Spent the last week opening for Tool, mostly in hockey arenas. It's just a tiny bit different from the 250 person capacity clubs we're used to playing.Spent the last week opening for Tool, mostly in hockey arenas. It's just a tiny bit different from the 250 person capacity clubs we're used to playing.
First off, every place looks pretty much the same: gigantic concrete labyrinths populated with the same 50-person crew that travels with the band. They do their jobs amazingly well. Every day Tool's PA system must be installed and dialed in. The lighting rig must be hung, lights and projection screens positioned. Lasers must be calibrated to achieve maximum lasery. The catering crew zooms around on skateboards and scooters, making delicious, healthy food for the entire staff. Guitar techs and stage managers have tiny plants and pictures of their families pasted up in their portable work stations. It's an impressive operation for sure, but it does seem a little sterile and self-contained. I never thought I'd say this, but I kind of miss the smell of stale beer mixed with bleach and vomit.
So anyway, last week! Let's see... What happened?
Outside of our hotel room in Youngstown, Ohio, we encountered a group of middle-aged biker dudes on a road trip. I'm talking Honda Goldwing, "Easy Rider" biker dudes - not Indian or Harley. At any rate, they seemed to be having a good time, until about 3am that is. We were torn away from "Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job!" by the sound of police sirens. When we looked outside, we saw the cops cuffing one of the Wild Hogs from downstairs. Apparently, the cop had tried to pull the biker over, and as he pulled into our hotel parking lot, he saw the dude chuck a bag of what he thought might be drugs. Not sure if he got arrested or what, but on the way to get coffee the next day we found a sandwich baggie in the parking lot with about 15 tiny bundles of white rocks inside. Guys' night out!
Played on the 4th of July in Milwaukee. Had to go up against all four original members of Asia and the Black Crowes. Drank some tequila, watched some fireworks. Justin from Tool gave me a moustache that had eyes and a moustache. That's about how much sense the whole night made.
I've been playing drums on Tool's song "Lateralus". It's kind of a dueling drum solo thing between Danny Carey and myself. As I left the stage on this particular night, Maynard told the crowd that I was the runner-up winner of the make-a-wish foundation award. The next day, the emails started coming in asking if I were really dying. Thanks, Maynard.
On a day off in Columbus, we luckily got a hotel room right across from the convention center. Just so happens a D&D gamers' convention happened to be going on. Skinny guys in kilts were battling in the parking lot with foam swords and battle axes. After a couple of drinks, we decided it would be a good idea to check it out. We bought a suitcase of sliders from White Castle and made our way inside the gaming hall. Even though we tried to share and make friends, the gamers weren't warming up to us. But we're not quitters, so we kept trying until we were tackled by security and ejected from the building. Got some good video at the very least.
We have a few more shows with these guys, then it's back to our own tour. Through the south, then out west and back home.