Tag Archives: tour

It’s Time to Play the Music, It’s Time to Light the Lights!

Days 1-3: Waterbury, CT
Shamrock Pub
& Travel

I’ve come to the realization that at this moment in my life I feel more at home when we’re on the road than anywhere else. Yes, we’re back at it again, and I honestly couldn’t be happier. It’s time to put countless miles on our bus traversing the country, playing shows, seeing friends, making new ones… (Ok, I know TECHNICALLY we could count the miles that we will be traveling, but I’m writing this as I’m just waking up, so don’t argue semantics with me!)

Friday night was the first show of our Spring 2014 National Tour. We’re making a giant loop around the country, hitting all sorts of great cities, including a few in the Pacific Northwest, which the band hasn’t been to in a number of years. This time we’ll be making the journey with our friends Miggs and Open Air Stereo. The Friday show was our kick off party, the send off before we head down to Florida to meet up with the other two bands that are making this run with us.

The Waterbury gig was unique as far as Man on Earth shows go. We were the only band booked on the entire bill, and the club wanted a full night of music from us. What that meant is that whoever was at Fridays show heard the longest set that the band has ever played. They played all the songs from their new record, as well as collection of ones from “Things They’d Never Believe” and “Time Spent Wondering”, and also peppered the set with a few covers, some that they’ve never played at shows before.

The months that led up to this show have hardly been down time. Between the time that was required to finish the new record, band practices, and everyone also having other obligations, the four months since the end of the last tour flew by like an Olympic speed skater on crack. The time constraints left little time to perfect all the cover songs, but a with just a few bumps along the way they pulled them off.

Having that amount of time to play also gave the guys a bit of time to have some fun, with Root taking over the lead mic for a few songs, and we even got to see Stevie G step to the front for a cover of the Beastie Boys ‘Sabotage’.

Stevie G’s family showed up in force again, making this another solid hometown show in the books for him. It’s very clear that Waterbury will be on the list of stops we return to soon. Some of my family, including my mom and aunt came down too, as well as my older brother, who lives in Waterbury, and who hadn’t seen Man on Earth before.

After the show we packed up and headed straight back to the city, which, after dropping everyone else off, put us back at Nate’s apartment by about 6am…ish. We spent the day sleeping in, then Nate and I, along with the incomparable 3k, (if you don’t know him, your life is lacking!), went to grab a late afternoon breakfast. Once we were filled up on carbs in the way only a diner can fill you up, we headed to Target to do a little pre-tour shopping.

The interesting thing that has always struck me about Target is that the patrons always seem to be a bit more put together than their Walmart counterparts. On tour, we frequent Walmarts on the regular, as they are usually friendly to the overnight parking of oversized vehicles in their lots. And, all across the country there is a consistency that exists among the “attitude” of shoppers of the discount chain. (As a matter of fact, someone started a website www.peopleofwalmart.com Go ahead and check it out for a photo documentation of what I mean!) Now I’m not slamming anyone, we’ve been those disheveled zombified 3am Walmart patrons before, I’m just pointing out the dichotomy that typically exists between the normal clientele of the two stores.

The reason that I bring it up is that, as far as I know, there are no Walmarts in the NYC metro area. But there are Targets, and people have to do their shopping somewhere. When freedom of choice is taken away, adaptation happens. Thus, peopleoftarget.com was born… Just kidding. I did, however, find myself very confused as we were shopping, almost as if I was Schroedinger’s Cat, existing in two places at the same time.

After contemplating that quantum paradox for a while, Nate and I met up with his girlfriend Jess and headed to do what every rock star does in their down time… We went to the theater to see The Muppets. (Judge away, I refuse to out grow them!)

The rest of the band met up with us the next morning, and after everyone was set, we began our trek to our southern home, Jacksonville, FL, where our tour mates await. After a few necessary stops and detours along the way, we are now on the final stretch of our beeline down the coast. Welcome back, hope you enjoy the ride!

