Well, just wrapped up a month-long US club tour with a young band called Boyce Avenue from FL.
As to the venues, this was a tough tour for me since I haven't done a van/trailer/small club tour in years. Guess I've been spoiled with larger clubs/theaters and buses. We had lots of breakdowns with the van and trailer and rolled up to Fitzgerald's in Houston (downstairs room btw) with the van on a flatbed tow truck and the trailer hitched behind. That was after:
Blowing a trailer tire the 1st day out.
Losing power after overheating in Utah causing us to lose brakes and steering going downhill... thank God for emergency brakes on both vehicles.
Blowing the brake controller for the trailer and upon having that repaired we discovered the trailers axles were on backwards (!).
Breaking a leaf spring on the suspension.
Lastly, we simply stalled on our way to Houston due to the gas tank somehow getting warped (??!?!?) and a malfunctioning fuel pump.
Some of the venues gave me similar headaches. Some were just plain skanky, others couldn't meet a standard rider on a good day. How the contracts were signed between booking agent and promoter I'll never know. Probably good for my chops as I was given minimal gear and terrible acoustics on many occasions. I got lots of "Best I've ever heard this room" comments from a lot of fans and house guys. That makes it worth it. A few observations from some of the more memorable shows:
1011, San Antonio
Yammy MG-something or other... I hated it. Mounted next to the stage! Small, awful little club. We were supposed to play @ Rock Bottom (didn't look much better) but the promoter had some issues...
Dallas HOB, Cambridge Room
Yammy M7CL...meh. I would like these consoles a bit more if the touchscreen worked without me having to hit it at least twice for everything. Not a fan of the way you tweak the graphics either... a few freqs at a time. I'd much rather have a Digidesign.
EV powered boxes 4 across, 4 subs stacked two per side. This room would work ALOT better if the subs were laid flat across the floor under the stage. Hint, hint. Sonic Youth played the main room that night and we got to see a bit of their set and hang afterwards. AWESOME!
Martini Ranch, Scottsdale
Great room with cool people. A nice, loud rock club.
HOB San Diego - 5th Ave Side Stage
JBL EONs on sticks with one 12” sub. Lame.
Knitting Factory, Los Angeles
? PA. Meh.
Lousy load in. Decent enough room though. Crowd loved it.
Hotel Utah, San Francisco
Total joke. Mackie 8 ch rack mixer onstage!
Yorkville/EV boxes. Smallest stage EVER! No green room, no amenities whatsoever.
Kilby Court, SLC Utah
EV rig, 1 sub, Crown Xti amps. This is literally a garage, bare studs, concrete floor and all. Not the worst venue of the tour though...sadly.
Soiled Dove, Denver
APB Dynasonics console. Nice!
Homemade cabinets, McCauley subs. Nice room with cool people. Odd layout but very workable.
Beat Kitchen, Chicago
? PA. Good people and a decent sounding rig. Great food!
Bowery Ballroom, NYC
Yammy PM3K FOH
EAW rig from the old days. Venerable NYC rock-n-roll venue. Nice size and sound.
World Café Live, Philly
Clair boxes, Bag End dual 12” subs. No way we should have been booked here. An acoustic gig would have been ok but not a full-on band.
Stephen Talkhouse, Long Island
Midas Verona - cool!
??? Boxes, huge subs. Odd room but fun, and lots of hot, nude girls on the walls in the back room and bathroom.
Café 939, Boston
Meyer subs and single line array components. Great staff (Berklee alumni) and a decent sounding rig.
Jammin’ Java, Vienna VA
JBL 918s (?) on top, SRX728 subs. Not as bad as I was lead to believe... made it work.
Local 506, Chapel Hill
??? JBL rig. Teeny room with lousy rig and acoustics... First gig of the tour... off to an interesting start.
I figure by now I'm an expert A&H user. Boy, do I miss mixing on Profiles. :)
Touring with Boyce Avenue