Tuesday, November 11, 2008

September Re-cap

Continuing with the trend of taking forever to post updates, I will now give the September report in November!

September 4 - Miramar Theater, Milwaukee, WI
This show was pretty standard and nothing major to report. Nathan from the now-dissolved Chinese Fingertrap sat in on sax for an encore of "The Chicken" and that was fun.

September 5 - Harvest Fest, Clarks Grove, MN
We hit the road super early for our long drive to Minnesota. ("Super early" for FGC is anything before noon). Harvest Fest had great production and was very organized, but also very laid back, and the Wookiefoot crew couldn't have been more welcoming. We played an early evening set on the mainstage, and chatted it up with Lotus and Willy Waldman backstage. We ended up deciding to drive all the way home that night instead of staying over, so we split shortly after our set.

September 12 - Mulberry Mountain Festival, Ozark, AR
Our first show in Arkansas, bumping our state count up to 33 states played! The festival was fairly small, but well organized. We played our set in the late afternoon on the small stage, then hung out for a bit before truckin' back to our hotel. Word is that we got lucky with the weather, as the following day at the festival was apparently hit with torrential downpour. Highlight of the day was seeing our friend/fan Jessica be super drunk and silly!

September 13 - The Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS
We played a short opening set for Chicago Afrobeat Project. Old Chicago friend and new Kansas resident, Kristy, was on hand to enjoy the evening with us.

September 17 - Draught Haus, Winona, MN
Who would have thought Winona on a Wednesday would be so damn fun? The Winona crew came out in full force and we had a killer time. Check out some YouTube video footage from the show! (Note: that's Jordan running the light show!)

September 18 - Cabooze, Minneapolis, MN
This show was a co-bill with our good buds, Fat Maw Rooney. Highlight of the night was realizing that the Fat Maw Rooney drummer, Kyle, and I had the same shoes! We also met a new fan, Matt, who nicknamed Mattias "Matt Fancy."

September 25 - Majestic Theater, Madison, WI
We were excited for this show and to be headlining such a nice room as the Majestic. One major setback at the outset was that after setting up our entire light rig, we were informed that the venue would not permit us to use our hazer (fog machine) due to fire regulations. Not having fog really decreases the impact of the lights so we were a bit disappointed about this, not to mention the work involved in setting up and tearing down the lights. But we still played a fun show for a very enthusiastic crowd. In fact, this was our first CD release show for our new album, Models and Metrics, and we performed the entire 10 tracks of the album to start off the show.

September 26 - Canopy Club, Urbana, IL
Our sort of home-away-from home, we always love playing at the Canopy. After enjoying some of Anthony's fine pizza, we ripped a fun set for a great crowd. A cool moment of the set was a Rattler > The World is Watching (Part 1) > Rattler, and then later closing out the set with The World Is Waching (Part 2). We hung out at the Baymont afterwards with Grimace, Smokey and Brad, and stayed up too late of course.

September 27 - Redstone Room, Davenport, IA
A third night in a row of setting up the light rig, but luckily Grimace was on hand again and was a great help. The show went great and we had the crowd jumping. Kayla brought us cookies and Tiff brought us homemade salsa...how did we luck out with such awesome fans??

September 28 - Fall Frolic Festival, Laurens, IA
No comment...hahahaa :)

Stay tuned for the October update, hopefully sometime before the end of '08!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

August Re-cap

Well, we seem to be getting further and further behind in this blog as time goes on. Please comment if you read this thing, so we know it's worth it. :)

Here's a recap of August's shows...

August 2 - Cosmic Railroad Family Gathering, Janesville, WI

Pretty cool small festival in Southern Wisc. During our late afternoon set, the sun set in our faces, blinding and burning us, as we plowed through the tunes. Highlight included "Oye Como Va" with Sean from Cosmic Railroad on percussion, and an impromptu drum jam. Girard, Mackenzie, and Tiff were on hand, and we had fun hanging out after the set. Left Mattias behind, but Tiff returned him in one piece the next day.

