Sunday, August 16, 2009

eekie's Church Excursion -- Part 3 -- Annapolis

There was a day off between Falls Church and Annapolis. Given the area, what I should have done was check out at least some of the attractions in the Washington DC area. I'd never been there before, so it could have been pretty cool. Of course, being me, I didn't do that.

While helping out with the merch I noticed that many of the boxes the stuff was in were falling apart. The solution to that -- like so many problems one encounters in life -- was obviously duct tape. Lots and lots of duct tape. And they were down to the last couple of nearly dried out Sharpies...and had no silver ones at all. Several people in Falls Church were damned lucky that I always carry a couple of Sharpies in my purse (hey, you never know when you're going to need one!) because SK was looking mighty befuddled when the one he'd picked up wasn't working. I did get a few odd looks from other fans when I said "hey! I need that back" to Steve as he was headed backstage. I figured hell, he was just going to lose it if he kept it (where do you think all the others they started out with went?) and he'd want it again in just a few nights (and he did). And I also noticed they had no hand truck/dolly/cart -- I'm not quite sure what they were thinking there. All the crap in the pic I put up in my Falls Church post had to be carried in and then back out again by hand if the venue didn't have something they could borrow (and the venues often didn't). I looked at that and thought "you gotta be kidding!"

So I slept late then went shopping. Duct tape, Sharpies (black and silver), a folding cart, and a few misc. things (such as leave-in conditioner -- I couldn't believe I forgot to pack that. No way in hell I could manage a whole week or more without it -- not with my crazy hair!). It shouldn't have taken very long, but finding a cart was a bit harder than I expected. The one I ended up with wasn't the most stable thing (esp. on uneven surfaces), but I noticed it got used, so it was a whole lot better than nothing.

So. Annapolis. The venue (Ram's Head OnStage) was in a lovely area -- almost too lovely if that makes sense. I mean the area was so perfect it had an almost Stepford Wives-ish feel too it. And there were cops on Segways. Lovely to visit, but I'd hate to live there.

I went a bit early because I figured I could help Stephen set up the merch (I'd not helped at all beforehand at the previous two shows) and give him the supplies I'd bought, but when I walked in I found out the venue handles all the set up and sales of the merch there. Apparently the band still isn't great at reading the fine print on their contracts, because they were just as surprised about that as I was. Ok, then, no work for me (until it came time to pack it all out -- the venue didn't do that).

I had gotten there towards the end of their sound check so after finding out about the merch situation I checked out seating (it was reserved seating) to find out where I could sit -- the woman looked at the guest list and said "oh, you don't have a seat -- you're with the band." Haha! That was news to me! I ended up sitting at one of the tables reserved for people on the guest list anyway (and met the guy -- and his wife -- who recorded Dabble. That was pretty cool). Look at the seating chart below (click for a larger image) -- I was sitting at table 302 in the chair closest to the back and side. And that little triangle of what looks like open space was filled with equipment. The band entered and exited the stage along that walkway.

As you can see by the seating chart, it's an odd setup. With just about any orientation the band could try, most of the audience would see them at a strange angle. Just as the band was going on, Steve came up behind me, put his hands on my shoulders, leaned down and whispered into my ear "Most of the people here are going to see us in profile. It's ridiculous!" and then ran up on stage. I thought "oh dear, this could be an 'interesting' night." It wasn't just because of that comment I thought this though. There had been a bit of drama (it wouldn't be a Church tour without some drama) toward the end of and after the Falls Church show a couple of days before. It wasn't noticeable to the crowd and didn't really affect that show, but the band and their entourage were embroiled in it. It was still simmering in Annapolis. So when the band took the stage that night I really wondered just what kind of show we were going to get.

It seems a bit odd to say, but I think the Church thrives on adversity and/or drama, because Annapolis show was wonderful! It seemed as if Steve just threw himself into it and then his energy and mood got picked up and expanded upon by the crowd and rest of the band. He did all his very best "rock star" moves and bantered happily with the crowd. I don't think it was quite as good musically (although none of the shows I saw were bad) as Falls Church, but it was an amazingly fun and energetic and even happy show. What a great surprise.

This isn't a good pic (at all!), but it shows my viewing angle at this show.

It wasn't as bad a view as it seems in the pic...and when they left the stage after the main set and between encores Tiare had me keep an eye on the equipment ("guard the guitars" lol ) because there was nothing between the equipment and the audience. No real big deal, of course, but there's always the chance some overzealous fan is going to blunder up there and trip over and break something.

After the show I helped haul merch out to the vans behind the venue and one time on the way back in SK (who had come out to schmooze with fans) pointed at me and said "YOU!" I swear I must have given my very best "Ack! What did I do now!?!" deer in the headlights look before he directed a couple of people to me. Turns out this guy had bought some SK paintings through me and wanted to meet me. So we had a nice little chat and I ended up taking his pic with SK too.

He was talking to the woman in the photo and she mentioned she was a massage therapist. As quick as a wink he grabbed a chair, turned it around, sat down and said "do me!" (or something to that effect). Opportunist! lol Here he is getting his impromptu massage:

Oh I almost forgot -- before the show I had dinner with Tiare and Marty. My, my Marty is a picky vegetarian (hey, Tiare even called him that!) -- I swear the list of what he won't eat is longer than the what he will. What they ended up getting -- a ravioli with a light cream sauce, I think -- looked really good though. Chatted a bit about some ideas for his artwork and then went over to the venue.


Blogger Freddie said...

It is an odd seating arrangement for a theater isn't it but it sounds like it didn’t detract too much? Thanks for sharing your experiences eek. This is great. ..almost like but not quite as good as actually being there.

I didn't know that Marty was a vegetarian...and didn’t Steve mention something in an earlier blog about getting another massage or something on the west coast..tsk, tsk...opportunist indeed ;-)

2:05 PM  
Blogger Queen Hatshepsut said...

I love it! Eekie to the rescue with duct tape and Sharpies!

That is a rather odd seating arrangement. But as long as you could see the band - HELL - you were WITH the band (screw that Pamela Des Barres chick!)...when we had dinner with the band three years ago the meal was so awful I don't think Marty even bothered to eat. Frankly skipping a meal is anathema to me...haha...

Anyway, great review as usual. Keep 'em coming!

P.S. The pic of SK getting the massage is cute.

4:05 PM  
Blogger veleska1970 said...

denise is right~~that pic of steve being massaged is cute.

"eekie to the rescue with duct tape and sharpies". LOL LOL. and a pushcart, too. what would the guys have done without you? i can't believe they didn't rent a handtruck to haul all that stuff around. but then, men don't usually think of these things, it's up to us women to do that. ;)

what a weird layout this place had. and steve was right~~everybody saw them in profile. but the show was good, so that didn't seem to pose much of a problem.

thanks for all these updates.

5:31 PM  
Blogger General Catz said...

Man, i just love these stories. Sorry i'm a dollar late, but i explained it in my blog. Keep the stories coming!

10:43 AM  
Blogger JafaBrit's Art said...

what an adventure and I agree about the odd seating. I used to live just outside of Annapolis and hang around the place all the time. I have fond memories of getting sloshed in town.
Ah duct tape, what would we do without it lol!

8:03 AM  

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