We have something of a sordid history with the state of Iowa. The shows we’ve played there on previous tours could be described as spotty if you wanted to be nice about it and total let-downs if you prefer candidness. We always left the hawkeye state feeling like we should have just kept driving. It is, however, pleasing to report that both of our shows in Iowa on this tour turned out pretty well, and our unenthusiastic opinion of the state took a real turn for the better.
The show in Davenport was in a rad diy garage space called the Zam Compound. We knew the show would be a success right away, as there were probably as many people in the room as have ever seen us at all our other Iowa shows combined. Sets from As You Were, Lipstick Homicide, and Philly homegirls Luther were all really stellar. We played well and were received warmly by the 100% awesome crowd. There were even a couple stray hippies, either flail-dancing convulsively to the songs in their jncos and tie-dye or just having a full blown meth freak-out. Either way we were stoked. We awoke the next morning and, along with Luther, were hooked up with free Jimmy John’s by Davenport promoter guru, Mike. On to Des Moines, home of the legendary Slipknot!
Fears about how the show would work out, informed by our history with the city and state were again quelled almost immediately at The Gaslamp in Des Moines. It’s a really cool bar with an impressive smattering of pornography sloppily glued(I hope) to the bathroom walls, which I suppose is a nice bonus. We were also provided with all you can drink PBR and Coors, which is both a blessing and a curse. We arrived at the venue some two hours before the bands were to start, and we were on last. You can imagine how the evening devolved into a characteristic Elway-styled buffoonery, with moderation cast unabashedly into the wind. Opening acts Muddy Rails and The Blendours were really great, the former being of the bearded, Hot Water Music ilk, and the latter being some of the best acoustic pop-punk this side of Kepi Ghoulie. We took the stage with a manly, Kate Moss confidence and drunkenly sweated through our set with what seemed like precision. The show was followed by hangs with the promoter of the show, a stand-up dude by the name of Kevan. NHL Open Ice arcade game in the living room, shots of tequila, and only half-consciously watching the first half of V for Vendetta capped off what was a pleasantly positive experience in Des Moines. Iowa was 2/2 this time around! Exciting news!
Another quick note about Iowa, is that we shared the stage with five Iowa bands on this tour, and all of them were really fucking great. No kidding! So if you have a few minutes, check out Lipstick Homicide, As You Were, Strong City, Muddy Rails, and The Blendours. Iowa has got a something going on, dudes. Where you at, Kansas?
Alright… Omaha. A city with great people and places to play this time compounded by the fact that we would be sharing the stage with long-time bosom buddies: the mighty Red City Radio. We arrived in Omaha early, and after perusing a thrift store and Mexican grocery store, we headed to Jake’s cigar bar to watch Red City Radio record a video for hearnebraska.org. The concept was that we were to sit at the tables in the bar while they played their song and look bored and uninterested. The problem with having the attention span of a meth-baby is that when you are supposed to look bored and uninterested, you tend to become bored and uninterested. Tim and tour manager extraordinaire Dave “sweet n’ low” Williams sought after Omaha’s cache of vegan delights. What we found was a pizza place called Night Flight, which made one hell of a vegan pizza. Afucking+! The show was our second time at The Sandbox and was totally decent. The Tuesday crowd was sparse, but several people I was not acquainted with seemed to know the lyrics to a bunch of songs, and the sing-a-longs made the show feel intimate and not just thinly attended and droll. Red City Radio killed it, naturally, and after some tearful goodbyes, we hit the road to make it home in time for Brian to go to work.
Puzzle: (Remember PEMDAS)!!!
A lot of fun was packed into these 6 days. It’s a great feeling to know that we can hop in the van and play around the Midwest for a week and have good buddies in almost every city who come out to or put on shows that make us feel like this is worth it. So a big thanks to everyone who helped put on a show, came out, bought merch, let us sleep on their floor, or sold us discounted junk food at the Flying J. Cheers!
PS: REMEMBER TO SOLVE ALL 6 PUZZLES AND GET AT US FOR A CHANCE TO WIN... SOMETHING!!!