02:22 PM on 10/11/13
TCG European Tour Diary Dispatch #3. "30 days. 12 Countries. 7 Languages. 5 Currencies."
licante, Spain- This ranked right up there with the best shows of the tour. After the show we went outside and played "Lydia" on the acoustic guitar for some friends who had come out from Madrid. Everyone gathered around us and sang along. It was a pretty amazing moment. And the bars in Spain don't close until dawn. I promise. It's true.
Reggio Emilia, Italy- The venue was a large barn/ mansion just outside of Reggio Emilia. Pulling up to the club we had a momentary delay due to the donkey standing in the middle of the one lane road. That turned out to be the only obstacle of the evening (excluding the climb into my bunk bed at 4 AM). We played for an hour and a half with two encores and ended up once again with the acoustic guitar and everyone gathered around singing along. We stayed up late talking, signing records, and taking pictures with everyone who came out. I think this might have taken the cake, the plate, and the candles as the best show of the tour.
Belgrade, Serbia- Clubs have funny names. High Dive. 3 Kings. Knitting Factory. So pulling up to the Gun Club in Belgrade we really thought nothing of it. We load in and everything seems normal. But as we sit down at the bar the sound of gunshots ring through the joint. We look at each other immediately with sincere and justified concern. The promoter sees us and laughs. He then explains to us that the place is an actual functioning firing range during the day and doesn't become a rock club until 8 PM or so. We laugh. It takes a minute for that to sink in. When you're this far away from home i've found it's best to try and laugh and roll with the punches. So we do. Have a drink and wait for the gunplay to cease. Shortly enough it does. The doors get pulled back and open up to a great room with a balcony and where the targets hang is actually a stage below. We have a great show. Even stepping over bullet casings while singing anti gun songs. I kept one. I probably shouldn't have tried to bring it back to the states, but i did. It's sitting here on my desk where i am writing this.
Pirot, Serbia- This is officially the farthest the three of us have ever been away from Ohio. Belgrade is a city like any other city. You have a great mix of people, art, music, highways. Pirot is a small town. So this is not the case. We take the small mountain road into town. Squeezing by tractor trailers on this small road as cars whip past us. My hands sweat. My heart starts to lose it's mind. Just getting to the venue is somewhat of a victory in itself. On this night we are playing a youth cultural center. We soundcheck. Eat. Do a quick interview for a Serbian TV station, and it's time to play. I'm not sure why but the place is packed. I think just being an American band in this town is enough. After the show we meet two 17 year old kids who are just ecstatic. I grabbed the guys and we spent half an hour talking to them about music and traveling. Remember that first time you really HEARD!! music? Remember that feeling? I do. And on this night we were able to give that to two kids in Pirot, Serbia.
Paracin, Serbia- I wish i could've gotten your name. But the only English words you spoke were "Iggy Pop", "Frank Zappa", and "Two Cow Garage!!" You stood directly in front of the stage the entire night. Knocking over microphone stands, dancing, falling down, and jumping on stage with excitement. You borrowed the money to take the 50 km train ride to see us. Here. Paracin, Serbia. Three kids from nowhere Ohio. You knew every vowel sound to "Should've California." And i don't mean that in a shitty way. This show sucked. But you sir, made my night. Sincerely, thank you.
Zagreb, Croatia- Last show of the tour. A rainy Sunday night in Zagreb. Despite the weather a great crowd turns out and we play great. We finish with a pretty killer encore. We load up our rented gear one last time. I stuff three beers into my pockets and make the 20 minute walk to the modern art museum. There's a group of kids sitting on the steps that were at the show. They're drinking cheap red wine and "cola" from big plastic water jugs. This is the kids drink of choice in this area. We sit on the steps of the museum talking until about 2:30 AM when the security guard finally asks us to leave. We all stumble down the steps and into the streets of Zagreb blurry with booze and exhaustion. I say goodbye and hail a cab back to the hotel.
This was an amazing tour and i hope you've enjoyed this little bit of insight into our reality. I hope you've enjoyed reading these as much as i've enjoyed writing them. Our US tour starts tomorrow in Cincinnati, OH and moves west from there. I hope to see some of you out at the shows. Come say hello. We'll have a drink and work the chaos. Thanks for reading. And thanks for listening. Art or Die. MS.