This was the first of our lead-up shows to the big Neon Trees High School Benefit Show. We got to play some brand new songs for the first time, and I was a bit under the weather. Unfortunately we were losing Steve Coy to Wisconsin, so old chum Joey Briggs stepped in to play drums for the week. The venue was a mid-sized bar in Santa Monica with a decent stage that even had a piano. There was mostly family in the audience, and we were reminded that Damien’s full-sized Peavey keyboard was not going to be practical for smaller stages. The evening concluded with Johnty and I sharing stories with a highly intoxicated German traveler. (Alex?)
We arrived early to load in, so as not to interrupt the play that was happening in the actual theater next door. I had actually been excited in anticipation of this show, which rarely happens. Damien and I fraternized with Ben Grey of Dear Boy, who kept being dragged into conversation despite his attempts to rest his voice. Soft Swells opened, and by Dear Boy’s set the place was packed. We opted to not use our glorious sign, as it lit the stage to almost daylight. An unidentified bass error resulted in an extended mix of Best Summer Ever, complete with an improvised ass dance by Wayne, Francis and Steve. We played two new songs, “Watch Yr Back” and “Ledger’s in the Red.”
Holy Fuck. This was an INCREDIBLE show. The show was headlined by Crash Kings, and also playing were Light FM and Bethpage Black.We promoted the Hell out of this one, and between the efforts of us and Steve Coy of Bethpage Black we managed to sell it out, the first sold out Active Set show.
When we took the stage there were already so many people; it was very exciting. We played a good set, although I never felt quite settled in. I wanted to play for much much longer. The stage was a clusterfuck of equipment. It felt like Guitar Center, as the preferred stacking everything back to front to ‘save time.’ Castro had to be squeezed in off center. However, the night was full of excitement and definitely legendary in my mind.
We played with a James Honeycutt, but I didn’t see him. Heck, he might not have played. Our set was well-received, and I felt a tense “in the moment” feeling combined with an awkward “why am I here?” chaser. Oh live performance…
Wicklow Atwater and the Fallen Flame were after us, and they were a fantastic bluegrass hoedown kind of band, with a singer who jumped around and had a perfect whiskey snarl. Excellent stuff.