August 8 - Bell's Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI

Outdoor show with Michigan locals, Bump. I think we had more fun chatting it up with the Bump guys before/after the show than actually playing the show. We learned about Yorg's philosophy on "Deep V's" and his guilty pleasure of Revenge of the Nerds II. Again, left Mattias behind, but Bump returned him to the hotel the next morning, basically in one piece.

August 9 - Founders, Grand Rapids, MI

Shared the night with Four Finger Five, and heard one of the coolest drum solos in awhile from the FFF drummer. Highlight of the night was finding a $50 bill on the floor!!

August 21 & 22 - Fatfest, Wabasha, MN

After a relaxing weekend off, we headed up to Fatfest in Minnesota for a fun couple of days. Our Thursday night set got a late start due to rain, but we busied ourselves goofing off backstage with Jason Hann and Michael Travis from EOTO/SCI. The set eventually went off without any further rain interruption and the crowd was raging pirate-style!

On Friday night, Jordan and I kicked it with the Everyone Orchestra for some interesting impromptu jams, with a big cast of musicians including Futureman on the drum kit.

August 23 - NV Ultra Lounge, Normal, IL

Our Bloomington/Normal crew was out in full force, including Kayla and her cookies of course. Their enthusiasm helped us get through the frustration of a number of technical difficulties, including a completely inadequate house sound system, and my bass amp completely blowing up mid-show. We tried our bass/drum jam for the first time at this show, and it went pretty well.

August 27 - Mojo's, Columbia, MO

Tested out two new cover tunes at this show: "Subterannean Homesick Blues" (Bob Dylan) and "Love the One You're With" (Steven Stills), both with the usual FGC makeover. Didn't screw 'em up too bad. :)

August 28 - Cicero's, St. Louis, MO

The Hatrick opened up the show, and was one of the most enjoyable support acts we've had in a long time. After the show, went back to enjoy some cushy comfort at the swanky Wyndham suites.

August 29 - 31 - Strip Mines Festival, Murphysboro, IL

Arrived to the festival late in the afternoon on Friday. Things seemed to be off to a great start. People were filing in and everything was running smooth with production. We hit the stage for our headlining slot and it was awesome! Debuted "Subterranean" for our hometown crowd and closed out the night with a rockin' "American Girl" encore. We ended up lending some of our equipment to Garaj Mahal for their latenight set after ours, making it a very late night for us as well. Had a great time backstage eating Tiff's homemade salsa and hummus.

Sunday night pre-set ended up being kind of a stress for me. I was walking on a dark path back from the bathroom, and my ear plug got knocked out of my ear while brushing a bug off my face. (By "brushing", I actually mean waving my hands frantically and freaking out since I hate bugs!). This isn't an ordinary ear plug, but a custom-made musician's ear plug that is very costly to replace. It was pitch black outside, there was grass and brush all around, and the plug is tiny and clear in color. Not to mention, I was on a hill, meaning the ear plug could have potentially rolled a considerable distance after being knocked out of my ear. A sizeable search party gathered, with tons of nice people lending their flashlights and eyes. After over an hour of searching, a guy named Todd who had showed up for 5 minutes finally found the plug! I couldn't believe it! Thanks to all those who helped!!

Our Sunday set was a latenight one, starting at 1:30am. We were all exhausted, and the crowd prior to our set seemed pretty beat as well after partying for 3 days. I was a little worried our set would be a bust, but as soon as we hit the stage, the crowd became energized and we ripped through the set, leaving our fatigue in the dust. We did a triple encore, and closed out the festival in style.

That's it for August. Stay tuned for September, hopefully in a more timely manner!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

July Catch-Up

I can't seem to get my bandmates to write in this blog, so it's all on me. Here's a recap of last month's shows. August schedule is fairly light, so I'll be making a concerted effort to post show-ly updates!

