Road Blog: Saturday July 18, 2015 - Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis – July 18, 2015
We left Des Moines, Iowa at 9am sharp. It was sad to leave our friends and wonderful accommodations, but we had business in Minnesota. The 4 hour drive up Interstate 35 was uneventful, save one little treat – Taco John’s at the Kum & Go in Clear Lake Utah. I got addicted to Taco John’s back in the 80s in Marquette when there was one near Harlow Park. It was the only place you could get a burrito for $.90 and they were great! We needed a rest stop and luck shone down on me as I inhaled a beef burrito and chips and queso dip.
We hit the city around 1pm and drove right into the insanity that is the logistics of playing a festival – lots of traffic, difficult load-in, and in this case – sweltering, muggy heat. It is our 3rd year straight of playing the Bearded Lady Motorcycle Freakshow, so we knew the drill and made quick work of it. Before long my dear friend – and one my favorite people on the planet – Burk appeared with his wonderful wife Nicole. So great to see them again, especially since it only happens once or twice a year tops.
We set up while the act before us performed. He went under the moniker Dangerous Fun Show and did crazy shit like eating fire, laying on a bed of nails, and escaping from chains and a straitjacket. The bed of nails bit was intense!
We hit a few minutes early and played a good 45 minute set. It had to be 100f in that parking lot and there were a good amount of people suffering through it to watch us play. Great to see my pals Kam and Eric along with their lady friends and Burk and Nicole bopping along. The sound was great – so much better than the last couple festivals we played. We left the stage drenched and parched, packed our gear and loaded out. After that it was a quick stop at Electric Fetus records – one of my favorite record stores in the country – where I picked up the new Jason Isbell and Alabama Shakes LPs. Both great records I’ve been enjoying but didn’t have the vinyl. From there it was off to our Air B&B in the southern suburbs.
The house we stayed at was awesome – we had 3 bedrooms and beds, AC, stocked fridge and wifi! All for the price of a single hotel room (or less even). Our host Rose and her dogs were very friendly and we’ll chalk yet another success story up for Air B&B.
We scarfed down some mediocre burgers and headed into the city for load in. It’d been about a year since I’d seen (and met) Jillian and her husband/guitarist Eric but we reconnected quickly and made plans to play the song she sang on our record together. Lee’s Liquor Lounge is a great room and everyone was super friendly and welcoming. We took the stage at about 9:45 and it was pretty clear that we were the punk rock bastards of the night, but it wasn’t long before people were dancing and the crowd was way into it. The bar was filled up nicely and we had an absolute blast playing. The highlight was bringing Jillian up to sing and play fiddle on Don’t Call Me Darlin’. She nailed the harmonies and laid down a smokin’ fiddle solo. Great to see all our friends from the BLMF and also some other folks from years past – Andy and Evik. We sold a bunch of merch and made a ton of new friends after the set including Jillian’s awesome mom Valerie. Jillian and her band absolutely killed it on stage to a packed room and were super fun to watch. After their set headliners Doug Otto and The Getaways laid down some killer old school outlaw country and closed out the night. It was a great time from start to finish and fun shows like that and the great friends we get to meet and hang with are the reasons we keep at it.
After the show it was Gabe at the helm for a short drive back to the Air B&B for a couple beers and a few laughs before bed. 8am came pretty quick and we were on the road early, trying to get a jump start on this brutal 10+ hour drive. We’re just south of Chicago as I type this. Wisconsin was a drag with mile after mile of stop and go traffic ending with an overturned truck full of bee hives. There were bees everywhere and 2 dudes in beekeeper suits collecting the hives and waving at the gawkers. I can’t make this stuff up. Chicago hasn’t been much better and the 10 hour drive is going to be 12 or more, easy. Whatever – it’s been a great run of shows and last night in Minneapolis was the best time we’ve had in a while. We’ve got a couple weeks off before our next Detroit show and then it’s back on the road in September. `Till then, thanks a bunch to everyone we saw on this run, thanks for reading the blogs, and we’ll do it again next time! Xo