Road Blog: Monday October 14, 2019 - Wichita, KS
October 14, 2019
We left Denver with Gabriel at the wheel and Bob in back under clear blue skies. It was sad to see the Rocky Mountains disappear behind us. I played Dokken – Tooth and Nail on the iPod and we trudged eastward. For the next eight hours it was rolling grassland, the occasional prairie dog colony, cattle yard, or distant farm through Colorado, then we crossed into Kansas and the terrain changed to endless corn fields and sorghum crops. I mean endless, interrupted only by the occasional hand-painted sign telling us that JESUS IS REAL, Abortion Ends A Beating Heart, and God Bless Donald Trump – God Bless the American Flag. Today we learned that sorghum is a crop that is used as a cereal grain and livestock feed, that 17 of the 25 varieties are native to Australia, and that it does well in dry climates so it’s popular in the Great Plains states. I resisted the temptation to get a gas station torpedo roll-up at the first gas stop, resisted Gabriel’s offer to drive through Taco John's (I love TJs), then resisted the temptation to get “The Asian Experience” massage at the second gas stop, before we finally arrived at our hotel. It really is a brutal drive, and we’re glad it’s behind us.
After a short bit of downtime we headed into the city for dinner at the Wichita Brewing Co & Pizzeria. I got a Thai pizza that was pretty righteous and a meatball appetizer that I shared with the boys. The beers were tasty, good service, cool place. From there we drove to Kirby's Beer Store, our venue. When we pulled in they were wrapping up a comedy show and we caught the end of it. The room is one of the smallest we’ve played – maybe 90 feet square, concrete walls, and stickers and posters plastered from floor to ceiling. First up was a dude named Matt Cooper, a local poet, with a bass player backing him up. He did about a half hour of cool spoken word and kept the room’s interest. Next up was a guy named Yellow Bellied Sullivan who played some cool songs with solid acoustic guitar and under-stated vocals.
We went on around 11:15 just as a big room of people came in and the place livened up. After a couple songs there were literally girls dancing on the table in front of the stage, and I announced to the audience that “I like this town!” We played a short but loose and rockin’ set to a good, rowdy crowd, tore down and loaded out.
After us a younger band from Lexington, KY called RAGS AND RICHES went on. This is a singer and two drummers who also bashed on some floor toms on stage and they did a sorta pop-hip-hop thing to tracks. I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t totally my thing, but I’m sure we weren’t theirs either. Regardless, they were well rehearsed, loud AF, really engaging with the crowd, and had their thing down solid. We talked to them throughout the night and they were super nice guys too. There’s something cool about a diverse lineup like that that keeps it interesting sometimes. We talked about their stop in Detroit earlier on that tour, our common experiences in Lexington, the craziness in Wichita, wished each-other well, and went our separate ways. Have a good run dudes – be safe out there, keep doing your thing, and we’ll see you out there again sometime!
Back at the hotel we got into some Knob Creek Rye 100 proof that I picked up before dinner, listened to The Right Here’s album, and crashed out around 2am. We’re busting ass to get out of here so we can go hit a guitar shop on the way to Dallas today. Wichita turned out a lot better than I thought it would. We’re half done with this run and we haven’t had an amazing show, but we haven’t had a stinker yet either, and that’s a good thing. Can’t wait to see my close friends Amy & Jeff in Dallas tonight at rock Adair's Saloon! We’re on at 7:30 for 3 sets!