Monday, March 11, 2013

Adventures in Trenton, NJ

It began innocently enough. We arrived in Trenton NJ with Bobbie, our friend and temporary merch-lady, in Josh's black Toyota soccer mom-SUV. We parked beside the venue, a small place called the Champion Sports Bar & Grill, which sat conveniently next to a liquor store. In all honesty, this was far from the worst place ever. In fact, after going inside to stash our gear, the place appeared to be downright charming. I love dive bars and this place had a great crowd and a great vibe. The bartender was friendly, the fans were cool, and the bands all seemed really eager to put on a good show. I felt great about the whole thing.

We went to check into our hotel and change, after which we came across our first street fight. From the safety of the mom-mobile, Josh and I watched as one lone white guy tried to take one three black guys who were clearly trying their best not to go to jail for manslaughter. This guy was pushing them, yelling at them, and generally making an ass of himself until what I assume to be his friend had to grab him by the shoulders and drag him away. Into the Pollo Campero, which made me even more sad I can't eat meat because POLLO CAMPERO.

This being my first time in New Jersey, I felt pretty amused, and we went to the Champion with high spirits. I asked the bartender to fill my mug with rail vodka and diet Coke, which he did with guso, promptly filling 2/3s of my mug with rail vodka before splashing some diet Coke on top. I took sips from this for the rest of the evening. I went back into the stage room to watch the band playing, a hardcore band called True Rumors. I'll admit that I am not a fan of hardcore bands, but I appreciate seeing a woman who can do it well. They didn't seem very happy when they weren't given any extra time on stage, and I felt bad for the sound guy (who actually did a really good job). I really need to start bringing sound guys candy or something.

When it was finally time to take the stage, I asked the same bartender to give us shots (3 Jack, 1 Ketel One, as is tradition). He did the shots with us and we took to the stage. The sound guy dimmed the lights for us (again, awesome job) and regardless of how small the room was, all the people there made it feel very big. We had a fantastic audience and played one of our best sets. We managed to sell a really good amount of merchandise, which believe me, I appreciate. I did what I like to call my "A" set, because this was a stand-alone show and I wasn't saving my voice for anything else. I love doing shows like that because it allows me to go as hard as I want.

Jenn and myself!
When we were finished, we stayed around to watch JENNCiTY, Jennifer Arroyo's new band. They had great energy and have the potential to become something really awesome. I was especially enamored with their bass player, who wore a Green Lantern belt and was one of the happiest dudes I've ever met. Jenn herself was a really enthusiastic frontwoman, and I was fairly jealous of her ability to  play the audience. I'm looking forward to seeing more of them, and hopefully we'll play together again!

Of course, it wouldn't be a real trip to Jersey without us seeing at least one more street fight. As we were packing the mom-mobile, a really big heavy white dude suddenly burst from the door of Champion and fell down the stairs. With his pants down. Big white butt everywhere. Three black dudes followed him out, who I had spoken to earlier (security guys, very nice), and tried to convince this big drunk guy to leave. He responded by hurling the "n" word a couple of times and throwing some punches. They gave him a few curb stomps, decided that he wasn't worth going to jail for, and went back inside. The guys and I made a last tour of the bar to make sure we had all our gear, and said farewell to the venue. All in all, it was a triumphant night. We played our first New Jersey show, saw some fights, made some fans, and sold some merchandise.

Yes, of course I would do it again. This is the stuff that my dreams are made of!

No comments: