Wednesday, February 01, 2006

We play shows. We've played quite a few of them in the past couple years. We're over the 50 mark now, heading for 100. I've gotta say, that's pretty impressive. A lot of bands nowadays never get out of the garage. We've not done bad for a band that formed in just a couple days and I never expected to play any songs I've written in front of anyone, let alone to a couple hundred kids at our show with Gym Class Heroes. We've released a CD on our own and played all over Central Florida. We're not stopping any time soon and our trying to organize a summer tour along with many shows in many towns.

Whenever we do play shows and we talk to the other bands, one of the things we do is share road stories as it were about crazy things we've seen happen. Since I'm such a huge fans of lists, I'm going to do some top 5's about things band related. This could suck or be boring to read. Just warning you now.

1. July 27, 2004 @ Calico Jack's - The singer in the band before us (who were buddies of ours) was going crazy and jumping on things while they played. He was walking across barstools and crashed, slicing open his toe and bleeding everywhere. He then tried to walk up the stairs to the stage and fell over. During our set, I mocked him while singing Window and jumped on stuff. When I tried to mock him falling up the stairs, I tripped over the mic cable and took my own spill.

2. October 22nd, 2005 @ Duke's Orlando - For whatever reason, Doug and I got really drunk before we played. There weren't many people at the show, so we got kinda weird. Bert had taken off his shirt earlier in the set, as he normally does. People in the crowd were yelling at Doug to take his off. I told him I wouldn't play the next song unless he did. He lost the shirt, and his pride.

3. August 10th, 2005 @ O-Zone CD's - For a while I went through a phase where I liked climbing up onto amplifiers during certain parts in songs. Sometimes I climbed onto mine, other times JoAnna's. At this show, during the breakdown of 'Girl Like Her' I climbed onto mine, totally forgetting that it was missing one of it's rubber feet. The amp started swaying and gyrating under my feet. Luckily I jumped off before I crashed down onto it. That would have been a mess.

4. November 18th, 2005 @ Univ. of Central Florida - This was the big show we played with Gym Class Heroes. This crazy moment happened during the breakdown of 'Girl Like Her' (where apparently most of our crazy moments happen) and I swung my guitar around me like you see the cool hardcore bands do, and I guess JoAnna was standing a little too close and the headstock of my guitar smashed into her playing hand, slicing it open. It was black and blue for a week after that. She never lets me live it down.

5. January 20, 2006 @ Duke's Orlando - Girl Like Her breakdown. JoAnna rocks out too hard. Runs off Stage. Pukes.

1. October 12th, 2003 @ Stardust Coffee - Our first show ever. The place was packed for the last band and we blew it in front of a lot of people. We sucked bad. Bert, Doug, and myself all had songs so I don't think the audience ever knew who the singer was. The stage was too small and we had a really crappy amp setup. We don't talk about it anymore.

2. December 11, 2004 @ Sims Park - We were invited to play an annual festival held at Sims Park in New Port Richey. It was one of our first out of town shows so we were really excited. We ended up having to play at 10am to about five people after a two hour drive.

3. August 27th, 2005 @ Central Station - We played with our buddies Holidaysburg at a bar in downtown Orlando. They played and then we played. The promoter said we had to play another 30 minute set in order to get paid. I retook the stage being extremely drunk and we ended up playing a few new songs that bombed so we just proceeded to reprise half of our earlier set. I'll admit, it wasn't a terrible show, probably quite amusing if you were there, but that in combination with the fact that it took us two hours to get back to the venue to load makes it a show that still frustrates me to this day.

4. April 21st, 2005 @ The Club at Firestone - This was a second round for a battle of the bands. We had won the first round, but the event was held in a huge venue, and tickets were going for $12 a head. There were maybe 20 people in the entire venue. Due to a band showing up late for soundcheck, we got our 30 minute set cut down to 15 minutes with no advance warning. I think we only got to play four songs.

5. February 4th, 2005 @ Debbie's Bar - We played an acoustic show at a dive bar due to some drummer issues we'd been having. Quite a few friends show up to see us, but the bartender started kicking out everyone under 21 (we were told the show was 18+) after our 3rd song. After playing two more tunes we got fed up, packed it in, and walked out.

Honorable Mention: The Memorial Day Skatepark show where JoAnna fell deathly ill the night before.

These are my favorite bands that we've played with to date. Listen to them all.

