Road Blog: Thursday May 19, 2022 - Fort Wayne, IN
May 19, 2022
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Gabriel and I met at my place and we picked up Jacob in Ann Arbor before heading south through Toledo and turning west towards Indiana. The 2 ½ hour drive was uneventful, and we hit the northern edge of Fort Wayne at 5pm. We had trouble finding a decent, affordable place to stay so we ended up getting a couple rooms through priceline. How bad could they be? Free breakfast, WiFi, a nice-looking outdoor pool! Well, two of those were squashed at check in – the pool is empty and there is no breakfast. Oh well, not a deal breaker. We found our rooms and cringed as our feet stuck to the polyester floor with each steep, peeling the souls of our shoes off to take the next. Quick bed bug check, brush the teeth, and get the hell out of there and head into town.
We stopped at Neat Neat Neat Records in downtown FTW. It was a good store, with Cookie Monster death metal playing and an extensive inventory of Record Store Day releases dating back 15 years, but we each left empty handed. From there we went to The Hoppy Gnome for dinner. It’s a nice brewery that’s in one of the downtown hi-rises. The beer was decent, nothing to write home about, but Jake loved his vegetable bowl and my tacos were outta site. I got the Dante’s Inferno with pulled chicken and seven layers of Hell sauce, and the Bob Marley with smoked jerk chicken and fire-roasted red pepper.
From there we drove the few blocks over to The Brass Rail. It’s *thee* place for rock and roll in Fort Wayne and we had a great show there back in 2018 with The Raelyn Nelson Band and couldn’t wait to get back. It’s a small-medium sized square room with a U-shaped bar taking up the middle, and a thin, somewhat oddly shaped bar in the back corner. We loaded in, set up drums and bass, as we were sharing with the openers, and merch. I went for a long walk to get some air and the boys had a pint at the bar.
Streetlamps for Spotlights were our local support. We met them in Ohio a few years ago and stayed in touch. They’re a popwer-pop-rock band, I guess, kinda hard to put in a bucket, but great catchy guitar-rock songs, great guitar parts and tones, and a polished, but loose and well-executed performance. My pal Jason, their singer, lost his voice a couple days ago, so they decided to play their set instrumental, which was a bit of a disappointment, but also an opportunity to see something cool and special. I can honestly say a lot of bands would have just cancelled and left us there without any local support, which is the kiss of death to a touring band at our level. We’re very grateful that they did the show – and their set was still great, even sans-vocals.
We went on after them to a respectable crowd. As I was setting up my pedal board took a complete shit and after a few minutes of messing with it, Gabriel helped me get at least the tuner and the distortion box going, so I just rolled with that. I wasn’t ideal, but I was able to manage. The crowd was attentive and appreciative, and we had a great time up there. Jake’s mom and stepdad made the trek from Michigan for the show and seemed to enjoy it, clearly proud of him. We actually did an encore, not something that happens often – a cover of The Monkees “I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone” and wrapped it up. Another couple rounds of drinks, load-out, and back to our shithole hotel.
This morning 7:30am hit pretty hard with the repetitive SNAP SNAP SNAP of a staple gun and subsequent BAM BAM BAM of a hammer laying carpet or flooring or something in the next room. While it’s nice to know they’re renovating this dump, another hour of sleep would have been nice. Priceline will be hearing about this debacle. I’m taking the early opportunity to get this blog done so we can head over to Sweetwater and spend some time and money, then make the drive to Marion, IL, where we’ll play tonight at John Brown's on the Square. I’ll take the back bench in the van and do my best to rewire and test my pedal board.
Big thanks again to The Brass Rail for another great night, and to Streetlamps and Spotlights for playing – a great start to the weekend! xx