Shows 55 and 56: We're not in Kansas anymore
This Friday and Saturday we played a couple of shows both of which were coincidentally located in the state of Kansas. Home to Dorothy, Toto, The Reverend Fred Phelps and a Nascar track. I also must admit, it's also where Ryan, Brent and I grew up. So at least the state has that going for it :-)
On Friday, we played at The Replay Lounge in Lawrence, Kansas. For those of you not from the area, Lawrence is home to the University of Kansas and is a very cool town. It's been a town that has had a great music scene and venues forever. The Replay Lounge is a small but important venue that has been there for as long as I can remember. We have played the Replay a few times before if my memory serves me correctly but until last Friday, never when school was in session. As we made our way down the main drag in Lawrence, the city was alive. It looked like a carnival on every street corner. It had been a long time since any of us had been there during the school season and it was really great to experience this town again. We arrived at the Replay Lounge and checked in with a few pre-show beverages.
Shortly thereafter, the first band "National Avant Guard" setup and began the show. The band consisted of two guys (drummer and guitarist/singer/bassist) and a laptop. This is a combination we are seeing more of these days. I really envy bands like this because a) they hardly have any gear to load and b) they split their earnings two ways. Three cheers for laptops! Although it's not necessarily my cup of tea, they were good and it was cool to see them use loops and switch between guitar and bass mid song.
After they played, Echo in the Elms took the stage and played to an even larger crowd of onlookers. By this time, we were unloading our gear so I unfortunately didn't get to see hardly any of their set. It looked like everyone was enjoying themselves though...
Last but not least, it was our turn. It was sometime past midnight when we started our set to a decent sized audience most of whom we did not know. The stage is pretty small at The Replay Lounge and the PA is a bit challenging but that is the part of the beauty. As we worked our way through the songs it felt good to just be playing in a small room to a group of people that we didn't know and who were genuinely excited and into the music. After we were done, we sold a large amount of shirts, cds, etc. which is always a good thing. I have to say that although this was not a big show by any means, it was really inspiring and eye-opening for us. It really reaffirmed our desire/need to expand our horizons and promote/play in more towns like Lawrence, Kansas. And that is exactly what we plan to do from here on out. We would like to thank everyone who came out to The Replay Lounge as well as the Replay staff. All of you made our night and we hope to do it again soon.
The next night, Ryan and I were scheduled to play a few of our songs acoustic at Sandstone amphitheater (or whatever they call it these days). 96.5 The Buzz was having their Beach Ball event with Smashing Pumpkins, Cake, Anberlin and a bunch of bands there and we were invited to do some songs in the Jeriney's "White Trash" Tent. This tent was decked out in true Nascar/boogen fashion and let me tell you, it was REEAAAAL NICE. It was as bare bones as it gets. Just two guys and our guitars. No PA, no microphones, no amps, notta. We were lucky to have lights, alcohol and bathrooms. :-) Long story short, we did 4 songs to a good group of people and surprisingly it turned out to be pretty cool. It was also nice to play a show and not have to lug any gear around! Thank You to Jeriney for having us and everyone who checked us out.
Overall, it was a good weekend for us. As we were driving home last night I thought about how lucky the four of us are to have the opportunity to play music, be in band with friends and work to move this band forward. As the saying goes: It's about the ride, not the destination. And that's a beautiful thing.