(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.)
Welcome to the Aloha Diaries. Mike is still polishing the gold medal he borrowed from Jonathan Toews in Vancouver so I’ll be keeping you posted on the happenings of the 2010 Tour. I’ll be following the tour until I have to go back to Hawaii and find a job or the band gets sick of me practicing the ukulele in the parking lot. This could get interesting!
The tour kicked off in the quiet village of Saugatuck tonight. Started as a lumber town, the village has retained its charm and every summer brings flocks of weekenders from the big cities to play on the Kalamazoo River. Today’s quiet streets and the fresh, crisp air will be replaced in July with the smell of fried dough and humidity. The 1,000 or so residents who remain through the winter were quick to wave and strike up a conversation with me as I wandered the empty streets. I think they appreciate the quiet, too.
The show was sold out and the crowd gave the band room to knock some rust off the live show. Just as they did in Montreal a few months ago, the band thundered through “Dragging Hooks” to get the blood flowing through the amps. Not wanting to keep anybody in suspense about the new material, three of the new tracks were played early and sounded ready for release.
It’s the texture in the songs that changes ever so slightly from time to time. Tonight, Margo’s delivery of “Floorboard Blues” came straight from a juke joint in the delta while Mike’s lilting guitar on “Witches” carried it to promising places. As far as first nights go, it felt relaxed and everybody had a laugh during the encore when the boys started “A Common Disaster” without realizing Mike was still waiting on a guitar. His cord twirling skills won’t steal attention from Margo’s snake dancing anytime soon. Two shows in Chicago tomorrow and one of the llamas mentioned deep-dish pizza. Let’s get after it!