Dott – U.S. Tour Diary Part 2
Words: Anna McCarthy
LA – Tucson
Here we are again, my old friend. Today’s diary entry is being written somewhere along the long, long road that takes us from Tucson, Arizona all the way to Austin, Texas for SXSW.
Again, I want to start this by showing our major appreciation of the support from the lovely people from Culture Ireland. Without their help this tour would never have been possible. Check out www.cultureireland.ie to see all of the brilliant projects they’ve funded.
The Echo, LA, 6th March
LA’s show happened in a really cool venue called The Echo where the Rolling Stones had apparently played a secret show not too long ago. Tonight we were playing downstairs while Fourtet was playing a show upstairs. I have to say that so far, American sound engineers have been seriously good at what they do and have been such sound people too. Tonight Evan was having major difficulty with a pedal during soundcheck and the sound engineer hopped up on stage and sorted us out in no time. We also got amazing pizza in Two Boots next door. Mine was a Big Lebowski-inspired slice called The Dude.
We all loved playing this show, and it made us all fall in love with LA. We met so many lovely people after the show. Bobb from Best Coast caught our set and we got to hang out afterwards and drink some nasty tequila. A friend of the Casket Girls took us on a hunt for tacos across LA and we ended up at the most magical taco stand in the early hours of the morning. We really felt the love for LA enjoying amazing food in a car park with new friends. We were just sad we weren’t spending more time there.
The next morning was the icing on the cake with a yummy breakfast in Mel’s Diner and a trip to the amazing Amoeba Records, the world’s biggest independent record store.
The Hideout, San Diego, 7th March
Apparently there’s always one show in every tour that, plain and simple, sucks. This was that show for us. The gig had originally been booked in another venue but was moved a while back when another act booked in instead. The replacement venue was called the Hideout which had only opened under new management the week before.
Here’s a list of reasons why this gig sucked; the venue forgot to book a sound engineer. By the time an “emergency engineer” turned up there were already people waiting to see the bands and they had to sit through the longest and most tedious setting up of mics ever. There were no posters for the gig. We overheard someone asking a staff member who was playing tonight and he told him to check Facebook. The manager gave out to Peter, the Graveface band’s drummer, for taking off his shirt while playing. The street in front of the venue was closed off with a giant cage for roadworks. We didn’t get any free food or drinks, and finally it kind of smelled like poo in the bar.
The positives were; we still got to play to a small crowd of people who would have never gotten to see us otherwise. We caught a couple minutes of a band up the street playing country music but with a sitar instead of a guitar. We got to hang out with our friends Kristy and Jackie from San Diego and we got to eat in Hooters. The boys really liked Hooters. We heard the next day that the bar manager from the venue quit his job that night too. Fun night.
Club Congress, Tucson, 8th March
Thank God for Tucson. A contender for our favourite place visited on this tour. We raced against time (time changes and time zones) to get to our show in time and drove 6 hours straight without stopping. We got into Tucson and the city was hopping! When we got to the venue we found out that we were playing as part of a mini-festival with Sir Mix Alot headlining tonight’s show!! Amazing! I should mention that Pinback, Yacht and Nitejewel were also on the bill but supporting Sir Mix Alot had definitely been on our list of dream achievements since day one of Dott so we were pretty excited about that.
This night was a seriously fun night. We were on first so we played to a small but perfectly formed crowd. From the first song everyone was dancing and having a good time. After the show we met a guy who had driven 6 hours from New Mexico especially to see us!
We ate the most amazing sandwiches in Bison Witches, so good we wished we could post a couple home for when we get back.
For the first time, all of the Graveface bands were finished early and had the van packed by 9 pm so we took the opportunity to bond and booze with each other. Tonight was also John from The Stargazer Lillie’s birthday so we had an unofficial Graveface party in one of the hotel rooms where lots of tequila was consumed and then went bar hopping around lovely Tucson.
We had so much fun in Tucson that we decided to stay an extra day before making the three day drive to Austin. But we wasted our one day off by being horribly hungover. We did get to pay a visit to the Wild West town of Tombstone though. Yeehaw. Next stop, SXSW in Austin, Texas!