Welcome to Tour Journals, a Music Times segment where we ask some of our favorite up-and-coming bands to send us a dispatch from the road. This time around, we've asked Jimkata frontman Evan Friedell to keep a journal on tour with him. Last week, he talked about endurance on the road and authenticity on stage. This week he talks about his first "hometown" show since moving to NYC. Check back next week for more!
On Saturday afternoon, I hop on the L train from Manhattan into Brooklyn to get to the Music Hall of Williamsburg. It's my first "hometown" show after moving to the City, and I gotta say it's pretty damn cool to ride the train to your own show. We arrived here at 5 a.m. after a packed show at the TLA in Philly, the first of two nights with fellow road-warriors and freakishly talented musicians Dopapod.
In the subway station, I pass by Malang Jobarteh -- a world renowned kora player from West Africa who also has affiliations with Ithaca, NY -- and I feel a moment of peace, warmth, and inspiration among the hustle and bustle. It reminds me of Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg, NY, a place that introduced me to all sorts of music at a young age and also of the heart and soul of the people that populate what feels like the center of the world.
This week began with a show in one of our favorite places, Charleston, SC. Probably a large part of our love affair as northerners is due to the warm weather and proximity to the beach, but these shows at the Pour House always turn out pretty raucous even though we've only ever been there on Tuesdays. The Pour House, with its big back deck and dogs-and-babies-style happy hour, always gets us in a good mood for a show.
We discover by the end of the night that a successful method to selling merch is to have one slightly intoxicated and funny old friend convince people to buy extra T-shirts in the wrong size just to hang on their wall. With my girlfriend there as good cop, we have a pretty solid sales team and a lot of laughs with people before the night is over.
The next two days we head to Greensboro and Richmond. Greensboro with The Heavy Pets ends up turning into a big open jam as they invite Packy and I, as well as some members of North Cackalacky based The Mantras up for some improvisational entertainment. It’s been a while since I've just jammed with some friends with no songs or anything, and it felt pretty good.
The truth is we were pretty excited to get home -- to our individual homes and also to our hometown crowds. Both Philly and NYC have a feeling of familiarity -- we've been playing there the longest out of all the places we've been, and old friends and fans come out. Hell, I remember playing the Fire in Philly until the bartenders started flicking the house lights on and off and threatened to dump water on us unless we stopped. Needless to say, it feels like an achievement to be playing some bigger rooms to a crowd full of people who know words to the songs.
You can see Jimkata tonight in Syracuse, NY, at the Wescott Theater. Tomorrow night the band heads to Rochester, NY, for a show at The Montage Music Hall before taking off for Summer Camp Music Festival in Illinois.