Road Blog: Saturday May 07, 2016 - Syracuse, NY
May 7, 2016
After a nice drive through upstate New York we hit Syracuse and headed into town to check out a record store. We hung out in the armory district for a while and headed over to our AirBB in the suburb of Liverpool. We had a townhouse to ourselves, very well appointed in a nice neighborhood. We headed towards the venue early to make sure we caught the Kentucky Derby and had time to eat before our 8pm set. Karen, our trusty GPS, is rarely in question, but eyebrows were raised as she led us straight into the belly of the beast himself – a giant shopping mall. Yep. Word of Beer is in, of all places, a shopping mall. This was going to be a first. Certainly not our comfort zone, not our normal type of venue, but they had a stage, hundreds of beers, the staff was very friendly and welcoming, and load in wasn’t the nightmare we thought it was going to be. We loaded in, set up, had dinner and watched Nyquist win the derby.
We took the stage at 8pm sharp to a somewhat full room of drinkers and diners, not knowing exactly how they would react to our stuff. It seemed like an environment more conducive to cover bands, which we are not, but people were fairly engaged. Turns out they host everything from jazz to cover bands to touring bands and locals. We had to play 2 long sets, finishing at 11. The room went form full, to a bit sparse, to pretty much packed, and by the end of the night it was clearing out. There were some people who were really into it, an enthusiastic birthday or bachelorette party of girls, and some people who clearly just wanted to eat their potato skins and gigantic chocolate covered hanging pretzels in peace, but we persevered through our 2 sets, playing most everything we knew – even the punkiest stuff, and ended up having a good night. It wasn’t our normal setting for a show, but the benefits outweighed the pains, and we each agreed we’d do it again, so it wasn’t that big of a debacle.
After a nightcap beer we loaded out down the escalators and elevator. We hit a massive grocery store on the way back to the townhouse for frozen burritos and beer and got into it all and some Patton Oswald on Netflix back at the house. This morning, facing a longish 7 hour drive and two international border crossings, we showered and hit the blacktop before 10am, stopping for some Roy Rogers fried chicken along the way. Getting in and out of Canada was once again relatively painless, and the drive was uneventful, to the soundtrack of Elton John, The Pixies, Johnny Thunders, XTC, Husker Du and Dwight Yoakam.
We’re home now for a few days before heading west to Chicago, Madison, and Dubuque next week. It was an interesting weekend for sure, but no complaints, and all in all we would (and will) do it all again more or less the same way, someday before too long. See less