Hazy Memories From the House of Blues

toluca lake, california

toluca lake, california

The night had humble beginnings.  Soundchecked after work.  Mingled with the opening act Lido Beach.  Cool guys.  Singer went to college with my cousin at Michigan in Ann Arbor.  Small world.  Took sweet ass time exploring the club as an artist.  Have seen my favorite bands here since I was sixteen, now walking the halls with the ghosts of Saves the Day, Jimmy Eat World and Juliana Theory, not to mention Face to Face, NOFX and Incubus.

meow?  roar!

meow? roar!

Take Laurel over the hill back to the valley and get some gas, some whiskey, some red licorice and some energy drinks.  I begin caffeinating and candying at an incredible clip.  The heart flutters like a butterfly.

studio city, california

studio city, california

Dave is at my door when I get home.  The other night (following the events chronicled in the post “I Have Finally Combined Mustard and Whiskey”) Dave had mentioned he needed the Bed Bath Bodyworks hand soap and that my Mom used to have it back home.   I have kept the tradition as if you cook enough, you find you need soap that doesn’t leave you hands smelling like raw chicken and garlic.  I give Dave a bottle.  He is now at my door to give me a new bottle because he went on a mission.  Even rock bands need soap.

west hollywood, california

west hollywood, california

Dave jets.  I go to get Miner.  I fuck up because I get confused and think Dave and Krook are taking their car.  It all works out, we get to the House of Blues before the opener goes on stage.  There’s already a line at the door.  The word is getting out.

our dressing room.

our dressing room.

I climb the four flights of stairs to the deep entrails of the building.  Miner and I are the first there.  There is a buffet table in the room and dinner, tea and desert have been provided.  This is awesome, except we don’t eat much before shows.  Nothing is harder to do than jump around with a pound of fried chicken and jambalaya in your gullet.

The fridge is teeming with Bud.  Being the King of Beers and the most respectable beer on the planet, we decide its totally cool to start drinking.  We decide to explore the room.

wrong.

wrong.

we came we came to fight this fight just last just last us through the night.

we came we came to fight this fight just last just last us through the night.

sticker bomb!

sticker bomb!

that's about right.

that's about right.

There was no better green room ever.  This place was like Dali on good acid given run of an art store with the ability to pull women of the night directly from the boulevard.  Wild signs and art and signatures of people I knew all over the walls.  The main band, Hollywood U2, had the big room across the hall.  We had conjoining rooms with Lido Beach, which was fun.  Some of them were super young and I was excited for them to play this show.  Mostly because I was excited too.

The situation was ideal.  The U2 tribute band had a big draw, we were direct support.  The band before us was young.  Basically, two weeks prior we sell out the Troubadour and put the album out.  This night, the idea is we make some new fans and friends and grow the whole thing out like a ‘fro.  The bigger the party the more fun the partygoers will have.  There are lots of bands people could check out, for us, it’s mostly about throwing a good show, putting good people together and making it last late enough that we can chase the sun.

I went out and covered the merch table and caught some of Lido Beach’s set.  I enjoyed it.  They had a good crowd.  I was excited to play.  Unfortunately, I was drinking beer at an incredible clip.  I decided I should probably eat some of the food before I nervously drank myself under the table.

Some mother with breast enhancements stops me, she is definitely here for Hollywood U2.  She asks me if Fight From Above is good.  I tell her I think they are.  This will be funny to her in about twenty minutes.

not quite the edge and bono, but we do just fine.

not quite the edge and bono, but we do just fine.

Back upstairs, Hollywood “the Edge” comes in with his wife.  It’s pretty hilarious.  He’s a nice guy, but he looks like the Edge and it’s just funny.  Also Hollywood Bono is running around somewhere and through the dimly lit corridors of the HOB and the five Budweisers swimming laps in mi estomago, pretty much we’re playing with U2.

Lido Beach finishes up and the room gets the familiar pre-show energy.  Everyone sort of runs through their own mental checklists.  I think it is often lost how much preparation goes into performing a show.  Unlike in sports where missed baskets, dropped passes and strikeouts are common, a band does not have this luxury.  On a big stage with hundreds of people watching, a fuck up is the most noticeable thing in the world.  The great bands, the kind we all aspire to be, find a way to be so prolific that they have fun while being the best they can every time they plug in.

I know one thing.  No matter how well you think we play, no matter if we make it or not…

We’re having a criminal amount of fun.

all photos in this post by todd doherty.

all photos in this post by todd doherty.

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Filed under Fight From Above, Whiskey Drinking Stupidity

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