Monday, May 7, 2012

Radio Shock west coast adventures PART 1

MP and touring rental car

...wherein I recount the events of the Radio Shock west coast tour as well as I can remember them. Forewarning: I may include menial details. I had never toured the west coast before and was determined to hit all the major cities inside one week (to keep on good terms with my employers in NYC) and I accomplished something like that. I had toured TO the west coast before, but only played in San Francisco and Oakland. This was a proper west coast tour. That's me, above, with my rental car, midway through one of the epic drives.

TO START, early morning flight on Saturday April 14th, which means I spend all night packing and don't sleep. Off to a great start, right? Layover in Salt Lake City I think and I land in Oakland, CA around noonish. My luggage made it intact. Yes, I actually flew with my Peavey Rage158 amp. I considered buying a guitar amp (and returning it or reselling it) when I got to California but found there was absolutely no way I could get away with one checked bag under 50 pounds anyway, so I went with 2 checked bags and just brought everything I'd need. Almost.

Car rental people tried to make me take a VAN, but after stalling and objecting for a while, I got lucky and someone pulled in returning a small car. First stop: Wal-Mart! Actually, that was kind of a dumb move, but I had to get a few things and knew they'd have everything. I live in Brooklyn, where stores are small, lean, and shoppers and cashiers are swift and efficient. Adjusting to giant Americans pushing giant shopping carts through a giant store at brontosaurus pace is painful. I got bread, peanut butter, bananas, trail mix, batteries, replacement prepaid cell phone, and - remembering past frigid tour experiences - an inexpensive fleece sleeping bag/blanket thing.

On to the first show in Davis, CA, a smallish city next to Sacramento and east of Oakland a short ways. From what I saw, Davis seems like an incredibly quaint college town and the area the show was at is like a downtown/college town so cute and perfect it almost looks like a movie set. The venue was Luigi's, which is indeed a pizza place with a large downstairs where shows are held. I got some FREE PIZZA, checked out the comic book shop next door, and set up. The crowd was very small, but (as was the case everywhere) the people and the bands were very cool.

A White Hunter at Luigi's in Davis, CA 04-14-2012

This was set up by a cool girl named Sharmi who DJs at KDVS and does her own noise project called Beast Nest, though she didn't play this show. Seen above is A White Hunter. They played noise-rock of the variety with noises that are kind of blurred out and driven by hard drumming. I mostly only took photos of the bands on this trip, sorry. I only realized when I got home that I should have photographed more of the people and places too.

Buk Buk Bigups at Luigi's in Davis, CA 04-14-2012

That's Buk Buk Bigups, which was pretty awesome, as you can probably tell from the photo. Just a real unique dude doing his thing, playing keyboard and singing in his own unique style.

The Radio Shock show went off well. All gear worked (an event which is notable enough to warrant mention) and though most of the audience were people involved with the show, it was fun and great meeting everyone. After pondering my sleep plans, I took an offer to stay at the house where most everyone else who had been at the show was staying (bands and residents). I got a comfy couch to myself and slept hard.

And that was DAY ONE.

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