(Jason Lent has forsaken the island paradise of Hawaii to follow us around for a few months. I have happily placed the tour diary in his capable hands. It should bring a new perspective to our ramblings.)
Monday brought no concert so I did what any illogical nomad following his favorite band does: take a walking tour of Northampton, MA where the band has played over twenty shows stretching back to the 1980’s. About nine years ago, an email came through from a guy named Ed who asked me to send him money to help buy Margo a few hundred yellow roses. I didn’t know Ed but it sounded like a good idea. So here I was on a day off in New England, standing outside the Calvin Theater with Ed, looking at the venue where the flower conspiracy transpired. Life has a way of circling back to you.
Burlington, VT greeted us with warm sunshine and a beautiful lake. The downtown commons area included several indie record stores and plenty of pubs. I met a free spirit playing guitar outside the record store and we formed an impromptu band. I arranged three chords a few different ways and she handled the vocals. Our set list went “Helpless” and then “Sweet Jane” with no encore. We didn’t make any tips but Ed seemed mildly entertained. We bought her a copy of Lay It Down from the used bin and some pizza. Then she slipped off into the crowd to hustle some tips and find a place to sleep.
The show tonight was in your standard box shaped rock club with folding chairs and a long bar. The crowd was uncomfortably sparse but those who came caught a solid night of rock and roll. Between the small crowd, a lighting guy on copious amounts of Red Bull (or something equally stimulating), and some sound issues, the energy never reached transcendent levels. The encore sparkled as the audience, music, and band finally landed on the same page. Tomorrow, we head south to Rhode Island. I miss the islands of Hawaii so the day sounds promising….