And, We’re Back or Tour 2, Show 1: Annnnnnnnd…Action

Leading up to our first tour last November with Fanfarlo, we had virtually no obligations. We played a send-off show at Pianos, and we spent weeks prepping – logistically, mentally, physically, and emotionally – for the journey ahead. This time around, we had no such luxuries. Due to my untimely vacation to Santa Fe and our mid February minitour in London, we were left with only six days with which to film a music video, get footage of live performances, do dozens of interviews, perform on the subway, play a show with Shout Out Louds, and get our proverbial shit together to spend five weeks on the road.

When I decided to leave my job as a research assistant at New York State Psychiatric Institute to become a professional musician, I envisioned all the glamour of playing shows every night. It wouldn’t feel like a job…it would be fun, easy, and freeing. Naïve, I know, but it was a youthful ideal that had been built up for decades in my mind. What we do now is as much a job as any other (albeit one that we love) – hard work, obligations, crazy hours. Things have moved so quickly for us this past year that sometimes it’s hard not to feel a bit in over my head.

So as we spent four hours on Friday doing the logistical prepping that took about four weeks last November, it was easy to ignore the emotional prepping that should come with five weeks away from home. All that time being away from our beds, our friends…our friends’ beds. It’s an overwhelming thought when you have time to consider it, so maybe it’s a good thing that we had none.

Some things will be different this time around, though. Of course, there’s the natural comfort that comes with the knowledge that we’ve already done this before. The task seems much less daunting – just as much of an adventure, but with much less fear. A good part of that alleviation comes from experience, but another part is that we can play without stress in knowing that our FOH (that’s Front of House sound, for all you non-industry types) is in good hands. That’s right…We’ve finally managed to nail us down a sound guy! We’ve got Jeff Neuberger on tour with us as semi-tour-manager and bona fide soundman, which means we can finally hold someone responsible when the banjo starts to feed back. It’s great to have a so-called sixth member in the van and working with the band…and the fact that he loves sports doesn’t hurt.

The first show in Philly last night – at our beloved Johnny Brenda’s – was a great time. Things that are great about Johnny Brenda’s:

–       Attentive lighting engineer

–       Great vantage point from the balcony

–       Local beer

–       Amazing food

–       Huge sound

Philly crowds have always been encouragingly enthusiastic, and last night they really pulled it out of us. Despite all the hard work and exhausting days that lead up to last night, our energy level was the best it’s ever been. Maybe it was the beer, maybe it was the high stakes of getting to open for two incredible bands, or maybe it was the icily invigorating Philadelphia air…but whatever it was, it worked. Jeff hit the sound-nail on the head at his first show with us, and I had one of the best times I’ve ever had on stage.

DC brings yet another chance to play for an exuberant and aggressively jubilant crowd, as we’ve played there so much that it has become a sort of home-away-from-home over the past year. We’ve never played a venue the size of Rock and Roll Hotel in DC, but if any three bands can blow the roof off, it’s the three of us.


~ by Jacob Hyman on March 6, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: