We left DC on Tuesday afternoon to play a show in Richmond, Virginia. After checking into Days Inn, eating tacos at Tio Pablo and buying cigars at Richmond Cigar Factory, we arrived at the venue to find that tonight’s show would include 5 bands and start at 9pm. This is a Tuesday mind you. That kind of ticked me off! What was the venue thinking? Attendance was not too great and we had to cut our set to only 20 minutes cuz it was running late. So Rainbow Danger Club, a band coming from half a world away and paying money to stay at a hotel, plays for 20 minutes while the local noise two-piece starts late and plays 40 minutes. I don’t blame the bands, it was just poor planning and it felt like no one was really in charge of the event. I think mid-week events should start right after Happy hour. Very few folks want to stay out tuesday night till 2am!
All that said, the Camel was actually an awesome restaurant/venue with a great staff, soundguy, and the bands got half-priced food and drinks (which is better than the free Natty Light and PBR most venues offer). I got sweet potato fries with roasted red pepper ketchup and some gluten-free beers…yummy! We also befriended another touring instrumental band called Hail to the Titans from Montgomery, Alabama who I think must get some inspiration from Russian Circles and Tomahawk. Furthermore the local acts (Pastoral, Letters as Numbers, and Arabia Terra) didn’t take any door cash for themselves and kindly split it between the two touring bands. That was a really nice gesture and if they are reading this, thank you again!
Next up in the south was Chapel Hill, a small college town in North Carolina. We arrived a day before the gig to meet up on a farmhouse with our hosts the Fricke-White family which included Becky, Lance, son Zack, two dogs Skeeter and Mattie, 3 cats with names I forgot (i’m allergic so didn’t form any kind of bond), and a horse! Two days were spent sitting on the front porch drinking, grilling, and jamming with Zack on the family’s large collection of instruments. I got to record some banjo parts for an upcoming RDC track and Jesse recorded some slide guitar demos too.
Oh yeah, the gig. It was in the basement-like bar called the CAVE which actually looks like a cave. We had a good write-up in the local independent rag, The Independent. But this was a thursday and a very popular indie band, Stars from Montreal, was playing a much bigger venue just down the road! So I think we lost the hipster/college crowd that might have come to our show on a chance. However, we did get a decent crowd that came to see the first band and stayed for us and even a few old friends from the area! The show was free, but we got a decent amount of cash from merch and donations. About 50% of the people that see our shows are buying merch, so I consider that a success. That night after the gig, we went back to the farmhouse and had a midnight swim before hitting the hay. What a great day.