(Editor’s Note: Destroy This Place’s John Nelson just posted a tour recap of their recent East Coast dates on DTP’s Tumblr. Being fans of the band, Ghettoblaster had to reprint it. See it in all its original glory here: http://destroythisplace.tumblr.com/post/54477554400/tour-recap-by-john.)
Since Destroy This Place hasn’t done any touring, aside from the occasional trek to Chicago or Cleveland, I felt like writing about our little trek out East. I haven’t toured since the New Grenada days (2006 or so) so I wasn’t sure how I would handle being on the road for more than a night or two. This is what happened…
6/26/13, Double Happiness, Columbus
After loading out the gear, we manned our stations in Monday’s Kia Sedona mini van, and were off. We had a pretty easy drive to Columbus, stopping for Subway (this happened a lot) along the way. We arrived around 7, which was a little early. It was supposed to be a 5 band bill (of which we were thrown on last-minute, due to our Pittsburgh show getting cancelled) but two of the bands dropped off. The band from Montreal couldn’t make the gig because someone told us they “partied too much” the night before, so the local band from Columbus canceled, too. The guy who was supposed to do sound was in that band. Nice. Nobody at the venue seemed to know what the plan was. The other bands weren’t around and the replacement sound guy hadn’t shown up yet. The bartender showed us pictures of a spider bite that made her whole face swell up. That was pretty cool. We left the bar for a bit to see what was going on in Columbus. We found out that nothing was going on in Columbus.
Fast forward to 11:00 when the sound guy finally showed up and gave us a sound check. Sean suggested we treat it like a practice and go over songs we haven’t played in months, or just play random songs we don’t even know. That’s probably what we should’ve done.
Pretty Ghouls played after us. They are a garage rock band from Detroit. Asia, the singer, was friendly and had a cool voice. We watched their set but it was getting really late – and we had a long drive ahead of us – so we split to find a hotel somewhere on the way to DC.
6/27/13, DC9, Washington DC
We got to DC a bit early, so Monday took us on the tour (he lived there 15 years ago). We drove/walked around a bit. I guess the part of town Monday lived in used to be in bad shape, but it’s improved since then. When you see places that have turned it around, you realize there’s hope for Detroit. The DC9 is a really great venue, everyone was cool to us. Half-off food is always a nice perk for bands on tour, too.
Atlas At Last opened the show. They’re a pretty heavy hardcore type of band with some melodic “emo’ish” bits mixed in. DC band through and through. They were really loud with a hard hitting drummer and the sound guy seemed to be cool with it, so we knew things would be OK for us. The band supplied a big bag of earplugs, which is a gesture we may incorporate for future shows. The band played great, the audience was into it, and we were anxious to play.
We played a set of new and old tunes. The singer from Atlas at Last told me he’d been listening to our first record a lot, so I was glad we did some from the first record, too. The crowd was really enthusiastic and engaged. At some point during the set, Ryan led the crowd in a plea for his son Emitt to “Go the f*ck to sleep!,” – after getting some texts from his wife Angela that he, in fact, wasn’t – Samuel Jackson style. We all felt like we played well, and confirmed this the next day after listening to a recording of the set the sound guy made for us.
Closing band Tereu Tereu was a 2 piece (looking at their band photo, at some point there were 4 of them). Dude singing, playing electric guitar and a drummer playing along with some preprogrammed synth and/or bass parts. I think. I don’t know, I don’t understand that stuff, but it sounded cool. Their songs were really melodic with smart arrangements, but by the end of their set things were getting wild. The singer and drummer put on giant rubber bird and horse masks, respectively, and ended their set with a barrage of heavy riffage and feedback. Great band. Nice dudes.
Overall, it was a great show. Positive vibe, cool bands, lots of people. There were a few former Michigan peeps at this one. It was good to see Will and Trevor from Zoos of Berlin. Our old friend Jacqui let us crash at her place.
Note: A local music writer was at the show and wrote the most insane review of our band ever. Read it!
