Road Blog: Friday July 17, 2015 - Des Moines, IA
Des Moines – July 16, 2015
Yesterday was a rough one for me. I paid for Thursday night’s revelry dearly and was pretty much useless all day – sitting in the back, trying to get some sleep, using a Ned Van Go tee shirt and a backpack for a pillow, whining like a little girl, and occasionally checking my phone for updates. Gabe rode shotgun while Patty drove about 7 of the 8 hours from Indianapolis to Des Moines. It was a sticky 95 all day – give or take, and that didn’t help matters any either.
We pulled up to our accommodations here – a full apartment loaned to us by my dear friend Vicki. She’s the mom of one of my best friend’s from Marquette and has become a great friend herself. The apartment is amazing – big and spacious with artwork from and of Marquette in every room. It felt a lot like being home and she couldn’t have possibly been more welcoming and accommodating – way above and beyond.
After a quick visit we had to get up to Lefty’s for our load in and sound check. The venue was just a couple miles from the apartment (added bonus) and that worked out great for me since last night was my turn to make sure everyone got home safely. Lefty’s is a newer place with a great stage, state of the art sound system, and a super friendly staff. Everything was full on professional and organized and it wasn’t long before we were loaded in, set up and running through a couple tunes, tweaking levels and requesting a little more of this or that in our personal monitor mixes. Believe me – that is a treat! There are places we play with crappy sound or untrained sound guys or sometimes we have to bring our own PA and run sound ourselves. Lefty’s was top notch and this guy had us dialed in.
After sound check we met up with Vicki and her friend Jody for pizza and beers at a nearby bistro. The food was great – we were starving after the long drive and heart – and the conversation was nice too. We talked about the Iowa Penal system, the old days in Marquette and life on the road in a small time touring band. We dropped out leftovers off at the apartment, grabbed what we needed and headed to the show.
The openers were Dead King Chuck. Young dudes with some catchy tunes that reminded me of Weezer, Nirvana and Pixies. Andrew’s guitar tone was killer – best I’d heard in a while. Super solid band and we were glad to have them on the bill. We hit second and played what we felt was a solid set. It’s super fun when you have a sound system like that to go through and we had a great time. The room wasn’t packed but it was far from empty and people seemed to dig what we were doing. After us were The Sapwoods – who’s drummer just quit a couple days ago. They did the show as a duo – very well crafted Americana with electric guitar, acoustic guitar and keyboards.
The rest of the night entailed mingling with Vicki and Jody and the other bands as well as some of the locals and an enthusiastic rock fan and writer from Mexico. We said our goodbyes, loaded out and hit the Kum-&-Go for a sixer on our short drive back. The designated driver is always the most concerned about the after party!
This morning I woke up in a beautiful, clean apartment feeling 900% better than I did 24 hours ago. We’re off to Minnesota to play 2 shows in Minneapolis today. At 2:45 we’re playing the Bearded Lady Motorcycle Freakshow – our 3rd year in a row at this great festival. Then tomorrow night at Lee’s Liquor Lounge with our friends Jillian Rae and band and Doug Otto. If you are in MN – Come on out!!!!