Things heated up on the east coast as we neared home. In Washington DC, suddenly an audience 480 strong was piling into our show at the Black Cat, our biggest of US, so far. It felt like a UK show! We rose to the occasion.
The next night in Philadelphia, we sold out Kung Fu Necktie. Played with a Philly band, Cheers Elephant, who we have shared bills with for years, in both Darwin Deez and Creaky Boards, way back in 2008.
And now, our path has wound back home to New York City, where we sit waiting to play the glorious Bowery Ballroom. I am upstairs, backstage, watching the Youtube clip of Kanye’s 10 minute rant when he released “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” at the Bowery last November. I am stoked to play with Ava Luna again. We encountered them last December and have been addicted to their EP all tour long. I am amped to play with Friends, too. They had to drop off tour last week because of Samantha’s health. I am also nervous! 16 shows deep, I still don’t feel 100% like a lead guitarist, but a lead guitarist I must be, tonight.
It’s hard to believe that Darwin Deez is going to sell this place out in a few hours. There are only a few tickets left. I remember back in May of 2009, my band Creaky Boards was invited to open for Jeff Lewis’s CD release party at this venue. At the time, I was completely burnt out on my band and couldn’t stand the thought of performing the songs anymore. But I was still pretty excited about the Darwin band. So I e-mailed Jeff Lewis and his drummer, Dave, saying, “Creaky Boards is out of commission, but I’m in this other band, Darwin Deez, that’s really fun. I think we’d make a great opener.” The funny thing is, a few days later, Jeff or Dave wrote back saying that they couldn’t have Darwin open because the Bowery was pressuring them to find a band that could draw a crowd.
What a difference a year and a half makes. In May of 2009, Darwin Deez didn’t even carry enough clout to get the first opening slot, and in February of 2011, he headlines the place and fills it to 600 person capacity. This is the miracle of the passage of time, of being involved in music, of life itself. As Andre 3000 says: “Let your brain breathe, believe there’s always more.”