DAY FIVE >> Bottle Tree, Birmingham, AL / 10 November
The Bottle Tree may very well be one of the finest small clubs ever. Run by former Man or Astroman, Brian Teasley, this finely staffed venue really knows how to treat bands on the road. Some of the highlights include the great food menu, (boasting delicious homemade vegan recipes), the very large projection screen in front of the stage, allowing showgoers to watch movies, (such as Peter Pan) while the next band sets up, and most importantly, the Airstream trailer green room that doubles as a place for bands to spend the night, (oh right, and the classic drum solos dvd).
We arrived at the gig early, which was a very nice change of pace. Before we even got a chance to load our gear in, we were treated to some warm pita and hummus and salsa that was, oh so good. We had a great soundcheck, the staff was super friendly and accomodating, we got to breathe for a minute and forget that touring is a pretty intense job. The show was great and the kids were really exciting. We played with some strong young bands, Spells and Andy’s Tea Party. I’d surely make my way back to Birmingham to spend another fun night in that Airstream.
DAY SIX >> Howlin’ Wolf, New Orleans, LA / 11 November
New Orleans is an amazing city, full of beignets and shellfish. We arrived just in time to eat some jumbalaya and almost miss our soundcheck in standard fashion. It’s those small things on tour, like food, that you really begin to appreciate; showers as well. Once again, we were treated to a nice platter of free water and beer, and also some delicious homemade cookies, thanks Jessica. We played well and the kids were pretty responsive. Of Montreal played a great set that was dramatically different from their usual, mostly due to the venue size. Tonight, there were no drum risers, and the sound was not soaked in reverb, so you could really hear all of the details. Fun show. After the show we experienced one of the most interesting night stays on any tour any of us had ever been on. I won’t go into too much detail about it….I’ll just say, rats.
DAY SEVEN >> Warehouse Live, Houston, TX / 12 November
After a sleepless, tense night, we scooted out of New Orleans as fast as we could. We arrived in Houston around 5pm, Warehouse live is exactly what it sounds like, its a warehouse. So, it was kind of like playing at Home Depot, but with way more kids, and a shower. Another tight performance by both bands, and a good sleep at the Knights Inn.
DAY EIGHT >> Fiesta Gardens, Austin, TX / 13 November
The warm Texas breeze and a short 3 hour trip from Houston brought us to Fiesta Gardens, a fantastically fun outdoor venue. Not much beats playing outdoors on a warm day with grassy hills and a river surrounding you. This show felt just like a small summer festival, complete with food concessions and all. Of Montreal brought out about 1500 screamers to the Gardens and we made a lot of new friends. Starting to feel in the pocket with our performances. I think we got this thing down.
After the Show we met up with Of Montreal at Beauty Bar in Austin, commencing our first fun night of band bonding, dancing, and manicures. All of the Of Montreal people are great, super friendly, great musicians that have taught me a lot so far. We’re very thankful for the opportunity to be on their hugely successful tour and happy to meet so many great people.
DAY NINE >> House of Blues, Dallas, TX / 14 November
And we thought New Orleans was a tough night, well, we were wrong. Another sleepless night and too much craziness to just spill on this blog. Arriving exhausted into Dallas with barely any time before we played, we rushed everything on to stage and gave a surprisingly solid performance. Sometimes you just feel the group come together in its toughest times to work through the pain. Immediately following the set, most of us crashed in the green room, which was, so far, the “plushest dojo”. House of Blues provided us with a great meal, shower, internet and comfortable couches, ahhhh, so nice. After the show, Of Montreal performed an intimate acoustic set on the street for the remaining fans eager to meet the band. It was a real nice performance.
DAY TEN >> Off in Amarillo, TX
We decided to take the day off and casually make our way to Denver for one of the last 2 shows with the dudes.
DAY ELEVEN >> Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO / 16 November
The Mile high air is making me woozy. I’ve heard all the rumors/truths, but its hitting me pretty hard. Plenty of water and vitamins to be had. We arrived on time and got a good sound check in. Play one of our best sets, if not the best to an enthusiastic crowd. Tonight, Of Montreal finally played their cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as previously rumored. It was almost better than being at an actual Nirvana show, maybe. I’ll upload the video as soon as I can, you can decide for yourself. Either way, they surely put on great performance for all those Denver kids.
DAY TWELVE >> Murray Theatre, Murray, UT / 17 November
Today is our last show with Of Montreal, and we will definitely miss those guys a lot. It wouldn’t be right if Icy Demons showed up early for this gig, so we daudled for a for a while just to make sure we had a stressful rushed arrival. Barely getting to the Murray as doors opened, the 8 hour drive from Denver made us really envious of those Of Montreal tour buses. We quickly set up, (I can now do the whole set up in under 10 minutes!), skipped the sound check and hit the stage right away. This was quite a rough one. Griffin broke a crucial string half way into the set and my organ was adding some morse code like sounds after each key press, how frustrating. We kept it together just long enough to make it through the set, watch one more wild Of Montreal performance, exchange hugs, and scoot on out of town. (We’ll miss you Dottie, Kevin, Ahmed, Davey, Jamey, Brian, Ian, Nick, Mikes, Matt, Dave, Liz, Coco, Evan, Joe, Becca, and anyone else I missed. Good luck with the rest of the tour.) Vancouver, here we come.