Road Blog: Sunday October 13, 2019 - Denver, CO
October 13, 2019
After I posted yesterday’s blog I took the wheel and drove the remaining 7 or so hours to Denver. As we drove past Lincoln, a bald eagle flew right over the van, second eagle in two days, so that was pretty cool. I learned that Kearney, Nebraska is the assumingly self-proclaimed Sandhill Crane Capital of the World, that Jim Croce’s awesome guitar player’s name was Maury Muehleisen, and that he died in the same plane crash that killed Croce in September of 1973. It was a long drive but it was a beautiful day, not a cloud to be see, and we rocked out had to the new Sturgill Simpson Society record and a whole bunch of other stuff as we turned southwest, into Colorado, and the terrain changed from corn fields to hilly grasslands. Eventually we saw the Rocky Mountains in the distance, and we arrived at our hotel near the Denver airport at an impressive 3pm Mountain Time. We stayed in a really nice place this time, which sometimes happens, and enjoyed about an hour of downtime. We were each excited to get into the city and do some shopping and eating before our 7PM load in.
First stop was Twist & Shout Records – maybe the best record store in the state. I found a couple things I’ve been searching for for a while now, including a clean copy of the first Montrose record and an original pressing of Dressed to Kill by KISS, which I probably paid a little too much for. I also found a great looking comp of Cosmic American Music released by The Numero Group, a term coined by Gram Parsons to describe the country-rock sound he helped pioneer out of southern California in the late 60s and early 70s.
On the way back to the van I confiscated the keys from Bob, who by now was a little hangry and I was worried his road rage would get him thrown in the clink before the show. I drove us downtown and backed the can in between two shiny new SUVs like a damn pro in the parking lot of Illegal Pete's, a local burrito chain. Illegal Pete’s does something pretty amazing – they offer up a free meal to touring bands if you reach out to them a couple days in advance. They verify that you’re playing in town, then they give you a voucher, and each guy gets a meal and a beer. It’s a pretty amazing thing, and very rare, and on top of it all the food is incredible. Just another reason why Denver is awesome. My dear friend Angie and her fiancé Andrew showed up and joined us. I hadn’t met him yet, and I hadn’t seen her since TrooperGirl22 and I were in town for Jason Isbell/Lucero show a couple years back. They’re doing great and it was awesome to get caught up!
3 Kings Tavern is about ½ mile up Broadway from Illegal Pete’s. We played there in 2014, on our first tour with Patrick when our pals Those Crosstown Rivals took us out. We parked in the alley and loaded in. it’s a big room with a sizable stage in back, a great green room, ramps instead of stairs, and a bar and pool tables closer to the front. We met the sound guy, who’s name was also Jeremy, and the drummer for openers The Born Readies, Andrew James, who I bonded with immediately over his Cheap Trick shirt, and he over my Straight To Hell western shirt, which he’s bought and returned after it didn’t fit right. Bob’s friend Thom showed up and helped us load in, super nice guy and easy to hang with, and Gabe’s friends Char and Christopher who were in a Saginaw, Michigan band called TheBananaConvention that Gabriel and I both have some independent history with, also showed up and it was great to see them and say hi after so many years.
The Born Readies went on at 9 and played a great set. It’s rock and roll, a little southern-edge to it, some boogie-shuffle stuff sorta like Molly Hatchet if they were in punk bands before hand. Short songs, great guitar tones, and really nice guys. We played second to a decent room considering it was Sunday night. We struggled a little to find our pocket but we made it through and had some fun. After us Television Generation played. They are younger, and it was their singer Will Hayden’s birthday. They do a sort of noisy but catchy punk with lots of effects and a high-energy performance. It was fun to watch and they sounded great! Tammy from Dressy Bessy, a great Denver band was there taking photos, so we talked a bit and I made sure she had our record under her arm when she left. She also got some great photos of us and the TVG guys, and we talked about hooking up with Dressy Bessy in Detroit sometime.
We took some photos, sold some merch, loaded out, and Gabe got us back to our luxury accommodations without incident. We resisted the hard temptation to hit Vodoo Doughnuts next to 3 Kings, and I instead crammed my leftover burrito into a coffee cup, microwaved it, and engulfed it, using the flat end of my hair comb for a makeshift utensil before crashing out around 2am. Not the most amazing show, but every bit as good as you could expect for a Sunday night.
Today we’re heading back east for a show in Wichita at Kirby's Beer Store tonight. Mondays are even tougher than Sundays, so we’re hoping for the best, and looking forward to a shorter drive tomorrow than the marathons from yesterday and today.
Thanks for reading – be good to each other. Xx