I Pushed Cruise Control, and Rubbed My Eyes

October 24th, 2011

Hello, friends!  Rob here.

I couldn’t find it, but I was hoping to start this post with a quote from the Chronicles of Narnia about how Narnian air changes normal people.  It makes them graver, more formal, and more formidable.  Because touring has a similar effect.  You spend a week or so breathing the thick air in a van full of unwashed dudes, and you start to change.  You care less about sleep and hygiene.  You play more.  You drive more.  You drink more.  You talk to strangers.

You’re better on the road, no matter how much it pains you to admit it.

Speaking of pains, WE HAD TWO FLAT TIRES IN TWO DAYS.  WHAT THE CRAP.  They weren’t even on the same side of the van, so there is no reasonable explanation.  To make matters worse, both were within thirty miles of our destinations, and both destinations were shows to which we ended up arriving late.  Oh well.

Hey, do you know what the best thing ever is?  Me neither, but I’m pretty sure Galactic with Corey Glover made the short list.  Friday was our first of four shows opening for Galactic this tour, and it was awesome.  Ben (their saxophonist, producer of our almost-completed album) has been trying to manage our expectations in terms of the crowds that their opening acts get, so we were pleasantly surprised by the number of people who showed up early.

So things were good for us as far as the show went, but it was also an excellent learning experience in a lot of different ways to watch Galactic work.  It was a great opportunity to learn about their process and their dynamics and even to just listen to them talk shop and tell stories.  Musically, it was impressive to watch them go from kicking around the idea of covering “Kashmir” the afternoon before the show to figuring out how they were going to work it into their set during sound check to astonishing a sold-out crowd by executing it perfectly.

Other than that, we’ve had a nice couple of nights Falls Church, Charlottesville, and Charleston.  Well, Charleston was technically more of an afternoon (which was great because we were all pretty wiped after Friday) but whatever you get the idea.  Now we’re on our way to Birmingham to link back up with Galactic and get a few more glimpses of what life is like in the light at the end of the tunnel.

Hopefully we’ll see you there.

Bamboozled

October 18th, 2011

Hello, friends!  Rob here.

We’re in tour mode by now, that’s for certain.  After a very productive weekend in Pensacola, we’re driving and driving and driving and driving so we can be in New York in time to do band guy stuff.  It’s Monday-ish.  We’ve got a meeting and our CMJ showcase Tuesday and then we will spend the rest of the week working our way back southward to link up with Galactic and oh my good gracious I am so excited about that.

Our time in Pensacola was very well-spent.  Deluna Fest was once again very good.  We had a great  turnout for our Friday afternoon set, we saw some killer acts, and on Sunday morning before we left we had the privilege of recording a few quick acoustic songs for some very nice people from Paste Magazine (it’ll actually be pretty interesting to hear how those turned out, as Dave and I were both struggling with pretty bad cases of Sunday Morning Voice).

With all the hustle at Deluna, one might forget that this was also our last weekend stand at Bamboo Willie’s.  Our back-to-back Deluna afterparties were wild and bittersweet.  The phrase “last day of school” was getting tossed around a lot.  We’ve made a lot of good friends in Pensacola, and the Bamboo Weekends have grown into something of a family affair over the course of our residency this year.  The stage is comfortable.  It has a fantastic view, and I know I’ve done some of my best playing there.  It’s easy when it feels good.  I imagine we’ll be back there someday, but I know that in the interim I’ll come to miss the staff and the breeze and the constant temptation to jump off the back of the drum riser just to see if the sand will break my fall.

Or my ankles.

But we’re heading north now.  It’s been a good summer.

Gorilla Warfare

October 12th, 2011

Hello, friends!  Rob here.

Alright!  Cool stuff!  Yeah!  Good job everyone!  We actually did things!  Just in time, too.  This may be the last Blog Wednesday for a week or two.  We’re heading to Pensacola tomorrow evening so we can get a jump on this whole Deluna Fest thing, and then we’ll be on the road for a little while.  As you ought to know by know, that means unscheduled entries whenever I get the time.

