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Day 17: Madison

Madison was a breath of fresh air. Direct from Chicago, we met with our hosts Marv and Vicky at their rural home about 30 minutes outside of the city. Marv and Vicky are parents of our friend Kari who used to live in Shanghai and both used to work in Wisconsin Public Radio. Marv is a sound engineer and has a massive home studio in the basement. Vicky made her award-winning cookies while we spent the afternoon listening to Marv’s records, reading his industry magazines and picking his brain about New York compression. We all went for a “light” dinner across the street from the state Capitol. Ford and I shared the Bone Marrow and pomme frites with malt-vinegar aoili.

The gig was at The Frequency was one of the best of the tour. The opening band was local rockers/nice-guys-and-girl Cliffs of Insanity who write funny songs about everyday life like “Swedish Fish” and “No Fun.” Completely unpretentious and energetic, they provide the perfect start to the night. Up next was RDC. As far as performance energy, it was the best of the tour so far. The credit goes to Jeremy the soundguy for his near-perfect monitor mix and the small but enthusiastic audience. But we kept our set short as we were also opening for another touring band The Kansas Bible Company from Nashville, Tennessee. KBC are an 11-piece band with 3 guitars, 1 bass, two drummers, 2 saxes, 2 trumpets, and a bass trombone! They were kinda like Tower of Power with more raw punk energy and way more fun. The bandleader/guitarist (I think his name is Joe. So sorry if that is incorrent) was so inspired by the Rainbow Danger set he and the band played 7 songs each representing the colors of the rainbow with the stage lighting changing from red, to orange to yellow…etc. The encore was done in white light. NICE! He also bought an RDC CD and so did about half the audience. Even some Mennonite kids came out to the show and bought CDs. A lot of locals said it was one of the best shows in Madison that summer. I did my best to implant the idea of The Kansas Bible Company touring China into the minds of each of its 11 members. If a good show is measured by the quality of interaction between all the playing bands and the sense of camaraderie, this was the best of the tour, followed closely by Philly.

And after the gig, we went to the Shamrock and had burgers. No Rainbow Danger tour would be complete without a few trips to the gay bar.

Love, Nichols

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