Tour Day 1

by Swingset Showdown on 2013/06/21

Yesterday we launched into our very first tour as a band. This tour will take us down the west coast as far as LA, with the bonus of a 2 or 3 day visit in Las Vegas during our down time. Needless to say, we are very excited for this to be happening. All that boring stuff aside, this is status update number 1 in what I hope will be a continuous tour journal.

Prologue- Meet the Tour Crew

Besides the band, we have two girls that are along for the ride (not as dirty as it sounds).

Sofia is our Tour Documentary Director. She had some free time, and convinced us that we would be a worthwhile addition to the crew, documenting every step of the way. She will be making posts on Facebook on our behalf, hopefully not spamming our fans into un-liking us, and taking copious amounts of photos and videos to later be turned into juicy content. I will try to get my hands on some of her photos for these posts, but you will most likely find more current things on our Facebook page.

Julene is my former housemate, and our Merch Girl for this tour. She will be responsible for running our merchandise table and trying to get people to give us money. We hope that by having her do this job, we will be able to earn more money on the road. It’s hard to deal with the logistics of moving a band while also finding time to happily sell merch to strangers.

Day 1- Hurry Up and Wait

Earlier this month, I ordered a present for myself, a brand-new digital SLR camera that I have been lusting after for the last few years. It was scheduled to arrive the day we left for tour. Prepping the van went smooth, and everybody was ready to go by noon, if not earlier. However, I refused to leave until the camera arrived because I was afraid to have it get lost in the mail…and I really REALLY wanted it for tour.

We waited an agonizing 4+ hours for the thing to arrive, and I had to endure everybody’s snarky, impatient jokes and annoying sighs as we watched traffic maps of Seattle slowly turn from green to red and black. Finally, the UPS guy shows up, and we grab all of the remaining stuff. He says, “You guys about to leave? Perfect timing.” I almost punched him in the jugular.

With everybody loaded into the van, we set off to pick up Sofia, our tour photographer, on the other side of Seattle, through rush-hour traffic. I would like to take this opportunity to say, “FUCK YOU, SEATTLE 9-5ERS!” None of us was in any mood to be dealing with the crawl that was cross-town traffic…especially not in the wake of one of those “Ride the Ducks” tours. Traffic was bad all the way past Tacoma, and even though I knew it was partially my fault (mostly UPS), I stayed positive that we would make it on time to our first show.

I bent some speeding laws and we made it right on time to The World Famous Kenton Club in Portland! World famous because a Raquel Welch movie was filmed there once. It was like being on a set from Twin Peaks, with cedar walls and dim lights. It felt like a dive bar crossed with an Elks Lodge.

We played with 3 other Portland bands.

Toyboat Toyboat Toyboat is a band that we saw when they played in Seattle at The Mix, in Georgetown. I contacted them directly for the show. They opened the show and played an excellent set. For those that don’t know, Toyboat X3 is a funky, improv-rock thing that features a solid as stone rhythm section, a trumpeter with effects, and a “Drum Buddy” optical theremin player. They are avant garde with a head-bobbing beat.

Holy Tentacles played their brand of tappy-tappy rhythmic-melodic mathy stuff. I eat that crap for breakfast. Love it. They were also kind enough to give us their cut of the door to help us on our way.

-Swingset played after them. Blah. It was pretty much perfect in every way. Boring.

Lord Master finished up the set. These dudes are on fire! First off, their playing is very tight. They play complex and fun melodies, together, without missing a beat. Their drummer has a Latin bent at times that is solid and tasty. Best of all, they have a sense of humor! We saw kindred spirits in Lord Master, and I believe the feeling was mutual. We listened to their album today, on the way to Eugene, which is where I am writing this. I highly recommend Lord Master. They are fun, loud, talented and have excellent stage swagger. They also have a song about chips and salsa, which is not on their album, but expertly captures the physical and emotional strife of surviving on a diet that is composed entirely of chips and salsa. We’ve all been there. Check them out.

At the end of the night, Julene and Sofia had done their jobs to perfection. We sold a lot more merchandise than we could have on our own, and Sofia has been showing us videos all day.

This morning, we went to Acropolis Strip Clu-COUGH COUGH…I mean…uh…Steakhouse. Excuse me. They have a steak special for $6 that is not to be missed. Live entertainment as well! It was Eric’s first experience in a place like that. He was extra careful to double check what constituted proper etiquette throughout our brunch. “Is it okay to ask the bartender for change?” “Do I tip the waitress?” “How much should I tip?” To somebody other than me, this would have been amusing. Okay…I was amused.

Overall, this was an excellent start to what promises to be a bodacious tour. I’ll keep you in the loop. I will also add links later. Right now, our internet is pretty bad, so I’m minimizing my annoyance by not dealing with it.

-Ike

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