October 29, 2009 : The Picador : Iowa City, IA
The Picador, formerly known as Gabe’s Oasis, in Iowa City, Iowa, is commonly known as the worst rock club in America to touring bands. Load-in takes place up a full flight of metal stairs (as physics would have it, load-out takes place down those same stairs), the room is an unfinished mass of bare concrete, a carpeted stage (for optimally bad stage-sound), some lawn chairs, a couple of exposed electrical wires, and on this particular day, a nasty leak above the men’s bathroom which resulted in half-an-inch of standing water by the end of the night.
The show was also the most poorly attended of the tour thus far, and the weather was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life. The band still played a great show, and I met some really nice people who were glad we came through town. Thanks to those people.
October 30, 2009 : Jackpot Saloon : Lawrence, KS
Lawrence, Kansas is definitely a pretty standard midwestern college town, but that’s not a bad thing. We did some awesome record shopping at Love Garden and ate some delicious food at Local Burger. Apparently, Lawrence likes to celebrate Halloween a day early, as about half the town were drunk power rangers, drunk pirates, drunk nurses, etc. The show was very full and very fun. The band dudes checked out C & C Drum factory / shop on the way out of town – a treat which I had to bypass to by some medicine for my nasty cold and look (in vein) for a replacement suitcase for my current stuff-holder which is in critical condition.
October 31, 2009 : The Slowdown : Omaha, NE
The dudes at Saddle Creek seem to have spurred some serious development by erecting The Slowdown, a very awesome venue, in a sort-of-abandoned part of downtown Omaha. In the strip with the multi-level venue now rests an American Apparel, an Urban Outfitters, an Art Theater, the Saddle Creek offices, and a pretty good coffee shop. A real hipster’s paradise.
It was Halloween in Omaha and the 200-something Nebraskans in attendance were suitably-dressed. Best costume goes to the couple dressed as H1-N1. Awesome and topical. The Slowdown was giving out candy, which was nice, and despite some technical difficulties people dug the set.
I accidentally took some nyquil about two hours before load-in which put me in a zombie-like state for most of the evening as I tried in vein to fight my way out of an Antihistamine-induced quicksand. Not one of the better moments of tour. Tomorrow is an eight hour drive to Denver, followed by the same to Salt Lake City the next day, and an I-don’t-even-want-to-think-about-it thirteen hour jaunt to Seattle the day after that. Good thing I have that Nyquil.