Because we tend to tour in dense blocks of time, it makes more financial sense for us to rent a van, rather than owning one. And…sometimes that means you end up with not exactly what you tried to rent. Attempting to find a minivan in Washington DC the week of spring break, Easter, and the cherry blossoms opening is a challenge. The only van we can find is dodgy, to say the least. It smells, is badly dinged up, and the fob to open and close the doors (necessary, since there’s no key) doesn’t really work. (Text from Mark: “To paraphrase Nietzsche, fob is dead.”)
So, we end up packed into an SUV for a few days, with the promise of a new van next week. It means we hit the road from DC to Philly a few hours later than expected, and immediately run into weekend/Easter/East Coast traffic. It is white knuckle the entire way.
All of our stress immediately disappears the second we arrive at Rigby Mansion. Called as such because…it’s a mansion.
A huge, beautiful, mid-1800s behemoth of a house. Wrap-around porch, carriage house (formerly used to train homing pigeons – their names are still written on the walls), giant trees with a swing – and a keg of honey wheat beer brewed next door.
As the moon rises and the neighborhood is enveloped in fog, it becomes a perfect setting from which to launch our tour. The night starts off perfectly with Birdie Busch‘s beautiful, hushed set. And then we’re off – the huge, vaulted ceilings reflect perfectly. We play and banter loosely and the whole show goes really well – it’s as good and as memorable a start to a tour as could be hoped for.
Nights like Philadelphia are what make these type of shows so unique – a pop-up show in a beautiful space creates something incredibly memorable – both from the performance side and from the audience side.
After a casual morning breakfast with our hosts, we hit the road and head towards our DC show.
DC. So good to be back! I spent ten years of my life in this city, and the Unitarian Church in Arlington, VA we’re performing at is mere blocks from my first apartment. The sshow is organized by Stone Room Concerts. We’ve done a few shows with them, and they’ve been fantastic every time – from a stone basement, to a bike shop, to this church. All of them demonstrate the versatility and flexibility of the “living room show” concept.
Because of the size of the room, we actually use a PA for the evening (a rarity for these type of shows) – even with that, it still feels incredibly intimate. We can all engage in banter (sometimes back and forth between us and the audience), and by the end of the night, it feels like all of us – from performer to audience – have had a great evening of hanging out together. For me – that’s what sets these apart. All of us, traveling together, through a space for a particular period of time.
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