As Dopapod hits the road in anticipation of their upcoming album, Never Odd or Even, (due out November 11), they have agreed to be our eyes and ears on the front-line of Rock-n-Roll and report to Honest Tune about what life on the road is really like for a touring band. The band will periodically be checking in and delivering their thoughts and musings from the road. In this installment guitarist Rob Compa explores the highs and lows of shows from New Haven to Toronto and the glory that is a Rochester Garbage Plate.
Hey there everybody! I’m gonna come right out of the gate here and give all of you a disclaimer: I’m not actually totally sure what a blog is. I get the impression that it’s more or less a public journal entry. But I’m always looking for something to help pass the time in the van, and this ought to pass a whole lot of it. If anyone actually goes out of their way to read it, then good for you. And if not, then at least I killed a little time. I apologize for whatever grammatical errors might be lurking in the following paragraphs, but hey, I’d rather it be honest than be perfect.
So where do I begin??? Well for starters, we’re three shows into fall tour, which started off with a bang right out of the gate. We started out at Toad’s Place in New Haven, Connecticut with our good buddies and one of our favorite bands, Consider the Source. Our good friend Adrian Tramontano from Kung Fu came out and played percussion with us for the whole show. During the encore, Chuck and I both had Adrian play some guitar and bass, which he just slaughtered. What an amazing musician. And I got to play a little bass, which is always a fun time for me. And he really took the music to a new place. Lots of tours start off with one or two “dust of the cobwebs” shows, so when the first show in is as exciting and fun for us as the Toad’s show was, that’s a good sign for how the rest of tour is gonna go.
The next day brought us to Higher Ground in Burlington, Vermont. Burlington is easily one of our favorite cities to play in, and Higher Ground is one of the coolest, most hospitable venues in the country. We were especially psyched because Adrian had such a great time with us that he decided to cancel a couple other gigs and drive out to the next two nights to play with us again. It meant the world to us that such a great dude and amazing musician went out of his way just so he could play some more music with us. The show went great, minus a slightly embarrassing moment during my guitar solo in “Upside of Down” when I broke a string on my guitar. Normally I’d just play through a broken string, but I was using my solid-body PRS, which has a really sensitive whammy bar, so when I broke my string, all the other strings went completely out of tune. But shit happens, and the best you can do is laugh about it.
The next day we played at Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs. My dad and a few family friends made the trip out, which really made my night. He’s a retired drug counselor, and anyone who’s ever been to a Dopapod show knows that the audience is not without it’s debauchery and other various shenanigans on any given night, so it always gives me a chuckle to see what kinds of characters he runs into when he comes out to a show. Despite that, though, it always feels good to have the guy who bought me my first guitar and showed me the first chords I ever learned in the room cheering us on. And my Dad was especially tickled when a fan asked him to autograph his poster. Rock on, Dad.
After a couple days off, we all met up in my hometown of Rochester, NY and crashed at my parents’ place. We all went out for a few drinks and then got the idea to fill our bellies with a Rochester tradition: garbage plates. For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, lemme give you the lowdown; A Styrofoam takeout box, with one half filled with macaroni salad, and the other filled with home fries (you can also swap either of those out for French fries or baked beans). Then you put either 2 cheeseburgers or 2 hotdogs on top of that, cover it in Chili, ketchup, mustard, and diced onions. Then you eat all of it. Then you go to bed. Then you wake up. And then you feel bad about it. Then you kind of want another one. It’s glorious. Lemme tell ya, if you’re ever in Rochester and want to do something totally irresponsible to your body, get a garbage plate.
So that brings us to now. I’m sitting here in the van, chugging some coffee. We’re headed to Toronto today, which should be cool. I haven’t been to Toronto since I was in the 7th grade, when I went there on a field trip to see Phantom of the Opera at Pantages Theatre. Maybe we should tease some tunes from that show… Andrew Lloyd Webber writes some pretty badass shit! We’ll see…
Anyhow, I’m officially out of stuff to talk about out, so until next time! Take it easy, everybody!