Cast of Characters:
Gregory Goode – Vocal
Ryan C. Meier – Bass
Tony Meier – Roadie/Merch/Manager
Scott O’Gara – Drum
Cecil Skrdlant – Guitar
Day 1: Omaha, NE
Planning a winter tour is kind of a dumb idea. Even if you’re heading to warmer climates. Reason being, you still have to load the van in the cold weather of Des Moines, Ia.
Anyway, the first night of tour was Omaha, a short 2 hour drive from Des Moines. With this in mind, we plan a 4:30 departure time. We do it BP style and roll out-of-town around 6:15 instead. Just outside of Omaha we see some chrome-platted truck balls (or truck nuts, if you prefer). We take it as a good sign for the tour.
The show is at the Barley St. Tavern. Nice place. I would call it a 70’s throwback-type bar, except this place was open in the 70’s, so it’s the real deal. No posturing allowed here.
Even with the hand-wringing of the sound man over the large 5 band bill, the show doesn’t being until 10pm. Spring Acres kicks it off. He’s pretty rad. We play second. Personally, I don’t think it is too strong a set on our part, but the other guys think otherwise. Oui Bandits play next. They are rad as well. Following them is our good pal Adam Robert Haug. He is always rad. Finally, It’s True wrap things up just in time to make the 1am closing time. They are especially rad.
All-in-all, I think it is a good show. I like all the bands and the turnout is great. Easily the strongest bill we’ve played in a long time.
Day 2: Wichita, KS
We awake around 10 in living room of the legendary Hotel Frank. Collecting our things (but not quite everything as I forget my toiletries’ bag, however I won’t notice for another 12 hours. I contemplate not showering/brushing my teeth/general grooming for the entire tour, but ultimately decide against it). We breakfast at McFosters’, much like we do everytime we play Omaha. As always, it is delicious. And entirely vegan/vegetarian…even Tony’s meal!
Aside from me starting a game on Chrono Trigger DS, the drive to Wichita is uneventful.
We arrive in Wichita around 5:30. It’s good to see the Barnhardts again. Mo has prepared some wonderful vegan/vegetarian food. We catch up with her and the rest of the family. After dinner, we get settled and the house begins to fill-up. Show starts at 8. First band Toy Sails rocks out. First song in, the bassist trips, falls, and manages to bring a window. Probably just about any other house show, that kind of thing would get the show shut down. However, this is not just any place. This is the Vertical Violet. Breck, man of the house shrugs, cleans up the glass, and the show continues. We play and the crowd generally seems to dig us. The third and final band, polarOPPOSITEbear, has just come off of a three-week tour to the East Coast and back and it shows. They play a tight set.
After the show, Tony and Scott play boggle with Freya and Landon while Cecil frequently exlaims, “This is the furtherest I’ve ever gotten!” while playing RoboCop versus The Terminator for the Sega Genisis.
The next morning, there is a delicious breakfast of waffles awaiting us. I can’t say it enough, the Barnhardts are great people! After lounging about a bit and playing with Viola, we head out for Dallas. Before leaving town, we hit up Walgreens. It is there I discover this:
As tempting as it is, I pass on purchasing one.
We head out, eager to arrive in Dallas. With two great shows to start out tour, nothing could possibly go wrong, right?