6/28/13, The Fire, Philadelphia
We spent a lot of time in Philly. We got there early and did a lot of walking around, checking out record stores, etc. We had dinner at the American Sardine Bar, which is run by Monday’s friend from high school, Scott. The food was phenomenal and we all ate way too much. It didn’t stop me from getting a big cup of froyo, which I regretted later.
We played with a lot of great bands over the past few days, and Wigwams were one of the best. Phil, the drummer, was amazing and fun to watch. The guitarists did some really interesting stuff that reminded me of the band Television. Afterwards we talked guitar gear-nerd stuff – one of my favorite pastimes.
Hurry went on second. They reminded me of 90’s Teenage Fanclub or Lemonheads or something. The songs were super catchy, and the singer’s onstage humor was really dry.
We went on and played mostly new songs. The locals teased us about our Michigan accents. I assured them we were good, wholesome, midwestern people. It’s weird to write about your own performance, but it felt really good. The stage reminded me of the Belmont in Hamtramck, so it was comfortable. People were really receptive and seemed to dig us.
By Surprise played last. The songs were kind of quirky, but really high energy. Geeky punk rock. One of the dudes sort of resembles Ryan, and happened to be wearing a Sloan shirt, so I talked to him about that. They were nice dudes and played a fun set.
After the show was some dance party that I didn’t feel like going to. Sean didn’t either, so I didn’t feel too bad. Only 3 late nights and I was already feeling like an old man. I guess I always feel like an old man.
Monday’s brother Noel and his wife Rose drove all the way from Baltimore to check out the show. Ryan’s old buds Matt and Kellyann were there and let us stay with them (and their dog Ernie) at their house in the Fishtown neighborhood. Ryan spotted the mural from the new Kurt Vile record a block from their house. Pretty awesome. The next day we went to a diner for breakfast, went to the Milkcrate Cafe record store where I bought the Kinks Arthur on vinyl, and the DiPinto guitar shop.
6/29/13, Death By Audio, Brooklyn NYC
Hands down this was the best show I’ve ever played in New York. Death By Audio is a venue (as well as a studio and a place where custom guitar pedals are made) run by this guy Edan who does things right. Everyone there was super cool to us. When we arrived, parking on the street was all blocked off because a movie was being filmed there, so we had a few hours to kill before the show. No problem. We went down to the water, walked around Brooklyn for a bit and hung out at a park where everyone seemed to be enjoying the sunny weather. We treated ourselves to a good dinner at a place called Lokal. We got back and Edan and the other bands started rolling in.
Your Skull My Closet are a band fronted by Sean Hoen. Sean played in Thoughts of Ionesco and the Holy Fire, Detroit legends, so I sort of knew what to expect. Your Skull went on first and were awesome. Really tight band. Ripping guitar. Aggressive and loud. Most importantly: great songs. I’m really glad we didn’t have to follow them.
Shark? went on next. Quirky indie rock stuff that had a little bit of a Pavement vibe. They proclaimed themselves the “pussy-ist band of the night” or something. I really enjoyed what they were doing and plan to listen to some recordings.
We went on third to a really good crowd. A lot of people showed up for this one. Saw quite a few old friends. When we asked who was from Michigan, it seemed like half the people raised their hands. We felt a little cramped on stage, Monday and Ryan couldn’t jump around like usual, but it sounded great and the audience seemed really attentive and engaged. We played mostly new songs, and finished with a Nirvana cover we hadn’t played in a long time. Overall a really fun show.
Slow Warm Death was last. By the this point the crowd had thinned out, and it was a shame. They were pretty noisy and loud with heavy guitars and aggressive vocals. As heavy as they were, there were still lots of hooks. Right up my alley. The singer reminded me a bit of Ryan’s brother, Scott, and the drummer ruled. I wish these guys were from Detroit so we could play with them more often.
We stayed with our friends Kelli and Kendra in Brooklyn and had a good time reminiscing and catching up. Kelli is a good friend of mine from CCS, and played guitar and sang in the Trembling with Monday. Our old bands have a lot of history, playing shows and touring together, so it felt like things had come full circle. It seemed like the appropriate ending to our little East Coast adventure.