan handler money. In other words, plan failed and we had to pay the parking feee anyway. So much for that. A for effort? Maybe? Occasionally when you’re Man On Earth, you are forced to spend nearly an hour setting up the projector and screen. That shit doesn’t just get thrown together, a lot of work gets put into that! 

 Although it was a slow show, and not many people really came out. We still had a blast, and did manage to meet some new friends, and of course hung out with some of our other friends!