This is the last stop

Days 71 & 72: The New Brookland Tavern
W. Columbia, SC

Having the last show of the tour be so far away from home made tour’s end feel slightly anticlimactic. Now, three days and 850 miles later, I’m sitting in my bedroom, stuffed on poultry and carbs, drinking coffee and reminiscing on the amazing time that our two and a half month long tour was.
On our last day of tour we woke up already in W. Columbia, SC, so the day was pretty much set to our own pace. We had breakfast, did our Planet Fitness routine, and then Nate and Stevie recorded some guitar tracks for one of the songs on the new record.
It was a very ‘business as usual’ kind of day. We headed to the club, loaded in, then grabbed some pizza from a nearby pub. We were on 3rd of 4 bands, so we had time to watch the opening acts and make friendly with the staff. The club had a semi dive bar feel to it, yet had a decent sized stage and plenty of room for the crowd.
The guys took stage and played with the attitude that only comes from being on the road for months at a time. After having so many shows in a row to be able to tweak the bugs out, it becomes an incredibly tight show.
The final load out was slightly different then the system we’ve grown accustom to. We had to pack the gear in a way that allowed everyone access to whatever they needed based on what order they were going to be dropped off the next day.
When we were all packed up, we hit the road north, everyone itching for home. We knocked out about two hours of driving before stopping to sleep.
We got back on the road by 7am, with about 10 hours of drive time on the gps. (Add an hour on to that because our bus’s top speed and the actual speed limit don’t always see eye-to-eye…) It took about 6 hours into our journey for us to hit our first bit of traffic…. And from that point it was all downhill.
It was two days before Thanksgiving and everyone seemed to be headed in the same direction that we were. Traffic added an extra four hours on to our trip, and by the time we finally pulled into the city we were all exhausted. I was the first to be dropped off this time, as I had a train to catch. I said my goodbyes and headed into Grand Central Station, another 3.5 hours ahead of me before I’d be home. The rest of the guys made their rounds to drop everyone off at their homes, and then it was official. The Motor Energy Fall Tour 2013 was over.
The end of this tour brought the close of a chapter in Man on Earth history. It marked the end of the “Things They’d Never Believe” era, and the beginning of something new.
For the last year or so, we have been dual promoting, both “Things They’d Never Believe” and some of the new songs that will be on the forthcoming album. Next tour will see us with a completed new album, the dawn of a new cycle in the Man on Earth chronology. We are ever moving forward, on to bigger and better things.
I would like to take a second and thank everyone who helped make this tour a great success. Motor Energy Drink, for helping us in all the ways that they do, and for being a huge part in bringing us to every city along our journey. Our family and friends who, even though they miss us while we are out, are right there with their love and support as we take over this country one day at a time. The fans, both old and new, for being the inspiration that keeps us going…. And I personally would like to thank everyone who follows along with this blog. Your kind words and constructive criticism have been the fuel that has kept me going. I hope each and every one of you is here the next time we set sail. Until then, stay safe, be well, and have fun!

