Thursday, June 10, 2010

Spring Tour 2010 (San Fransisco & Benicia 5.11 - 5.12.10)

Rolling into San Francisco on Tuesday 5/10, we had high hopes for another big gig in this great town. We had our boy Bill Benninghoff and his latest ensemble “Bearded Lady” opening yet another hi8us/Heavy Guilt co-bill. We were back at The Boom Boom Room and everyone was looking forward to playing hard. We met back up with our friends John and Al for some Indian food across the street from the club before the show. Dinner was amazing. I was ordering Nigroni’s and Mike was even able to recruit folks from the bar at the restaurant to head across the street for the show. Good PR Raka!
The Boom Boom filled up once again with a great cast of fans and friends from the Bay Area. Everyone in the band felt great about the night, and I got a chance to catch up with some old school buddies as well.

Late night we all hung out at our buddy Rodney’s AMAZING place over on the hill by the Twin Peaks tower. As I stood out on the third floor balcony looking over the city, I tried to let San Francisco soak in again for a little bit. It is really such a special place on the west coast, and perhaps the city I identify with the most when I am out here. A few years ago, when I was just out of college, my sister and I flew out here with our bikes, and did a big trip up the coast. We hit San Rafael, Saucilito, Point Reyes, saw George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch entrance, and eventually made it up to the Russian River.

It was something I will never forget. I realized how much this amazing area has to offer, and it felt a little bittersweet to only be able to blow through town for a night. Nevertheless, I had super fun for this short stint, and left with new fond memories of the city by the bay.

Wednesday morning we all rose and got ready for our short trip out to Benicia, CA. We really had no idea what to expect in this town on the outskirts of the city. We got some grub and ate in the bus on the way to the gig.
We arrived at the Rellik Tavern with a little spare time to set up and get situated. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that our show was highly anticipated by the locals, and fairly well hyped in town. Someone even ponied up cash to reserve the couch right in front of the band ahead of time. The crowd at the Rellik was excellent. There was a good engaging crew on the reserved couch area that went back and forth with us all night. They were extra cool and informed us that Wednesdays were ladies night in Benicia.

The ladies were into hi8us, and we even gave them some sound bytes of the Boston accent between songs. One of the women couldn’t quite handle the authenticity of our “r” deficient dialect, or might have been too drunk or just had some kind of chemical imbalance, but she insisted on shouting “wicked retarded” after any rest in the music. Fortunately, like they do in the wolf pack, or in this case the cougar pride, the rest of the girls sniffed this little man out and she was eventually squeezed from her prime spot on the couch, and we didn’t hear her substandard attempts at “wicked” or “car” or “Wal-Maaht” again for the rest of the show. Actually, if she had thought to throw “Wal-Mart” into the rotation of words within her Boston impression, I would have had some respect for her, and would have insisted they let her stay. After the gig, our Benicia crew in the front row insisted they didn’t know her, and that they teamed up on her high-school girl-style to let it be known that she was being rude and they didn’t want her around.
We had a blast at this sleeper gig in Benicia to cap off our 5 night California leg of the tour. We were all feeling good and were mentally prepared for the overnight haul out to Park City that was ahead of us that night. California been very very good to hi8us. Tank you fohr da good times Arnold!