07.17.06 – Brooklyn & Philly

Have fallen behind with the road journal.

Last week we played in Brooklyn for the first time ever, and while I’ve taken the F train from my apartment to our concerts before (Radio City, Bowery Ballroom, etc)… I’ve never had to take the F train TOWARDS CONEY ISLAND to one of our concerts. So that was very exciting. Also exciting was that the show was outdoors on one of those weather.com “severe weather alert” kind of days. Gross, muggy, and threatening all afternoon, the skies opened up during soundcheck and dumped torrents of rain on us until the Fruit Bats took the stage at 6:30. Somehow with the first note of the evening the rain stopped and the sun came out. People showed up, someone somewhere saw a rainbow, and the rock concert went on as planned.

The rain held off for Ray LaMontagne’s set and our set too. Well aware that there was a hard curfew at 10:30 in Prospect Park, we were surprised to see Seth, our tour manager, on the side of the stage at 10:15 telling us to cut the last three songs of our set. He was going on about a new weather system coming in or a doppler pattern or something.. it didn’t matter. We did the right thing and ignored him completely. We played the entire set list, ending the night with Lightning Rod at 10:28.

At 10:29, we’d barely walked off the stage when the head of the “Celebrate Brooklyn” concert series ran out, didn’t really gather himself or take a deep breath, and pretty much yelled “RUN! EVERYONE RUN!” into the microphone. Maybe there was something in there about a severe weather front coming through and everyone getting home quickly… but there was panic in his tone, and we all thought he was crazy.

Until two minutes later when that flying cow from the movie “Twister” landed on the catering tent and the most ridiculous monsoon I’ve ever seen overtook Brooklyn. I don’t think everyone made it to the subway before the rain hit, but I can’t believe how lucky we were to even get a show in that night.

And I can’t believe how lucky we were to see so many manboobs in Philly the next night.

How did this happen again? It was another muggy night, Ryan saw a guy with big breasts topless in the crowd, and then said we wouldn’t play any encores unless we saw five sets of manboobs by the end of “Fa Fa”? Something like that. Whatever he said, they started popping up before the first chorus… topless men, suddenly liberated from their t-shirts, riding the shoulders of other men, free… free at last! It was gross. Ray LaMontagne looked on in horror. A whole summer of this! We did the right thing and came back for an encore with 8 manboobs of our own, but only because we were in the city of brotherly love.

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