Monday, January 11, 2010

Tour Show 4: St. Louis

Now, the trip to St. Louis I (Dan) basically have no awareness of. I fell asleep in Chicago listening to Cordova, I woke up in St. Louis listening to Victor Bravo, that's about all I know. I'm told in the meantime there was also a 2-hour playlist of Goes Cube, who went to school in the area where we were driving (snow-covered plains of Illinois), during which Collin saw God or something like that.

Show in St. Louis was a benefit for 10-year-old Tommy who needs multiple organ transplants. We like to help out where we can, so we opened this show that had 13 bands playing! I'm pretty sure the number of bands have been doubling each show, so by Friday night we should be on a bill with about 100 bands or so. (One band here did a half-set if you're checking my math.)

Great, big venue in St. Louis called Fubar. Lovely, big sound system, really a joy to play on. Performance space so big I couldn't even parse it as a stage when we first walked in (compare mentally to teeny-weeny NYC spaces).

People like to talk about a "scene", and I'll go out on a limb and say that St. Louis has one of the strongest actual music scenes that we've witnessed. Really great for us, a lot of younger kids into punk rock, as well as a bunch of old-schoolers, all mixing it up together in these shows that we get to take part in. That's something you don't see in many other places. A lot of thrash/metal influences, too. Ridiculously crazy drummers all through the Midwest, it's a PhD-level education every time we come here.

We really went kind of apeshit on this show, took out a couple songs for a quicker set time, completely tore through them and it felt very badass. All the kids in the (very large) space came up to the edge of the stage and were dancing by the end of the set. Collin completely took over this enormous space, running like a lunatic while playing guitar, across the stage, behind me, smashing into the kit and cymbals, leaping off the stage into the kids, rolling around on the floor, etc., etc. I think even with all these hardcore bands around we do some stuff that's fairly novel and I don't see other folks doing anywhere, like the instrmentalist hanging halfway off the stage and playing the guitar hanging out in space, etc.

Couple random thoughts. In the past we've seen how life on the road as an indie band (packing, driving for days, playing, finding a place to crash, etc.) can tax people and wear them down physically. With what we do there's also a fairly high chance of injury/ muscle or vocal strain that can happen in any show. But as we've done this more, nowadays I personally feel just stronger and stronger after every show. Today we got done and I felt like we could set up and play for a few more hours if we had to. (I think the martial arts I've been taking in the last year help, too.) This whole business is endlessly fascinating, we both love being on tour and exercising all the different muscles involved -- some of which are the mental presence and courage you need to go into all these radically different scenes and put your guts out there on a whistling precipice not knowing if the local crowd will like it or not. (See: Bob Mould's "Hoover Dam".)

Anyway, show sounded great to us. After that there was a legion of bands, raffles for the benefit, circus-of-the-damned zombie troupe of stiltwalker, evil clown, devil guy letting you staple money into his body, uh, slam dancing, guy trying to set a bassist on fire while he played... um... a lot of stuff. Staying with Moe from Scene of Irony, who is enormously generous with his time and energy, and makes a lot of the local scene happen through sheer force of personality. Give them a listen if you can. Thanks too to Shauna for taking photos tonight!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ooooh! What a great photo!!!