Southern US Tour Report
After a wonderful experience at SXSW, it is time for a southern U.S. tour!
In the morning we pick up our tour van from the airport, which is surprisingly cheaper than the van we rented in New York for our last tour. Things already seem a bit more laid back. Our first show is immediate and takes place in Austin, at a very interesting carnival themed place called Carousel. We meet a really cool band called Glorious Veins from New York. They’ve been playing for a year and have already gigged CMJ and SXSW.
We’d love to show you more pictures but after our first attempt, the bar guy says, “no pictures!” We decide not to ask questions further and go along with it, but that does cause for a little suspicion. After Carousel, we have a dinner at Fudruckers, where Satoshi orders a 1 pound hamburger that is bigger than his face. And yes, he eats the whole thing!.. We’ve all known him long enough to not be too surprised, but still… Wow!
After filling our bellies full, we head East towards our next show in Mississippi. On the way, we listen to the demos and compilations we collected from SXSW. Here’s a listing of the cds we repeated. The links (underlined) are to the bands we really like and think you should also check out.
Caucus (really good band from Japan)
Oleh! Records (Israel)
Porto Franco (San Francisco)
Belfast Music – This cd starts with bands sounding something like Flogging Molly and ends with something more influenced by the Dubliners…
We make it all the way to Ruston, Louisiana listening to these songs, get to the hotel and simply cannot sleep because of an incredibly censored version of Pulp Fiction playing on t.v. (haven’t seen this movie in ages). We finally fall asleep around 5 a.m. The next morning, we drive out of Ruston, cross the Mississippi river, and head straight on to Jackson, Mississippi.
I am a little worried that we are not going to have a drumset, bass amp, and/or guitar amps for the show because for this tour we’ve decided to bring less. Before the tour, I got some phone numbers from Daniel Guaqueta (plays in a great hardcore band from Jackson called Storage 24) but the reception on Gilad’s phone is horrible. So we just figure we’ll wing it once we get there and hopefully everything will work out.
We arrive in Jackson in the afternoon to a very warm greeting from my long-time friends. Their southern hospitality really shines through and it is so nice to finally see them again. As soon as we arrive, we are offered a bass and guitar amp from Jeremy Wall (plays in a very cool experimental band called Colony Programming), and a drumset from Daniel (the Storage 24 drummer). Now we are ready to go for a great show in the Ole Tavern.
It is the Monday night after St. Paddy’s weekend. We are told not to expect a great turnout for the show, but then we get very surprised. A lot of my old friends and some of my family show up. This is amazing. It is so nice to see my closest friends from NiCad mingling with my closest friends from Mississippi. Everyone hits it off really well, the show has a great energy, and we finish the gig by inviting everyone up on stage for a good ole fashion Mississippi throw down jam session. After the show, we have a party together that goes well on into the morning.
We wake up the next afternoon in a haze and spend the day relaxing with my mom, sister, and her family. It feels warm, it feels good
On Wednesday, we perform at Belhaven college for the dance department. We experiment with some new beats and grooves we’ve been working on and get really inspired from the dancers. From there, we start thinking of how to integrate this concept into our shows. We get a really nice response and are invited to come back. When we’re in the neighborhood again, we’ll definitely be there.
On Thursday, we wake up early, say our sad goodbyes, and head out across the Mississippi River again to play in the historic party section of Dallas called Deep Ellum. It is really cool for me to play there with NiCad because when I was younger, I use to play on these streets for spare change. It is an honor to finally get to play inside one of these venues. We receive a great response from the audience, and after the show I take my bandmates up to an old 24 hour cafe I use to hang out in with my friends. Dorothy, the waitress we use to give a hard time but loved dearly when I was a kid, was still working there… and she remembers me! In her own words, “Oh yeah, you’re that little punk kid, wha’chu doin’ these days?!”
On Friday, we get our keepsakes and gifts for our friends back home and ride around Dallas. Very relaxing… I show the guys the spot were JFK got assassinated and it spawns a really interesting conversation that begins with naming the assassinations that happened in each of our home countries. This ends with a great debate between us about destiny.