We’re basically in a state park right now. In New Joisey. It’s SOO humid outside I can barely go out there without sweating like a maniac. Slept like a baby, was up at 10 AM after eight hours of sleep. First move was to go find breakfast- they have some pretty great catering down the hill- omelette station, vegetable juicing, etc., and NUTELLA. My goal to go to the Target 2 miles away didn’t really work out too well- a thirty minute walk ain’t in the cards. Sooooo instead I tried to secure a warmup place. Everyone’s running around like mad, so I asked our production manager for a space to warmup in the morning. It ended up being up to me to find any old dressing room and take it until the band was ready to come- after only around 20 minutes, I was booted out into the bus.
Our soundcheck/rehearsal started at 2. They wanted to put us on in-ears when we walked out into the crowd, or for most of the show for that matter. So we have a radio pack in each pocket now- one to receive sound and the other to send it from our mic. John came out and announced that we’d be cutting the set down from 96 minutes to 75 minutes by shortening songs and removing some stuff. John struck me as a very wise band leader with the way he ran rehearsal today. He very specifically delegated a tempo to our drummer, knowing exactly what we wanted from the sound of the song. When he sings and plays his demeanor is one of absolute calmness, and almost of deep soul-searching. He puts his hands up in the air to stop the band and once called for everyone to “stop and just start together this time”. We ran New Orleans a lot, changing it up a bit so that we’re starting the song off stage and moving in a big circle around the crowd. Everyone’s calling for us to just ham it up, do horn tricks, spin around and interact with the audience, and kiss babies (not that one). Billie Gibbons was wearing his pajamas to rehearsal like a baller. At the show yesterday they had vegetables and a juicer for him- they had that for breakfast again today and I had one for lunch haha. I’m thinking the raw vegetable smoothies go over pretty well with a lot of those older cats.
Hoping the show goes well, it’s raining and thunder storming now (630).
Went for a long walk, listened to King Oliver, had some dinner (this catering service is pretty fantastic- veggie lasagna and veggie masala), walked some more, came back to the bus for a spell. Everyone’s energy was kinda low, too much anticipation. Around 830 we got dressed and went over to backstage to wait.
Before the show today I tried warming up a little with a harmon, it actually helped me I think. This crowd was more full than yesterday… ultimately, the show went great!! They did cut the set so that Long as I Can See the Light wasn’t there.
Two songs with Tyler Fogerty, two songs with Billy Gibbons, and four Bayou songs- as Jambalaya started we went to the corner of the middle row of people to wait. People were kinda staring at us, waving at us, shaking our hand, etc., before we had even started. Then New Orleans hit and we walked out into the middle- DIRECTLY down from the front of the stage. It looked pretty damn cool. When we started playing people turned toward us, pulled out their phones, pointed. When we started playing Saints it got really hype. A little too much possibly- this girl who was kind of young but likely drunk started dancing really close to me and twerking on me in time to the music… definite butt contact… very odd hahaha. The security actually wasn’t helpful in the slightest until one guard in a gray vest ushered the woman off of me finally. Then we march through the crowd all soloing together, and that was a lot of fun. Apparently people were grabbing Nathan’s shirt… again, we had no security. Our stage manager wasn’t there with us until the very end, which wasn’t what we had rehearsed, but all kinds of stuff went weird with today’s show apparently. Our guitar tech handed out the wrong guitar to John several times and messed him up, and some of the songs on his set list were out of order. At least that’s what I found out from talking to guys afterward. The show still went too long- John’s used to doing his Vegas show which is 2 full hours, but now he’s gotta condense it to 75 minutes. I practiced after the show and there was Mexican food on the bus. Our production manager Gina came by and told us to go to the bands’ dressing rooms and put all the beer we can find in a bag and bring it to the bus. Sounds like she was trying to sabotage us and get us in trouble or something! Anyway… I like this part of New Jersey a lot- lots of nature, really pretty, it’s been hot all day. Tonight we drive to Connecticut- if this is the routine I could really get used to it! I’m in my bunk- kinda situated awkwardly, we don’t have a lot of vertical room to even sit up. But I sleep like a baby. Doors in between bus zones are sound proof too. Tomorrow I start exercising again.. oh boy I need some of that.