Photo Credit: James Rogg
Ah, summertime. It’s hot. Very hot. So hot that the press is saying the middle of the country has a "heat dome" over it. Not sure what it is, but it sounds monstrous. I didn’t think we’d have to go to Texas to escape that this Summer, but that’s what we’re doing!
While I’m happy to be getting out of the Midwest for the latest heatwave, I can’t say that I haven’t enjoyed our first run of shows through here. We officially started the Digisaurus Summer Tour of 2016 two weeks ago, and what a run of shows it’s been. I’ve got an extremely talented rhythm section joining me for most of this tour: Jeff Martin on the drums, and Eric Groseclose on the bass. Both have been involved with Digisaurus for a long time. Jeff’s played drums on most of the recordings, and Eric has been part of the live set-up since our first shows in 2015. The energy they’re adding to the shows has been infectious and I’m very lucky to have them on the road with me.
We found our footing with three shows in Indiana, and we started hitting our stride by the fourth stop at “The Bistro” in Bloomington, IL. This historic gay club had a stage flanked by dancing cages and it made a great scene for the rowdy crowd. I tried to get it in a cage (despite all my rage), but unfortunately was blocked by a bunch of PA equipment. I think this was the first weekend of “Pokémon GO” and the crowd may have been there because the bartender set off a lure. But there was more than enough dancing going around for us to get down and the owner, affectionately named “Momma,” bought us tons of shots after we were done.
After a quick stop in Minneapolis with our friends, Fort Wilson Riot/Pornonono, at a fantastic DIY space called “Licorice Beach,” we played our first house show of the tour in Lincoln, NE at 2SMOOV. I’ve been somewhat baffled by the this place’s name for months after continuously referring to it (phonetically) as “too ess moov”...even on the show posters. Someone finally filled me in on the blindingly obvious phrasing of the name, and I felt like a right fool. Either way, what a great Monday night! Hosts Joe, Alex, and Lewie had a neighborhood barbecue type event and the hot meal was a God send. After experimental trio, “The Mighty Vitamins” performed in the living room, we played to a small packed basement of fun individuals. The night was capped off by the “Multi-Dimensional Cowboy” who looped various instruments dressed in full-on Sun God garb as everyone sat cross-legged in a meditative trance.
We played shows in Lawrence, KS and Iowa City, IA next, both of which were a little sleepy while school was out of session, before landing in Des Moines last Thursday. The Des Moines Social Club has been one of my favorite venues so far this year. It’s a tri-level space with a rooftop patio, theater on the main floor, and a basement stage. We were in the basement as former American Idol winner, Lee Dewyze (Deweezy?), played in the blackbox style theater upstairs. A good crowd and support from Pink Kodiak and The Fuss made for a great night. After our set, Eric ventured off to a place called Zombie Burger and came back with a monstrosity that had two patties and used two giant Mac N’ Cheese bites for buns. Eric swears he never eats this much, but dear god I’ve seen him scarf down some nasty stuff on this tour. Somehow, he still has the figure of a gymnast. Bizarre.
We made a lot of good friends and caught some rad Pokémon in Wichita, KS and Norman, OK. All I can say is the rumors are true…everyone in the Midwest is incredibly nice. While the corn field drives lose their endearment after a couple of days, it’s pretty amazing to see the vast amounts of agriculture, land, and budding music scenes that sit in this area of the country. We’ve got 10 days in Texas next. Let’s see what the cowboys got.