Road Notes 2: Desert Storm- Las Vegas to Albuquerque
July 12, 2014
Monday July 7th felt like the first actual day of "tour" for us because from that moment forward we would no longer be playing close to home or at any familiar venues. Plus it was a ground breaking day as we finally got a much needed new state under our belt playing at the Southern Nevada Sports Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Although the name implies a large arena, this place is basically a roller hockey rink that doubles as all ages venue in the summer time. Surprisingly the sound was great and there were a bunch of people in attendance. We again played very well and were able to play to a young impressionable audience who were fired up on our music. The road never ceases to amaze us, and you learn quickly to not have any expectations going into a show. The nicest venues on a Friday night can be horrific, and the worst venues on a Monday can be awesome… You just never know.
After the show we did what any respectable people of age would do and we hit the Vegas Strip. A.J. did some gambling with a little extra merchandise sales in hopes of winning big, while Pat and I went on a mission to find the largest, most obnoxious, and fruitiest drink out there. After walking around and coming to terms with our budget, we settled on Mickey's 40oz beers… Not very glamorous, but got the job done on a tight budget. The night ended in typical Vegas fashion with all 3 of us sleeping on an unfurnished living room floor at an amateur internet porn star's apartment. Actually that's a pretty long uninteresting story, so I'll leave it at that.
The next morning was a little slow for us after the late night but after a Subway stop we were off to Tucson which is about 410 miles. Tucson, I gotta be honest, was a pretty shitty venue… If you call even it that. It's referred to as Gary's Place, but it would have been more fitting to call it Gary's Unfinished Garage. There was no stage and one narrow doorway in and out for loading 6 bands, but we all have to admit it was pretty fun. Once you come to terms with a situation like that, it really takes off all the pressure which leaves you free to just rock. Intimate shows like that also produce some really solid fans who remember you taking the time to play hard in a less than favorable environment.
After the show we met up with our friend David who has booked a bunch of shows for us in Tucson at The Hut. He was incredibly kind enough to let us sleep at his recording studio to escape the thunder and lightening storms that seem to be following us everywhere we go. I got to take my first shower that night, sharing the tub with a sizable cockroach, but grateful for the opportunity to rinse off the last couple of days.
Next up was Prescott. We got there early and were able to sweet talk our way into the YMCA for a much needed workout. Ya we work out, it's awesome. After that we made our way over to the venue and, I'll be brief here, the bartender was unaware that a show was happening. He called the owner who gave us the go ahead, but clearly not enough promoting had been done. Although not a very notable night, I do recall that Chrysalis played remarkably well so props to them. After the show we found ourselves a secluded spot at a Denny's parking lot and got some sleep.
The next morning we woke up short of breath and pouring sweat from the intense heat and drove our mobile sauna to Albuquerque, New Mexico. About an hour before we were supposed to play, A.J. was approached by a stranger in the parking lot who offered him $50 for a ride to the local Walgreens. A.J. went inside the venue and asked me what I thought about it and we came to the conclusion that we could really use that extra money. So we decided to drive this guy after he handed us $50 dollars from an unusually large mound of cash he had in his pocket. Half way into the ride he informed us that he had just gotten out of jail three weeks prior after serving a 10 year sentence. I assumed that this was the part of the ride where we got knifed but instead he talked about how much things have changed in the last decade and how everything in life moves so much faster now compared to when he was incarcerated. It was actually kind of a fascinating thought and I really enjoyed hearing his take on life. Before we knew it we were at the Walgreens, he said "Thank you, God bless" and walked out of our lives. We returned to the venue $50 richer.
The show that night was at Malarky's, a sports bar attached to a hotel. This was our best performance by far up to that point playing our set to near perfection. We made tons of new fans and contacts that night. After the show we attempted to sleep in the venue parking lot, but it was so damn hot that we got hardly any sleep at all. After a treacherous night we decided to put our $50 toward a much needed hotel room for the following day and night since we did not have a show. We got some sleep, exercised, and relaxed. It was glorious.
The next morning we spanked Chrysalis in a basketball game and headed for Texas.