Surprise, I am in the back of Jerry Sprinter sweating out another entry. Jerry is sailing through New Jersey at the moment, on his way to Brooklyn for tonight's club show. I feel good for a few reasons--first, I had 8 hours of sleep. I haven't had one of those since we left. Also, our last two shows have been soooooo over the top that I feel we've entered a new state of sweetness. But before all that, let's recap.
The morning after our Atlanta gig we cranked the air in Jerry Sprinter and made off for North Carolina. Charlotte was notable in that I reconnected with Daniel Coston, an old friend and respected rock 'n roll photographer.
The guy has shot such great shit that you should look up his work. I met him in 2003 and it was good to see him again. The Charlotte gig was also notable in that it was the first appearance of Tenacious D superfan Mike Levi. He was at the entire week's shows... Always up front, always with a cape on. It reminded me of the Donnas tour we did where they had some creepy old men superfans following them around the country. Although Mike has a cape, he ain't nearly as creepy as those old man Donnas fans.
We were on the road at 6 am the morning after the Charlotte gig. Dean and Skip and split up the eleven hour drive and we arrived in New York City for two nights at the Hammerstein Ballroom. We soundchecked a day before our first gig there and the room sounded great. With me behind Jerry for the first time (I am special ops, meaning I am the NYC driver 'cos I am an offensive player) we headed outta the city and to Blair and Maureen Buscareno's an hour north of the city. It was great to sit back in the country with deer roaming in the backyard. Blair has been a longtime supporter of the band, and we've been staying at Hotel Buscareno since 2001, 2002?
Recharged, we headed into the city so I could spend a little time with longtime Sights supporter and sweet dude Mike Newman of East Village Radio--a real cool storefront internet radio station.
Mike hosts the Beyond Beyond is Beyond show and I played a few of my favorite songs, a couple from our new album Left Over Right and generally had a good time talking about music while doing some people watching.
Then the first NYC show of the tour happened. I came out with my usual "Hello, we're The Sights from Detroit" and right away a dude yells "Fuck Detroit!" And with that, we were off. As in, off our game. It threw me. New York has always been kind to The Sights, but this was New York with Tenacious D fans. They are serious fans, and I let it get to me. I am usually pretty good with hecklers, but tonight I was caught off guard and pissed off.
I felt like I had let my band down. We rallied in the room after and agreed that it was bad to focus on the heckler and instead focus on the other two thousand or more people who dug us. But I wanted revenge on New York-- really bad. Our turn would come the next night but first we had some business in Jersey City.
We got up early the morning of our second Hammerstein Ballroom show to do a WFMU session with Joe Belock for his Three Chord Monte show. Like Blair, Joe has been a longtime supporter of The Sights and this marks our fourth time on his show (and fifth on WFMU).
My "career" (I hate that term) has had its ups and downs for sure, but people like Blair and Joe were always there. Real people-- true friends. We played eight tunes and it sounded solid.
Shades drove Jerry Sprinter back into New York for our second night at the Hammerstein where we delivered the best set of the tour and I walked off the stage with a feeling that I gave it my all and the crowd loved it. And they did really love it. I felt energized and ready to kill anything and everything. We sounded like a tight unit up there, and there were moments of pure "fuck you" attitude. I know Kyle had his middle finger aimed at the audience while plonking the bass. We're ready for anything now.
All the best,
Current tour morale: rested and ready for a fun night in Brooklyn
Photos by Shades