Frontalot 2010 Fall Tour Diary: Days 6-15 – Providence & Boston

Club Hell gothifies everyoneBleary-eyed and bluster-tongued, we hurtle along the deep suburban veins of inland New Jersey, our minds consumed with one word: Shartlesville.  Home of the giant farmers, the tiny trains and the larger-than-life ambitions of Laurence Gieringer, the now-deceased proprietor of Roadside America.  On our last tour, you may remember, we showed up just a little too late to experience the magic.  Not-a-today, sir! We are determined to rectify that error, and won’t let trendy diversions such as “getting a good night’s sleep” or “being aware enough to safely operate a motor vehicle” get in our red-blooded American way.

Such are the laser-focused ambitions of nerdcore superstars coming off of a 5-day break, during which we rested up and reunited with friends and family.  We also reminisced and reflected on our gigs in Providence and Boston.  The Providence show was at a lovely little joint called Club Hell, the dim lights and vampire chic of which made for great photos if also something of a suboptimal bathroom experience.  The opener, JoshHW, rocked the mic for 45 minutes before making way for the Frontalot experience.  Attendance was, like Hamden, a bit of a let-down, though the energy of the fans made up for it, and a good time was had by all.  One fan even came up after the show, informed me that she’d been reading this blog and asked if this gig was better than Hamden.  “Yes,” I said, “because nobody in Hamden mentioned my blog.”

Then came fetish night.  I hadn’t planned on sticking around, but Sturgis met up with some friends and needed the navigational prowess of my phone to make the drive to our Boston safehouse.  There’s something soul-satisfying about an event where people of all shapes and sizes feel free to dress up in whichever shade of black suits them and flail about Man v Machine is the story of Sturgis's lifein a rough approximation of where the beat might be.  Kind of like the Folsom Street Fair, with less wieners.  There was a flogging station, but it went unutilized as we needed to depart before the line got short enough for our impatient pseudo-famous asses to wait in.

In Boston – or more specifically Cambridge – we stayed with the awesome Fred and Nick, who together form the head (and legs and arms and torso) of Sonic Beating.  Good times were had as we played tabletop Zaxxon and Super Zaxxon, watched Adult Swim clips on a giant projection screen and talked the night away on the roof deck.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the bizarre and violent SuperJail! Me, I like a little subtlety with my hyperviolence.   Sturgis didn’t enjoy having his car break down in the middle of town, but complete disaster was avoided when Front swept in with his AAA card.  Eventually we headed towards our venue for the evening, TT The Bear’s Place, fearing another low-digit audience.

Our fears, it turned out, were ill-founded.  What a night!  The opener was Vostok 4, a super-high-energy synth-pop-rock band fronted by a man in a Star Trek shirt.  He jumped, wailed and flailed.  Fans of the Protomen should check this band out.  Brandon took the stage next, and I remarked to Front and Sturgis on how deftly he works the audience.  What a showman, that Bl4k Lotus!  Finally we took the stage and had by far the best show of the tour.  Do I say that a lot?  Who cares.  The audience was wildly appreciative and participatory,  and even made me blush when, during “Yellow Lasers”, Front pointed me during the “attractive man” line.  What was I to do?  Girls were hooting!  Rare and precious is the hoot: savor it.

The highlight of the evening was our performance of “Mountain Kind” which featured a custom-made 22″ spliff delivered by a horse-headed Fred who also constructed it.  The wonder and the glory of it were captured on video for the world to see.  After the night was over we headed back to the house to sip spirits and engage in witty banter with none other than Ken Lawrence, AKA MCMAKE IT SOOOOOOOOOOOOO, NUMBER ONE! Hawking.  Did you know he was featured on the Simpsons recently?  The man has serious cred!  And so do we, now that we have officially passed a car with the license plate “DUTCHIE” on the left-hand side.

OH FOR #$@%’S SAKE.  We just passed “Roadside America” because I was busy writing this blog.  Failure!  Well, at least we’ll definitely be on time for tonight’s show at the Rex Theater in Pittsburgh.   And we did stop at Waffles House, where we heard two classic WH tunes: “Grill Operator” and the ever catchy “Raisins In My Toast.”  I’m hoping one day to add to the canon.  Dream big, I always say.

One Response to “Frontalot 2010 Fall Tour Diary: Days 6-15 – Providence & Boston”

  1. Damian

    Oh my God, I enjoyed reading that SO much! Brandon told me about the blog after the show last night, so I figured I’d check it out. I’m DEFINITELY going to read everything you post from now on. You’re such an awesome writer!

    … And if Brandon wears my tie tonight, make sure to get a shot of it! :-)