Thursday, October 9, 2008

Texas to Florida

The lone star state had three shows in store for us: Dallas, Austin, and Houston. In our first night, we stayed at the weirdest hotel I could possibly imagine. It felt like it used to be a convention center, which was strangely bought by a hotel chain, and converted on an unrealistic budget. The rooms were located along the perimeter of a GIANT open room, with a sprawling floor and ceiling. The most pathetic mini-golf course was located next to a weird hot tub and gym, enclosed in a bubble-like room, along with tons of couches and chairs. The whole floor was large enough to be a casino floor. Mat had a fleeting thought of playing a paintball tournament there.

We pull up to The Loft in Dallas to a giant marquee that read "RA RA RIOTS." It reminded me of Spinal Tap, when they are playing a daytime theater show in an amusement park or whatever, where the sign reads: "PUPPET SHOW" and then just under it "SPINAL TAP." We tried to have it changed, but no one ended up getting around to it I guess. We did a sound check and went down to the bar to catch the end of the VP debate and get dinner. A certain Sarah Palin provided our pre-show entertainment. The venue was cool though; Located on the second story of the building next to a giant patio that had a view of the Dallas city line. The show was mildly attended, but still quite energetic and exciting given the numbers. That night, we stayed in a downtown hotel on the 27th floor. Quite a view.

We travelled further into Texas to Austin, which I can safely say is one of my favorite cities experienced on this tour. The downtown streets are made up of BBQ restuarants and music venues that ALL have bands playing in them. Its a really cool vibe of nightlife, people, and music.

We played an afternoon in-store performance at Waterloo, which is a great, true music store. lots of cool stuff, vinyls, merch, and a modest stage for bands to play on. We got little discounts and free shirts too. Immediately after playing, we had to reload the van, and unload again at the venue; The Parish. This was I think the nicest and largest venue thus far on the tour. That show was unbelievable, and people were literally SCREAMING "encore" at a rapid rate, moments after the band left the stage from the main set. This audience was 100% determined to incite an encore, as if it had been planned a half hour ago. There have been some really iffy moments after the set's finale of "Dying Is Fine" at some venues in smaller markets. Moments where there's alllllmost enough cheering to warrant an encore, but not quite enough. Its always satisfying to see people go crazy for one at shows like this. The band performed their high-energy cover of Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love."

We later got to Houston where we played another in-store performance. There was a shockingly large following of people who had clearly come to see the band too, which was great. The following day we all went back and spent probably an hour looking around and buying stuff. I snagged The Police's Zenyatta Mondatta on vinyl in a used box for 97 cents, and U2's The Unforgettable Fire for like 7 bucks. So excited to play them later and hear their crunchy magical sounds.

That night we played Rudyards tavern/bar. Small, grungy bar type place with an upstairs venue. Toyota is sponsoring some of the shows in this tour, and they bring this decadent car with a tricked out back hatch, lights, plasma TV, and PS3 with ROCK BAND set up behind the car. We played for hours before the show.

After these shows, we had two days off to drive through the south to Florida. We stopped at a cool cajun restaurant in Louisiana, stayed the night in Gainesville, FL, and stopped in Pensacola, FL where we went to an open, empty white-sand beach in Pensacola to hang out for a while. It was cloudy out unfortunately, so not all of us went in the ocean. Wes did. We then finished the drive to Orlando, in which Milo drove the entire way, and Mat navigated the entire way. 750 miles approximately from Texas to our Florida destination. Unbelievable.

Since then, we have played a show in Orlando, and a college show at FSU's "Club Down Under." Another student center concert event like the one at Case Western. This one was a blast though. I told everyone involved that it was my favorite PA to mix on so far... because it was extremely well designed, placed, and tuned. Mixing Ra Ra Riot was a true pleasure that night, and I stepped in on the lighting controller to run the lights here and there with my other hand. The crowd of 250 students that came loved it. Check out this
Review from an FSU student!

We are now in Atlanta at a hotel in another day off, and will be playing a show tomorrow night. I foresee a massive laundry batch tomorrow. PEACE


  1. I was sitting in class, watching the new video and laughed out loud. I think everyone thinks I'm crazy. Thanks Andrew.

    Happy travels!


  2. I love it!

    That video is hilarious, especially Wes doing flips on the beach.


  3. Great post. I am patiently waiting for the "behind the scenes" at Letterman.

    I sure hope you all got to meet Sarah S. She is the funniest person alive today!

  4. how did you get the lights to be fuzzy like that in that last picture?

    it was fabulous seeing you the other day :)


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