Wednesday, February 9, 2011

hi8us Rock and Roll Winter!

Hi there,
It seems like time to check back in with you legions of hard core fans with a little updater. It is dumping snow outside right now as I write…again. By my count we have played 6 shows since my last post.
We hit the Middle East Upstairs on December 10th opening up for the Grateful Dread. We played a set we were totally happy with, and the crowd was definitely into our variety of music. A few of my good friends made it out to the show and a bunch of us hung out to listen to The Dread, who were quite awesome. The dudes in this band had chops and played really fun versions of classic Dead tunes… I think my favorite was Peggy O. I hear they play down on the Vineyard a bunch. I can imagine walking into a bar on the Vineyard in the summer, hearing these guys ripping, and thinking that they are the perfect band for that atmosphere. Maybe I will make the trip down there once it gets warm.
The next weekend we shot up to Vermont for a weekend of shows 12/17 and 12/18/10. Precious made her winter debut which included a 30 degree climb up a mountain road on our way to Middlebury, then back down the other side….thank you Mr. GPS! I was terrified, and really appreciated arriving at the club alive through the winter weather and treacherous terrain. We set up and rocked out to a decent crowd at Two Brother’s Tavern. People filed in and got more and more into us as the night got on. hi8us reached a milestone at this show as well. We have seen a few fights from the stage in our day. We are usually safely removed from the action, but not on this night!
The shenanigans started out with a dude fight, which is pretty standard. This one was especially exciting though, since the guy that started the ruckus was BOMBED and energetic, and took a swing at the bouncer…big mistake! He wasn’t going down easy though. It took a swarm of other dudes to pile up on this guy to try to shuffle him out the door of the basement bar. As the posse swarmed on this spirited soul, he fought back with all his might. The cluster of drunken men began to shift about the room with a chaotic path of alcohol-fueled aggression. It was like a sloppy rugby game with no ball or goals. We were in the midst of an excellent instrumental groove when the melee broke out. We tried to keep our focus on the notes being played, but looked on with curiosity and concern as the tornado of fists and crew cut heads shuffled dangerously close to the floor level bandstand from which we played. At this point, one shift of this mob in the wrong direction, and our concise, well organized setup of gear would have looked like a garage sale at the home of Kip Winger, in an instant. Fortunately, good prevailed over evil, and the unruly chap was punted to the street. Poor bugger! We finished our jam, and Max didn’t miss a beat. What made the night a milestone was the follow up fight! Just as we were wrapping up our 2nd set, another exchange of ill-will was conveyed between patrons within the confines of the room. To this day, the details of the 2nd altercation remain unclear, all that hi8us knows is that one girl cracked another girl, and that girl when down… and the girl who went down had lived in the area for 10 years. She wanted everyone to know that multiple times. It was unfortunate ending to an otherwise great night… well, there was also that other fight. Maybe it was just a bad night altogether. We played well though, and saw a guy on guy fight, and a girl on girl fight...while playing! hi8us can multitask. I drove Precious to Burlington after the gig that night, and thought about fighting the guys the whole time. They were all asleep in the back though, so I just drove.
The next night in at Red Square in Burlington was great. A huge crew of hi8us fans travelled up to party with us at this excellent establishment. We saw no fights, and sampled many beers prior to the show at The Magic Hat brewery for free. Yay!
After a break for the holidays, and our first New Years Eve not playing in eons, the anticipation grew for our return to the Red Parka Pub in Glen, NH on 1/21 and 1/22/11 for what was dubbed White Mountain Mania. We played back to back nights at The Parka to a capacity crowd on both evenings. We had a nearby ski chalet where a nice crew of us all shacked up for the weekend. This place was perfect… pool table n’all. Picture the Brady Bunch going on a ski vacation. This place would have been to their exact specifications. We felt great about these shows, and had a great response from our fans that rallied out. We hope to get back to The Parka soon. We shall see. Highlights on the shows were guest appearances by Adam Foss and Skinny Mike Palica. Thanks dudes. Good playing! We also celebrated three of our good friend’s birthdays from the stage with a medley of birthday related songs. It was pissah! Thanks to all that made this a great weekend. We appreciate it.
We played a late night slot at The Bitter End in the West Village of New York City on 1/29/11. Max, Mike and I drove down in Mike’s car with our gear. Mike’s evil GPS took us to the Bleecker St. in Flushing, NY instead of Manhattan. Fortunately, we had plenty of time to kill, so we righted our course and started driving towards all the big buildings we had previously been driving away from. We had dinner at a jazz club called Drom and saw drummer Mark Guiliana in a piano trio that was super cool. We ate Greek food and sipped some booze drinks. We eventually made it to The Bitter End and played an excellent long set til about 3:45AM. We kept a crowd til our final selection was complete, then shot the shit with the staff as we dragged ass loading our stuff out. They were cool about it. We felt great about the night, and even got a soundboard from Rioshi(sp), the superb sound engineer that has mixed our last few shows at this venue. Niiiice!

Finally, this past weekend, 2/5 found hi8us back at The Perfect Wife in Manchester, VT. We had a weather-filled trek to and from the venue. Highlights of the gig were our buddy Ben cruising up from Pittsfield with his crew and requesting his favorite songs all night. Ben is in the running as #1 hi8us fan. We really appreciate his devotion to the band, and in-turn, should probably book another Pittsfield gig in the near future. Also, thanks again to the cool staff at “The Wife” for making the night a fun one. See you soon.
Good times. Talk soon.

jim






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