OK, this is it kids! The day of our big show at Whelan’s, probably the best indie club in Dublin. When it comes down to it, this is the main task we set out to accomplish when we came to Ireland. So, I’m going to go ahead and skip most of what else happened that day, OTHER than to say that I had fish and chips for dinner or maybe lunch. I wasn’t too impressed. I just don’t think it’s my thing.
So around 6, Kevin and his friend John came over to get gear and merch to take to Whelan’s. We had three guitars, two amps, two or three decent size merch boxes, and a synth to take with us. John drives a sedan, and in addition to all the gear and merch, we needed to fit all three of us in the car as well. It was a tight squeeze to say the least. There were three guitars on Kevin’s lap and tons of stuff crammed in the trunk. I had a keyboard on my lap in the front seat, where I was pretty squished because the seat was pushed way up to make room for the guitars in the back seat. Fortunately, it was probably only a ten minute drive to Whelan’s. Upon arrival, we unloaded and Kevin and Gia set up the merch table, including a nice Indiecater sign. Here’s a photo of the table:
After the merch table was set up and we had loaded in, I stepped out to see if I could find my friend Charles Holland. I’ve known Charles for probably for a year and a half over the internet, but I’ve yet to meet him since he lives in England. He was kind enough to make the trip from Newcastle to Dublin for the show. Luckily enough, he was outside the venue and we were finally able to meet up face to face. In addition to the show, we also had a lovely dinner that evening at an Irish version of an American 50s diner. Here’s a photo of Charles and I:
Storkboy Choons is a twin brother to the guy that runs Asleep on the Compost Heap, a superb Irish music blog. I had an interesting chat with him, and he happens to be quite the Built to Spill fan, so we had that to bond over. I didn’t get a chance to talk with him after the show, so I hoped he enjoyed it.
Next up was The Ambience Affair, a band that released their first EP digitally on Indiecater. They were excellent live. They are a two piece, drums and acoustic guitar, with the acoustic guitars being looped and manipulated in real time. The versions of the songs differed somewhat from the recordings, but that’s to be expected for a band that loops and improvises like they do. It was fun to hear the songs treated a little differently anyway. Here’s a photo from their performance:
Last up was us. Throughout the night, the room had been filling up, and by the time we were playing it seemed pretty full. The next day we found out that the room (which only holds 80 or so) had come five short of selling out. Not too shabby for a bunch of Idahoans in Ireland. Kevin did an excellent job of promoting the show. It was a little difficult getting a good monitor mix for all five of us on a smaller stage, but such is life. We started the show, and things felt fairly tight, especially given that Zach had a migraine for most of the show (what a trooper!). About six songs in, we played a song that I wrote for Charles when I was recording a custom song for every person that bought our CD. Here’s some video that he took of the song:
Then we played a few more songs before deciding that our time was up, especially since I had broken my guitar string on the last song. The crowd, especially a few in the front, were not happy with that. “ONE MORE TUNE!” “ONE MORE TUNE!” Well, we’re not really used to encores, but we did manage to play a couple more. One of the encores was “Scotland” which, to our surprise, was a request from the audience. The reason this is surprising is that the main line in the song is “All the best bands are from Scotland.” Later, one of the people in the front, a super nice guy named Seth, half-jokingly told me that it was more than fine that we said that about Scotland, but if we had said that about England, the crowd would have been a lot less receptive.
So, even though the monitoring wasn’t ideal, and we probably weren’t as polished as we would have hoped, our Dublin show was definitely in my top two shows we’ve ever played. The crowd was extremely supportive and enthusiastic, we had people in the audience that had been fans for a while but that are normally separated from us by an ocean, and, last but not least, we had done what we had set out to do in coming to Ireland. I couldn’t have asked for a more uplifting spirit in that room, and I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing gig. Thanks so much to all the people involved in that night. You’ve made a bunch of scruffy Boiseans very happy.
And on that note, we’ll end day five.