Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Little Red Wolf - Midwest Domination Tour DAY 1: CHICAGO

Madison, WI: The minivan was loaded with all of our gear and luggage, the ladies were all seated and belted, and we had Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" blasting on the stereo - and I promptly drove six inches and plowed into a large, metal Bobcat attachment that I'd forgotten was in front of the car on the street.

After some hyperventilating that I'd managed to ruin my band's first ever tour before it even got off the ground, we discovered that the only damage was a minor ding to the bumper and finally hit the road without further incident.

The first stop on our week-long mini-tour was at the Elbo Room in Chicago, a venue and city we'd never played before but had heard good things about from fellow musicians. Load-in was a straight-forward affair: Elbo Room provides most of the backline so, for the most part, bands only need to bring in their own guitars and smaller odds n' ends. There was one band playing before us--Dede--who were both very friendly and very entertaining. They rock a straight-up '60s mod thing that we all dug. Even their crowd was modded out (i.e. way fashionable).

While we waiting for our time slot we sat with a few friends who'd come to see the show and played the easiest round of music trivia ever, courtesy of two Miller Girls who were on hand to promote the brand. Being Wisconsin folk we are, of course, not Miller drinkers - but the ladies were sociable and the bar was otherwise empty so we just had fun playing the game and getting a free round of drinks out of the deal. We are not, after all, made of stone.

The show itself was...surprisingly fine. The onstage mix was pretty terrible so we couldn't really hear each others vocals at all, and for a band like ours that makes such heavy use of multi-part harmonies and the like, that's kind of death. We muddled through, though, and had a decent time of it playing for a small clutch of incredibly supportive friends (and the members of Dede, who graciously stuck around to listen to us). Even the sound guy was nice--the mix problems were more equipment related than personnel--and somehow we managed to make $21 after expecting nothing...so all in all, for a Monday night, I couldn't really complain too much.

We crashed at a friend of Meg's that night and enjoyed the company of her hilarious/ridiculous/enthusiastic mutt Otis, who was really into licking Laura's face whenever she tried to lay down to sleep. There was air conditioning and RuPaul's Drag Race and our hosts gifted us with a gay pride disco ball - basically, an awesome start to the week, I think.

Tonight we're in Milwaukee at Linneman's Riverwest Inn, playing with two bands I've never heard or met before, which is usually fun. Actually, this particular gig comes to us courtesy of the Cheddarsphere -- specifically our good friend Illy T, whose musical connections in Brew City are apparently boundless.

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