Road Blog: Friday June 09, 2017 - Jamestown, NY
Jamestown, NY – June 9th, 2017
We had a short travel day yesterday – just under 3 hours, so we stayed at the hotel in Kent until the noon checkout and then headed north, through Cleveland, onto I-90, and towards Erie, PA. We played in Jamestown, NY last night, but we are playing Erie tonight, and we are using Erie as our base for both shows. The upside to this is that it's less expensive than staying in Jamestown and it gives us a whole day today with no travel – a real luxury! The downside is that we had a late night hour long drive after the gig last night. We're staying in an AirBnB rental, a really old house a mile or so from downtown Erie. It's a really nice, quiet neighborhood and the house is big, clean and spacious. We each have our own bedroom, which is awesome, and plenty of room to spread out. We spent the afternoon chilling out, napping, getting caught up on stuff, and resting up for the show.
We headed out around 7pm and went to downtown Erie for dinner since food options in Jamestown are limited. We chose a restaurant that will remain nameless, based on their really awesome menu and reviews. We got a nice seat in the beer garden and ordered beers and food. Our food came out and, well, Patty wasn’t impressed. The guacamole was turning brown, the salsa was way too watery, his salad lettuce was white, and there were no condiments. My Cajun turkey burger was ok, serviceable I suppose, but nothing to write home about. Gabe's sandwich was pretty good, he said. There was a car show on main street so we checked that out for a few minutes, and Patty sent a photo of a cool old station wagon to our pals in Vibrolas who we get so see in a couple short weeks. We gassed up and headed east to Jamestown, counting deer and dodging raccoons on the highway.
Last night was our third time in Jamestown. It's a cool, sorta strange little city in upstate New York that is mostly known as the birthplace of Lucille Ball. It's a heavy drinking town, with locals making the rounds from one of the half-dozen bars to another, so we seem to always have faces to play to, and there is a great, alcohol-fueled tension in the air that makes our shows there super fun. The people are friendly and we're getting to know some of them pretty well at this point, so it's become a cool regular stop for us. We loaded in, got reacquainted with the staff (one of which was due to have a baby at any moment), met Jason from the openers Slow Motion Breakdown, and played some pool. I went for a walk down to the riverside park where I startled a big woodchuck who clearly thought he had the joint to himself, and called home.
Slow Motion Breakdown went on sometime after 10 and played a great set of originals. Their stuff had a lot going on – sorta proggy at times, hard rock, sorta jammy at times. They were well rehearsed and played together really well. They had a couple longer songs with arrangements that left me in awe, and even channeled a classic Black Sabbath riff into one of their parts. They were really good, and super nice guys too!
We hit around 11:30 and felt right at home on that small stage. We've worked with the sound-guy Josh before – he's a good dude who knows his way around the soundboard and he had us dialed right in. I broke a string a couple songs in, and that hasn’t happened in forever, so I knew that I was due. Other than that, we had a great time up there, worked up a good sweat, got some dancers out, and enjoyed the hooting and hollering from the drinkers. We sold some merch, mingled with the locals, loaded out in the rain, and headed back towards Erie.
We hit the city around 3am and stopped in at a 24 hour gas station for some personal pizzas and provisions for the morning. I gave Patty some shit when I found the Erie weekly entertainment rag with a write up about our show and a photo of him (and him alone) front and center. As if! We scarfed the pizzas down at the AirBnB and Gabe and I got into a bottle of "Pennsylvania Table Wine" that our host left for us. Cheers to her for that, really, but the shit was undrinkable and we didn't get far with it. Lights out at 4am.
This morning Patty and I were up around 10 and getting caught up on real life stuff. I felt like death warmed over, with severe sinus pressure, but my morning dose of Claritin and Flonase kicked in and provided some relief before long. Patty and I argued about the current and long-term business climates of manufacturing costs in countries with different labor and environmental laws than the US while Gabe slept in, making the occasional appearance, checking on the status of coffee manufacturing climates in the kitchen. I went for a good run to a nice park and saw the seedy side of Erie, with used syringes decorating the sidewalk and people repairing cars in their front yards, with parts everywhere, to the sounds of shitty, distorted R&B and electric sanders. After a shower we headed into the city for some lunch at a killer Mediterranean spot called Alkeme where our host knew all about tonight's venue and opening band. The ratatouille quiche was the bomb!
Some more downtime is in order, then tonight it's Kings Rook Club with The Matt "Broke" Boland Band. Music starts around 10 - sounds like it's gonna get rowdy!