Road Blog: Saturday May 16, 2015 - Dubuque, IA
Tour Blog – Show 6 – Dubuque
May 16, 2015
Yesterday morning was a little rough. It was hot as Hades in Iowa City, and extra humid with pollen spores the size of hummingbirds flying through the air. Gabe and I both woke up stuffy, snotty and red-eyed. Ok, the whiskey from the night before didn't help either… but we rallied and got our shit together and headed towards Dubuque around noon (after a stop at a local record store where I scored an original pressing of the Asexuals second record). We took back roads the whole way and it was cool to see that part of America from a different perspective than the i80 tollway.
We arrived around 3pm and hit a couple record stores. Patty’s friend Sarah met us at one and hooked us up with roller derby tickets for that night so we were pretty stoked for that. Patty was staying with a friend so he went to the local townie bar while Gabe and I went to check into our hotel. We had reservations across the river at a little mom & pop joint that the internet said was nice and quaint (and cheap). Upon arrival we felt like we’d been transported back to Deliverance in 1972, complete with the resident riff raff hooting at us from the lawn chairs parked in front of their rooms. It took us about .8 seconds to formulate a plan B and we weaseled our way out of our reservations and headed back into the city where we found something a little more…palatable.
An hour later and we arrived at the arena to cheer on the Dubuque Bomb Squad roller derby team. We scarfed down some bar food and ordered a couple Shiner Bocks to settle in for the match. These chicks were hardcore – elbows flying, bodies slamming, ejections to the left and right. It was a complete blast to watch and they were as sweet in person as they were tough in the derby.
After the match it was off to The Lift for load in. The bar is in the basement of an 1800s mattress factory with the original limestone foundation. It was super cool and the promoter/soundguy Aaron and the bartenders were incredibly hospitable and welcoming. Opening act 2 Blind Mice were a folk duo with some catchy tunes and incredibly powerful vocals. They were kept out for a couple extra numbers by the appreciative audience as the bar filled up. Between sets Aaron played some classic Afghan Whigs and MULE so we felt right at home as we did our line check and got our stage drinks. First tune in I broke a string and the set went to hell….but we rallied and from song 2 on it went great. We had a good sized, attentive audience and people were dancing and shouting and generally raising hell. It was a damn good time and by the end of the night we were exhausted, drenched, a little tipsy and generally pleased that we’d played the best show of this run. Dubuque is now one of our favorite cities!
We spent the day driving through Illinois and Indiana and Michigan. Tonight we finish up this run with a show at Zeke's Rock And Roll BBQ in Ferndale with our pals from Columbus Two Cow Garage and former Avail frontman TIM BARRY. Two Cow Garage are not only one of my favorite bands in the world, but they’re also some of the hardest working nicest dudes you could meet. Tim Barry will be solo-acoustic I think, and his resume speaks for himself. In the 90s when I was in Slugbug we played a late show in Richmond, VA after an early Avail show at the same venue (their hometown) and there wasn’t a kid in that town who had anything left after their sold out set so we had a rough one. Good times. So come on out to ZEKE’s tonight Detroit!!!! Let’s wrap it up right!!