Road Blog: Saturday October 15, 2016 - Ithaca, NY
October 15, 2016
Lot 10 - Ithaca, New York
The drive from Jamestown to Ithaca was beautiful – through mountains, along rivers and creeks, and skirting the Five Fingers Lakes before we arrived. The fall colors we stunning and the views were spectacular. At one point, a pair of bald eagles flew overhead and Gabe and I pointed them out to an uninterested bass player, rolling his eyes from the back bench in the van.
We checked into our hotel, which was an overpriced dump we had to settle for after our AirBB was cancelled with just a day’s notice. There was a Cornell football game so rooms were at a premium and we didn’t have much of a choice. It was clean enough, but lacked any sort of comforts and the wifi didn’t work. We headed into Ithaca to see the city and hit a record store. I picked up a Frehley's Comet live EP and we scouted out a good looking taco place for dinner. We also walked by the venue, but couldn’t get in so early.
After some downtime at the Chateau Crappy, we headed back into Ithaca and somehow scored a primo parking spot right in front of the load-in door. That was the good news. The bad news was the daunting flight of stairs we had to carry our gear up. Oh well – we buckled down, Patty did a stretch, and we got
It done. Next up was dinner. We each got 3 tacos at Gorgers Taco Shack. These were street tacos, but they had some eclectic choices next to the traditional ones. I got a buffalo chicken, a peanut-sauce-sesame-chicken thing, and a blueberry-chipotle-pepper-jack-pork. I preferred the chicken to the pork, but they were all damn good. After dinner I took a walk around the perimeter of the Commons area, window shopping, and letting the tacos settle while I got into th mindset for a show.
Lot 10 is a big square room with a short stage in the corner. Opening band Stranded with a Kiss was setting up the PA and soundchecking as I ordered a drink, met some of the staff and the headliners The Ilium Works, and played a couple games of Ms. Pac Man. It was one of those Ms. Pac Man/Galaga combo machines, cost a buck to play, and the action of the joystick sucked, but I did pretty well on my second game. Everyone was really friendly and happy to have us. I met a guy at the bar who read that we sounded like Hüsker Dü so he came out. Over the course of the night we talked a lot, and before he left I learned that he’d seen The Nils in Boston in 1985. That blew me away.
Stranded With A Kiss went on at 10 and played a great set. They had plenty of volume, killer riffs, and great tone and sounded at times like Black Sabbath, uptempo- Soundgarden, and the killer New Orleans band Supagroup. I loved their set! We played next to a decent crowd of people, some staying, some in transit coming in and going back to the dance club downstairs. The crowd was engaged, hooting and hollering, and it was super fun. Best set of the tour so far. After us, the Illium Works played to a great crowd and they sounded great too. They had a fiddle player and reminded me a bit of The Tosspints back home – Irish/folk punk. Their guitarist played a Reverend Guitars and had the same boutique boost pedal that I do, which is very rare, so we bonded over that. Everyone in both bands was really nice, really complimentary, and fun to hang with. We chatted it up with some locals, drinking, selling merch, and hanging out. No shortage of characters here. Our bartender Lindsey was awesome, and our new friend Leah was full of stories and adventures that will stick with us for a while.
After load out down the stairs, we headed back to the No-tell-Motel and crashed out to some TV show neither Patty or I can recall. Ithaca was super fun and we can’t wait to come back! Now we’re gearing up to head north where we’ll play in Burlington, Vermont tonight at the Radio Bean (come on out Bernie Sanders!). It’s a cloudy day but hopefully it will clear up as we continue our trek northeast towards the Atlantic Ocean.