But back to this week.  After such a laid-back September, I’m glad we had this week to serve as a warm-up before getting into full-on tour mode.  Thursday had us driving a lot, which is great practice for the driving a lot that we will be doing throughout the second half of this month.  I like to call shows like Thursday “the little show that could.”  This is to say that it wasn’t our most heavily attended performance, but it felt really great onstage and there was big energy coming from a small crowd.  With your eyes open, the place looks empty, but when you close them it feels full.  We’re all excited to come back to The Shed in Destin when the weather gets a little warmer (I know, just in time, right?) and make it a magical place.

Friday’s double-header was pretty phenomenal.  We arrived early on Tulane’s campus to get interviewed by a very nice young woman (she brought us beer!) before our show at Fridays on the Quad, a fun monthly event featuring food, music, and beer which, naturally, was introduced after I graduated.  So it goes.  Oh yeah, and there was a guy in a gorilla costume:

See?  I know it's spelled ''guerilla.''
(Photo brought to you by our dear friend Tracy Marcus)

After a quick pack-up and a few goodbyes we were en route to Bennie’s in Hattiesburg.  Now, as Zack implied during a write-up of a certain incident in Hattiesburg a few months ago, Bennie himself is a bit of a character.  He has recently acquired a fog machine for his fine musical venue and watering hole, and he was in full-on new toy mode, pumping the venue with so much canned smoke that you couldn’t see two feet ahead of yourself.  It made for an interesting, though vaguely toxic atmosphere.

Satruday.  Ohh, Saturday.  As an Oklahoman, and a Tulane alumnus, I must confess that I’m not exactly the world’s biggest LSU fan.  But if we’re playing in Baton Rouge in the evening, after the Tigers have hosted (and annihilated) the Florida Gators, then I’m certainly grateful for their victory.  The Blind Tiger was extra rowdy on Saturday, and it was probably the best time I’ve ever had playing in Baton Rouge.  My sincerest gratitude goes out to our new friend Michael for initiating one hell of a dance-off and getting the energy level up.  The back patio was pretty packed, but it wasn’t until people started getting out of their seats and dancing up front that things really kicked into high gear.  All in all, a great night.

So that was our week!  Tomorrow, we’re officially on tour.  I’ll be in touch, don’t you worry.

Voodoo set time changed to 1:35 – 2:35 on the Main Stage!

October 8th, 2011

Six of One, Half-Liter of Another

October 5th, 2011

Hello, friends!  Rob here.

As I said last week, The Revivalists have taken this past week off to focus on some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into making us be better band guys.  So there aren’t any wacky stories about people getting sick or maimed on the road, but we’ve still managed to stay active.  In between demo-ing and practicing new songs, discussing the finer points of operating agreements for band LLCs, firming up our tour plans for October and November and sitting in with Snarky Puppy at The ‘Wolf, we still managed to find the time to make a neat little video which you can watch by clicking on these here words because I’m currently feeling too lazy to bother with embedding.

Tomorrow, it’s back to business as usual.  We’ve got a show in Destin, and we’ll have to drive back because we’re playing some event on Tulane’s campus on Friday (sorry, details are kind of sketchy at the moment) and then driving straight from THERE to Hattiesburg to make a nice double-header.  Saturday we’ll be at the Blind Tiger in Baton Rouge, doing what we do best: Selling rare and collectible coins.

That’s all!  Sorry if it’s a bit short.  I might skimp a bit next Wednesday as well, but don’t worry.  We’ll be on tour in two weeks, so things should get pretty interesting again.  Until then, stay cool.

UPDATE:  The concert on Tulane’s campus is a free event on Tulane’s LBC Quad.  It starts at 4 PM, and there’s free food!  Plus us playing music, if you’re into that.