We found parking right in front of the bar. Our poster was displayed in the front window right under another poster for a band called Bitchslicer. Philly was hot and muggy on Easter Sunday; we sat in our T-shirts and ate falafel platters on the sidewalk outside a hookah restaurant as the sun went down.
The opening act was a weird guitar guy playing with his eyes closed in what can only be described as a masturbatory way for what seemed like forever. The other opening act decided not to play at all, just sat in the back of the nearly empty room and didn’t so much as say hello. Weird Philly drunks on the street outside the bar mingled with hipsters decked out as zombies in honor of Easter.
All of three people came out to see us, but one, a dear friend of mine from grad school, had a baby at home and an early morning at work Monday morning and could only stop by to say hello. The other two, a couple I know from the NYC uke scene, waltzed to “A Lot Like Being Alone” as if it weren’t a song about being desperately lonely, which was sweet.
I was feeling a little ragged, and in a rare relaxation of my death grip on our stage image, I told Heather she could keep on the colorful sundress she was wearing that I’d gotten her in Italy last spring. I put on my blue sequin dress (bought for me by my mother at TJ Maxx and recently complimented by a drag queen at the Stonewall Inn) but no eyelashes or makeup – like Clark Kent having to lift up a car, said Dobson after the show.
At one point I asked the audience if they’d been to church that morning and told them we would be conducting services during our set, which earned a laugh. Masturbatory guitar guy suddenly came up up to the stage and hissed at us, “Why are you mocking religion?” I wasn’t sure if he was serious; my comments were pretty innocuous, and here he was himself, playing out in a bar on Easter Sunday. He added, “What are you, Jewish?” “We must be,” I said.
In the end we seemed to win over the bar audience, since they asked for an encore. The bartender blew us a kiss at the end of our set. People signed up for the mailing list, including one guy who had just moved to Philly from Albany and knew Stephen and company from our first tour stop, which seemed strangely appropriate. We packed up and went to the single hotel room I had booked at the last minute for our last night, which was unexpectedly fancy (thanks, hotels.com!) but had no minibar. There was nowhere else to buy booze at midnight on Easter Sunday, so Dobson bought a ton of snacks from the vending machine and we ended the tour slumber-party style, eating popcorn and M&Ms and watching Glee and Arrested Development on his computer. In the morning we had pancakes and eggs from a local diner delivered to our room before hitting the road back to NYC to a soundtrack of Dylan and Leonard Cohen.
It took the rest of the day to drop off Dobson’s gear at his studio, Dobson at his house, and then Heather at her house before loading out the remaining gear at my place and returning the rental van. I walked back to my house in the late afternoon light feeling strangely light.
- 4 musicians in the van
- 4 radio show appearances
- 11 musicians onstage
- 7 different bands sharing the stage
- 7 shows in 7 cities in 7 days
- 1,165 miles on the van
- and miles to go before I sleep
Huge thanks to Peter Bufano, Davina Yannetty, Cecil Scheib, John Waters, Erin Rogers, Patrick Cronin, and Stacy Rock for playing with us; to Rob Caldwell, Stephanie Bindlestiff, Bob and Diana, Peter and Camilla, and Chris and Linda for your hospitality; to Cat at WCHC, Cyrus and Kelley at Live Yurt Radio, Ann, Richard and Tom at WGXC, and Jess and Connor at WWPI; to Bury Me Standing, the Salvation Alley String Band, and Jimmy and the Wolfpack for inviting us to share the stage/accepting our invitation to play; to our awesome street team members for putting out flyers and telling your friends to see us; and to everyone who came out to the shows, bought a CD or a T-shirt, shared your photos and video, or told us how much you liked the music. Huge thanks also to our RocketHub tour support campaign contributors, who made this all possible. You all rock big time.