The start of the third leg with Tenacious D has me in a bed by myself, alone in a room. That is highly unusual. What is the norm is bumping into five other dudes in cramped quarters, trying to shut out their potty mouths and overall immaturity (which I am a part of too). So yeah, this room at the Schwab manor in St. Louis is heaven right now (thank you Joe and Sandy). I am away from the clown car, and good things are in my head and heart. I just got back from a 70 minute walk, and it's good to clear the old duder's head with a nice walk.
After the east coast leg we came home for a day. Some of us got some rest, others wanted to head back out into the trenches immediately. Consider me a part of the latter group. We met up with the D at our show here in Detroit, and it was great to be on home turf. Our longtime photographer and friend (and overall great guy) Doug Coombe hung with us during soundcheck, and it was good to be working a show where we knew the crew and the soundmen (the always excellent Randall and Dan Currie).
With family, friends, and a hefty dose of east side and downriver present, our show needed to slaughter-- and I think we did. You go away for awhile and come back and people tell you they see the growth in us. It was great to hear that. It's harder to see that 'cos we live with us everyday, so the separation is not there. Anyway, we made a ton of new local fans and the headed out to the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago for Saturday's gig.
Saturday was a homecoming of sorts. The Sights, Tenacious D, and Urge Overkill. The Sights and the D have mutual friends in the boys from Urge, and it was with Urge we played with the D about 8 years ago at the Double Door in Chicago. Well, this time we were only given a 20 minute (instead of the usual 30) set. I was bummed, so we took a negative and turned it around.
I've had this idea for awhile that I want us to all switch instruments midway through a song while we're all jamming on it. I want to show people the talent in the room. Each guy in this band can play their ass off on many instruments. So we batted around some ideas and decided to have our opening song be "Sticks and Stones" and we'd pull the ol' switcheroo. I walked onstage, said "Thank you, we have two more for you" and away we went.
Skip was nervous about playing sax in front of a thousand people but Dean gave him some great advice: don't touch anything and just blow. It worked. Skip was great, working the crowd-- and he touched the sax and even threw a couple more notes in there that sounded in key . Dean tickled some keys, Kyle killed the harmonica, and Jarrod was solid as hell on drums. I was laughing on bass that we actually did this. The crowd went apeshit and loved it. We played a few more and then called it a day.
It was a nice "go on after that" finger to whoever made the decision of us playing first of three for 20 minutes. The D crew loved it and then we sat back and partied with friends.
Longtime Sights friends Neil and Karrie Miller and Jade Amey came, and we got to meet our publicist Tony Bonyata. Tony is a great man and we hung for hours talking about life, music, everything.
It makes working with him that much sweeter because he is a great guy and is passionate about what he does. I want to surround myself with people who have passion.
After the gig, we went to the Empty Bottle to catch Man or Astro-man? and the owner, Bruce, was working the door. Good to catch up with him. We'd played all the great Chicago venues since we returned in '09, but have yet to get back to the Bottle. Not true, actually. Kyle went there last night and saw the Terrible Twos and Thee Oh Sees while I passed out at my buddy's apartment (more on that sweet dude in the next installment).
We returned home for six days in Detroit. I stayed away from most of the band but hung with Shades a few times. Shades and I poured beer for the Pig and Whiskey event in Ferndale this past Friday and had a great time. In fact, you could even call that day V Day. I will.
All the best,
Current tour morale: happier than the morning sun
Photos by Shades