Fight for your right to party

Day 70: Drive Day

I was originally going to lump this day in with one of the other posts, but there was a few adventures that are encompassed in ‘Day 70’ that warrant it having it’s own post.
With the last show of the tour in our crosshairs, there was a lot of questions about the plans for the next six months floating in the air that were begging for answers, and it felt like the right time to get them hashed out. So we woke up, stopped for showers, and then we headed over to the Landshark Pub, the Jacksonville Beach sports bar that our friend Brett watches the football games at.
Before we went in though, we had a band meeting focused on 2014. Big things are on the map, so y’all better stay in your seats! When the meeting was adjourned, we headed in the pub.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are far from being a Super Bowl contending team, and their fans know it. Nonetheless, they are not fair weather fans. The bar was full of die hard jersey wearing fans, chanting like frat boys every time there was a good play, or actually, any positive play, even just getting a first down. Bret told us that if the Jags won we all got free corn dogs, giving us incentive to rabble rouse and cheer along too. The Jags pulled it off, increasing their record to a dismal 2-9, but the win was so important to the fans that they never even thought about the big picture. The jubilant crowd was living in the moment.
When the corn dogs were brought out Root went over to grab a couple. Immediately, a mob mentality sparked up, Jaguar fans barking at him like feral dogs protecting a spilled garbage can, accusing him of being an outsider and to leave the corn dogs alone as they were only for Jaguar fans. I was sitting at the bar, watching how this was playing out, mentally mapping out my first move into the indignant mass of people if things got ugly. The loud mouthed leader sitting with his back to me would be first…. I glanced up at Root, and I could see him assessing the situation as well. While he appeared calm and cool, I could tell he was ready if things deteriorated. If he had been The Wolverine, his claws would have been starting to show.
Then, as quickly as things had flared up, they were done. Brett was right there, telling everyone that we were his friends and that we were cool, that he had offered the corn dogs to us, and there was no reason for complaints. As fast as they got riled up is as fast as Root was accepted into the crowd, crisis completely averted. The moral of the story is that we got some free corn dogs.
We decided to put some miles on the road instead of watching the second game. We made it up to southern South Carolina by 8pm, and found a small town pub in which to watch the Patriots game. Keeping up with the weirdness of the day, as soon as we entered the bar we were descended on by the barkeep and a few customers, all telling us that we had entered a private bar. Not wanting to cause issue, we asked where the closest public bar was. The barkeep told us that county law prohibited bars being open on Sunday nights, unless they were private members only establishments. And members could sign in a guest, but since we were strangers, no one could vouch for us. Resigned to keep driving, we prepared to leave.
But the barkeep kept asking questions, and soon, she changed her mind asking us to stay. It turns out that the county sends undercovers to try to bust bar owners who let in nonmembers to their bars on Sunday nights, and the fine is up words of 500 bucks an incident. Once we were accepted as non spies, everyone came up to us, introducing themselves. As we were hanging out watching the game, from across the bar we heard ‘Bombs Around Me’. One of the patrons, James, and his girlfriend were watching the video on YouTube. When they were done they came up to us, complimenting the song and the video, saying that come payday they were going to visit our iTunes Store.
The Pats were loosing horribly at halftime, so Root and I decided to hit the road and read the highlights later. It turns out that we missed one of the best 2nd halves of the year, the Patriots coming back from a 24-0 deficit, to pull ahead then to take the win in overtime.
I was sitting on the bus, receiving the dramatic play by play through the NFL mobile app. The real-time aspect of the app was flawed, creating a several minute delay in the information that we were getting. I felt as if we were World War 1 soldiers getting updates over the telegraph wire.
We drove all the way to Columbia and spent the coldest night of the tour in another Walmart parking lot, one more show to go before we headed home.

