Road Blog: Saturday June 10, 2017 - Erie, PA
Erie, PA – June 10th, 2017
We pulled up to Kings Rook Club around 8:30pm and loaded in. We had a daunting set of 18 stairs to the upper-level where we would be playing. It's no fun hauling gear up stairs, but we'd seen worse. Upon entering the bar we were greeted by a full-size bus sitting next to the stage between the pool room and the music room. A full size bus. The bar has a retro feel, like something out of the 70s or 80s, with cool paintings behind the stage and on the walls, Playboy centerfolds lacquered onto the men's room ceiling, and vintage chairs. There's a smoking bar downstairs that is a scene right out of Miami Vice – 80s mirrors and furniture, music and ambiance. Very cool!
We met the manager, Ryan, and the opening band (Matt "Broke" Boland Band) and the bartenders, security and bar-backs. Everyone was really nice right off, and as happens often, we’re quickly asked if we know the The Goddamn Gallows, since we're from Detroit. Yeah, sorta, we played with them downriver once and we played and hungout with Fishgutzzz & his ignorant band another time. Good dudes, great band, out there doing their thing! The other thing we've been hearing since we got here is how Detroit started sending parolees here a few years ago and the crime has skyrocketed since. There is a massive heroin problem (as evidenced by all the sidewalk syringes I saw on my run), and gang violence is everywhere. I'm not sure how real the connection back to Detroit is, but several people mentioned it to us, and it is a thing, at the very least in the minds of the people
We ordered some tacos and nachos from the little kitchen that was set in next to the bus and played some pool while we waited. Gabe had an absolutely amazing shot where he jumped a ball with the cue ball and knocked the ball behind it into the pocket – on purpose! Patty and I stood there with our mouths open while Gabe shrugged it off as just another shot. I wish I'd filmed it. I played like complete crap but somehow won the game, and played even worse against Patty. Our food came out and it was really awesome – hand made pork, chicken and portabella tacos with pork nachos. The cook made his own hot sauce and it had a pretty good kick. Way better than the meal we had Friday night in Erie. As we were finishing up a group of people came from Ohio to see us which was an unexpected and awesome surprise! Dawn and Dan and her sister and her husband were in for long haul, laughing at my billiards skills, inquiring about the setlist and making requests.
The Broke Boland band went on around 11 and played an hour long set of originals that floated between rock-a-billy and garage rock. Their singer-guitarist Matty was showing off his new Gretch that sounded killer, and filled the gap left by their missing bass player who had a conflict.
We went on somewhere just shy of 12:30 and played for 2 hours, with a short break in the middle. I broke another string, second show in a row, which was a drag, but it didn't slow us down much. The first set was a bit slow, with people coming and going. We carried on undeterred, and by the time we started our second set, somewhere around 1:45am, there was a good crowd in there. The bar is open until 3, but they shut the doors at 2, so if you're not in by 2 you're out of luck. This means that between 1:30 and 2am everyone comes from the other bars to get in that last precious hour of alcohol intake. We had dancers, which is always fun, and a good, attentive room who was digging it. It was super fun.
We wrapped up after 2:30am, got a couple pizzas to go, loaded down those 18 stairs, made some new friends, and headed back to the AirBnB where we crashed out sometime around 4. Prostitutes were lining the sidewalks on our route home, and I wanted to give them a pizza. I started reading an old copy of Gone with the Wind that was in the room I had that afternoon and I tried to get back into it before crashing, but the ringing in my ears was too distracting, and I was too close to passing out.
We're leaving our AirBnB now, ready for the 4 hour drive west. Erie is a bit of a depressed Rust Belt city, but the people here were really nice to us and we had a great show last night. We'll be back!
Thanks for reading, and thanks to the clubs, bands and everyone who came to these shows – especially those who travelled from other cities to see us – that means so much to us and helps to elevate our game for sure. We're back on the road in a couple weeks, heading to Kentucky. Can't wait for that!
Be good to each other!