Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gainesville and Houston

So after 2 days of staying up till 7 am with whiskey bottles at our friend Randy P's place in Dallas, we decided maybe it was a good time to get back to work and play to some college kids.

But first about Randy P: This guy has been friends with Natalie and her crew for a couple of years, and when they said we were going to go stay with him for a couple of days, I hoped he wouldn't mind our somewhat motley intrusion. Turns out he routinely encourages it. After all, you can't play foozeball, shuffleboard, and drink whiskey, absynthe, and beer without a good house band (not that we played). And his buddy Randall hooked us UP at a restaurant he ownes called Ava. And props to it, it was the best food we're gonna eat all tour, this I know. Nice folks, all of them.

At any rate, we piled out at played at NTSC (North Texas State College) in Gainesville, TX to a full auditorium of screaming college kids. And I mean screaming - even in my opening acoustic set there were some girls screaming (this never happens). I was pleased with the set, it was only my second such opening one so far, but I'm getting a better handle on the dynamics of a short opening set and how to make it impactful and count.

And as soon as we started rocking it with Natalie's band, the energy was already up to the level (which I guess is part of the point), and with Natalie at the helm we just took it higher to a new level. The girls were screaming for her even louder. By the end, everyone was on their feet and screaming, and it was a good time. Point NTSC. Here's a video link (all the cover songs aren't really cover songs. We do a 7 minute medley of about 10 to end the show):

Then after a bunch of pictures and autographs (we signed more guitars than I ever thought reasonable), we loaded up and drove straight to Houston, only to sit in a parking lot at 6 am for 2 hours and wait for our logistics to get worked out. Not that I, or anyone other than James, had any idea, as we were all asleep. Somehow I managed to fall asleep during Anchorman and wake up in Houston. James, the superhuman, just stayed up after the gig and drove all the way. He's crazy. In the best ways, of course. We played a beautiful auditorium to about 25 appreciative people, and it reinforced to me that even in some of the toughest of circumstances (11:30 am after little sleep and - gulp - no coffee), this band is already at a level that it can lift a good performance out of itself whenever it needs to. Hopefully it just keeps getting better. Again, I reccommend a 5 day retreat in the wilderness with your band before any tour.

Tonight we're in a hotel, which is exciting (the last 3 nights for me were couch, different couch, van). Tomorrow we go down to Edinburgh and Brownsville, across from Matamoros.

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