Road Blog: Sunday October 18, 2015 - Charlotte, NC
Road Blog – Charlotte, NC & Greenville, SC
October 18, 2015
Yesterday we had 2 gigs in one day, so that’s always rough. So much goes into a show that doing just one is usuallty exhausting, but to get back into the van and drive, load in, set up, play, tear down, load out and drive again just seems insane. Sometimes, though, you get an offer that you don’t want to turn down and take both shows.
We arrived in Charlotte around 1:30pm and were met by a couple of my best friends and favorite people on Earth – Chris and Jen Arquette and their kids. Chris and Grif helped us load in (bonus!) and we got some good together time while I changed the strings on Blackie. It was sad to see them leave, but just getting to hang for a while is such a rare gift that it felt great. Snug Harbor is a pirate-themed dive bar with a front and back patio and a small stage in the corner. Against our collective better judgement we ordered beers and enjoyed the sunshine while the first band set up.
The Genuine OK are a Charlotte band that was recommended by our pals from Maine, When Particles Collide. Great call – super nice dudes, great musicians and a great set. We were up next and played pretty well for the most part. The sun was shining in through a window next to the stage and it made for some cool light. You never know what you’re getting into with a Sunday show, and a matinee at that, but there were plenty of people and they were plenty engaged. Super fun set. After us was The Pullman Strike and I wasn’t prepared for them. They came out firing with some amazing songs, harmonies and playing. Great fit with us and I am glad they took the show! Their guitarist is from Lincoln Park (Downriver Detroit) so there was yet another Michigan connection. We met some great people including David, who brought us a carousel of nacho dips, and Robert and his wife who are about to move to NYC.
After The Pullman Strike played we loaded out, grabbed strombolis from an adjacent pizza joint and hit Interstate 85 southwest towards Greenville, South Carolina. Patty took the wheel as Gabe and I were a couple IPAs up on him, and got us to the Radio Room in one piece. We walked in just as The Walking Dead was starting on the big screen and there was a small group of people camped out to watch it. I was promptly scolded for talking to my friend Itzel during the show so I drank my beer in shame until it was time to load in. I couldn’t care less about zombies.
First up was The Francis Vertigo. They had a bunch of cool sounds going on. I heard some Minutemen, Meat Puppets, GBV in there, among other things. Their drummer is from Ishpeming – just outside Marquette, MI, where I’m from, so yet another mitten connection! These guys were great, and super friendly and supportive of our set too. We took the stage next to an expectedly thin Sunday night crowd, but we played our asses off and had a good time. After us was St. Maurice – a cool hybrid of reggae, funk, rock and noise. Cool dudes – great set!
By this time we were pretty well exhausted and had a 90 minute drive north through Carolina back country to get to our AirB&B so we hit the road with Patty at the helm, again. We pulled in around 2:45 and spent a good 10 minutes trying to figure out what to do with the giant spider under Gabe’s bed. We discussed killing it, but I didn’t want to do that (or explain it to my wife, who releases ants and house flies rather than killing them) so we agreed that Patty (always the fatherly savior) would catch him in a glass. St. Patty quickly realized it was just a big ass cricket, not a spider at all, so we let the little dude be and crashed out. I can’t make this shit up.
This morning we were able to take our sweet time getting up and enjoyed some coffee while we figured out what to do. We met our nice host Melissa and her dog Daisy and headed over to the Eastern HQ of Sierra Nevada Brewery and had some amazing lunch (yea, and a beer) and checked out the grounds for a bit. Back at the AirB&B now, out in a holler about an hour south of Asheville. It’s beautiful here and great to have a little chill time. In a couple hours we’ll be off to Asheville for tonight’s show at The Mothlight!