(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.)
|The open fields and empty highways between Chicago and Davenport were a welcome change as I cruised past Ronald Reagan’s birthplace somewhere in western Illinois. The skies were consistently grey and a slow, steady rain hovered over the entire trip. Pulling into Davenport, the Mississippi was lapping at the banks and looked ready to breach the walls of the Quad Cities. When it does, perhaps it will carry away the riverboat casino that has sunk its teeth into the Davenport river front district.Tonight’s show took place in a performance room at the River Music Experience, an interactive music building that housed a small museum (Charlie Daniels’ bow!), practice rooms, a coffee shop, and even small music labs for aspiring producers looking to master Auto Tune and create the next pop starlet. It made for an easy way to pass a rainy afternoon. After that, I met a wonderful family from Sicily serving authentic pizza in the heart of Davenport, IA. Antonella welcomed me like a lost son. I tried to help her daughter with Spanish homework and even took a tour of the kitchen. Meeting such open and kind people on these travels lifts the weight of the miles instantly.Walking back to the venue, I watched a marching band of clowns emerge from the venue and assumed Margo had nixed Pete’s idea for an opening act. A barrage of flash photography and pockets of geese hampered the show tonight for those who wanted to listen closely. The downstairs performance space occasionally bled into the venue giving the entire show an underlining din that the band had to work to stay above. The transcendent moments when music, performer, and crowd become one were hard to spot on this rainy night.