After a night of nerding out with the boys, we were back on the road, en route to Pittsburgh.
Similar to Cleveland, it was hard to find locals for the Pittsburgh gig. In many instances -- and it's understandable -- we were seen as a "hip-hop tour". Now, while it's true that there's rap on the bill, we see it as more than that. Meaning, the show doesn't have to be all rap to work. There was a hip-hop showcase at Howler's the weekend prior to us performing, which put a dent in what would be seen as our target audience. Pop Thief & The Grand Larceny would close the show out; Full Circle Time Machine would open.
Howler's doesn't usually have music on Monday's. They have trivia, but not music. We had that going against us (i'd thought maybe we had it going for us, but it turned out to be the former). FCTM hadn't played in a year, but our show coincided with them linking up for the first time in a while to perform. At the time they went on -- besides us, the soundman and doorman -- there were two people in attendance. And then they started playing.
I want to make it perfectly clear that they were very kind people, but this was one of the most ridiculous shows I've been a part of. The above video is 15 seconds, but their set was a solid 30 minutes of the above. For (at most) 6 people. I couldn't stop laughing. Not at them, but the situation. Y'do your best with what you're given, but man. I'm gonna post this video again just to make sure you heard it:
We had some familiar faces show up, which was nice. Shouts to Dan for the stellar tee:
The nice thing about the guys i toured with is that, regardless how many people are at a given show, they go the fuck in. Two moments in particular i really appreciated from this show:
1. Sab putting his foot up on the monitor during his guitar solo:
2. Chace going wild for his whole set:
Can't tell there's 8 people there, right?
Richard/Pop Thief captured some great footage from the show; our favorite clip being this one of James/Sab/Ricky performing a new song, and the only video he captured was James saying "Rose Emoji" over and over. Sarob approved.
Even when the shows aren't great, it's important to remember that you're playing your music on the road, for new people, and isn't that what it's about? 1 new fan or 100, give it everything.
James almost got in a fight for taking a Snap selfie too close to a Pittsburgh bro at the bar, but you have to ask him about that.
Played at Mahall's during the Rap Round Robin tour last year, and we made our return on a rainy Sunday night.
Now, Cleveland proved to be one hell of a mountain to climb. We weren't expecting a whole lot with regards to turnout, which was a good thing, because at most i think there were 8 people there. Our friend Christin killed it on the video tip, though, and you can watch a good deal of our set on her YouTube page.
What set Cleveland apart was Jaws' friend Tony, who let us stay at his place for our time spent in the city. And jesus christ. Okay, does anyone know how crazy Mortal Kombat has become in 2016? I sure as shit didn't. After the show we came back and played MKXL for hours, and it was a poetic experience for me. It's been at least 10 years since i was huddled around a TV with friends, shouting, at a videogame. The depression i was dealing prior to this tour was some of the worst that i'd ever experienced, and this night got me back to feeling like myself. Can't thank Tony enough for that.
A year has passed since i've been on the road. There's something about it that i really crave. It's a freshened perspective on music, on life. Happy to be touring with this crew:
First stop was Columbus at Double Happiness. We got into town, grabbed a drink and figured out the set.
Now, in theory, this set was gonna run smoothly, but we'd never ran through it in full. We felt good. No looking back.
Sometimes it's difficult to find locals in a given area, especially if you're not hip to their scene. Our friend Red Pill linked us with the guys that run Matchbox Ltd., and they set us up w/ Solson The One and Sarob. James tweeted at him and it yielded something that altered the course of our tour:
We were thrown off by the rose emoji. A rose emoji? We didn't understand.
Sarob was one of the first guys we met at DH when the door's opened. What a positive dude. AND, as he went onstage for his closing set, he brought roses for people! Yo. That did it. From that point forward, The Rose Emoji was the mantra. Mantras arrive in a tour setting on their own, and ours arrived with the quickness.
This snap of James' embodied the show:
For me, a lot of this tour was to show the dynamism of Detroit's music scene. And, since this isn't say, a James Linck tour, or a Mic Write one, but rather a city, we decided on having the set sort of play as an hour-long medley of bangers. A handful of people said to us after, "So how long have you guys been doing this?"
This is the first time we ever did.
No, this is literally the first time.
Doors were coming off their hinges. Off to a good start.
We stayed with Jaws' cousin, and he lives across the street from a 24hr taco truck. Their hot sauce was the real goddamn deal. Nice way to end the first night.