Tour Entry #5

Well Hello Everyone!!!

It’s been awhile.  Hopefully I can sum this up nicely.

Unfortunately, my memory is limited to about a week’s capacity so please forgive me if I forget some details.  Not that any of you would know if I did anyway :P

So as I left you, we were on our way to a music festival called 35 Conferette that takes place in Denton, TX every March. There were multiple stages that featured the likes of Dr. Dog (they’re great), Big Boi, Local Natives, etc… T'was a fun time.  We played at the Banter, a fantastic family owned bistro and caught a glimpse of Dr. Dog.

Next stop, Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The venue was called the Smoke and Barrel and the stage was barely big enough to fit baby Henry.  This was an especially memorable occasion because it was the first time we met The Kopecky Family Band.  For those of you who don’t know, TKFB and I&A share a split 7 inch vinyl single! TKFB are a fantastic band and we are so grateful to be sharing the opportunity to have our music heard together.  I’m not sure if the patrons at the Smoke And Barrel knew what an occasion it was.  Well, the night was successful, TKFB played their set beautifully and even led the crowd in a chant of University of Arkansas’ Hog Call.

Tulsa, Oklahoma was frigid.  The Soundpony was a great little venue with bikes all over the place.  We were all pretty excited about that since we all have our bikes with us on tour.  We were glad that the Kopecky Family Band was with us once again for this show.  Also, I should mention that another band that night was supposed to play at a different venue but their show was cancelled without their knowledge.  They happened upon the Soundpony and asked if we would mind to squeeze them in on the bill.  We obliged and so the night was long and people hung out on a Monday night.  Thanks for hanging on a school night!

After Tulsa we hit St. Louis once again.  We had stayed over a night there towards the beginning of the tour but we had yet to become familiar with it.  We played a pizza joint/venue called Lemmon’s.  The venue was kind enough to give us a pizza along with our usual drink tickets.  Knowing this, we came with an appetite.  Actually, we always have appetites. Nevertheless, it took about an hour and half before the chef came out and informed us they had run out of dough.  Not good for morale.  Thankfully, they still had enough to make a thinner pizza for us.  Thank you to the folks in St. Louis that came out to see us there!

The next morning we woke up to a blanket of snow. We drove out of there and towards our next destination, SXSW!!!!

When we got into Austin, we pulled the RV into a quaint little neighborhood not too far from the main strip that is 6th Street. It was a nice little arrangement to have a temporary “headquarters” outside of the busyness that is SXSW.  Needless to say, we were stoked that our schedule was so packed but a little bummed that we hardly had any time to see bands that we wanted to see perform.  

A few of our more memorable performances would have been our showcase at the Parish, Home Slice Pizza, and the Smoke and Sand party at Rusty Spurs.  When we entered the Parish, we found ourselves in a room that was much larger than we expected.  The stage was huge (that’s always a plus) and the soundmen/women were super helpful and nice.  After getting the sound dialed in we waited for people to show up.  10 minutes before our set time, the room was pretty sparse.  It was a little worrisome.  Miraculously, the room filled out quite a bit as soon as we hit with “I was Born.”  It was a great night.  We were excited to see Josiah and Kenny from The Head and the Heart there showing their support.  Later that week, we saw TH&TH at Red 7 perform their hearts out.  Pete ended up jumping up on stage for the last song.  Thanks Head and the Heart for an amazing SXSW experience!  Also, thanks to the folks at the Parish and SXSW staff for helping with one of our best shows on this trip.

Our set time at Home Slice PIzza was slated for a mid day performance.  The sun was beating and we were all anxious to play.  When we arrived at the venue, we were notified by the Home Slice crew that they had been visited by the police earlier that day because of repeated complaints they had been getting by Home Slice’s neighbors.  Noise complaints for one of the largest music festivals in North America?  Apparently, these neighbors had complained every year SXSW had been going on and this year, the complaints were actually heard.  Despite this little hiccup, Home Slice brilliantly asked each performer that day to perform an acoustic set.  Fortunately, we are accustomed to this sort of scenario so we were surprised, but glad that the show could still go on.  It was an attentive and packed crowd and a great show.  Thanks Home Slice Pizza for having us!

Smoke and Sand was great.  There were 3 stages, 2 inside and 1 outside and the bands were great.  We got to see our new friends from The Gallery start their set outside.  We played a show with them in Richmond, VA a few weeks ago.  After we performed, we got to hang out with Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) for a brief moment and then we were finally free to go see some shows.

We ended up at the Lustre Pearl, one of my favorite venues at SXSW where we saw Dawes and Deertick end the festival with high spirits.  Dawes ended their set with one of our favorites, leading the crowd in a roaring chorus.  After their set, we were all curious to see how Deertick would perform.  The rumor was that they were going to play Nirvana covers for their whole set.  This turned out to be true.  And they absolutely nailed it.  What a way to end the festival.  Couldn’t have been a better ending.

Sadly, we left the next day and drove toward Scottsdale, AZ.  Ryan’s in-laws live in Scottsdale and they were gracious enough to host us before our show that night.  We were able to take advantage of the “warmer” weather and get some hot tubbing in. After an amazing home made dinner, we sleepily made it to the Rogue Bar.  All in all, it was a great night.  We were able to play for friends and family and it was good to finally meet Ryan’s in laws. Next stop, Coronado.

We are continually blessed to know people who are super kind and generous to offer us housing and hospitality.  This time, Audrey’s (Pete’s wife) in-laws parents let us stay in their beautiful home in the Coronado Bays.  It was a much needed day of rest.  We played at the Tin Can Alehouse in San Diego the next day with the Parson Red Heads.  They were amazing and they were also super nice.  The room was tiny and we played last but people stuck around for the set.  It turned out to be a pleasant evening.  We retired back to the house in Coronado.

Our next show was in Silverlake at the Satellite (formerly Spaceland) in LA.  We were privileged to share the stage with Sharon Van Etten.  It was an amazing night.  We played to a packed room and, according to LA natives, the applause after our set was a good sign.  It’s good to be in LA.  Our drummer Jesse and our good friend Brian are LA locals and have really helped us out in many aspects of our tour.  Especially in LA.  Brian was gracious enough to host an after party at his loft downtown.  The night ended for me around 4am, and a few others stayed up till dawn I’m sure.  It was a celebratory occasion to be back with our friends here.

Now, we are here in Ventura, about to hit the stage at Zoey’s Cafe.  It’s a great looking room and I think we’re playing for a pretty chill dinner crowd so, hopefully our music can help with their digestion.

We really miss everyone back home but we’re not quite done yet.

Tim Kim (Ivan & Alyosha)