Road Blog: Saturday October 17, 2015 - Chapel Hill, NC
Road Blog – Chapel Hill, NC
October 17, 2015
After a couple well needed hours of chill time at a hotel we loaded our newly-strung guitar and repaired floor tom into the van and headed towards Chapel Hill. First stop was a sports bar on the way to watch Michigan football make asses of themselves and, more importantly, to meet my Uncle Todd and Aunt Susan, who I haven’t seen since I was 11 years old, for dinner. We had a great visit and it was really nice to be able to reconnect after so many years. Patty and I were a little miffed about the fumbled punt attempt that cost Michigan their first defeat of Michigan State in a few years, but we had other things to do.
We loaded into the Cave and said hi to the staff and the other bands. It’s a tiny basement bar with a low ceiling that really does look like a cave. There’s a back room with a jukebox that takes your quarters but won’t play your song and a pool table.
First up was Buckshot Betty – a Raleigh band with a female singer and a killer fiddle player. They played an awesome set of originals and toggled between darker, minor keys and up-tempo rocking tunes. Great guitar tones, and some of the nicest people we’ve run into. During their set we were approached by a few people who said they were excited to see us, which is always great to hear in a new city, and a couple celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary with us – Jacqueline and Brian. We spent a lot of time talking to these two throughout the night and by the end I think we were fast friends.
We hit next and had a decent set, except for another broken string (on Blackie this time, not Red, like in Knoxville). It was a little sloppier than the last couple nights, but we did our best to make up for it in spirit and felt ok about it in the end. We played to a good room of people, had some friendly banter back and forth and a great response. At one point I was struggling with a tuning issue, getting a little pissed off, and a shot a glance at Gabe and saw he had an ear to ear grin, just rocking out. That's all it took to turn to turn it around for me, so I stepped it up a notch and finished with a smile myself.
Campfires and Constellations played after us and the really brought the party to the room. Fast, country-punk tunes, mostly original, and just fun as hell. The room was pretty packed for them and everyone there had a blast.
I had a couple more drinks with my aunt & uncle while I was selling merch and talking to some other locals too. People were beyond friendly, and, as usual, every 3rd question (delivered with a sad, concerned face) was “How is Detroit these days?” I do my best to be a good ambassador and explain how there are still some issues but a lot of great things are happening and it’s a great area top live and you really should visit some time.
After load out we made it to the beer store at 1:59am and the cashier told us to take our sixer and get out asap because after 2am he’s in deep shit. Back to the hotel, quick beer, lights out.
We’re leaving for Charlotte now, where we have a 2:30pm matinee. Then it’s off to Greenville for an evening show tonight. It’s gonna be a long, rough day but The Tucos are up for it.