Monday, August 15, 2011

"I'm The King! What're You Into?" Tour '11: Part 2 - "Yep...Sunday in Nashville"

Pictured: the only photo i took in Nashville, because obviously

I've quite literally been to mass graves livelier than the audience of dead-eyed, apathetic kids at the Springwater Saloon in Nashville last night, but their overall indifference toward non-local bands was only part of what was so aggravating about this show (although it was the largest part). The show began with promise, as the sound guy, upon my introducing myself and explaining that we were the bands from Milwaukee, asked, "do you guys know Peter J. Woods?" Hey! Mutual pals! This is a good sign! He introduced himself, if my memory serves, as "Acme," which should have been a warning sign right off the bat--the name respected coyotes trust to fail spectacularly. We discussed the lineup for the night--two locals bookending three touring acts (HiFi, Zebras and Spelling bee from St. Louis, a dynamite little duo featuring a four-foot tall Asian shredder girl and a dazzling experimental/jazzy drummer dude). He set up two mics; when i asked about the availability of a third, he answered in the affirmative.

Things began to go south when we started setting up and i heard him defensively explaining to Yale and The Wizard that he only had two mics after all. The Wizard asked about a third stand, as he brought a spare mic along for situations like this. "This is all i have. people keep stealing our shit," spoken with a vindictiveness directed apparently at us for representing All Touring Bands Ever. Meanwhile, Rev.Ever struggled with his pedal board and lost. Either the power supply for half his pedals died, or the master strip of outlets did; we're not sure yet. OK, lovely.

Meanwhile, some anonymous girl (Lacey suggests she may have been the sound guy's girlfriend, but that's just speculation) storms up to Yale and Wizard and says, "you guys need to hurry up and start." Um, maybe blame the club for starting a five-band show at 11 PM, and don't blame the touring band? Sorry you need to get home to your DVR'd Jersey Shores.

So we set up and reconfigure our set to deal with our limitations. No more "Black Holes" because we only have two mics. No more "We Fiddle" because Rev.'s sound effects are out of commission. Gah. It only takes us through half of "Paulding Light" to get back into the pocket, but i'm already cheesed off, as the roughly ten kids who were standing around watching the first band, as well as most of the first band (save the guitarist), are nowhere to be seen. Outside talking, presumably.

I feel as though i should clarify things, as i overheard someone post-set being amused that anyone would be upset that a Sunday show drew nobody. Please. This ain't my first rodeo, Nash. Low attendance on a Sunday is expected. People liking our band is not expected or required, but if any of the kids at that show were to say "IfIHadAHiFi sucks," they wouldn't have a leg to stand on because none of them were in the room at any point while we played. C'mon, kids, we take pride in our room-clearing abilities; if you don't like our music, at least give us the satisfaction of being in the room when we start.

HiFi set: Paulding / Arson / Sleeperhold / Imperial Walker / Spy / Success

When Zebras plays some kids actually wander into the room; by a few songs in, they're all seated in booths, staring blankly ahead like they have yet to deduce that the flailing bodies on stage are powered by delicious brains. With about two or three songs to go, the microphones mysteriously shut off; by the time Spelling Bee play, they amazingly are working again. HMMMMM.

The last time HiFi played in Nashville, we played an overly-swank bar on a Sunday night with a pair of alt-country bands. The five people in the audience were driven out by our abrasive volume, but the alt-country bands were complimentary and the bartender was apologetic, loving our set and paying us in four Pabst tallboys because he had nothing else with which to pay us. As of August 2011, that 2006 trainwreck still stands as our best Nashville show to date.

We are currently chilling out in front of the Longbranch Saloon in Knoxville. The front door has our tour poster prominently displayed, and the local band tonight made a flyer that is also on the door. If five people are at the show tonight, it will still already rate as better than last night.


"I have never had a good experience playing in Nashville."

"Man, Nashville is just not friendly. I don't get it."

It's not just us, Nashville! Signs point to "Music City" being a crap town for touring DIY music!

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