The Radio Attack Tour #10: Austin, Texas

Comment

The Radio Attack Tour #10: Austin, Texas

Its damn good to be home!  We had all afternoon to recover a bit from driving through the night, which was a beautiful thing.  We were all ready to go by showtime.  It was great to reconnect with everybody all in one place.  I’m not sure how bands can just up and tour for months at a time.  We were only gone for our usual 2 weeks and it was hard not to miss the comfort and familiarity of home.  I must say, though, touring is starting to feel easier and a bit more normal. 

Taking it to the streets!

Taking it to the streets!

The first band of the night, Jam Therapy, absolutely tore it up.  It was good to hear that Austin rock and roll again.  Especially at a great Austin venue such as Mohawk.  The last time we played with them was at Spiderhouse a little over a year before that night.. I swear they have only gotten better, as impressive as they were even back then.  It was our turn next.  The room started to fill up and the energy was starting to build by the time Jam Therapy ended their set.  We played our tour standard 40 minute set, but this time with Clint Manning filling out the sound with a 2nd guitar.  While Brett, Joe and myself had been performing these songs every night for the past two weeks.. Clint hadn’t played with us for all that time.  He did great picking right back up on everything.  It was only our 2nd show with him, but I was already starting to get more comfortable with him on stage.  The future looks bright for FCF with Clint on board.  We will be getting him on the podcast very soon so be on the lookout!  

Jam Therapy

Jam Therapy

We finished our set and Nomad City took the stage.  If you haven’t seen this band yet… change your ways.  At the forefront Britny’s insane rock and roll vocal range and stage presence is undeniably good.  Then you’ve got Ray making that guitar his bitch.  Some of the tones he gets are good enough to stop me in my tracks.  Their rhythm section featured Russell on bass and Alec on drums.  Really tight and really danceable rhythms despite the hard rock vibes Ray was laying down.  What I’m trying to say is… Nomad City is a great band and you should see them.  We hung out there for Black Heart Saints set and enjoyed them as well.  They were a great energetic way to end off the night.   

Nomad City

Nomad City

Austin, we’re back and we’re ready to get to work writing and making sure we all have a great summer of shows and good times!   Be on the lookout on all our social media pages for updates on shows and recording plans and such.  

Comment

The Radio Attack Tour #9: Indianapolis, Indiana

Comment

The Radio Attack Tour #9: Indianapolis, Indiana

We got to Brett’s brother Erik’s place in Greenwood, IN an hour or so before we needed to head out for our gig that night at Melody Inn.  We brought in our suitcases and stuff and said our hellos.  Then, we drove out to the gig.  The Melody Inn is this super old divey place that we could tell had a TON of history.  We came to find out it was and is pretty much a must-stop for punk bands from around the country.  Being there, you can definitely see why.  It’s old, dirty atmosphere was part of what gave it its charm.   We were happy to be there for sure.  A band Brett grew up rocking to, The Hardees, opened the show and killed it.  There were some really cool elements of hip hop, blues and funk in their music.  The kind of music you couldn’t help but move to.  The moment I had with RJ in Buffalo was similar to Brett’s moment getting to perform on the same bill as this band.   Then, it was our turn.  We rocked our usual set and it was a blast.  We had a warm and receptive audience.  I can remember feeling the weight of being on the road for the first time at that show. My body was starting to feel run down and my fingers and voice were sore.  It’s all part of the game being on the road for any amount of time.  Gotta fight through it and put on the best show you can no matter what.. So I did.  We wrapped up and then Holly and the Mad Wails finished the night with a cool sound.  It was like folky with hints of rock and roll and a quirky attitude.  I was into it for sure.   

