Tour Diary – Annapolis, MD and Alexandria, VA (Feb 28 & 29 and March 1)
Three nights in the same bed. It’s practically unheard of on tour. We had a day off on Monday and then two nights at the Ram’s Head….which all adds up to three nights in the same bed. This is a decent little town to be stranded in if one has to be stationary for a few days. There is history, coffee, decent beer, ok food, books, ice cream all within walking distance. What more can one want on a day off.
The Ram’s Head is one of those venues that looks like it shouldn’t work, but we always have a good time and very good shows in this room. It’s small and cramped and the stage is too small and the PA is no great shakes, but the stage and room sound great, the audiences are always keen and supportive and we always have fun. I think we overplayed the room on the first night, but it was still a good night. The second night we settled in and had a very good evening. On Tuesday, Jeff, Margo, Jared and I ventured in to DC to record a Tiny Desks concert with Bob Boilen. Bob (and NPR) have been big supporters of the band over the years for which we are extremely grateful. The concert will be posted on the Tiny Desk site later this month (we’ll let you know).
Unlike the Rams Head, the Birchmere is the type of room that looks like it should be perfect for us. We love coming here: the staff is always friendly, we are cared for from the minute we arrive and our audience seems to like the room because we always sell it out. But there is something about the sound on stage that always keeps us from having one of those great shows. It’s very hard to hear the dynamics of the band on stage and so it becomes difficult to fall in to the music and let it take over. Also, the way the room is set up leaves a lot of the audience off to the side and so it’s hard to get a feel for the room. I don’t think that that we have ever sucked in this room, but I feel like we have never really hit it. Tonight was no different….I think we played well but we couldn’t find that next gear.