Monday, August 18, 2008

The Third Class/Bull Skit World Tour in July/August 2007

We set out to go on a small tour in the end of the summer of the year 2007. I went to Leonard Truck And Trailer in North Jackson, Ohio and bought a trailer and got a hitch put on my 1992 Honda Accord Station Wagon by Willow Knoll in Deerfield, Ohio. This happened the day we left for the tour because of a complication with the order for the hitch that came from Arizona. We decided not to use the trailer for our first show because of lack of driving experience with it and because we were coming back through our area before the second show. For the first show, we loaded up my station wagon with instruments and headed for The Fire in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This was on July 25th. The venue was a good one and the sound on the stage was good. The bar was having some sort of party where they dressed up in fashionable outfits made up of trash bags. The people at the bar seemed to be distracted by setting the mood for this party, but there was a DJ and a lot of people that were friends of the bands that we gave demos and fliers to. The drive to Philadelphia was fine, but the drive home was tedious. Pepe kept falling asleep at the wheel and I kept getting hungry and stopping to eat more and Jack was the designated talker, the keeper-awaker for Pepe and I. Jack talked philosophically to us for most of the trip home to try to keep our minds working and keep us from dozing off. The worst part of the drive was the home stretch between the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. We got home at like 5 am and I only slept 4 hours when I did get to bed.
The next day, I woke up early (early for getting to sleep at 5) and drove the trailer around as much as I could to prepare for the next show.
We headed for our next destination on July 27th. This time we were going to a closer location called Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania for a festival called The Firefly Music Festival. Joining us this time was our friend, Brandon Hull, a member of our comedy skit troupe called Bull Skit Productions, a troupe which we had made it our mission to promote (specifically for on this tour in order to get more people to watch the skits we made. It was scary to drive there because there were a lot of hills on the route we took. When we arrived, we were directed into a dirt road in the woods that our trailer could barely make it across. Then we were parked behind a stage. The festival was a textbook hippie fest. There were tents everywhere and vendors with hemp necklaces and peace-sign t-shirts; the works. There weren't an astounding amount of people there, but it was definitely a good thing to be playing for a decent sized crowd for us since we were from out of town. Then, one of the organizers of the event informed us that one of the sound guys backed out and our stage wasn't available.
We were all really upset, but then I went behind the main stage and asked a group of guys who were scheduled up on stage next if they could cut there time slot shorter so that we could play a handful of songs. They agreed and were very reasonable and nice about it. So, we played four songs and it rained a little when we played, and only when we played, as if we were not meant to be there, disturbing the natural order of hippie-music fests. But, there were a small group of people that liked the songs a lot. Particularly, a group of girls seemed to be bouncing and tapping their feet to "The Glue Is Starting To Crack" from our album Chloe's Epitaph Is Choe which we had released the year before. Then, we got out of there and someone snapped a picture of us in front of the festival sign. We hit Sheetz and drove home once more before heading out for the last four shows.
Steve Boyle, the youngest brother in my family, joined us for the rest of the tour. He had been at Lakeside Camp in Sandusky, Ohio and we met him when he got home and left early the next day for Louisville, Kentucky. We had to hurry because we had two shows scheduled in one night on the day we left which was July 28th. Jack had booked us a camp site in Sheperdsville, Kentucky and we got there around 6 pm and set up a tent and cooked Spagetti-O's and hotdogs and what-not. Then we got back in the car and pulled the trailer into Louisville where we took to walking around the streets and handing out Third Class and Bull Skit fliers to people we walked by. They were all very friendly and most of them probably threw the fliers away, but who knows. We did get a myspace message from a kid who was camping next to us and went on to check out the tunes. The first venue we played in Louisville was The Petrus Nightclub with a good rock band called Dying Indiana. There were about 5 people there. Then, we packed up and drove down the street to our familiar venue, The Highlands Taproom on Bardstown Rd., one of the coolest roads I have ever seen, full of coffee shops, used-clothing stores, bookstores, music stores, cool restaurants, health food stores and more. We played at about midnight at the Taproom and there were about 10 people there. Steve also got yelled at for not being 18 and they wouldn't let him into the bar when we played. After that, we all went back to the campsite and slept in the tent.
The next day, we assessed that it wasn't very much more money to stay in one of the really nifty KOA Kabins on the site, so we switched sites and got more comfortable. Then, this being July 29th. It was off to The Hideaway Saloon. This bar had guaranteed us a small spot in there open-mic night and so I went in by myself and played acoustic versions of "A Drug Inside Your Wrist" and "Rainy And Stormy." The people in there were crazy about it. They wanted to hear the full band and I passed out a couple free full-length albums and they were copying them to laptops and handing me cards with different booking phone numbers on it. It was a good promotional moment. We spent the rest of our time that day playing volleyball, hiking and swimming at the KOA.
On July 30th, we played at Stevie Ray's Blue's Bar and played acoustic versions of "A Drug Inside Your Wrist," "Office Supplies," and "Explode The Sky" among other songs. We got no response from the crowd.
We had a break until our homecoming show in Youngstown, Ohio on August 4th. So, we played more volleyball, hiked more and swam more and made sure to get a good portion of the tour videotaped so that we could later edit together our infamous documentary called "The Third Class/Bull Skit World Tour" in which we goof off most of the time. During the time near the end of our trip, we stopped in Cincinnati, Ohio and promoted with chalk on the sidewalk and did the same in Columbus, Ohio. We also visited our friend Amy Erdmann who took us on a stroll around by Ohio State University. Then, we visited our friends Billy James and Jen Townsend who lived just outside the downtown area and we stayed the night at there place and went to Waffle House.
On August 4th, Craig Beight and Derek Baker joined us to ride with us to Cedars Lounge in Youngstown, Ohio for our final show of the tour. We opened for Posture Coach and had a really fun time. This gave us the opportunity to include a lot of our Youngstown and Columbiana, Ohio friends in the documentary.

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