Frontalot Tour Diary Day 35: San Francisco & Los Angeles

"Why didn't I just fly home?"WHAT’S UP TOUR DIARY FANS!  We are back.  The break was nice, if not entirely relaxing, but it is over now.  Lots of exciting things transpired, not the least of which was the last day of our drive to San Francisco.   After braving a salt storm on the Bonneville Flats the night before and gambling away our woes in Elko, NV, we thought the worst was behind us.  Then we hit Lake Tahoe and, just as we were about to cross into California, we saw a sign: CHAINS REQUIRED.  Noooooooooooo!  Sadly, yes.  Suffice it to say that three tired, grumpy dudes on the side of the highway in the snow with no experience applying chains and no waterproof pants does not a plethora of jollity make.  It wasn’t all cursing and awkward silence, though: we stopped at a mountain rest stop and I got some hot cocoa.  Yum!

Edible Norris in actionOnce back in SF it was, at least for me, nothing but rehearsal for the Edible Norris show.  Luckily my girlfriend is in the band – she plays keyboards – so there was no conflict.  The show itself, at the Cafe du Nord, was a blast.  The band – consisting of me, Penelope (aka PJ Sparkles), Sturgis (aka Tubbins) and Dirk Aguilar (aka Speedo Gonzales) on bass – dressed up in ridiculous costumes and rocked the house, if not entirely accurately.  Our set was rife with technical difficulties due largely to the fact that we were using backing tracks, some of which were improperly cued.  Mea culpa!  Still, it was a ton of fun and everybody was polite enough to clap for us.  Look out for more Edible Norris action in the future.

The Frontalot set that night was especially sweet, not only because San Francisco is one of our home bases, but also because Steve Meretzky was there.  Front and I did a little impromptu text adventure sketch in honor of him as a lead-in to “It Is Pitch Dark” which seemed to make everyone happy.  Not a crying child in the house!  After the show it was time to go home, wash the glitter out of my hair, and pack for the second leg of the tour.  By 1:30pm on Cinco de Mayo, we were back on the road and headed to Los Angeles to play – no, headline - the legendary Viper Room.

And headline we did, as you can see from the marquee.  So bountiful was our good fortune that we managed to secure a parking space right in front of the venue.  Thank you, Steve the door guy!  This is on the Sunset Strip, right across from the Whiskey A-Go-Go, where emWE CAN HAS MARQUEEZORZpty parking spaces are about as common as hot single women at Magic tournaments.  Score!  I have to say I was impressed with how organized and helpful the sound crew was.  Our point person, Matt, made sure everything ran smoothly, which was critical since we had a total of 2 hours to load in, sound check, perform and load out.  Our opening act, the ever-spectacular Random AKA Megaran, did a superlative job warming up the crowd with his mad skills.  This is our second show with him on this tour, the first being our gig at Rutgers which did not make the tour diary.

Then we were on.  Given our tight timeframe, we cut all of the inter-song banter, including our example first world problems, which kind of bummed me out.  I had one for all the kids who came in from the OC: the valet at Dave & Buster’s readjusted my side-view mirrors.  First world problem! Sadly the joke will only live on in cyberspace.  The crowd seemed psyched to see us, though, and we even got a Brazillian girl dancing during “Yellow Lasers.”  I relate this last factoid second-hand since I was so tired at that point in the set that I was literally playing with my eyes closed in an attempt to conserve energy.  No rest for the nerdy.

After a hectic load-out we headed back to the lovely Economy Inn in Sylmar, CA.  Behold their luxurious pool.  Other accoutrements included old bloodstains on the sheets and mattress, a truck parked in front of our room door – the only Hop on in, the water's viscous!other vehicle in the otherwise empty parking lot, mind you – and tracks across the street that threatened to send a loud, whistling train hurtling past us at any moment.  Still, it was a place to sleep, and sleep we did until the time came to awake.  All five of us loaded into the van and we set off for Seattle, where we will play W00tstock on Friday and the Hi-Dive on Saturday.

What?  Did I just say all five of us?  That’s right, kids!  We have a new member of the Frontalot tour team: Nick Binary. He is chief Frontalot sound guy, a computer whiz and an all-around great guy extraordinaire.  He has been and will be working the mixing desks for all of the gigs on this leg of the tour.  Welcome, Nick!

Oh no!  Cowschwitz is only 3 miles away.  I’m afraid I have to attend to such pressing matters as turning off the vent.  Until next time, faithful bloggalos!

One Response to “Frontalot Tour Diary Day 35: San Francisco & Los Angeles”

  1. Jacob

    I almost overcame my irrational fear of public transportation to come see the San Fran show. Almost.

    What actually stopped me was that I would have had to stay the night in San Francisco, and as a broke student, I didn’t want to pay for a hotel. Sounds like it was fun, though.