Frontalot Tour Diary Day 51: All roads lead to Philadelphia. And end there.

Bat Boy Lives!It is true.  This is the last entry for the Frontalot 2010 “Zero Day” spring tour.  Since I won’t have another chance to beguile you with the ins and outs of road life until we go on tour again, I’ve decided to go the extra mile  and make this entry particularly insightful.  Case in point: for those of you following my facebook page, you already know that we were tailed for an uncomfortably long period of time on the Pennsylvania Turnpike by a creepy Saab.  I even took a photograph, though the face of the driver was indistinguishable.  UNTIL NOW.  Thanks to my friends over at the CSI NY labs, I was able to get the photo enhanced and was shocked to discover that the driver of the Saab was none other than Bat Boy, the Weekly World News favorite who seems, oddly, to never age.  Perhaps his severe case of lockjaw keeps him from ingesting too many free radicals.

Such was the stage set for us as we made our way into Philadelphia on Thursday night for purposes of loading in, eating food and hanging with old friends.  I broke with the crew to meet up with my good friends Misho Stawnychy and Laura Murray who, in addition to being aspiring medical professionals, are also award-winning documentary filmmakers.  Much-needed rest and doggy time were had at their comfy abode in northern Philly, along with an introduction to the truly hilarious It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Green man!  That is some good stuff. Noodles tests the sound system at NerdRageoff at the venue and setup began for NerdRage.  Our man Nick helped the sound crew set up

The next day, after a delightful stroll through one of Philly’s many parks, I was dropped off at the venue.  Nick helped the sound guy tune the system for optimal performance while the rest of us devoured the snacks backstage, provided to us (and the other performers) by the amazing NerdRage team.  What is it about ruffled chips and sour-cream-and-onion dip?  They’re like crack.  If I were locked in a room with chips and dip, I would die of a pulmonary embolism within a matter of hours.  Fearing for my life, I fled the building immediately after soundcheck in search of an organic, free-range cheesesteak.

You would think, in a city famed for its cheesesteaks, that said foostuffs would be easy to come by.  That they would, in fact, be un-missable by even the most unconcerned, daydream-addled tourist.  Such is not the case!  They are, for reasons unknown, hidden in areas inaccessible by foot or in shopping centers that close at 6pm on Fridays.  Really? Disappointment and hanger were brewing within me, threatening the perfect storm of grumpy rage.  Thankfully I gave up and stopped at Irish Pub on Walnut St., where I was treated not only to stellar service and a delicious local IPA from Yards but also – lo and behold – a cheesesteak!  And a good one, I might add.  Wildcard, bitches! They even let me put mayo on it like the heathen Californian that I am.

I then returned to the venue in time to catch the latter half of MC 8Bit. His rapping and melodies were catchy and intriguing.  After him were the positively-themed hip-hop stylings of ECOMOG who put on a fantastic show.  Keep your eyes on them.  I’m sorry to say that I missed the sets of DEFINE and Zilla Persona, but I’m sure they were stellar.  Also: ECOMOG onstage and blurry at NerdRageI couldn’t find a web link for DEFINE.  If anyone has it, please leave it in the comments section below.  UPDATE: Apparently DEFINE missed the show due to injury or illness.  Everyone send get-well vibes!  I had a moment to chat with my girlfriend’s brother Stephen Horcha, proprietor of Haley Tricycles, before jumping onstage.  This being our last show on the tour, it was bittersweet.  On the one hand, we really wanted to get home to our normal lives.  On the other, we wanted to go out with a bang.  Well, we did, kind of.

Brandon’s speaker blew out early in the set because he rocks so hard.  The stage was easily as bouncy as the show at Rutgers, which added to the general energy of the show.  We danced, we cavorted, and we even tricked Front during “Front the Most” by giving him orders instead of asking him a question.  He was directed to open Blak Lotus’s set list – which was written on a box – in order to reveal a special message from the band which went something like “You rock lolz nerds 4eva.”  Front was touched and hugged us all.  It was a damp affair.  The set rocked, the crowd sang along, and then it was over.  7 weeks of touring had come to an end.

Thanks to everyone who came out in Philadelphia!  And thanks to everyone who came to our many shows on this tour.  Big thanks especially to everyone who fed us, let us sleep on their couches and in their spare beds, helped us load our gear in and out and just generally made us feel welcome wherever we happened to be.  I would also like to thank, personally, the other members of the band who let me into the fold with exactly zero resistance.  And of course our tour savior Jen, and especially Nick who sacrificed a year’s vacation to come on tour with us and eliminate feedback.  My grammatical skills are beginning to wane, due in no small part to the fact that I can finally relax and rest.  So, my faithful readers, I leave you to your normal lives which will for a time be free of my musings on touring life.  I will now take a nice, long nap and wake up tomorrow to do whatever the hell I want.

Oh, and before I forget: Sturgis’s phone has been found!  All is well with the world.  A big shout-out to Shortwave Society who heard the phone buzzing away as they were starting soundcheck at Garfield Artworks on Friday.  Hooray for the ears of musicians!

7 Responses to “Frontalot Tour Diary Day 51: All roads lead to Philadelphia. And end there.”

  1. The Philly show rocked! My son and I were there (he got me hooked on Front!) and it was a blast!! :-)

  2. Matt W

    Hey cool, that’s my video! I have longer clips if you need ‘em. Saw you guys at PAX East and had to catch you one last time before the end of the tour. Both times you failed to disappoint. I might be mixing this up, but I remember really enjoying the Mas Que Nada version of Yellow Lasers at PAX East. Anyway, thanks for an amazing experience!

  3. Cap'n Jack

    Oh man, great show guys! But damn that murderbasement was kinda scary. I kept expecting the Blood Bath to start raining down on us, like in that movie Blade.

  4. Now that it’s all over, you all should take a quick trip up the Western Mass to chill out, and play in Northampton, one more show always makes me happy!

  5. Michelle Zhang

    DEFINE was apparently in the hospital and didn’t make it to the show. You guys were awesome though despite all the technical difficulties.

  6. Jon

    Ken, After seeing you in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I can tell you that you fit perfectly with the rest of the band. Thanks for helping them drop some Nerdcore Flow. And here is hoping that Front and the gang bring you back on the road next time they decide that the bills need to be paid.

    Oh and thanks for the tour blog, its been real, and thats all i can ask from bloggers these days. =P