Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tour Report, Day 5: The Rendezvous, Turners Falls

We left Boston and drove to Hampshire College in bucolic Western Mass for a live performance on Hampshire's radio station. When we arrived there was an alternative medicine festival going on near where we were parked on campus. Heather immediately ran over to it, and by the time I got out of the car she could be seen hula-hooping on the lawn. I called Kelley, our contact at the radio station, who said she was on her way over to help us bring our gear to the yurt where the campus radio station was housed. (Apparently the yurt was someone’s final project a couple of decades ago, and then putting a radio station in it was someone else’s final project a few years later. This is what happens at a hippie school.) I got a text from Heather asking if she had time for a Reiki treatment, and I loved the idea, so we all went for some medicinal…Heather, give me back the laptop. Obviously uptight bandleader said no, Heather should get her ass back to the car to help unload.

Once in the yurt, a long setup process unfolded; headphones and then jack adapters had to be located, and then mics were set up, and then we tried to get it so that we could hear ourselves through them. Testing my mic over and over, I got bored and started reciting Robert Frost’s “Walking Through the Woods on a Snowy Evening,” which I suppose was appropriate enough considering our location. The headphones started working and then stopped working and we decided to jettison all but one pair for me. We played in a circle, facing each other, for a five-song set.

As it turns out (we discovered via Bob’s dad, who was tuned in the whole time), this entire sound check preceding our radio performance was broadcast, including my Robert Frost recital. I’m hoping it makes it onto the podcast version also.

The Rendezvous in Turners Falls (about half an hour north of Northampton) was a restaurant where they clear away some tables when it's time for the band to play. The Salvation Alley String Band, for whom we would be opening, was 5 guys playing country music in matching plaid shirts (stagecraft, or just the Northampton uniform?) with a lap steel and a young woman singer with great pipes. So not a perfect fit, but we did okay, and won over a handful of new fans (including the sound guy, who bought 2 CDs).

After the show Heather went to stay the night with a friend of hers from college and Bob went to stay with the relatives whose enthusiastic cheering and dancing in the back of the room during our set (they especially liked “All That Glitters” and “Tenderness”) has endeared them to me deeply. Dobson and I went home with my friend Chris to the large house in the mountains where he lives with his wife, Linda. When we woke up in the morning, everything outside was covered in snow.

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