Tuesday, January 3, 2017

SUPER ENTHUSED BLOG: Touring the United States: 2005-2006 Part II

Touring the United States: 2005-2006 Part II.......

Spring 2005 Tour - It's the Only Road I know

04/29 Marietta, GA @ Swayzes venue (2543 Bells Ferry Rd. Suite 650) w/ Burke, Roosevelt's Plan
04/30 Chalmette, LA @ Mike & Brett's Mom's House (residential address) w/ Cinema City, Sally Stitches
05/02 Houston, TX @ Super Happy Fun Land (2610 Ashland Street @ W27th Street in the Heights) w/ Over Sea, Under Stone
05/03 Ft. Worth, TX @ 1919 Hemphill (1919 hemphill) w/ Dinosaur! Dinosaur!, Cri Nobody
05/04 Tulsa, Oklahoma @ Kafe Bona (81st and Memorial) w/ The Darlings (clubdarling.com)
05/05 Wichita, KS @ the Riot Room (on the corner of West. 13th/Perry 1403 N. Perry) w/ The Mathematicians (NY)
05/07 Athens, GA @ Tasty World (312 East Broad St) w/ Boulevard, An Epic At B



During my few years as a touring musician, I visited many cities in Texas, and loved every one of them. There really is something expansive and free about Texas and it's grand blue skies... I loved to point my face towards the sky, close my eyes, and feel that warm Texas sun. What I loved most about my visits to Texas were the people... in my travels throughout Texas, I experienced only kindness, and met all variety of people who I would consider to be salt of the earth.

The first show I played in Texas was at a place called Super Happy Fun Land. Now, I had been to dive bars and punk rock venues before, and I had seen beaten up, funky, weird places a-plenty, but SHFL was a bit of a shock to the system at first. It reminded me of the Foot Clan lair from the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. Graffiti all over the walls, ripped up, stinky couches, and crazy stuff everywhere. Total punk rock. Many of these punk rock venues look like hell, but that's the way they like it, and they tend to be managed and frequented by kind, caring, creative, talented and generally awesome people. Playing at venues like SHFL is always a treat; the audience is there to dance, rock out and have fun, no nonsense. and that creates an atmosphere conducive to completely rocking out. 

This same tour included a garage show in southern Louisiana, which of course also meant a visit to New Orleans. When I visited again post-Katrina, I saw the very same buildings we visited with the entire first destroyed, and people still living on the second floor. I saw piles of cars under highways, and rubble and debris everywhere. Over the past decade, I have visited New Orleans many times, and it was fascinating seeing the changes pre and post Katrina. Below is a 2005 photo of me playing in a garage in a suburb outside of New Orleans, having a blast and having stepped up from my first bass guitar to a Fender Jazz Bass. 




It was awesome playing shows in garages, living rooms and punk rock venues in the South. It's a very different experience from visiting as a tourist, or from more professionally booked tours. Being on the ground, dependent on locals, builds relationships in a very unique way. You are entertaining and bringing art to their town, and they are giving you a place to sleep, some food to eat, and introducing you to their town from a locals perspective. 

This particular tour began and ended in Georgia, as did many other tours, which made sense with Florida as home base. Georgia, to me, is tree-lined streets; stark contrasts; congested cities and lonesome, winding roads. It's boiled peanuts, small towns, friendly faces. Much like Florida, the people who actually live in Georgia may disagree with me, because Atlanta is a vastly different world than some of the smaller towns and cities. The place I spent the most time while touring Georgia was Athens, GA. Ten years ago, Athens was an artsy, hip college town, full of music, events and involved, engaged locals. I don't know if it's the same way now, ten years later. 

SUPER ENTHUSED BLOG: Touring the United States: 2005-2006


Touring the United States: 2005-2006 Part I

Starting in April 2005, I embarked on a two year journey across, around and through the United States of America, by car, playing in an indie rock band. I started singing in bands in 2002, and picked up the bass in 2004 simply out of necessity, the band couldn't find a reliable bass player for the grueling tour scheduling. The songs were easy enough, and soon I added some minor keyboard parts to my role as co-lead singer and bassist. Touring the United States by car is an amazing experience that has informed who I am as a person, how I see this great nation and my fellow Americans, and how I feel about travel. It's easy to feel that Americans are awful when half of the country doesn't agree with you (no matter which side you're on), it's much more difficult to think someone is awful when they grant you their kind hospitality, when they help you with a busted tire on the side of the road... when you are face to face with the people of America, smiling, laughing, helping each other, bonding over music, hobbies, food, culture, the people of America seem pretty wonderful. I met so many amazing, generous, funny, smart and talented people all across this great nation of ours, and at a time when this nation seems incredibly divided, I like to remember all of those awesome people... and remember that no matter how much we may disagree on, we all want what is best for ourselves, our families, our nation and (hopefully) the world. If we can come together, talk and share, without insult or anger, that is the road to healing. 

In a series of posts, I will discuss what I remember of the road, of playing shows all across this great nation, in living rooms, garages, clubs, pubs, at festivals and pop up shows, and so much more. 


The band formed in 2004 with a series of local south Florida shows, but the story of the road begins in 2005. Our first out of town show was in February of 2005 at a venue called "Tight Pockets" - it was a typical dive bar type of venue, and a lot of fun. After having already performed dozens of shows, I was neither nervous nor surprised by most of what I experienced on the road. I felt prepared, knew the songs well, and was ready for adventure in those first legs of touring. 


On the way up to Georgia, we played a show in Lake Worth with a band that later reformed into a very well known band that I cannot remember the name of right now but will look into it and add that bit of info here later (saw them perform at Grand Central Miami a few years ago...):


Back then, I didn't have a smart phone, or a particularly good camera, so my tour photos are sparse, though I do have plenty to share in upcoming posts! For now, here is a photo of a painted bulldog from Athens, GA 2005:





Spring 2005 Tour - It's the Only Road I know


04/29 Marietta, GA @ Swayzes venue (2543 Bells Ferry Rd. Suite 650) w/ Burke, Roosevelt's Plan

04/30 Chalmette, LA @ Mike & Brett's Mom's House (66 Old Hickory) w/ Cinema City, Sally Stitches

05/02 Houston, TX @ Super Happy Fun Land (2610 Ashland Street @ W27th Street in the Heights) w/ Over Sea, Under Stone

05/03 Ft. Worth, TX @ 1919 Hemphill (1919 hemphill) w/ Dinosaur! Dinosaur!, Cri Nobody

05/04 Tulsa, Oklahoma @ Kafe Bona (81st and Memorial) w/ The Darlings (clubdarling.com)
05/05 Wichita, KS @ the Riot Room (on the corner of West. 13th/Perry 1403 N. Perry) w/ The Mathematicians (NY)
05/07 Athens, GA @ Tasty World (312 East Broad St) w/ Boulevard, An Epic At Best



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