Tour Update 3

by Swingset Showdown on 2013/06/25

We have been moving and shaking without rest for a while now. Therefore, I am falling behind on tour updates. This tour update is all about San Francisco.

Days 3 and 4- Eric’s Triumphant San Francisco Return, and the Return of My Annoyance.

Part 1

Eric has been annoying. Leading up to this tour, San Francisco is the thing he has cared about more than anything. I got the impression that he has been thinking of this tour as the “Eric’s San Francisco trip, with some other shit he has to do…tour.” It’s his triumphant return to his home town. So, up until the San Francisco show, he’s been a diva. On the ride over, he was saying, “Nobody’s going to be there and this show is going to suck,” followed by groaning and and sighing. This reached a peak once we got to Hotel Utah, our venue. He was giddy the whole way, denying himself junk food and stressing about making it there on time, forcing us to wake up early. Now that it’s over, though, he’s all like, “COOKIES! Om nom nom…” Annoying. Keep in mind that these updates are written from my point of view, and I hate Eric, so they might be a bit exaggerated and biased.

We got to Hotel Utah and got a warm welcome from all the bands. The headlining band, The Suborbitals, were kind enough to lend me their drum set, which saved some time. Eric found his mom and went off to have some face time with her, while we all unwound at Bar Basic, around the corner. We chose that place because it had Super Nintendo. Street Fighter and Mario helped me get over the road rage and regular rage that had accumulated on the trip thus far.

Eventually, we went back to Hotel Utah, and loaded into the back stage, which is actually just a hallway leading from the sidewalk to the stage. I got a video of Jason giving a tour below. That place is a rad little venue. The audience section is 2 levels, so it felt like we were playing at the world’s tiniest opera house.

The Hang opened with an acoustic set that was cool, easy rock. They got the crowd primed and moving. I dug it. I somehow snagged a copy of their CD, though I don’t rightly remember when or how… It’s in the van. Jason commented that it was probably the best acoustic guitar sound he had ever heard on an amplified stage.

Jules, our sound girl, was rad as hell, and did an impressive job. She was very attentive and eager to be doing her job right. Seattle sound dudes could learn a thing or two.

Next was us. We set up as fast as possible to keep as many people there as we could, which was not a big concern since the place was packed! I donned a Swingset Showdown headband and Godzilla tee shirt. Eric and Jason were more plain, as per Eric’s request. Unfortunately, the dudes that were supposed to help us do the Godzilla and Mothra costumes had to bail, so we nixed the stage thing, instead opting to mount the bust of Godzilla on a chair, and put it on stage with us. As I was putting the final touches on my drum arrangement, Eric held up a sign that said, “Hi Mom,” and got a sympathetic, “Awwwww,” from the audience. Now, based on how twitchy Eric had been over this show, I had just assumed that he would psyche himself out and we would bomb the show. I was absolutely wrong. We played a platinum set, save some speeding up, that was well received and very well attended. There was a birthday party on the upstairs balcony that was bumping and dancing the whole time. Special shout out to Lauren, the birthday girl. I think Eric had a good time. His smile was big enough. I also got to meet some of Eric’s friends. They were a very smart, sexy and supportive bunch. Thanks for coming out, everybody!

The Suborbitals closed the night with solid rock that made everybody horny. Jason described them as “slinky pub-rock with a one-man woodwind section.” They all wore suits and had excellent stage charisma that won over me and the rest of the crowd. I think we also got one of their CDs in the van. There was a mutual respect between our bands.

After the show, we loaded out the back door, stole a few bottles of beer from back stage, and took off to the place where we were being put up for the night.

Part 2

We woke up in the Excelsior neighborhood of San Francisco with a hankering for some eats. I knew about a Dim Sum place around the corner, but didn’t know how good it was or anything. Still, we boldly wandered an entire block to this little hole in the wall joint that filled us all up for under $8 each. While there, we formulated a plan for the rest of the day. That night, we were going to play a house party at the place where we were staying. Until 7, though, the city was ours.

Julene, our Merch Wench, and Sofia, our Documentarian, were given the day off to visit friends. The band wanted to go to Alcatraz and go see some touristy stuff, while also running some errands. We got to Fisherman’s terminal by bus and discovered that any tour that actually lands on the island was booked up until mid-July. Fuck. Instead, we opted to go to Musée Mécanique, an antique arcade that was friggin’ amazing! $5 spent in that place totally wore us out, so we hopped back on the bus, went back to Excelsior, and started preparing for the party.

Tim, our host, was having 4 bands play in his apartment. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time to jump on the bill. Unfortunately, the apartment was on the second floor so we had to lug Eric’s piano, the bane of my existence, up a flight of stairs. We played first, at what was probably the quietest Swingset Showdown of all time. We were told to play quiet, then play quieter. It was fine, and we played well, but it wasn’t really a Swingset Showdown show. That said, we were able to sell some merch to help us get to our next adventure. I’d also like to thank Marcus for putting on the Godzilla costume and dancing around at the party during Godzilla! Everybody loved that.

The rest of the show was mismatched, but made for an intimate and relaxed party that was as fun as it was friendly. The other bands were definitely more suited for the house party atmosphere. I will post some photos and stuff on Facebook about them. Tim will probably have to tag most of the people, because it was tough to keep everyone straight. We met a lot of new friends, and I forgot a majority of the names, as usual. I would like to thank all the rad people that were so hospitable and supportive to us out in San Francisco. We will be back!

The next update will be about yesterday’s epic drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas, through Yosemite and Death Valley! It’ll be a good one.

-Ike

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