Memories make me want to go back there

Day 69: Jack Rabbits
Jacksonville, FL

I couldn’t believe that it had been a full year since we had been to Jacksonville. It really seemed that it had been 6 months, at the most, since the last time. We’ve been so busy, touring like mad men, that the last year has flown by as fast as a space shuttle on reentry.
We took the morning to finish driving to Jacksonville Beach, having decided to try to squeeze in another beach day before the rain came back. It was a bit chillier than West Palm, but I was giving Mochello so much crap about being a wuss about the chill that I had to show him up and dive in the ocean without a complaint. Root was actually the first one in, taking his time acclimating to the chill of the water. Once you were in the water it wasn’t THAT bad, but the initial shock of jumping straight in felt like a kick in the teeth. So, refusing to show weakness, I dove in, waving Mochello and Nate on. The two of them finally raced down the beach, and in a display of brashness, both of them dove straight in to the chilly Atlantic. For all of our false bravado, Mochello and I tired of the cold water quickly. Root and Nate stayed in, body surfing the choppy ocean waves for a while before coming in to dry off in the on again off again sunshine.
After a Planet Fitness stop to wash the dried salt water off ourselves, we headed to the vicinity of Jack Rabbits.
During the course of our touring history we’ve spent a lot of time on Hendricks Ave. We often use Jacksonville as a base of operations during our Florida stints, and we would stay at Steven from Jack Rabbits house, which was right off of Hendricks, a block from the club.
Root and I had dinner at one of the local Mexican spots, while the rest of the guys went to the smoothie/wrap shop down the road. After dinner, we headed back to Jack Rabbits for load in.
Jack Rabbits feels like home. The staff is awesome, and we have tons of friends that come out to hang. Jacksonville is the home city of our former tour mates Son of a Bad Man, and also Shawn Fisher’s new project with his girlfriend Jordyn Jackson, Flagship Romance. (Who also toured with us!)
Son of a Bad Man’s guitarist Brett, who usually bar tends at Jack Rabbits but had the night off, came out to hang, as did Shawn and Jordyn. It’s always fun to see past tour mates, it brings back tons of great memories. It’s like a high school reunion. Some of our other friends including the Jack Rabbits staple Richard, and our friend Elyse also came out to hang.
The show started on time, and since we were headlining, we had a late time slot. One of the opening acts consisted of a crew of very talented 16 year olds, and we all agreed that if they keep on their game, they have the ability to go places.
The crowd interaction for Man on Earth in Jacksonville is always phenomenal. The energy the crowd feeds back is palpable. It invigorated the guys to give one of their best performances of the tour.
After the show, a bunch of us went to Waffle House for some late night waffley goodness. Breakfast food is amazing anytime of the day or night, but especially in the middle of the night after a show. Apparently, everyone else in Jacksonville had the same idea, because we had to wait almost an hour for a table, then 8 of us crammed in to one booth. On the way out the door, Root noticed that a random person who we’ve never met but happened to become a connection on Foursquare with us the last time we were in Jacksonville was also checked in to the Waffle House. What are the odds?
We said our goodbyes, and headed to a local Walmart. Since the next day was a day off, and football Sunday, the decision was made to stay in Jacksonville and watch a little of the games. We went to sleep, the positive feeling of a successful 2nd to last show of our fall tour dancing in our heads.

Soak up the sum

Days 67-68: The Funky Buddha
Boca Raton, FL

Even though we’re in Florida, all of the days off this week were really getting to us. Once we get into the groove of playing shows nearly every night, having 3 days off in a week really put everyone in a funk. The guys were really itching to play, and even though we have band related stuff that were doing, it gets very monotonous.
We got to the general area of Boca Raton sometime on Thursday. (Honestly, time doesn’t really exist when you’re on the road, so I’m not really sure what time it actually was when we rolled in to town…) we grabbed a bite to eat, then set up shop at a Starbucks to work on some video editing and such.
Nate I decided to finish the night by going to see Captain Phillips. (Absolutely amazing movie by the way. It’s good to see that Tom Hanks hasn’t lost it! Top notch acting!)
While we were in the theater, the rest of the guys were outside battling a raccoon that was harassing them. We came out to a bus that was on lock down. Windows and doors were closed, and I imagine if there had been spare plywood on the bus all the points of entry would have been boarded up. I was half surprised Mochello wasn’t standing guard with his wooden sword. We left the wild animal in the parking lot and headed to Walmart for some sleep.
Rain had kept us from having beach time on the first day we were in Boca Raton. The next day, however was a different story. 75° and sunny, we hit West Palm Beach in force, jumping in the ocean for a nice refresher. There were some killer waves that kept rolling in, and the surfers were out trying to catch them. I spent a bit of my time just soaking in what felt like the remnants of summer, dreading the fact that there would most likely be snow waiting for me when I got home. We hung for a few hours, then hit some showers.
We got to the venue early. The Funky Buddha was a restaurant/hookah bar, both standard tables and lounge benches populating the room. Fragrant smoke swirled lazily through the air, the sweet smell of the flavored hookah tobacco a pleasant change from the normal smell of a classic smoke filled bar.
The room was fairly packed by the time the guys took stage. I had to run the sound board again, which is a fun change in our regular scheduled mayhem.
After load out, we took off for Jacksonville, our home away from home in the south.