The Hardees at Melody Inn

The Hardees at Melody Inn

The next morning was beautiful because we didn’t have to drive ANYWHERE!  We got to just hang out around Indy all day until our show at Slippery Noodle.  We got our traditional meal at Roscoe’s Tacos with Brett’s family.  Brett’s mom flew to Indy to be there and to hang out with her family for the week!  It was great to see her there and to have a couple meals with her and the rest of Brett’s Indy family.  It’s amazing how normal being on the road like this was starting to feel.  Everybody has been so welcoming everywhere we’ve gone!  We went back to Erik’s lovely home and watched some TV while Brett mowed the lawn!  He did a damn fine job, I must say.  After getting to relax for a while, it was time to head to the show.  Slippery Noodle is the oldest bar in Indiana.  A truly historic place.  It was an absolute honor to come back.  There is only one real drawback to playing there.. It’s a long, long set… especially for a band that focuses on really high energy original music.  It was three full hour sets with a few breaks between.  That’s just the way that place has always operated and what the patrons expect and we were happy to fulfill that once again.   We also wanted to go pretty blues-heavy with our cover choices because of the blues vibes of that place.  

The Slippery Noodle

The Slippery Noodle

The place was completely packed.  Brett’s old friends and family came out in droves for this one.  Of course, Slippery Noodle, has a pretty cool natural draw of blues fans anyways too.  We found out very shortly there was a whole table of people that were in town from Austin for a conference of some sort.  That was cool to meet some people from our city and get to show them what we do at a legendary venue all the way across the country!  In the middle of one of my marathon guitar solos, a guy handed me his beer bottle and said “SLIDE!”.  So, I kind of only sort of knew what to do with that, but I sort of figured it out as I went.  By the end of my slide session… I was just simply making loud and rowdy noises by sliding it way above the fretboard.  It ended up being a pretty cool moment.  You just never know what’s going to happen at these shows.  This was a beaut.  It was safe to say, we had made some new fans and the familiar faces seemed happy with the set.  Erik has made a tradition of having ridiculously strong rum and cokes ready for us upon our arrival at his house after our shows in Indy.  We were all in the mood to celebrate.  It was perfect.  This had been another successful tour and we were headed home the next day.  Once we got the troops rallied the next morning we met Brett’s family one more time for lunch at Chic Fil A.  We then hit the road.  We had a 18 hour drive ahead of us.  Why did we drive 18 hours you ask?  The easiest way to explain it is.. Joe could have a career as a truck driver.  The dude was a machine.  He took the first shift which ended up being like 11 hours.  We kept asking him..

“Hey dude you wanna switch out?”

“No.. I’m a goddamn machine of a man.”  (okay maybe I'm paraphrasing a bit)

“Ok cool”

Brett and I split the last bit of the drive and we pulled up to my place in north Austin at around 7am.  The traveling part of the tour was over.  Just one more task at hand.. Rock the ever-loving shit out of Mohawk for our return home show.  More on that later.

FCF and some family and an awesome sweat mark on my shirt

FCF and some family and an awesome sweat mark on my shirt

Comment

The Radio Attack Tour #8: Cleveland, Ohio

Comment

The Radio Attack Tour #8: Cleveland, Ohio

We got to the venue a couple hours before our set and man.. Tremont was a really cool part of town.  It was clearly the hip place to hang out.  Definitely exciting to see that side of this awesome city and to be a part of its allure for a night.  Coda was a cool little spot.  It was a venue located in the basement of a huge, really nice restaurant.  We walked down that flight of stairs having no idea what to expect.  When we opened the doors we were most pleasantly surprised.  The venue had a lot of character and was the perfect size for a band like ours who doesn’t really have a huge following in Cleveland.  We were able to bring out a few people though mostly thanks to Derik and Jess (yes that Derik!) and my old pal Benny (go Eskies!) who all brought out some friends.  Some we had met and some new faces.  It was really good to see everybody again.  