July 4 - Summerfest, Milwaukee, WI

We hadn't played at this festival since 2004, and were honored to be bumped up from the teeny no-name stage to the monstrous Miller Light stage. Unfortunately the sound blew, but we had a good time regardless. Zach broke the confines of parole and joined us all the way from Florida, so that was an awesome bonus. Caught some Phil Lesh after our set and then hit the road to make some headway toward Des Moines.

July 5 - 80/35 Festival & People's, Des Moines, IA

80/35 was a cool little festival in downtown Des Moines. We were tired from a long drive, but had to step it up when asked to play a last-minute post-party at People's down the street from the fest. So we ripped out two shows in one day and had a great time with the Des Moines crew.

July 11 - Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines, IA

Back in Des Moines less than a week later. Probably our best Mews show to date. We broke out Tom Petty's "American Girl" for the first time, even though it wasn't fully ready, but the crowd was great and we wanted to give 'em something to remember. We amazingly didn't fuck it up too bad. :)

July 12 - Camp Euforia, Lone Tree, IA

We got up waaaay too early for our 1:30pm slot at Camp Euforia, arriving to find out they were running about 2 hours behind due to some rain. Great. I made it through the morning by guzzling some Miller water. (Seriously, canned water?!) Check out some youtube footage from the fest.

July 17 - Majestic Theater, Madison, WI

Night #1 with Fat Maw Rooney. Our manager, Mike, came up for the show and that was fun. We ripped out "Young Lust" which we hadn't played in awhile, and, so we were told, "melted some faces." We also "miracled" some good fans with free 10KLF tickets. Fat Maw Rooney raged it, while my bandmates got somewhat trashed.

July 18 - Miramar Theater, Milwaukee, WI

After a nice and greasy breakfast with Mad-fans Matt and Dave, we made the short trek over to Milwaukee for night #2 with Fat Maw Rooney. Another great Wisconsin crowd. Split right after our set to get started on the drive to Ohio.

July 19 - Tabfest, Mendon, OH

Got a late start due to Adam setting his alarm for the completely wrong hour (nice one), but made it to the fest basically on time. A little bit of rain, but nothing major. We hung out for several hours, checking out Charlie Hunter and some Fareed Haque. Once again, bandmates proceeded to get retarded and I drove them back to the hotel. Thanks to Scott for the YouTube vids from this show.

July 23-26 - 10,000 Lakes Festival, Detroit Lakes, MN

Played a mean set on the Barn Stage on Day 1. Revisited "The Humpty Dance", and added the 3rd verse, which I only mildly screwed up. Crowd was awesome! Spent the rest of the weekend hanging out and checking out some other music.

I also played with the Everyone Orchestra, which this year included some notable peeps like Jason Hann and Michael Kang (from String Cheese) and the world-renowned guitarist Steve Kimock. After the set, Steve inflated my ego by telling me he loved my tone and playing, and that he "fell in love with me 100 times" during the set. He then handed me a small green rock crystal and said, "Put this on your windowsill, and when you're doing the fuckin' dishes, you can say, 'Oh, that's pretty!' instead of 'Oh, this sucks!'"

That's it for July! Stay tuned for August, at some point....

Saturday, July 5, 2008

June Catch-Up

Surprise, surprise, we’re behind on the blog again. A quick revisiting of shows from the past few weeks.

June 13 @ Martyrs’ - Chicago, IL

My birthday show! Anne and Casey from 56 Hope Road sat in on Aretha Franklin’s “Think” and we nailed it with no rehearsal. Anne wails!! I got a singing ovation of “Happy Birthday” from the crowd at the end of our set. Yay for another year of being 27!

June 14 @ Alex and Kayla’s Wedding – Bettendorf, IA

We got up way too early to head to the Quad Cities for the wedding of long-time fans, Alex and Kayla. We decided to resurrect an old tune, “Seein’”, from our first album, that Alex has been requesting for a good 4 years or so, and we executed it surprisingly well for having not performed it in years.

