Sunday, June 08, 2008

Out From the Clouds

Minneapolis was our first indoor show in over a week. It was a good day to take things out of cases and let it all air dry. We got hit pretty hard at the last few shows, what with the wind and the rain and the hail and such. It was nice to have a day to clean up. It was also nice to have a day to hide out in an dark, velvety theatre.

I found a really great Army/Navy store in Minneapolis, just up the street from the theatre. They are one of the few things that I seek out in any given town. Some folks go for guitar shops, record stores and pawn brokers, I like a good Army surplus store. It's really all I need. I find their wares pretty appropriate for my line of work, and there is a certain kitsch value in all of it. I got this patch for Chopper, since it's the only job that is actually worse than his.

Undaunted by this rather forbodeing graphic on the front page of the newspaper, we moved on to Chicago for another outdoor show.

The gig was at Frank Gehry's new-ish band shell in Millenium Park. It's a pretty imposing structure in the middle of downtown.

I'm on the fence about most of Gehry's balled-up metal masterpieces. I had a pretty amazing day at the Guggenheim in Bilbao years ago, and thought that was pretty much a perfect building. It is, at times, built around particular pieces of artwork and existing city structures like piers and bridges. Since then though, I can't help but feel that the old tin foil disasterpiece design is a little worn out. I see them everywhere, and there even some pretty decent copycats out there.

Also, this little job came in at around around $500 million.

You'd think for that much cash you could get a roof that didn't leak. Yep, all that metal pretty seamlessly funneled gallons and gallons of water right onto downstage center. On any other day it would have drenched the conductor of the Chicago symphony orchestra.

Sweet gloomy shy town.

Not unlike being in a foggy aquarium.

After the show, and after a very long, cold and damp day we all handicapped ourselves with a nice bottle of wine. A few others moved on to pounding wine coolers and eating birthday cake that didn't belong to them. I'm not naming names, but some of the crew was in top form just after getting kicked out of Bennigan's.

We caught another lucky break the next day, and had indoor show #2 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

The Fox is one of the most amazing, ornate theatres that I've been in. It has an identical twin in St. Louis, I think, but Detroit is my favorite. There was this odd pagan, Persian, garden of eden-type theme running through the place. I kept expecting to see a giant goat head and a few pentagrams hidden in a corner.

Catering was fully stocked with Vernor's, which means it is absolutely a good day.

The show was good, and seemed to be packed with overflow from the Stone Temple Pilots show down the street. I had never seen some much fake tan, silicone and leather in one place before.

The Red Wings won the Stanley Cup that night as well. It was sheer bedlam on the streets of Detroit, and in particular our one block, when 2 concerts and the biggest Hockey Bar this side of the Mississippi spilled out into Foxtown. As people were exiting the theatre security guards were repeating, like a calming mantra 'good night, please don't riot.' I overhead mixed shouts, and a solid, ongoing chant of simply 'hockey, hockey, hockey' from the streets as I opted to stay on the bus and wait it out until our driver turned up and decided to put that beast in drive, lay on the horn and turn on the windshield wipers. It's difficult to see, but there were a pair of guys in their underpants wearing capes and carrying a tin foil stanley cup, just because.

I guess that they didn't see the signs.

Next we crossed the border into Montreal for a day off. We got bumped out of our hotel due to the Grand Prix being in town. I had planned on seeing my friend Page and counted on having some good barbecue and chasing a dog around his backyard for a few hours. Bummer. We stayed in Laval, about 30 mins outside of town.

We posted up in the hotel parking lot to play the support band in whiffle ball. There were quite a few injuries, both physical and emotional that no one freely admitted to be the result of whiffle ball.

And that is how it goes.