1. The Progress - From Cherry Hill, NJ. Played with them twice on separate tours they did. Awesome live band, the nicest of guys.

2. Holidaysburg - From Orlando, FL. We've played with these boys plenty of times. My personal favorite local band. Not only do they put on an amazing live show full of energy, but they play some good alt-country tunes. Oh, and a ton of fun to drink with.

3. Select Start - From Tampa, FL. Played with these fellas once in Orlando and once down in their hometown. Great shows both times. They're about the closest thing to our band that I've seen in a while and they have some amazing songs. They should have a CD coming out this year.

4. Hey Nice Guy - From Ocala, FL. Doug and I actually drove 2 hours to Ocala to see these guys play based off of a demo we picked up at a show. I believe they're currently on a hiatus, but we've seen them play a bunch of times, and actually got to share the stage with them in Ocala last year.

5. Fellsmere - From Orlando, FL. We've played a whole lot of shows with these guys. We both kind of came onto the scene around the same time, so we shared a lot of friends and stages as we all tried to make names for ourselves. They even released a CD right around the same time we did, so I feel like we've seen them grow as a band. Every show we play with them gets better and the crowds get bigger.

Sometimes we do really funny things without meaning to, and those moments go down in infamy.

1. Upon taking a break from one of our weekend rehearsals, Doug and I go to step outside for some fresh air, and Doug walks face first into a glass sliding door he thought was open. He even leaves a faceprint.

2. During a recording session we all met up in the parking lot. JoAnna was the last one to arrive so Bert was standing in the last available parking spot he was saving for her. A car comes out of nowhere and tries to pull in where Bert is standing. Driver asks him to move, Bert replies "I'm holding this spot for the person behind you."

3. Doug getting really drunk at a studio session one night, ranting and raving into our video camera. He was really angry that Bert wasn't at the session since it was a band function and everyone should be present. He went on and on, making very valid points, but in the end, not really making a valid argument.

4. On day during practice JoAnna and Bert suited up in inflateable boxing gloves and helmets and proceeded to do what you always do when you just need to hit something... attack Doug.

5. During another recording session, JoAnna became obsessed with a broken drumstick she found and spent the rest of the night hitting band members with it at every opportunity. I don't think anyone made it out of that situation bruise-free.

And lastly, these are a few awards I'd like to give out based on our past shows:

The "I Just Don't Get It" award goes to: Speaking Of...
Orlando noise rock. I just didn't get it. I've never seen a stage so full of keyboards, noise boxes, and out of tune voices. I spent the whole performance wondering if they came to the show with only the bare neccessities.

The "Waaaaaaahmbulance" Award goes to: Doug McPherson
This award is bestowed upon the biggest whiner. Doug, the guitarist for Early Next Year set a new record for number of times he had the Waaaaahmbulance called on him at one show for incessant whining.

The "Please Never Play With Us Again" award goes to: Boxelder
I wanted you guys to win the "I don't get it award" but don't since you didn't I made up a new category. I'm not saying you guys weren't good... but your set was a little bit lengthy. Just a tad. In fact, during your set I zoned out at least seven times and that was while standing beside a speaker. I don't know if you noticed, but by your 50th song, people in the audience were sitting on the ground talking on their cell phones. You lost everyone. And then there were bongos!? What....? I guess it's just way over my head. Sorry. You do your thing. You might spend a little more time in the future catering to your target demographic. You know... Hippies, for instance.

The "If I See It Again, I'm Going to go Nuts" Award goes to: The Day hummer.
A bright yellow tank of a car with a picture of a 16 year old's face on the back window? Dear owner of said vehicle, you should have just put all of your money into a big garbage bag and then lit it on fire. I'm not saying the band is bad, it's just that I wouldn't ride anywhere in that mechanical eyesore. I'm sorry that you have to.

and finally, the "Best Irish Pub" award goes to: Ybor City.
We went down to the Tampa area to play with our pals Select Start and Half-Way Hero. This town was great and our neverending goal to find the best Irish Pub in everytown we play in did not miss a beat. Up some stairs off of main street we found a little hole in the wall place that had some great music, great atmosphere, and some strong beer. In fact, Doug and I really want to play in Ybor again simply to return to this bar. Another show there would just be icing on the cake.

This basically took me a whole afternoon to write. Wow, I wasted a LOT of time.
I hope you were there for some of these events, and if not, hang around us more. The weirdest crap happens all the time.

In a few months, I'll probably have enough stories to do another one of these monsters.


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