We just finished a two night stand at an amphitheater inside the Minneapolis Zoo. There are advantages to playing two nights in a place that holds 1500 people rather than one night at a venue that can fit 3000. For starters, it’s a more intimate show, and the zoo amphitheater has a certain it’s-just-us-and-the-lemurs vibe that’s spooky and fun and makes you want to think about what your spirit animal is. One of the nicest perks is that you can leave your stuff set up between Night 1 and Night 2, giving your crew a rest and cutting down on union costs, etc…
Except that in the afternoons at the Minneapolis Zoo they put on a bird show in the amphitheater. So we had to strike every last piece of equipment and load it onto a truck after the first show, only to take it all back out and set it up again the next day. Because of the bird show. Because of the love for me.
Also because of the bird show, your truck isn’t allowed into the area until like 3pm. So we spent Day 1 parked next to a big dung heap somewhere in a remote forested area of the zoo.
Goldfly, Goldfly, Where does it go?
That night during the show there were about twenty bugs helplessly stuck to the little gel tabs I put on my snare to mute the ring of it. Moongel = Flypaper. Somewhere out there a drummer almost knows what I’m talking about.
The next day we learned our lesson. Don’t soundcheck at the zoo! Don’t even show up during the afternoon. Me and Ben Kweller took a canoe out on Lemay Lake near Eagan, MN and caught some fish. Here’s the bass I caught as soon as I switched from a fake worm to a spinner:
Ben thinks I look Borat in this photo because of my “body language” and my “general resemblance to Sacha Baron Cohen” and my “one piece bright green bathing suit that runs from my testes around the tops of my shoulders” (not visible). Ben caught a bass too:
It’s a large mouth!
As this is not a particularly funny road journal, I will shift gears here and say something even less funny: Me and our guitar tech Andy are very excited to be seeing Toad the Wet Sprocket tonight when they open up our show at the Costa Mesa Amphitheater in Orange County. I played the shit out of “Bread & Circus” and “Pale” when I was in high school, and apparently so did Andy. We just went through all the 30 second clips of early Toad songs at amazon dot com using Windows Media Player. Hadn’t listened to those songs since like 1990, but I still knew every word. I just met them and requested “Always Changing Probably” and they reacted the way I react when someone requests “Scars and Stitches” — they looked at me like they had no idea what song I was talking about.