So last weekend was a long one for ETB.
A long Thursday night set at Friends. A double on Friday (3 hr sets and Friends and BD Riley's), then a long set at Saxon Pub Saturday.
Seems counterproductive and even overkill to play that much in your home town -- thinning the crowd, over-exposure, etc. Why would people pay $10 to see you at one place when you play for free at other places weekly?
1. We don't promote our shows on 6th Street. We play to foot traffic and a few friends that come out. Allows us to play several shows a week, and still have a great turnout for gigs like Saxon Pub. Bills don't pay themselves, and this allows us to make a living by playing all the time, even if staying close to home.
2. Shows with a cover charge (like Saxon Pub) we play a different show than the 6th Street shows, and you get to see us in a reputable venue on a real stage with a great sound system. The 6th Street shows are more laid back and loose (no setlist), while we keep it tighter for places you pay to see us.
Not knocking places like Friends and BD's in the least. But hearing ETB through a high-dollar PA run by a reputable Front Of House engineer with awesome lighting is a different experience than a place where the PA is smaller and we set up mics ourselves.
Thursday played for 3+ hours with a short set break. Friday an early set at Friends (7:30-10:30). Then a brief break where we tore down gear as fast as we could amidst the terrible and loud DJ music that comes on right when the band quits, rolled it 2 doors down, then set up to play for another 3 hours at BD Riley's. Then Saturday we played for about 3 hours at Saxon Pub, as we started at 10pm and there was no midnight band. All ETB.
We try not to do that too much, but again. Bills don't pay themselves.
So I was in energy conservation mode most of last week.
Thursday went alright, decent set to a decent crowd. Got to leave our gear at Friends which was really nice. Rolled in Friday and my green winter hat was still sitting on the sub that's on my corner of the stage. Nice! Early set at Friends went well, slow to build but it built. Our good friend photographer Clayton Hodges was out, great to see him.
Photos courtesy of Clayton Hodges
We joked about playing whatever set we played at Friends earlier backwards at BD's but we abandoned that, as we couldnt remember what we played anyway (no setlist) but we battled through our fatigue and tore the place up. By an hour/half in BD's set my forearms and hands were starting to ache. We ended slightly early cause Rob's body had given out by then.
Yeah bass is tearing up my hands/forearms/elbows/neck. But I can't imagine playing drums the way Rob does for as long as he does. But he is 8 years younger than me, heh.
So we really had to rally for the Saxon Pub show. Especially because before we had added the early Friday set at Friends last minute, we had all committed to helping the ETB Merch Girl Extraordinaire, Loranda, move into her new place.
Holy Aching Body, Batman.
We survived, and despite being dead on our collective feet it felt really good to help her for all the help she's given us over the years.
So then we had to play one more long set at Saxon. And we joked about having a terrible sweater contest, but Eric had no luck finding entries for him and myself at Thift Town. But he HAD hatched a plan to make History that night...!
Saxon Pub had a great crowd that night (aforementioned non-promotion of free 6th Street shows, and heavy promo of gigs like Saxon). We actually took a set break that night (aforementioned no midnight band, all ETB after 10pm).
Getting back onstage Eric waited for the right moment to plug in his new quesadilla maker.
That's right. Eric Tessmer was going to make a quesadilla onstage at the Saxon Pub. We had promoted that, so we HAD to deliver. Fuck the sweater contest.
NO MUSICAL ACT IN THE HISTORY OF THE SAXON PUB HAS EVER MADE A QUESADILLA ONSTAGE.
During "Sissy Strut" Eric prepared the tortillas and cheese on one of Rob's floor toms during the drum solo. It was awesome, and caught on video by Triinti Young:
I had some of it, and it was delicious. And yeah, people are still talking about it!
So yeah. Sunday morning I was wrecked. Neck ached from headbanging. Forearms and elbows stiff, hands sore. The fingertips of my right fore- and middle fingers felt like I was trying to finger-fuck a stove burner, and the calluses looked as if they were skin grafts from the bottom of an old man's feet.
But this is what I feel most of the time, just less severe.
I have an acupuncture appointment with the Chinese medicine doctor Trin has been seeing (who is also the sister of Bobby from Honky, keeping it in the family). I'm getting worsening Tennis Elbow on my left arm now (have sought medical treatment for it in my right elbow years back). And wtf, Tennis Elbow? I don't even own a racket!
Left elbow feels stiff when I've kept it bent for too long (i.e. when I sleep). Reaching out and grasping an object with any kind of weight results in sharp pains. On my shoulders where all the forearm/finger muscles attach has similar aches and sharp pains.
Pretty much anything I do with my hands/arms that doesn't involve playing bass for 3 hours hurts. And from years of headbanging my neck sounds like wrenching a sheet of bubble wrap when I stretch it out.
Yeah, I will be going in to my acupuncture appointment with a laundry list of ailments. In the meantime I am glad I have 10+ days off from playing due to Christmas holiday, and we got a big bottle of Zyflammend on the way down here. There's only so much Ibuprofin you can take every day, and Zyflammend works on repairing joints as well as easing inflammation.
Keep you all posted.