OM TRIO | FALL TOUR JOURNAL (PART I)

Saturday | 09.14.02 |  1:28 p.m.
 Denver, CO   Motel 6
 

It has been raining every single day of this tour. Tucson? Pouring! Vail? WET! It's remarkable. Anyway, the Trio has purchased matching galshes to tackle this dilemma. The past few days have been filled with interesting music and interesting encounters with former and pseudo celebrities. In Vail, we ate dinner next to former college and NFL player Brian "The Boz" Bosworth. He was pretty candid about his steroid scandal and was a really nice guy to talk to. He reminded us of his wild days when he wore an NCAA shirt that said "National Communists Against Athletes" at the 1986 Rose Bowl. The Boz. In Fort Collins, Karl Alvarez (bass player in the band ALL) opened for us with his side project, The President's Wives. We met him before the show and he was equally as approachable and showered us with stories of the road. ALL is really good. 

Descriptions of our music by our fanbase have been hilarious. The two best ones are as follows: "You guys are disgustingly disturbing yet poetic," and the new band favorite, "You guys are a cross between Medeski Martin & Wood and South Park." Blame Canada.

So far, the leisure activity on the road has been made up of rolling into a town and finding the golf arcade game, "Golden Tee Fore 2003." Jon Weinbach's enthusiasm has caused a collective obsession with this video recreation, although he can't really raise the level of  Trio play much higher than pathetic. The average OM Trio score is around 11 or 12 over par. Sad.

Also significant is the amount of buffalo chicken wings we have eaten on this tour. 90% of our meals include this tasty appetizer. It is quite amazing how different wings are from place to place.

Ilya has been taking these whistle solos while playing the drums simultaneously. Brian and Pete clap along with the audience while Il looks likes he will pass out. It is all a lot of fun to witness.

Pete is extremely funky. 


Wednesday | 09.25.02 |  1:57 p.m.
  I-26 between Hilton Head and Columbia, SC  The Van
 

Pete left his bass in Atlanta. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band has a sousaphone player. A sousaphone is not a bass. The club in Hilton Head called some people and an axe was delivered in time for our set. The sheer beauty, tone, action, and overall vibe of the said instrument was a sight and sound to behold. The Trio rocked anyway. Big ups to Rodney from SC for coming through. Of course we don't have Pete's Fender for two more gigs (we'll pick it up for Harvest Fest near Atlanta). So for the next Dirty Dozen show in Columbia, SC, we managed to procure an 80s Ibanez replica 4-string beast for Mr. Novembre to attack with abandon. Thanks to the Jam Room in Columbia for the clutch delivery. 

BRIAN: "We got an 80s Ibanez replica for the gig."
PETE: "Oh shit, I'm gonna tap on that thing."
ILYA: "Your tapping is fly?"
PETE: "Yo, I know this phat Billy Sheehan solo."
ILYA: "What key is it in?"
PETE: "Key?!!!?!??? What the hell are you talking about?"

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, by the way, are the nicest bunch of guys ever and they scream "Give it up for the OM Trio!!!!" for five minutes as soon as they hit the stage. Towards the end of the night, some ladies got on stage to dance and Terrance, the drummer, made the perfectly acceptable move of dropping his sticks to grind with the aforementioned females. This maneuver left the music sans percussion and Terrance winked at Ilya to replace him at this particular moment. So Ilya sat in with the Dirties for half of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." This simultaneously brought a pinch of Yankee toughness to the overall New Orleans vibe of the Brass Band and of course helped Terrance score (we think).


Sunday | 09.29.02 |  9:19 a.m.
  I-95 South of the NJ State Line   The Van
   

There was some confusion before the gig last night in Wilmington, NC about who was actually going to be running sound for the Trio show.  At about 7 p.m., a solid candidate emerged, and we seemed satisfied with the choice the club made.  All seemed to be going as planned until the soundman casually informed Brian that he was having some sort dispute with his ex-girlfriend that may involve police coming into the club and taking him away.  He then went on to give Bri a 30 second explanation of how to run the sound equipment if that should happen. (None of us really know exactly how to run a soundboard.)  Sure enough, just before we were scheduled to start, the police showed up and took away the soundman in handcuffs.  Luckily, we managed to figure out the board and got a little help while we were onstage from a sound savvy bartender.   

As the night grew later, it became evident that the evening's surprises were not over.  At around 1 a.m., the crowd outside the bar (downtown Wilmington) was looking hostile.  Sooner than later, more police cars showed up.  More people were put into handcuffs.  By the time we got off stage, we found out that there was a violent fight in one of the neighboring bars that (allegedly) involved people getting stabbed with broken beer bottles.

Given this peculiar set of circumstances, we took the opportunity to play a very aggressive, heavily improvised set that reminded us in many ways of the Tucson is Burning series on Live.  It wasn't so much the content that was similar, but rather the vibe of the music and the experience of playing music in such a bizarre set of circumstances.  


Saturday | 10.12.02 |  11:12 a.m.
  Comfort Inn   Cromwell, CT
   

We were on our way to play with Joshua Redman in Cleveland, listening to Black Sabbath, enjoying the ever-present rain. All of a sudden, whilst savoring the opening harmonica strains of "The Wizard," Ilya noticed the odometer reading on the van...166,666.6.  This was not planned. Satan, laughing, spreads his wings and was definitely coming 'round the bend -- in the form of a Pennsylvania state trooper who stopped your humble jazz-metal outfit and proceeded to issue the much-appreciated $145 summons. We had no N.W.A. or Bodycount in the van to reference after this.

We did two nights (Cleveland and Baltimore) with Redman's group which includes keyboardist Sam Yahel and drum giant Brian Blade. These guys are all leaders in their own right and it was an honor to share a stage with them and a great chance to watch such jazz luminaries from the wings and for free. The crowd was substantially older than our normal audience and were in their seats at 8 p.m. both nights, clapping after bass solos. This type of environment makes the Trio bring the tough New Jersey grindcore/Cannibal Corpse/Menudo vibe to the general proceedings. Needless to say, there were a lot of musicians at both shows and we got a great reception. The individual Redman players were very complimentary and Joshua thanked us from the stage, saying we had a "very innovative sound." Another great description of our sound from random listener: Cross between Herbie Hancock and Kraftwerk.

Backstage is also an opportunity to read the witty graffiti/band sticker/miscellaneous debris on the green room walls. Some great band names we've stumbled upon include Puppy Kicker, Monday Dead, Cracktorch, Shredlocks, and Alcoholocaust. In Maryland, there was a particularly awesome sticker on the bathroom wall commenting on the current state of affairs in music: "Will rap over rock for food."  

After the gig we got in the van and drove away quickly, trying to avoid this jackass sniper in Maryland. Luckily, he wasn't at our show because he thinks we sold out and prefers our first album to any of the new shit.

Miles driven since September 4: 10,584


[Published on: 10/22/02]

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