Tour Day 2

by Swingset Showdown on 2013/06/23

Hello from the road! I didn’t get a chance to write an update yesterday because we were on the road the whole day until the show. Currently, we are sitting in an apartment in Excelsior in San Francisco, getting ready for a party.

Day 2- Eugene Greasers and the Funhouse Motel

Eugene was a short ride from Portland, so we got there fairly early.

We were in a camping mood, but Eric, who had stated at the beginning of the tour that he was going to be, “a diva about things until after the San Francisco show,” requested a motel. Luckily, after a short search, we found one within a couple blocks of our venue, The Tiny Tavern. We had to shell out more than we wanted to get a non-smoking room, but it was a decent little space. It was a suite with a kitchen and two bedrooms for the same price as what other motels were charging for a typical non-suite. I don’t know why Eugene was so booked up, or why everybody was so eager to rip us off. The suite was 2 stories with a wonky staircase where I hit my head, and walls that were so crooked, it gave me vertigo. The counters were coming apart, and the kitchen lacked…well…everything but a fridge and sink. There were no plates, cups, utensils, cookware…nothing. Still, best place we could find for what we paid.

It was at the motel that I finally got to unpack that camera that we waited for on the first day. It was like Christmas to me, but probably boring to all of you so, on to the show.

We arrived at The Tiny Tavern right after it opened and asked the bartender what the play order was, and where the sound guy is. He told us to talk to the dude at the end of the bar, who claimed that he had set up the show and was therefore taking the middle slot. That dude told us to talk to the dudes in the other band, who told us that we could have whichever slot we wanted because they had set up the show. Confused, but rolling with it, we requested first. Soon after that was agreed upon, we were told by the same people that we were going last, because they wanted first…and they had set up the show. So, with my “fuck-it” attitude fully primed and ready to ruin everybody’s night, I decided to try to find the sound man. There was none. Eric, the diva, did not want to play last. He wanted his beauty sleep for the San Francisco show. I no longer wanted to be the one dealing with this shit, so I quit. I grabbed a beer, and danced in place, trying to pump myself up for a show that everybody had already decided was going to bomb. There was nothing I could do, so I refused to let the pessimism get to me.

Side note: When a band comes to your town and knows nobody, playing last is a death sentence for their set. People will stick around for whichever band they know, and leave before the unknowns even get set up to play.

The other bands were not anywhere near our style, a theme we will probably be visiting several times throughout this tour.

-The Double Deuce is a Rockabilly band that had a 50’s greaser style. I believe they were part of some kind of biker gang. They all had jackets and vests with back patches that said “Ravens” under a picture of a greaser skeleton smoking a cigarette. Needless to say, they brought a crowd. Good thing they opened, amiright? All politics aside, I was into their music, and they did a good job of getting people dancing. Jason felt the same way, but quietly wished that they had played in tune.

-Mud Puppy was a blues-rock duo that I missed most of because I was out in the parking lot. It wasn’t because of the music. I was slowly putting my drum set together in the parking lot, since there was no space inside the venue, while simultaneously trying to find information on the Ravens. I heard the main guy broke a string. Towards the end of their set, I started loading stuff into the back of the venue and heard the last part of their last song. Then, I heard them say, “I suppose we could maybe play one more song, if the other band would let us. I don’t see any of them anywhere…” At that point, I started chanting, “10 more songs! 10 more songs!” Off they went, as the dude from the end of the bar came over to me and asked what I was chanting. I said, “10 more songs?” He shook his head and said, “these are not songs.” Burn?

By the time we got hurriedly set up, Eric’s bad mood was in full bloom and I was ready to compensate for his anticipated poor performance by being a loud dick to whoever had stayed. I wore my Luchadore mask. The crowd was thinning out by the time we started into Abducted. My microphone started falling over onto my drums and I kept trying to knock it back up into a standing position, while still playing and singing. I always improvise a little rant at the end of Abducted, leading into the outro. During that improved part, I pleaded with the audience to help me. I screamed, “Why won’t anybody help me? Does this amuse you? What have I done wrong? Please grab the microphone!” Nobody came. The song ended. The greasers stared blankly at us. I took off the mask, readjusted my mic stand, and thought to myself, “you know what? I don’t care anymore. I’m going to play the good shit to you all, and you are going to like it.” We threw the set list out the window, and I called out the songs based off the reactions from the crowd. The last 2/3rds of the show had some people dancing. There was a pretty hard divide between people that were really into us, and others that were confused and making faces while pointing and whispering about us. Ahh…high school. A lot of people left, but those that stayed, were really into us and were sure to tell us so after the show.

Also, the guy who actually booked the show, Jason, was a champ. He ran the door for us and tried to collect donations from people, once he realized nobody was doing it. We didn’t make very much money, but if it wasn’t for him, we would have made nothing. Thanks, Jason.

We met a girl named Elizabeth, who was an awesome new fan. She told us that she is affiliated with Easter Sunz, a hip hop group that has played around at festivals in Seattle. Radical. Even more rad, she showed us a late night pinball bar called, Blairally Vintage Arcade, which puts Seattle pinball bars to shame. Elizabeth talked to us about music, while we tried to get her into pinball. Elizabeth, you rock. I bought her the first hotdog she’s eaten in 6 years.

Back at the motel, Eric was already asleep, and I decided to sleep in the van. I found out the next day that Eric had slept alone in the King-sized bed, the girls had slept together in the queen, and Jason and I had crammed into the van. I was tired, so I didn’t even go upstairs to case the situation. Eric, I hope you appreciate the beauty rest.

The next update, which is about yesterday’s San Francisco show, will happen when I get another free moment. Right now, I need to load in for a house party.

-Ike

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