The show in Troy ended at a good time and we continued our upgrade from Motel 6 to Super 8. At least I'm pretty sure we stayed at a Super 8. There was wireless internet! I definitely had a good 7 hours of sleep. Troy and New York City are not too far from each other, so the ride was going to be short. There was a coffee warehouse blocks from our hotel so we were able to get some decent brew. This is unusual for us, because most of the time we get the Sunoco Hazelnut Delight or whatever gas station coffee is readily available. Starbucks is a treat, but I have to add at least 3 packets of Sugar in the Raw - it's too bitter for me sometimes. Starbucks is an international phenomenon. Wouldn't you expect it to taste like chocolate chip cookies or something?
Well, it doesn't.
It was a fairly pleasant ride to New York City until we hit the treacherous 4:30 PM rush hour traffic. Still, I've been through worse. We still managed to make it to the club early. Last time we played here, it was a club called Coda. I believe they went out of business, so we ended up playing at the revamped Lion's Den. I haven't played there since July 9, 2005, where I did my first real gig with Andre, Dave, and Jordan Shapiro (a.k.a Project/Object Lite). We were Chris Opperman's backing band. By the way, if you don't know who Chris is, check out his MySpace. He's a brilliant composer who works with Mike Keneally and Steve Vai. I hope to play with him again someday.
So we were sitting outside the club, and Svalgard left and then came back with a loaf of bread and a container of fresh mozzarella. We must've looked like a bunch of homeless freaks sitting outside of this club, hoarding bread and cheese like animals. Quite a sight for ongoing spectators, I'm sure. The enthusiastic sound guy arrived and we set up, but we weren't allowed to soundcheck until at least 7:30 because of the offices next door. Maybe I'm an idiot, but why would an office open next door to a loud rock venue? The logistics on that one are just a tad skewed.
After we were done setting up, Svalgard told me that his daughter Madi Diaz was playing a couple blocks away at the Living Room. Laura (our merch girl), Svalgard, and I took a cab and got there at 7 on the dot. I walked up to the door and saw a bouncer. I then realized that this was a 21+ venue, and there was no way in hell I was getting in. We begged the bouncer for a good 5 minutes until Madi came out and saved the day. It was a bit embarrassing though. I can't wait until I'm 21 and I can go see shows without any hassle. Madi's set was great and performed quite professionally. I was particularly fond of her bass player. He had that Motown/Rick Danko bass feel, playing a little bit behind the beat.
We had to leave her show and lucky for us, there was a cab about to leave a block away from the venue. We hopped in and made back to the Lion's Den just in time for soundcheck. It sounded amazing in there, so it didn't take too long to get my mix figured out. Right after we were done, drummer Jerry Cucurullo showed up. His band was the opening act. Jerry is Warren Cucurullo's brother, and Warren was in a couple of bands, y'know such as: Duran Duran, Missing Persons, Frank Zappa. He also has uh, an interesting online presence, where he um, has videos on his website. Basically, you have to be over 18 to view portions of his site. Anyway, Jerry is a total sweetheart and a great drummer. He recently won one of those Guitar Center Drum Off competitions. He beat out all the young whippersnappers and Vinnie Colaiuta clones. After his band wrapped up, we went on a did a very good first set. As usual, I made a bunch of clams, but it was all in good spirit. The second set was just as good in spirit, with less clams. After we finished doing our double percussion solo in "Don't You Ever Wash That Thing", Ed Palermo walked onstage to sit in for our encore. What a surprise! We ripped into "Peaches En Regalia", and it was probably the best version we've ever played. The post-show was relaxing and Laura gave me a new Project/Object tour shirt and then Dave LaRue-ified it for me by cutting off the sleeves. After loading out we had Mamoun's Falafel at 2AM. Mamoun's Falafel is just amazing. People travel long distances to have it. It's only $2 for a gigantic sandwich. After the joy of the devouring it, we took the late night drive to the infamous East Brunswick Motel 6 - the first hotel I stayed at with Project/Object.