Eric Tessmer Band ventured north to Dallas to play Sundown at the Granada Theater.
This gig was a bit of a wild card for us, we hadn't played Dallas in a year and we'd never played the Sundown stage. Needless to say we were unsure how the turnout would be as well as how much money we'd be returning home with. But we hoped for some good spillover from the Monte Montgomery show on the main stage. Eric made the trek up a day early, so the rest of us traveled in my trusty van Goldie Hawn.
Like any trip north on I-35, a stop at the Czech Stop in West, TX (exit 353) is MANDATORY. The way up and the way back. It is an institution. Amazing colaches!
Granada Theater is in a trendy part of Dallas. Valet parking part of town. Had to kill an hour hanging in the parking lot before the Sundown stage was cleared from the dinner crowd. The Sundown stage/venue was very nice and upscale, but in a good way if that makes sense. We've had bad experiences playing upscale places in the past, but the vibe was very different there.
Pulled up to load in and suddenly there were two employees helping carry gear. Wow, that is awesome and a rare treat... help! But here's the kicker: they weren't just designated load-in guys. This was Mike the owner, and Nick the sound engineer.
Yeah. I had to do a double-take as well. This is unprecedented. I have never been in any band playing any venue where the owner and front of house guy helped the band load in. And they were very nice and very professional. Again, just wow.
We were slightly concerned about the size/shape of the place and our overall sound level (loud as fuck). But the state of the art sound system quickly put our concerns to rest. I looked around for the sound board and only saw a cashier station: Nick was operating sound via an iPad. Technology!
We were slated for 2 70 minute sets starting at 11pm. We started at the appropriate time. The venue sounded amazing and the place quickly filled. Before we knew it we'd played an hour and a half. And it was even MORE packed. We were destroying the place, and the crowd LOVED us. So we nixed the idea of taking a break and blew the doors off the place until 2am. 3 hours straight. And Mike the owner was sitting by the side of the stage most of the night. Needless to say we made a really good impression.
So the gig was an overwhelming success, we will definitely be back, and we walked away with the equivalent of my rent per man. Amazing.
The overnight drive back was uneventful save for a pesky headwind, which was jostling around my fully-loaded van like an empty tallboy. Helped me stay awake. I was usually on overnight drive shift on the ETB tour last summer, so no problemo there.
And of course, we stopped at the Czech Stop again. It's open 24 hours!