Road Blog: Thursday October 10, 2019 - Yorkville, IL
October 10, 2019
We met at Gabriel’s around noon and left from there with Gabe at the wheel, Bob on shotgun and me in the back. Def Leppard’s High ‘N’ Dry, one of the best hard rock albums of all time, was playing as we talked about which songs might be good candidates to cover. We saw a little rain and some construction and traffic as we crossed into Indiana, then Illinois, but it wasn’t too bad, and we arrived in Joliet around 4pm. We had an early dinner at a Latin restaurant called Chévere Latin Café that was really great. Bob had the Cubano sandwich, Gabe had empanadas and soup, and I had a shredded beef and avocado rice bowl. Super nice service and a cool local vibe! On our way back to the car we stopped at a record store called Audiophil's Records. It was a smaller place but great selection, and at the front of each row of albums was a Barry Mannilow album, which was funny. We chatted with the friendly staff for a bit, I passed on a The Lemonheads 7” that I am now regretting, and headed to our hotel.
We stayed in Joliet but our show was in Yorkville so we drove about a half hour north west through corn fields, pumpkin patches, and family farms. Yorkville is a small city that sits on the Fox River. We were greeted at The The Law Office Pub & Music Hall by Ben, one of the owners, who welcomed us with a big smile, a cold beer, and tales of other Detroit bands that had passed though (Craig Brown Band your name came up). He took us downstairs to the green room which was a great wood and stone space that could double as a smaller venue if there was a fire escape.
The Law Office is a long room with a nice stage at the back, against the window that faces the street. There’s a bar going along the north wall and barrel tables on the floor. We sound-checked with Josh, the sound-engineer for the night, and dialed in a good mix for the night. I went for a walk, called TrooperGirl22, and switched over to whiskey. Around then my dear friend Shauna showed up with her boyfriend John. We were struggling to remember the last time we’d seen each other but it was probably about 10 years ago. We got caught up, took a selfie, and it was show time. We played to a decent crowd who was there to see the music. They were attentive and responsive. We struggled out of the gate, or I did at least, struggling with my tuning and then kicking the power plug out of my ABY switch. Figuring out shit like that in the middle of a song sucks – it’s like a puzzle that has a million pieces and you’ve got a gun to your head, super loud noise, and alcohol all in the mix. Took me a moment but I got it and we moved on. Still, rookie mistake. We locked in by song 3 or 4 and played a fun hour.
After us Blind Adam and The Federal League came up. These are super nice dudes from Chicago who are cut from the same cloth as us. They had a sound reminiscent at times of Slobberbone, earlier Drive-By Truckers, and a harder-edged Old 97's. Really solid songs and super tight, accomplished band. Loved their set and hanging with them before and after!
I ran into my pal Chris Prunckle who is a local guy I’ve known for a couple years, but only met last night in person. He does the Wannabe - A Six-Panel Music Blog and did one of us when our last record came out. It was great to put a face to the name, thank him in person, meet his wife (?) and get caught up. We sold some merch, loaded out, said our goodbyes, and Gabriel got us back to the hotel unscathed at a relatively early 1am Central time. I inhaled my leftover Latin food like I’d been starving in prison for a month and crashed out. It was a super fun show. The hospitality at the Law Office was over the top, Blind Adam was killer, and we saw some old friends and made some new, so a great kickoff to the tour. Today it’s a long haul westward to Kansas City where we’ll play The Westport Saloon at 7PM. It’s a super fun joint and we can’t wait!