Hey its us!  Live at Coda

Hey its us!  Live at Coda

Surrounding Cities opened the night and they were great, even though they were apparently missing a couple members for this set.  Their set featured some pretty prominent vocals and really catchy hooks.  Then M Moody took the stage as a solo acoustic act.  He had a cool rasp to his voice that made him a very unique and cool listen.  We enjoyed both acts and then it was our time.  We played our 40 minutes and we were definitely at that point that playing these songs was like clockwork.  We were now on our 10th show of the tour, so it was just all clicking in the best way at this point.  “Hold Onto You” seemed to get the best reception it ever has.  It’s the most new song we’ve been playing regularly… I think it’s one of those things where we finally figured out how to really play and deliver that song.  It’s a little off the beaten path for us so it took some adjusting and it’s starting to really become one of the songs we all look forward to playing the most.  

Cleveland is real purdy at night

Cleveland is real purdy at night

We finished up our set and got to hang out with some of the staff at Coda and our friends.  It was a great night already, little did we know Benny and his super sweet girlfriend Kelle had cooked up some chili dogs back at Benny’s house in Akron and got a bunch of beer.  It ended up being a really late and really fun night.  Eventually, we crashed and the next morning it was time to head to Indy!  HOOSIER COUNTRY!

Comment

The Radio Attack Tour #7: Buffalo

Comment

The Radio Attack Tour #7: Buffalo

We got to our friend Rj’s house a few hours before the show and we all knew it was time... time to get wings in Buffalo.  Rj took us to a little place called Vizzi’s around the corner from his place and we devoured wings and slammed a couple good local beers.  The perfect pre-show meal.  Then we dropped by The Spin Wires rehearsal space for a bit to see where the donuts get made so to speak. It was cool to see that Austin isn’t the only city with super gross old rehearsal spaces for bands haha.  We helped them load up their car and headed downtown to the show. 

The Spin Wires

The Spin Wires

Iron Works was the venue for the night.  It was a great spot. Very cool stage and room layout.  It was also located right next to the Key Bank Center (formerly named The HSBC arena).  That was where I saw Bruce Springsteen several years ago.  So that brought back some great memories for me.  This was going to be a great night.  We got our stuff set up and The Spin Wires ripped through their hour long set of mostly original music with some fun covers mixed in.  A few highlights for me were “Ignite” (as heard on hit tv show “Shameless”), “Hipster Girls” and “Slam Van”.  It was just cool to see RJ rock with a band again.  It has been many years since he and I used to perform together all the time.  

It was our turn to do the damn thing.  We had an hour and 15 minute time slot and we weren’t about to waste a second of it.  We started out with what had become our usual opener for this tour “Green X” and wrapped up with an especially rowdy version of “Johnny”.  There was a cool moment in about the middle of the set.  RJ got on stage with us!  It was the first time in over 4 years I had gotten to perform with him.  Joe graciously gave RJ his sticks and let him take over the throne for a song.  We did “Under” and not only did RJ bring a new level of energy to the room because none of them had seen him play drums before (he plays bass in The Spin Wires)… he nailed it.  He got every stop.. Every little hit.  It was impressive, especially for something we never actually rehearsed together.  It turned out to be a special moment.  What a feeling.. Being on tour all the way across the country and performing with one of my best friends in the world since we were kids playing little league baseball.

Niagra Falls

Niagra Falls

I rolled back to Rj’s house after the show with him since he had to wake up early and literally lay down the law in court.  We had a beer and caught up for a bit.  Brett and Joe found a casino.  I guess Joe’s never been to one before?  He apparently learned the fastest way to lose 20 bucks on the planet.   Needless to say, their casino visit didn’t last long.  They got back and we all crashed.  The next morning we got moving.  We stopped by the local Wegmans (shoutout to Wegmans yo!) and got some food for the trip.  Then, we had no choice but to go see Niagra Falls.  I haven’t seen that since I was a little kid.  It was cool to do it again now that I had the capacity to really appreciate it.  The parking lot we found near the falls offered free parking for 20 minutes and after that it would get really expensive.. We all looked at each other and thought.. Game on.  There we were running in between all these people to get a quick glimpse of the falls.  It must have looked hilarious to everybody else.  Funny side story.. We totally the wrong way the first time.  We saw what can only be described as a mini Niagra falls.. We kind of all looked at each other and said.. “Well I guess that’s cool?” Then Brett saw a ton of mist coming up from the other corner of the park area.. So we hustled to the REAL falls and it was really incredible.  The clock was ticking.  We took it in for about a minute, snapped a quick photo and high-tailed it out of there. Time to head to Cleveland.

