Tuesday, October 16, 2007

On the... "Job"?

After arriving in Chicago, and lightly exploring the city nightlife through a cab window, I met Rono face to face. He kindly offered me his place to stay for the night. As far as him being a tour manager, he definitely knows what he’s doing. I was introduced to a few tools of the trade, and assigned my first duty… inputting the venues and hotels as favorites into the GPS device so we could figure out where we were going, even more easily than having a GPS makes it already. It also sports a very aesthetically pleasing and persuasive British voice (her name is Emily). She makes you want to turn left. The night I arrived was over quickly due to the scheduled departure time of 7AM the next day. I figured I should get some sleep since I didn’t really know what to expect.

We woke up and headed out to pick up the guys one by one in the brand new van and trailer. First Rob and Logan, then Justin, and Andrew met us at the rehearsal space. Their spot is housed within this really big steel wire factory/warehouse type building. It was complete with a case of PBR and red bull as well as all the equipment and merch you might need for a tour. I sorted the merch into bins while the guys and Rono loaded the trailer. I found out later I didn’t do a very good job at first… but for the sake of argument, American Apparel has really, really tiny print on their shirt tags.

Driving isn’t as bad as you might think. Spending hours at a time in a vehicle just becomes a regular thing, and I don’t know if you really even wake up until you get to where you’re going. I do like the lifestyle, and though you can’t really call me a night owl because my head doesn’t spin 180 degrees or more, I’m content with being a night person.

October 14, 2007

This place wasn’t what I expected. Though it was a 1000 capacity venue, it didn’t feel like a classic rock and roll place to be. Maybe it was the glossy wood floors. Maybe it was the what-looked-like-iron-railed balcony circling the perimeter of square-ish main room, or even the wall of glass windows behind the bar that provided a view to the street both in and out. Overall, the show went well regardless of atmosphere. Keep in mind that The Redwalls’ sound check is meager at best next to the Polyphonic’s massive one (25 on-stage members) and Rooney’s meticulous tweakage, and yet the guys still manage with the benefit of experience and put on a great show. As for their set, they jumped right in with Hangman and completed mostly new songs to the delight of the present audience, which numbered around 80 or more on the immediate floor by the end of their set. I couldn’t see very far up onto the balcony, but I’m sure there were loiterers up there. What’s my personal favorite? Game of Love… always. Modern Diet sounds nice and fat too, definitely worthy of “singledom”, and the cowbell makes the song for me. Just kidding, it’s the harmonies that really are dead on all the time.

Before the band even started the merch table was active, and plenty of people are excited about the new release, especially when they discover they can purchase it before the release date. I’ve had a few kids come up and buy it even though they’ve already ordered it online. There was one fan that stuck out, a forty-something year old man convinced that Logan was channeling Lennon and that the guys were the best band out there today. It was actually really refreshing and a bit surprising to meet a fan like that. I guess it was my introduction into the band’s dedicated fan base.

After the show we loaded out and hung out with a couple members of the Polyphonic Spree very briefly, and then it was back to the hotel. I took another opportunity for a night of rest, and that was that.

Oh, and yes, Jason Schwartzman was there!

Flying over Chicago.

The van of the band... the band van.

Rob yawning in the wee hours of departure outside of the rehearsal space.

The Crofoot gettin' built w/ Andrew and Rono to the far left and Logan admiring the stage.

No comments: