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. Guitarist Rob Compa checks in from Morgantown, WV this week.
Howdy, everybody!!! I just couldn’t stay away from all you wonderful folks (whoever you are), so I’m hitting you guys with another blog. I also figure that if I wait any longer than three shows to type something, I’ll have too much information to make sense out of and it’ll just be a long, confusing piece of tripe. So this seems like a good way to chew slowly, exercise some portion control, and stay regular…
We started our week off in Toronto and Lee’s Palace, and lemme tell you, Canadian folks are the warmest, kindest folks you could ever hope to meet. I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore when I accidentally elbowed a cop on the street who, after I apologized, pleasantly said it was no problem. I can’t help but assume that if I did that in New York City, it’d be a different story.
The venue was a really cool, old club that seemed like it might’ve been a pretty opulent movie theater decades ago. I love getting to old venues and examining its blemishes. I enjoy making up my own theories about what those blemishes are a result of, even if they’re incorrect. The place was relatively small, but the stage was probably one of the tallest ones I’ve ever come across, which gave us a pretty cool feeling once the show started. It was fun to be an entire person higher than everyone else in the room.
The show went great, although I can’t really recall any musical highlights, although maybe that’s just because it was all so fun I can’t distinguish any one positive moment from another. At the end of the night a handful of folks stuck around to help us pack up, which we really appreciated. Those Canadians sure know how to be hospitable.
The next day took us to Hamilton, which was only about 40 minutes away from Toronto, which was pretty relieving for us compared to how much driving is involved on the average day. We played at a nice little Irish bar called the Corktown Pub, which was a riot. I think I can speak for everybody else in the band when I say that playing small rooms is immensely fun. The sound is always so tight and dry, which we love because we can hear everything little thing going on onstage, which leads to some really cool interaction. I also dig it because a small room puts us in the mood of not taking ourselves too seriously, which is important to me. If you use that mentality the right way, some really great music can come out of it.
The following day was one that I’d been looking forward to for quite a while, because we were headed to my hometown of Rochester, NY to play at Water Street Music Hall! We hadn’t played the ole’ 585 in almost two years, so I was pretty stoked. We were also excited because this was the first time that we were booked in the big concert hall side of the venue instead of the smaller (but still very cool) club side. It was cool to load into that great big room that I had seen so many amazing bands in as a kid.
After sound check, we all took a walk through some extremely suspect neighborhoods and made our way to Dinosaur BBQ to fill our bellies with meat and our souls with greasy, smoky bliss. I got the Cuban sandwich. A wise choice if I do say so myself. I also recommend the catfish strips. Eating there was a cool walk down memory lane, too. I used to beg my Dad to take me to open blues jam over there on Tuesday nights. However, on one of the rare occasions that he did take me over there, I was petrified when I encountered a crack head who said to me “Give me your fucking phone number.” I think I was too scared to go back to that joint for a good two years!
The show was, at least in our humble opinions, the best show of the tour so far. We had a blast. I felt really warm and cozy from start to finish; great vibes from the crowd, not an ounce of nervousness. It was awesome. For the first set closer, we brought up Gabe and Jeff from Consider the Source to play a cover of “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath. That was a great excuse for Gabe and I to wield our battle axes together in reverence of rock’s oldest Deity, good ole’ Lucifer. What a guy. We were a little flustered after the fact when we discovered that we had forgotten to put a mic on Gabe’s amp, but every said that he was plenty loud anyhow, so fuck it. The recording might sound a little strange if it every gets released, but what are ya gonna do?
So that brings us to now, three shows deep in a six show run. I guess you could say that this our hump day. We’re making our way to Morgantown, WV to play at 123 Pleasant Street tonight. I, personally, come to Morgantown for the music but I stay for the black bean burritos across the street from the venue! Tonight is the local college’s homecoming, so I for one am hopeful for some drunken college kids doing crazy shit tonight. Should be a rowdy time.