No segue here, folks, we’re getting straight into the action: our show at the Laboratory in Gainesville. This was our second time playing at the science-themed eatery and performance space, and while they had fewer beer beakers that previously, they more than made up for it with an improved sound system, stage and fancypants green room. Larry the proprietor is a fairly amazing guy who runs a tight ship and is a true champion of the arts, so if you find yourself in the land of gators, I suggest you swing by and catch whatever act is playing that night. On our night, those acts were Rappy McRapperson, King Pheenix, Emergency Pizza Party and DJ RoboRob. And Brandon! All in all it was a stupendous show, with lots of nerdy dancing, sweating and general revelry. Gainesville is definitely on our must-play list.
That night we stayed with our friends Star and Mitchell, who as always went above and beyond the call when it came to hosting us. There were more beds prepared than there were people! Sadly they had to depart for work before we were up and about, so we downed the leftover coffee and made haste towards Jacksonville, where we were scheduled to do an NPR spot in support of our upcoming show at the Middle East in Cambridge on the 9th. After passing by a newscaster who was endlessly adjusting his hair, we entered the WJCT studios to record our spot. I was supposed to play keyboards on my laptop, but at the last minute it decided not to make any noise, leading Damian to introduce me, on-air, as playing the “nothing.” It’s a good thing I had breakfast that day. We did a rousing performance of “Spoiler Alert” none the less, which you can listen to here. If you are so inclined you can also watch an unedited clip from INSIDE THE STUDIO. Magical!
From there it was a sort-of-straight shot to Charleston, SC, where we played at the spacious Jimbo’s Rock Lounge, a show set up by our pal and Nerdcore Rising cameo-ist Karaoke Chris who hosts what may be the only karaoke night in the US to feature Frontalot tunes every Wednesday night. After soundcheck we headed across the parking lot to Five Guys Burgers & Fries for a health infusion and then back to Jimbo’s to enjoy the openers, Sick Tyte Click. Now, we’ve all been on tour for a long time, so it is totally understandable and even unremarkable that I managed to fall asleep during their set with a bottle of PBR perfectly balanced on my stomach. Never the less, some enterprising young photojournalist decided to capture the moment on her camera. If you are that person, please send me a copy. I’d like to frame it.
Brandon, doing his best Dexter impression, was on next, during which he busted out his NSFW hit Ketchup & Mayo for the first time this tour. Eeeeeew! Somehow that stirred up something primal in the crowd which made them ready for the nerdcore explosion that was the Frontalot set. More dancing was seen in the audience than any previous show, due perhaps in part to the size of the stage which allowed Brandon and me to flail about with more freedom than usual. As a result my accuracy on the keyboard dropped to around 52%. Nobody seemed to care, though! Apparently showmanship trumps musicianship, at least at Jimbo’s. Phew.
You know what band members need most after a night of stage antics? Tasty food. You know who failed to deliver that to us? Taco Bell. Now, I know, it isn’t exactly the most desirable of food purveyors, but the soft taco supreme isn’t bad, and more importantly there was a location right across from our hotel. Being environmentally-conscious individuals, we decided to walk there, only to find out that it was drive-through only. Apparently the official Taco Bell Employee Handbook instructs staff to indicate that walking up to the drive-through is not allowed by closing their eyes, shaking their heads and doing a throad-slitting motion. Fine, we thought collectively. We’ll get the stupid van and drive back. But no! When we arrived not more than five minutes later, were were informed gruffly that the restaurant had closed. Granted, it was 2am, and there was a big sign on the door indicating their hours of operation, but couldn’t they have done a special for us since we had obviously gone through a small modicum of effort to give them money?
Evidently not. Instead we went next door to McDonald’s and proceeded to confuse the waitress by ordering three slightly different Filet-O-Fish sandwiches. Me? I had a Quarter Pounder, standard. Gotta re-inflate those fat cells! And, oh my, I must start channeling my chi for tonight’s show at the Milestone with The ThoughtCriminals. Prepare yourself, nerds!