Cincinnati, Ohio today! Our venue is not only in beautiful weather but we are right on the Ohio River. Fifty feet from the bus is a sitting area with chairs and tables on a plateau of dirt that overlooks the water. You can see Kentucky from across the way. Really beautiful, I love when we can see more than the innards of a parking lot in these towns.
Still getting glorious sleep, I missed breakfast though because of my exercise. Inside the venue the crew room and showers were up two flights of stairs, but we had our own lounge area that was considerably sized! Don’t always have that luxury. Still kept the warming up short today but longer than yesterday’s… slowly growing one exercise at a time. It goes against the way I practice typically, but I think tomorrow I’ll have to take the day off playing (we have an off day in Southaven, Mississippi, a stone’s throw from where we stayed in Memphis a week ago today). Lips are kinda sore, I’m pushing too much lip into this shallow mouthpiece- I think rest would do more good than trying to build up strength tomorrow. (Plus there’s a good chance my sleep won’t be as fantastic the next couple days).
The security guard watching the spot where we climb the stairs to the crew room kept telling me how horn players often play in the hallway because of the reverb.
Ok food… so my first meal (bkfst/lunch idk it was at about 12), was a portobello mushroom sandwich with every vegetable I could get my hands on and an exuberant amount of honey mustard… that was amazing. The portobello had a big fat tomato and melty cheese on it…. Whole wheat bread and I’m a happy boy.
Sidenote- to keep energy levels going when you wanna work all day, eat a small meal even if you’re starving (I was party dang hungry, but I just ate again ninety minutes later rather than pile it on at once).
Soundcheck!! Long and lots of standing around, but today we actually had it! John showed up to listen to Kenny hit the snare drum twenty thousand times and worked his brilliant ear magic to identify which snare Kenny should use and how it should be tuned (never ceases to amaze me). I could feel my chops starting to go, I was missing easy stuff. Regardless, I was eager to keep a positive attitude.
Steve and I walked to a ginormous ferris wheel…. We were right by Coney Island and didn’t even realize it until we checked Apple Maps (crazy how I can have zero knowledge about my geographic location for weeks at a time if I wanted). Turned out to be just outside the park, a five minute walk from the buses, and only $5 to ride for fifteen or so minutes. Beautiful views of the river, city.. my mom is deathly afraid of heights and ferris wheels in particular (she literally had a panic attack the last time I rode a ferris wheel with her).
After much deliberation, I’m gonna listen to Herbie Hancock for a while and figure out what his deal is hehe… lots of his music I’ve never given a chance because too much of his post-Thrust / pre-Joni Mitchell stuff is really corny. I’m gonna give it an honest listen.
Early show since we were the opener, (ohh dinner was Vegan black bean soup, steamed white rice, and this mash of cooked veggies with this cool name in this sauce that I forget). I haven’t washed my flannel shirt that we wear in over a week… we went up to the stage. Caught the end of Ryan Kinder’s set more straight on than I usually do. He opens for the bands every day- just him and two backing singers and a drum track. He’s got a good country voice, kinda dark, a real lick-driven guitarist, not notey though. Backing singers are these two young ladies, they’re terrific!!
Show was solid- there was more energy during all the horn parts- Steve started moving around more so I did too! Just felt natural. The high stuff in Proud Mary doesn’t even phase me anymore (even though I was missing simple stuff in our opening song). A combination of being more thoroughly warmed up and relaxing does it every time.
Tonight, our task is to start a campfire and roast marshmallows at the fire pit on the dock by the view of the river. Excited for that.. it’s 10 PM now and ZZ Top’s set is just about to end, so Nate and Steve and I are gonna go get that all started up in around an hour.
I feel compelled to keep coding… even though it is in no way what I’m doing with my life at this point, and it disconnects me a lot from my surroundings. I’ve spoken before about how meditative it can be to be on stage listening to john’s music… during that time my mind starts to move toward creating things with technology… creating a simulation of the universe as a desktop app, orrr creating an app that somehow allows people attending a concert to interact with the music as it’s being performed via some kind of stat-driven activity (a game, orrr an audience voting on which song to play next or what key to move to or something). Think I’m gonna delve into that a bit now for the next hour… Nate just came in and told me how much we’re gonna party tonight. I’m gonna stay up as late as I can hehe. Tomorrow Nathan and Steven and I are going to Beale Street to stay up all night again. Gotta come up with new material for this blog! Till next time, goodnighttttt.