Springfield turned out to be a much cooler city than I expected it to be. When we arrived to the venue (we were wicked early), the street was already hopping with people. The Front Porch was located on the main strip of where the majority of clubs and bars sat. This was a very encouraging sign. Patrick and I walked around the city for a little bit, to scope out what was happening. There were a lot of restaurants and bars and people were starting to congregate into those. Matt and Mike hung out at the local café, which was by far the coolest one we visited on the tour. I can’t remember the name of it, but I’m sure Matt has it documented somewhere in his blogosphere.
We were playing with 3 acts, The Hard Lessons, The Silent Years and Nathanial Carroll. Before the gig started and after we loaded in, Matt, Pat and I went across the street to grab a brew, as the venue we were playing was more like a coffee shop and didn’t serve booze. Booze is essential in rock n roll. In having a pre-game libation, we met Julie who was the barkeep. She was very friendly yet sarcastic, so naturally Pat and I thought she was the shit. We chatted for a few about music and our band, etc. Somewhere along the lines Julie offered us a place to stay, which was completely awesome.
So, we headed back over across the street to sound check and play our set. The onstage sound was fairly non-existent, which made it real hard to feel like I was playing well. I guess I didn’t do to badly because I was paid some nice compliments by some new fans and by the other bands. Those are always appreciated when you have tough sound nights.
We played and then I hung out for some of Nathaniel’s set. I then decided I needed another libation, so pat and I headed back across the street to seek out beer and to see if Julie was actually serious about letting us crash. We walked in and this MASSIVE man was tending the door. His name was Bramer and was also Julie’s roommate. He was a very nice guy, despite looking serious fucking intimidating. I mean, I would have thought 3 or 4 times before getting into a scuffle with Bramer, and ya’ll know I’ve got no fear about that shit… Great, funny dude. So, we hung out and had another beer and shot the shit and then made our way back across the street again to check out The Hard Lessons.
I actually really dug their show. From the first note to the last, they had me very entertained. I give them a lot of credit, they played to a small room and still made me feel like I was in a packed club. They brought the rock! Some of their show is schticky, but I kinda like that. They don’t take themselves all too seriously, but serious enough that they gave 110% and put on a show full of microphone swinging, hand clapping, pick licking and audience sing alongs. Kudos to The Hard Lessons for giving the audience their money’s worth.
After The Hard Lessons played, Patrick and I decided we should head back over to the bar and hang out with Julie and secure our place to stay. Matt and Mike stayed for The Silent Years. As we were playing with them the very next day in Tulsa, I felt ok for missing their set to gain a place to crash. We hung out with Julie and some of her friends. Patrick and I engaged in a friendly game of shuffleboard. Pat tried to make a bet with one of the dudes we were playing against, the bet being if pat and I won, we’d get his fedora. If pat and I lost, the dude would get pat’s vest. The dude wasn’t interested in losing his hat, so we settled on loser buys beers. This was Pat’s first time playing shuffleboard, so I was fairly certain we’d be losing… After a couple of crappy rounds by Pat, he found his groove! We ended up winning the game and some free beer. Awesome! I underestimated Starman and his shuffleboard abilities, but no more will I doubt the god of the sawdust table.
So, the night of music was over and started packing up the van again. Julie led us a really round-about way to her house. Once there, one of my worst fears came true… She had a pet snake. I fucking hate snakes!! I’m terrified of them. I can barely watch them on TV! It was a small python I believe, but still, all I kept thinking about was it getting loose and trying to swallow my hand or something. Ughhh.
I slept far enough away from Noodle and awoke with all of my digits and limbs in tact (thank god). Julie, you rock! Noodle, you’re probably a cool ass snake, but I’m too much of a pussy to find out. Good luck with your mice diet dude.
As we had a short ride to Tulsa, we stuck around Springfield for a bit to go back to the coffee shop and chill. After a latte or two, I went for a walk with Matt and Pat and stumbled across a sports bar that was serving 2 dollar beers and 35 cents wings. I decided I needed nasty food in order to get through my day, so Matt and I went in and had some wings and beers. Pat decided he’d probably end up shitting his pants, so he didn’t come in with us. The wings went down fine with no major intestinal disruptions. Woo Hoo!
All in all, I really enjoyed our stay in Springfield. I thought it was a cool college city and I look forward to rocking out there again and hopefully hanging out with our new friends and fans. The Simpsons should have totally chosen your city…