Road Blog: Friday May 18, 2018 - Iowa City, IA
May 18, 2018
Iowa City, Iowa
We left our hotel in Joliet and headed west on I-80 through the quad cities, past the Iowa 80 - The World's Largest Truckstop, and into Iowa City. It’s a college town (UofI) and reminds me of Ann Arbor some. Our first stop was The Record Collector – a good record store right up the street from the evening’s venue. Gabriel found a few things and I found a rare 12” single by The Jam. I sent a text to Burk and Woody, hoping one of them would be all “Buy that for me!!!!” but neither bit so I did the only honorable thing a man could do in that awkward situation and bought it for myself. Today I live with the deep-rooted regret of passing up on the cost-prohibitive but pristine original pressing of “Milo Goes to College” by Descendents. After that we checked into our hotel where Gabe chilled out and Pat went for a swim. I watched from the balcony like a concerned parent, until the humidity became annoying.
Around 5:30pm we took rock star parking right in front of the venue – a blessing that the neighboring building is under construction and the street was closed to traffic. I realized that I’d forgotten my phone at the hotel and my OCD kicked in hard while we loaded in. Once we were done, the boys went for a walk and I high-tailed it back to the hotel to fetch my digital fix. We met back up 20 minutes later at Dumpling Darling Iowa City, a great dumpling house right around the corner from the venue. We were greeted by Amina with a great big Iowa smile and a thorough rundown of all the great options. Patrick went with the Korean BBQ, Gabe got a combo plate, and I got two small servings of dumplings – avocado Rangoon and Korean BBQ, with a side of kimchi rice. It was pretty much awesome. Amina made a short sales pitch and we followed dinner up with a chocolate-peanut butter dumpling each, and told her we might be back for last call before 2:15am – a prophecy that would come true later.
From there we split up. Gabe went back to the venue to have a beer and check out the gear scene with the other bands, Pat checked out a student jazz concert on a nearby blocked off street, and I walked around the campus, set up camp on the stairs of a giant, beautiful, concrete museum, and called home. TrooperGirl22 is holding her own and keeping busy and got me up to date on what’s going on with our friends, which albums arrived in the mail, the power outages in our town, and her plans to go to Eastern Market this weekend. I didn't tell her about the Descendents record I passed up, but I'm sure she would be proud. Before long I headed back to the Yacht Club, settled in at the upstairs bar, and ordered a beer with Gabe.
The Iowa City Yacht Club is a basement bar beneath what looks like a snotty, New England sailing club. It’s not…. It’s a cool, big room with a stage at one end and bar that juts out into the room at the other end. It’s all concrete and stone, super dark, and plastered with stickers from a million bands, some of which we recognized from previous shows around the country, some were good friends, and some were unfamiliar. Crystal was our sound engineer and she was really friendly. The bartender gave us some drink tickets along with the standard “domestics and wells” talk, and I divvied them up with the boys. The BeSides played first, having been added to the bill after another band from Ohio bailed a couple weeks ago. They were nice guys and played a good set of alt-rock. We played second and had a blast. Crystal had us dialed in, we were locked in a lot better than we were in Chicago, and it was a hot, sweaty mess in the best rock and roll way. Viva Moxie closed out the night. I know their bassist Emily, who was the bartender there the last time we played, and rendered me pretty much useless on Buffalo Trace Bourbon that night. I really liked these guys – they reminded me of early Soul Asylum, Rocket From The Crypt and some of the harder Screaming Trees stuff. They were different enough from us, but still in our general wheelhouse.
We sold a little merch and loaded out, said some goodbyes, locked the van, and walked straight back to Dumpling Darlings without a second thought. They had a late night special called Drunken Darling which was a 3-part you-pick thing that seemed appropriate. It was pretty much great, better than dinner even. Lights out around 2:30am.
7am hit like a Mack Truck with the sounds of screaming kids at the hotel pool filling the air. Seven-goddamn-AM. Patty was not impressed. In an effort to stop him from calling in the National Guard and the Navy Seals to stop the noise, I stepped out onto the same balcony I was on the afternoon before and explained to the courteous piece of crap with his two little shits that we were up late and it was seven-goddamn-AM and could they please quiet the f**k down, but in much more diplomatic way. He said they would try, but they didn’t.
So here we are, awake, and ready to kick the day in the ass. Thanks to the BeSides and Viva Moxie and everyone at the Iowa City Yacht Club for a fun night! See ya tonight in Dubuque, one of our favorite cities and venues (The Lift). Stoked to be opening for The Life and Times from Chicago, and wrap this run up on the banks of the Mississippi River.