Izzy and the Catastrophics, mid-tour

Well, it has been an interesting few days. Got into Chicago on Sunday afternoon, met the band at the airport, and was happy to find they were all great guys–very cool, very welcoming. We went to a band friend’s house to rehearse for a few, then over to the club (Smoke Daddy BBQ–a very typical juke joint-style bar/restaurant). The other bass player played most of the set so I could watch and check things out, though I did get to sit in (mostly successfully) on a few songs in each set.

The gig ended relatively early (11ish), so we headed over to The Exit afterwards. The bar is billed as Chicago’s first punk bar, and it fits the description. Female bartenders dressed like KISS, bondage/burlesque/fire show upstairs, KISS/butt rock karaoke downstairs. Needless to say, it was not an early night.

Mon. was a travel day, so we hit the road and drove to Cincinnati, where Chapman’s (trombone) parents live. Mon. & Tues. were sort of catch-up/relax days, and then a gig at MOTR Pub downtown on Wed. night. It went extremely well, and I also had my first chance to drive the van (albeit for a few blocks).

Thurs. ended up being a bit of a mess. Due to a late start out of Cincinnati and incorrect gig start time info from the band’s booking agent, we ended up missing the gig we were supposed to have in Toledo. Fortunately for us, Mikey, the band’s drummer, had met someone on Wed. night who worked at another bar in town. She had expressed interest in having us play there at some point, so Mikey called her up and set up an impromptu late-night mini-set. It ended up being lots of fun (gigs where you don’t really care often are), and at the very least, we recouped the cost of the gas.

Today is off to Charleston, WV. After the gig tonight, the gang drops me at the airport and I camp out there until my flight at 8 a.m. back to Seattle.

It has been a great tour, but I am definitely ready to be home. Lots of catch up with things I haven’t had the time or means to get to, and of course time with family & friends again.

Oh, and of course, a gig in Bellingham, 2 1/2 hours north of Seattle, tomorrow night. What a way to come home.