Road Blog: Thursday June 09, 2022 - Buffalo, NY
June 9, 2022
We learned on Thursday morning that we’re going to be down a soldier for this run as Gabriel had to back out to finish healing from some lingering health issues. This was understandable for sure, and we support his decision 100%, but that also means Jacob and I now have to re-calibrate gear, setlists, transportation, and lodging and head out as a duo. A little stressful, but hey - we’re pros.
We stopped by Gabe’s and took what we needed out of the van and loaded it into my SUV. Any possible way to save gas mileage is needed these days, and there’s no need to take the van if we don’t have drums and PA mains. We filled up at an amazingly awesome $4.99.9 a gallon (yikes, but still a deal compared to $5.29.9 I paid the day before!) and headed towards the Detroit River. There’s a whole rigmarole now to get into Canada; registering on an app, uploading your vax card, documenting your travelers, photos of your passport, but the international shortcut saves us a few hours of driving and gas, so it’s worth it. There was no car traffic on the Ambassador Bridge or Canadian customs, so we got right in with barely a glance from the agent.
We listened to The Bangles, Drive-By Truckers, Aaron Lee Tasjan, and The Afghan Whigs as we drove through Ontario under beautiful blue skies. We hit some rain after Hamilton and saw a giant, beautiful squall floating over lake Ontario with the Toronto skyline on the shore in the distance and several lake freighters in between. It was on-again-off-again until we hit the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, where again, customs was a breeze. I put on Goo Goo Dolls – SuperstarCarWash to announce our arrival and we drove to the venue.
As we drove through an apocalyptic ghost town of giant, abandoned grain silos, we questioned Karen Jacobsen - The GPS Girl, and wondered how there could possibly be a venue around here, but around the next corner we arrived at Duende at Silo City. It’s a very cool brick building with a sort of open barn/warehouse thing off to the side and two large outdoor patios with plenty of space and lots of refurbished wood, brick, and cement. We had the option to play outside, but when it came time to set up the skies were grey and it was looking like rain, so we opted to play in the open side barn. It’s not really a barn, more like an old, worn, wooden office with giant open sliding doors on both sides giving it a nice outdoor feel. It was really cool, it felt good, and if it rained, we’d be dry.
We set up and did a quick line check, talked a little about setlist and stage logistics, had time for a quick beer, and went on right around 6pm as scheduled to a good room of people. Jake played a couple songs to start things off, solo-acoustic and I followed with a few of my own. Neither of us had time to practice, but we got through it. Then Jake came back up on bass and I kept the acoustic on and we did a few together. We took a ten minute break, said hi to some new and old friends, and played another set, with me on electric for the duration. My new friend Geoff is partial to “Avenues are for Heroes” so we gave that a whirl, and I botched the lyrics pretty bad, but that’s par for the course. There’s nowhere to hide when there’s no drummer, so we tried to be as proficient as possible, but remembering lyrics isn’t mt strong suit. Dawn and Dan, our friends from outside Cleveland were there, and she’s always got a request or two. It was great to see Sal from the Blue Rocket Trio, who we played with the first time we came to Buffalo, and Anthony, who has a great podcast out of Jamestown, NY who made the drive – THANK YOU all!!! When we were done, one dude wanted to know what ever happened to Josh the cat, and we talked about him a bit. We had a good crowd of people watching who were listening intently and engaged, we sold some merch, had a drink, met a lot of folks, and loaded out – it was a great night!
We met up with Geoff, his cousin and his cousin’s wife, along with Dan and Dawn at a dive bar downtown called Electric Avenue where we had a couple rounds before heading east towards our AirBnB. We were famished, as neither of us had a bite to in 12+ hours. They were all pushing a local chain called Mighty Taco which sounded perfect to us, but it was nearly midnight and they were all closed. We passed Tony's Pizza in Cheektowaga, NY and waited 30 minutes for a pie that worth every dollar and every second. I called TrooperGirl22 while we waited and got caught up about the goings-on in our nature preserve of a back yard and other happenings at home. Seems she’s somehow holding her own with the king of the castle playing rock star in upstate NY. We got into our upstairs AirBB apartment, gulped down a slice or two, and crashed out, exhausted.
It’s a beautiful morning in Buffalo. I got up around 7am with an adequate 5 ½ hours of sleep, despite that pizza doing a down-home, tobaccy-spittin’, floor-stompin’ square dance in my guts all night as it moved south. I made a pot of coffee and got caught up on some emails and goings-on missed yesterday with the chaos of the international travel and early gig, then went for a great run. We’re in a really nice neighborhood and it was a pleasant way to start the day. I’ll take a shower and then prod Jake to arise from the dead so we can go record shopping and prepare to play the FairportBside in Fairport NY tonight! Xx