NY, OH, VT (Van Troubles), KY!

Hey! So, it’s time to tell you about the rest of the tour, which will be difficult to do within the conventions of the length of a blog post, but I’ll try.

A couple of weekends ago we continued our US tour, this time to Arlene’s Grocery in Manhattan! We had a great time exploring the city on our day there, and then playing with Floating Compass and Oak and Ash. We played a great set, had some delicious pizza, and then went for a nighttime adventure in Bay Ridge. Beams <3 New York.

Beams in Manhattan
Beams at Arlene’s Grocery! Photo by Cari Fraser

After a few days back at work, we set out again, stopping off for a show with pals Run Coyote at the Boathouse in Kitchener before heading down to Cleveland. Where did we play in Cleveland? I’ll give you some clues: it’s a multi-level old-school bowling alley with pinball machines that also contains a fried chicken stand, a bar, and a small vintage clothing store. You guessed it! Mahall’s. What a place. It was so nice that we played there twice. What a treat.

Heather bowling
Heather mid-bowl. Photo by Dave

We ended up with the second Cleveland show because we had a day off. We got the offer while we were at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. By the way, did you know that if you’re a band, and you bring a copy of your album, you can get admission for free? So awesome!

Someone nice took a picture of us. Anna, Dave, Mike, Heather, Keith, Martin, Craig!
Someone nice took a picture of us. Anna, Dave, Mike, Heather, Keith, Martin, Craig!

Anyway, once we were done at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame it was time to drive back to Mahall’s for the second show. We were about halfway there on the highway when Keith turned to me and said there was something wrong with the speedometer – it was showing zero, but we were travelling at highway speed. Right after he said that, we heard a loud “clunk!” underneath the van, so we decided to get off the highway. As we slowed our speed we realized that the transmission wasn’t shifting properly, so we drove in first gear, slowly, to Mahall’s. When we got out, we realized that we also had a fast leak in the rear tire. Since it was Saturday and all of the shops were closed, Keith changed the tire, Craig got a rental minivan, we went ahead and played the second show and left the van in a parking lot for the night.

Craig, Mike and Keith working on the van.
Craig, Mike and Keith working on the van. Photo by Anna

The next day we woke up early and called some garages, but none were open because it was Sunday. Also, Sunday brunch isn’t really a thing in Cleveland, so we went to Happy Dog for some breakfast hot dogs (and to try to get a last minute show). After being there for a couple of hours we finally left and gravitated toward the van, not really sure what to do. At some point, Mike walked over to Mahall’s and ran into a friend who connected him to a mechanic on the phone. The mechanic suggested that it was the speed sensor that had malfunctioned and that we could probably find the part ourselves at Autozone.

At Autozone, Keith got underneath the van in the parking lot, found the part, and we confirmed the part number – but they didn’t have any in stock. So we called around until we found an O’Reilly’s across town who had one. Success! We managed to get there five minutes before closing time. Then Keith installed the part and we had a celebratory dinner at the Winking Lizard.

Picture of Keith under the van
Keith replacing the speed sensor! Photo by Anna

Monday morning, now that shops were open, we went to a Firestone for a new tire and then carried on to Columbus, where we played a cool house show. The house seemed like it was mainly for music-making, not so much for living, but it was awesome and I found what I think might be one of my new favourite bands there.

Crowd picture from Columbus
Just some basement punks! Photo by Heather

On Tuesday we woke up and got on the road to Bowling Green, Kentucky, stopping for lunch at Eli’s BBQ in Cincinnati on the way. My uncle currently lives in Kentucky with a couple of pals, so we stopped off at their place, had a swim and some sloppy joes, played with some tiny dogs, and went off to the gig, which was at a cozy pool hall. Everyone was very sweet there, I believe we crossed the ma’am line at some point while we were driving. We also visited the Buffalo Trace distillery and learned a lot about how bourbon is made. Education!

Picture at Buffalo Trace, KY
The Buffalo Trace Buffalo! Photo by Anna

We’re still recovering from the many, many hours of sitting in a van, but it was one for the books and that’s why I’m writing so much about it. If you’ve made it this far, I should tell you about some upcoming shows:
Fri, Sept 11 – Wakefield @ The Black Sheep (tickets) (Facebook Event)
Thurs, Sept 17 – Toronto @ Burdock Music Hall (Facebook Event)
Fri, Sept 18 – Owen Sound @ Heartwood Concert Hall (Tickets) (Facebook Event)
Thurs, Sept 24 – Toronto @ The Gladstone (Details Here)

And we’ll have a residency at the Dakota in November, so stay tuned for that! We’ll be trying out some new stuff and have a different guest every week. It’ll be fun.

Now, some photos for dessert:

Beams in the van
Van shot! Photo by Heather.
Craig by the van
Truck stop coffee! Photo by Anna
Beams in NY
Anna, Craig and Martin in Manhattan! Photo by Anna
Mike, Craig and Keith playing a game in NY
Mike, Craig and Keith playing Skeeball.
Beams boys
Dave, Craig, Martin and part of Keith in Brooklyn (NYC in background). Photo by Dave
The Hudson River
Leaving NY – the Hudson river. Photo by Anna of a photo by Craig
Photo of Craig bowling at Mahall's
Craig bowling at Mahall’s. Photo by Dave
Mahall's lanes
Basement lanes at Mahall’s. Photo by Anna
Beams eating Ice Cream
Dave, Craig, Anna and Mike on the great McDonald’s Soft Serve tour of 2015. Photo by Heather in Bellville, OH
Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame
Anna and Craig at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Photo by Dave
Beams at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame
Martin, Keith and Craig outside the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Photo by Dave
Heather with Bobby Massey
Heather with Bobby Massey from the Ojays at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame!
Craig with Bobby Massey
Craig with Bobby Massey from the Ojays (new inductee!) at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame!
Beams van
Keith, Craig and Mike working on the van. Photo by Dave
Picture of the band van at the shop
Prizzy up on blocks.
Keith eating ribs
Keith at Eli’s BBQ. Photo by Heather
Anna and Mike eating BBQ
Anna and Mike at Eli’s BBQ. Photo by Heather
Tatum playing at the House With No Name. Photo by Heather
Heather with dogs
Heather with lots of little dogs fighting on her. Photo by Anna
Sign at Tidball's
Excellent beer prices at Tidball’s. Photo by Dave
Tidball's sign
Tidball’s lighthearted sign. Photo by Anna