Posts Tagged ‘Minneapolis’
Thursday, October 31st, 2013
The day started bright and beautiful, and quickly turned a little gloomier on hearing that Lou Reed had died. He's the first of our rock god pantheon to die a “natural” death, the first of, no doubt, several to follow over the next decade. It's hard to process the death of someone that you don't have a personal connection with, but someone who nevertheless has had a significant effect on your life through their art. It's not like their absence will now affect your day to day life, but there is a definite sense of loss….mostly it makes one long for those days when so much was new and music, in particular, consistently and constantly changed the way you processed the world.
As I mentioned it was a beautiful Fall day in Stoughton, Wisconsin. We spent the day wandering around this sleepy little town, I gazed longingly at the river that ran through its middle. I made the decision to not bring my fishing gear on this tour, thinking that it would be too cold and the opportunities to fish, too thin. I kicked myself, it would have been worth the effort to have had a couple of hours standing on the banks, on this spectacular day.
It was a nice little venue tonight. One of those classic small town opera houses sitting on the second floor of the town hall. It was an odd show….we were a little tentative as was the audience. It wasn't a bad night, but it never seemed to take off, perhaps Uncle Lou was on our minds.
We've always enjoyed coming to Minneapolis, but it's an odd town. It has grown substantially in the two decades that we have been coming here, but it never seems to change. I think a large part of the reason for this stasis, is the 2nd Floor interior walkways that connect all of the main buildings in the downtown core. Everyone is inside and getting from place to place through these hamster tunnels which leaves the streets feeling very flat and lacking energy. It's a thriving downtown core but it doesn't have that feel, unless you venture into the buildings and experience the mad lunchtime scramble through the warren….it is all just a bit too low budget sci-fi for my tastes.
We had a day off on Monday which also happened to be Pete's birthday. We plied him with drinks and went to watch the Wild get dissected by the Blackhawks…Al bought him a Wild t-shirt to commemorate the day….a t-shirt of his favourite player, Clayton Stoner.
We had four shows over two nights at The Dakota Jazz Club. It's an odd room, with the stage facing the short wall and a PA that doesn't seem to be properly tuned, which makes it difficult to find a groove on-stage. We probably bit off more than we can chew with the four shows. Two shows would have been solidly sold out, but as it stood, both of the late shows were a little light. These weren't great shows from our point of view. We seem to be having difficulty finding our rhythm on this run. We're not playing badly but we seem to be lacking a bit of intensity. The audiences didn't help our woes, they seemed to be lacking the same intensity, it was like both sides of the stage were waiting for the other to single that it was ok to let loose a little, with neither wanting to make the first move. By the last of the four shows we kind of figured it out and realized that we just needed to play for ourselves and the audience will follow (a lesson learned and relearned dozens of times over the years) …which they eventually, grudgingly did. Maybe all of us Northerners are beginning to slip in to our winter hibernation phase. Time to slap ourselves around a bit and finish off this tour on a high note.
We crankily watched the Red Sox move toward their World Series victory during the break between our shows. Jared once again gets to celebrate and shove another Boston championship in our faces….bastard.
Sunday, September 15th, 2013
The tour schedule is now complete for October and November in the midwest U.S. We will be starting in Buffalo on 10/24 and will be stopping in Saugatuck, MI; Chicago, IL; Stoughton, WI; Minneapolis, MN; Iowa City, IA; Evanston, IL; and Ann Arbor, MI. All of the details are here.
Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
We didn’t come across any tornados on our drive last night, but the rain was of biblical proportions. It was an odd day today. The sky above the city swirled with clouds heading in all directions at once and the temperature plummeted. Jeff had to leave the tour for the day to attend to some matters at home and Margo’s illness got worse. The Penguins and Flyers series devolved into a WWE meets AHL event, sort of like a No-Holds-Barred cage-match on ice. There was weird juju in the air.
We had two shows tonight and the first one was as peculiar as the day. We struggled a little bit with the hole left in our sound by Jeff’s absence. Margo’s illness reared up and she had to leave the stage in the middle of Miles From Our Home, so Pete, Al and I played on (Jeff’s words of advice spurring us on, “never stop!”). A verse or two in to our instrumental version of Walking After Midnight and Margo returned and soldiered on. For the second show we reassessed and refocused and played with and around the empty space created by Jeff’s absence rather than trying to fill it and the result was a very different and magical show. We need a day off.
Friday, March 9th, 2012
We’re headed out to the midwest for Round Two in April and we’ll be in MI, IL, MN, IA, MO, NE, KS, WI and TN. More specifically, we’ll be in Ann Arbor, Evanston, Minneapolis, Davenport, St Louis, Omaha, Salina, Madison, Cincinnati, Nashville, Chicago and Kent. Check here for all the details.
Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
(Jason Lent has forsaken the island paradise of Hawaii to follow us around for a few months. I have happily placed the tour diary in his capable hands. It should bring a new perspective to our ramblings.)
A picture perfect afternoon in Minneapolis gave way to a relaxed and fun doubleheader. The club was equal parts jazz club and restaurant in the heart of downtown Target (the retail giant appears to own the entire downtown district). There’s something a little disconcerting about scampi noodles being eaten just feet from Mike’s amp but the club’s staff was magnificent at remaining inconspicuous throughout the performance. In fact, everything about the club appeared to be top notch and focused on making it easy for both band and fans.
The early show had to compete with the oatmeal encrusted mahi and other dinner selections. For $11, you could even try a Cause Cheap Is How I Feel martini, which raised the question of how you’d feel if you bought the can of PBR for $5. The music prevailed and the band’s set was tight and energetic. Jeff’s melodica on “Renmin Park” and Margo’s emotional reading of “Dreaming My Dreams With You” were memorable.
For the second show, I found myself at the table next to Mike’s amp, quite literally. I could have rested my drink on it. Being inside the sound mix changed the way I heard the music with Mike’s amp overpowering the mix. It was a really cool way to hear the instruments interact. The second setlist was anchored by a moment of acoustic beauty with “Something More Besides You.” The music occasionally wanted to do its own thing but the band kept reeling it back in and finished five shows in three days with a lengthy 16 song set of music.
Sure, the rumored cover of a Prince song (I was betting on “Take Me With You”) didn’t happen but the Twins resigned Joe Mauer and Hope won a big game in Washington D.C. 219-212. It’s hard to not smile on days like this.
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
We have added:
• Saugatuck, MI, Minneapolis, MN and Milwaukee, WI, in March.
• Somerville, MA, Bayshore, NY, New York, NY, Falls Church, VA, in April.
• Ridgefield, CT, and Great Barrington, MA, in May.