07.26.06 – Costume Changes

We rented a bunch of ridiculous outfits and wore them on stage at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville the other night. There’s a guy in town named “Manuel” who’s the guy for sweet western suits in town. That red costume Joe’s wearing says “Devil Without A Cause” on the back of it, and was originally custom made by Manuel for Kid Rock. Adam is very carefully wearing a pair of pants with skulls at the ankles and a $2500 price tag still hanging from the pocket. The goal here was to look Gram-Parsons-classy while at the historic Ryman, though I think Ryan’s patriotic jacket evokes Haven Hamilton from Robert Altman’s film “Nashville” more than anything else.

Haven Hamilton

skulls at the ankles

We rented these costumes a few nights before our Nashville show, and left them in the closet on the bus to tempt us for days. We gave in the very first night, at 2 in the morning, and suited up and went out for a beer at “The Gold Rush” on Elliston Place in Nashville. In our minds, we’d be sitting at the bar, drinking beers all non-chalant and stuff, while people whispered about who we might be and otherwise made us feel glorious. Instead, we walked into the Gold Rush and no one even looked at us. Without even making eye contact, the bartender gave us a sarcastic “Howdy boys!” followed by a “working the late shift at Manuel’s tonight?”

Glory! We played pool by ourselves for an hour.

Last night we played in Interlochen Michigan, at an amphitheater on the campus of a world famous band camp (damn you, American Pie, we’ll never be able to say “band camp” again without quoting your goddam movie). Set on a big beautiful lake, the immediate vicinity of the venue was teeming with uber-talented kids in light blue polo shirts, red belts, and navy blue bermuda shorts. Every last one of them a better musician than all the Gusters combined, we were lucky enough to nab a few to join us as a last-minute horn section on Fa Fa:

LEFT TO RIGHT: the back of trombonist Joe’s head, the back of trumpet player Ari’s head, the back of saxophonist Robert’s head

So naturally this led to our second costume change of the tour… four sets of Interlochen Band Camp uniforms draped over chairs, awaiting us in the dressing room between the regular set and the encores:

Fortunately, Dave Yonkman was on-hand to capture the mad scramble in the dressing room… in a situation like this you change clothes as fast as humanly possible out of fear that the encore applause will die down and you’ll have these silly outfits on and a really anti-climactic stage return. In this picture, Seth is helping out by attaching Joe’s monitor pack to his shorts… every second counts!

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