Road Blog: Friday October 21, 2016 - Philadelphia, PA
October 21, 2016
Connie’s Ric Rac – Philadelphia, PA
We got packed up and left East Orange, New Jersey as quickly as we could, grateful that we’d made it out of the greater NYC area with all of our gear. The steady drizzle didn’t help our moods, but by the time we were approaching the border to Pennsylvania the sun was peeking out and there were blue skies. We stopped at a New Jersey Turnpike service plaza for lunch. Pat and Gabe got Roy Rogers fried chicken that they wished hadn’t been basking beneath a heat lamp for the last god-knows-how-long. I got a chili dog and chili-cheese fries from Nathan's Famous, and felt good about my decision to choose that over the chocolate chip cookie dough smoothie in the next kiosk.
Our first stop was our favorite Philly record store – Repo Records I don’t know how much cash I’ve dropped in this place over the years. They still have a copy of our first single Night On The Town, which is very close to being out of print, so grab it if you’re in the area! We got a shitty parking ticket thanks to the hidden pay stations and lack of signs. I might have to fight it. From there it was over to the cool suburb of Manayunk and our AirBB. We have a couple floors of a really nice town house and it was a welcome change from the place we stayed in New Jersey. We explored the town on foot for a bit, had a couple beers, and mingled with the locals.
Gabe drove to the venue through some of the worst traffic we’ve seen on this run. Parking was terrible and we had to schlep our gear a block and a half. We said hi to the other bands, got our merch set up, scarfed down some fantastic Mexican food that we couldn’t identify or pronounce, and settled in to watch the bands. First up was Braddock Station Garrison from DC. Super nice dudes playing some smart powerpop-americana. Great tunes and execution! Next was Alpha Rabbit, a newer band that includes Joe from the band Honah Lee Lee – a NJ band that runs in all the same circles that we do. They switched instruments about 6 times during their set and played some great up-tempo, catchy indie rock pop. Super fun and engaging. We played next to a great room – one of the best crowds of the tour for sure. Stage sound was loud as hell and very good, and we felt good about our set. Closing the night were locals Only on Weekends. These 4 dudes were killing it with their up-tempo punk and everyone loved it. A rare night where all the bands were really cool and really good! My dear friends Julie and Gary showed up with a bunch of friends and made sure everyone in the place had their eyes on the stage.
In rock and roll, things don’t always go as planned, and there was some tension early on around the business side of the show. I’m not going to get into details because it involves several parties, but it really put a damper on things. As the night progressed, everyone gradually warmed up and by 1am everything was more or less copacetic. What I will say is that everyone working at Connie's Ric Rac last night was really nice to us and every person in every band was really cool – we all watched each other’s sets, bought merch, and drank together all night. There were lots of laughs and toasts and hugs. We left the bar in a good mood and happy that we had a lot of new friends.
We got back to Manayunk and headed straight to the townie bar for a couple rounds before they closed. I made no secret of my disappointment when my digital juke box selections of Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones, Descendents, and Cheap Trick were “skipped” for Katy Perry (I didn’t need that $6 anyway), but Gabe and Patty got me out of there before a full-on brawl ensued. 9am came early today and we have a long drive ahead to West Virginia. Philly was weird, but we made some great friends and played a super fun show, and that’s all that matters. Last night of the tour tonight in Charleston, WV at The Empty Glass with Pepper Fandango and The Charleston Rogues!