Ah, the homeland. Short flights, American slang, Chipotle. It’s good to be back in the ole’ USA. Time for a few one-offs at different ends of the country.
Tangent: Did you know only 30% of Americans have a passport? Compare that to 60% of Canadians and 75% of Brits, why do Americans travel less than the rest of the world? Aside from a work culture that prohibits long breaks for travel and relative geographic isolation, the United States has a vast geography with myriad destinations. Alaska to Hawaii to LA to NY to Miami to Texas to Chicago to Charleston to New Orleans to the Grand Canyon…I could keep going, but you can spend years traveling to different places in the country and see the same diversity as you might in Europe or Asia. Biggest difference, though, is the unilingualism. We all speak English. You can get a decent swath of different cultures, but cultural extremes are hard to come by. There’s comfort in that, I suppose. Anyway…
Little Rock, AK – Sept 17-19
In the hometown of Bill Clinton, we showed up for the ACANSA festival. In their first year putting it on, we were brought in to kick off what they hoped would be a huge annual event. Our friends Kiki and Haley Huettl flew out for the show. It was in a spacious masonic temple that was donated for the festival. The audience was a little far from the stage and with the fog machines running full time, we couldn’t see the crowd at one point during the show! So much for all the discussions about what to wear! The funniest part was an argument after the show about where we could and couldn’t take our wine. We snuck upstairs with our glasses of merlot as he chased us up the elevator.
Pensacola, FL – Sept 23-25
This gig was debated by the group for a bit. Jamal didn’t want to do it because he wanted to stay home, but that would mean the rest of the group doesn’t get paid. We got in a day early and posted up in the motel. Fredo, Chris, and I went to the beach while Jamal and Aaron slept through the day. On show day, Paul had to basically rewire the sound system, but he got it rolling. It sounded really good and the UWF audience was incredible! They loved it and we fed off of that. Turned out to be a good gig.
Anchorage and Juneau, AK – Oct 6-10
Another repeat gig for us. Last time we were here, the sound guy blew up at us for running a “drum and bass” show. It was the only time I’ve seen Fredo get that argumentative (except maybe with Courtney on the SingOff Tour 2 years later), and the dude ended up apologizing to us for his outburst. “Low blood sugar,” he said…OK, whatev.
He was there again, but Paul ran sound this time. The show was nearly identical to the first time we did it, but we have really come a long way. Some of the people in the audience were part of the opening groups from the first time around, and we went out to late-night dinner with them before returning to the Captain Cook hotel. Last time, we saw some friends in Shrek; this time we flew to Juneau. We weren’t sure if we’d make the trip due to a storm in the area, but we made it in to the tiny airport. After a workshop and a show, we grabbed a couple beers and played darts downtown. Some of the people from the show bought us a couple shots and we enjoyed the sleepy capital. The next day we visited a huge glacier before hitting the road and flying home.
Short trips, good gigs, surprisingly different places across the US.