June 27 @ Universal Rhythm Assembly – Peoria, IL

Cool little festival on the river in Peoria. Awesome weather, but a shitload of huge mayflies everywhere. Joel from Umphrey’s came out and sat in with us during “Little Walter Rides Again,” which we took into Chameleon, and then a little dueling keyboard action from Joel and Jordan. The crowd was bumpin for the whole set. After the show, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the pizza place next door, and came back to the festival to find that 56 Hope Road had raided our hospitality trailer of all the beer. (I’m sure Chad will be leaving this detail out of the 56 Hope Road tour blog, but I tell nothing but the truth, folks!)

June 29 @ Lazy River Music Festival – South Elgin, IL

Another way too early departure time for this early afternoon festival set. Weather was erratic all day but we survived our set without getting too wet. Hung out with EOTO and New Monsoon and various other folks backstage and enjoyed some nice hospitality food and drink.

Stay tuned for a (hopefully) timely report on FGC's 4th of July weekend shows!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

FGC and 56 Hope Road in St Louis!

It had been about three years since FGC had been back to Cicero's and a triumphant return it was. We split the night with our old friends 56 Hope Road (who you can catch us with in Chicago on Fri, June 13th @ Martyr's) and a rowdy good time was had.

FGC opened the night with a strong performance. We played crowd favorites such as The Charmer, Oye Como Va and Wrath of the Solids as well as some newer numbers like Guns of Ticonderoga and yet to be titled, New Tune 17. Casey Fitzpatrick, 56's sax player, joined us for a rippin' version of The Chicken, woohoo!

56's set was as hot as always and yours truly was invited to sit in for three blistering tunes including one of my all time faves, Glacier.

The night was a blast and it's always a treat to get back together with our old friends from St Louis. We are also very grateful anytime we get a chance to hang out with the 56 crew and are eagerly awaiting our Martyr's show with them, which coincidentally, is Janis' annual 27th Birthday! Be there or be square.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Summer Camp Festival 2008!!

Well, it didn't take us long to get stupidly behind in this blog. Here's the report on Summer Camp 2008 last weekend.

We arrived at the pre-party on Thursday afternoon. Caught a little bit of 56 Hope Road ripping it up on the Starshine Stage before heading to our load-in and soundcheck in the barn. The latenight show was amazing! Huge crowd and it was great to see all our die-hard fans right up front. I was crazy antsy all day long about doing my Eminem bit, but we nailed it and I became a latenight rapping legend! Thanks to a fan for uploading it to YouTube! Click here to watch.

I got to the hotel way too late that night, and returned to the festival on Friday afternoon to find Adam and Mattias completely soaked from spending the night in the rain. The weather cleared up by the time I arrived though, and I had a nice afternoon and evening catching some Avett Brothers, Umphrey's, and the Flaming Lips, which was the craziest show I've ever seen. We called it an early night to rest up for our set the next afternoon.

Our day set went well, despite an annoying delay getting set up. We rocked the Sunshine Stage with virtually no soundcheck and had a fun set with a great crowd and great weather. I hightailed over to the bass workshop after our set, and led the workshop along with the bass players from moe and OAR. We had a couple "interesting" jams and answered questions about all things low-end.

My work being done for the weekend, I was psyched to catch G Love on the mainstage. He charmed everyone with his usual endearing sloppiness, and the Special Sauce laid down some nice grooves. I visited various hospitality areas to scarf down more snacks since I didn't have any lunch, and chatted it up with other bands all afternoon long.

Crashed early at the hotel and then returned to the fest for the final day, and caught some Backyard Tire Fire, Macpodz, Dumpstafunk, and George Clinton. All in all a fantastic weekend!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Big Trouble in Little Minnesota

The band had a little time to kill after our Cabooze gig in Minneapolis before we needed to head to Winnona, so we went to the Mall of America.

There were lots of chain stores, uninformational kiosks, screaming children accompanied by screaming parents and...an amusement park. It didn't take long for FGC to figure out where we were going to spend the remainder of our trip to the MOA.

After a quick ride on the coaster...

and a spin on the carousel...

we were all tuckered out and headed home.

The End.