Comment

The Radio Attack Tour #6: Apalachin, NY

Comment

The Radio Attack Tour #6: Apalachin, NY

Upon our 6am arrival to my parents place in Apalachin, NY… we all wanted nothing more than a comfortable bed to sleep in for a while after that drive.  3 and a half hour of night driving in the rain after a late show in NYC was not the best thing that ever happened, but we got through it like champs.  Joe is usually the late night driver of the crew, but this time around, he was spent.  Brett and I had to step up to the challenge and we did!  It worked out just fine.

Ransom Steele Tavern

Ransom Steele Tavern

I woke up around 11am and got up to hang out with my parents.  I knew this visit would go way too fast so I wanted to take advantage of the little time I had.  We went out for coffee and to catch up and let the other 2 dudes rest up.  When we came back, they were still down for the count for a while.  Eventually they got up and my mom made some of her incredible lasagna!  My favorite food ever.  Awesome.  We were definitely eating like kings this tour, once again.  

Time to head to the show!  I WAS SO EXCITED TO PLAY AT RANSOM STEELE!  It is a new venue in the Binghamton area.  Just absolutely beautiful room with a great stage.  There is a 2nd floor balcony that wraps around the whole room for people to watch from as well.  Very cool place and a very welcoming staff.  The Smokin Crows were rocking a set soon after our arrival.  They were playing some great blues music with a hard edge to it.  The vocals were awesomely gritty and the guitar playing was pretty awesome.  They were also doing original music, which was really nice to hear in the Binghamton area.  When I was performing and living in the area… original music in a band setting was somewhat hard to come by.  Very refreshing to hear it in that format on that kind of stage.  Rock on dudes!   

It was our turn.  We had a 2 hour time slot to fill.  Paul got us set right up and we started our first set.  We were playing mostly original stuff with a cover here and there.  Including stuff like The Raconteurs- Steady as she goes, Alabama Shakes- Hold On, Gary Clark Jr- Don’t Owe You a Thing, etc.  After 2 hours of music, the crowd was still right there with us.  We were having a great night.  After we finished our last song, “Johnny”, we got a pretty big encore from the crowd.  So what did we have left?  Why, Enter Sandman, of course!  We ripped through our own version of the Metallica classic and it proved to be a great finish to the night.  Thanks to Ransom Steele for being a truly incredible venue and for making us feel so welcome.  We had a great crowd and I wanted to thank everybody for coming out as well!

 We had the next day off to relax, which was so, so necessary.  The boys got up and we just ate delicious food and hung out with my parents, aunt and uncle and grandparents for the majority of the day.  That was perfect.  It was a great opportunity to catch up and to get our bearings.  Pizza, spiedies and more pizza was on the menu.  After all that, we went out to check out downtown Binghamton, which looked more beautiful to me than ever.  LIfe is about perspectives right?  Well, some of those old buildings have such an incredible charm to me now that I’ve been away.  We enjoyed a beer at such fine establishments as Galaxy Brewing Co and one of my old college haunts, Uncle Tony’s and last, but not least.. The Belmar.  It was the perfect way to end a great day.  We headed back to my parent’s place and hung out for a bit before crashing again.  

Time to head to Buffalo, the land of chicken wings.  Can’t wait to rock up there with RJ and his band, The Spin Wires.  It’s going to be something else!

Comment