I rode from the outer banks to Norflolk where I was to fly through Chicago to Grand Rapids for the highly anticipated Hoxeyville festival. I land in Chicago to find out that my connection to grand rapids has been cancelled and I’m automatically booked on the 7:30 am flight the next day. So….. there I am, in Chicago, on a Friday night at 7:45 pm with 11 hours to kill. I’m going out. I cab it over to Brendan Bayliss’s place for beers and then to the House of Blues to see Sound Tribe Sector Nine. My old buddy Andrew Queen who is now teching for Sector 9 got me tickets and passes to the show (thanks drew). This cancelled flight was truly working out in my favor. I have one of the Sector 9 live records on my ipod. I’ve listened to it on the plane and it had always put me in a state of bliss at high altitude. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them live. I was blown away. The first half was dark and slightly leaning toward the crunk side of electronica. The latter part of the set opened up to some blissful type of music, which put emphasis on the instruments and not the computers. All the songs that I saw had very prominent melodies accompanied by super cool video. I was able to say hello to Drew and the band during set break. I was excited to learn about the possibilities of Sector 9 acoustic. I’m very interested in hearing what that sounds like.
The next day I flew bright and early to Grand Rapids. My guitars didn’t arrive for several flights after mine. We had to go and leave them behind. I always carry one on and travel with my loopers in tow so the show was to go on. I borrowed a bass from Andy Hess and a guitar from Tim Bluhm (to use as a backup in case my carry on faulted). We checked everything side stage and all was well. Luckily my guitars showed up about 45 minutes before my set time. Yay. I was slated to go on before the Rhythm Devils. This was their first show back from a break and thus the first show with Tim Bluhm. I was excited to see everyone, as I grew quite attached to that band and crew. Being a huge fan of Tim Bluhm and his songwriting, it was obvious that I would invite him up to join me for a few songs. We played his song “gold plated” as well as “birdsong.” The next sit in was Sikiru Adepoju. We did a super crazy version of “boobjob” that I’m exited to hear the tapes of. The 3rd to last song, I was joined by Andy Hess on bass and Davy Knowles on guitar for my short show song. Less than halfway through the tune Bill Kruetzmann jumped on his drums. I closed the set with “browneyed women” and “scarlet begonias” with the entire band of devils joining me (minus Sikiru, but Mickey joined in about half way through brown eyed which was so cool to hear those mallets hitting the cow bells). It was extremely exciting and I started scarlet really fast. It blazed. I loved it. What an honor to be joined on stage during my set by such greatness. I was giddy. Next it was the Rhythm Devils’ turn. I was excited to see this band with Tim. It was vibrant and super jammin’. The band was playing with authority. I really dug the subtle differences from what Tim was doing as opposed to what I did with the songs. Where I was singing a minor key type of harmony, Tim sang more of a major key, which sounded really different and cool (fountains of wood). Or we did cold rain and snow like the dead did it in the later years. But with Tim, it was done like it was on first record. Making me want to do dances like the swim and the mashed potato (which I did). The whole set was great as a whole. Especially with a new member. I will say it again. If you get a chance to see the Rhythm Devils, do it.