Sunday, April 05, 2009

the Mini sized Texas tour (part 1)

we left dallas around 11am
and headed for San Antonio
i hadn't played SA since april 21st, 2006
when Chris Holt and i played the Red Room
to about 7 people
i used to play SA in the early nineties
when dufilho was in 13
the MF would show swap with his band
(give them a Dallas gig for a SA gig)
we'd always drive back the same night
we were young foolish and broke
there would be no roughing it this time!
it was our first road trip in the mocha Mini
i-pod cranked
sun roof open
no worries about breaking down on the road
it felt good to be leaving town for a few days
anyway i'd just about given up on SA
but now there's Buttercup
a reason for me to go there
to see my friends and play a show with them
to get anyone interested in SA to listen to Constellation
we got to the El Tropicano hotel around 4
i knew Jayme would like the tiki/mod vibe of the place
she did!
it felt a bit like Miami to me
lot's of white and brown tile
a couple of iguana's and parrots in a bamboo filled atrium
lots of elderly people hanging about
our room had a nice view of the cabana and pool
they were blasting salsa music
further re-enforcing the miami vibe
Gavin sat on a colorful plastic chair on the balcony
excited to be "on vacation!"
he sipped his wild cherry juice box and held his little stuffed piggie
he was in kid bliss
after Jayme and i got all of our stuff organized
we went downstairs for a complimentary pineapple juice
and then walked across the street
down some stairs
to the riverwalk
the weather couldn't have been any more perfect
70ish and clear
G loved it
as we made our way through the winding canal
he raced a boat taxi
got a long fallen branch and tried to "fish"
whooped and sang silly songs
we eventually found the popular touristy part of the walk
had some ice cream
people watched
took our time site seeing
around 5:45 we caught a river taxi
(to G's delight and insistence)
and went back to the el tropicano
Joe Reyes called the second we stepped back into our hotel room
he was heading over to take us out for some tex mex food
we went to the picante grill with him
where i ordered the cacerola
it was delicious but i nick-named it
"heart attack in a bowl"
i could only bring myself to eat half
the guilt was too much
we had a great time talking with joe
who has tons of funny and interesting stories from
all of his years as a musician
after dinner
we took the Mini back to the hotel
dropped J and G off
and grabbed my pedal board
guitar and merch case
joe drove me to FARM
only about a mile or two away from the hotel
FARM is a really cool little venue
situated in an old house that's been converted
into a recording studio/music venue
buttercup had set up their drums and amps
in the front room
the vibe was perfect for an acoustic show
some rope lights and candles
dark but not too dark
it felt nice
Vanessa Peters played around 9:30
with Manuel on baritone guitar
and Alberto (aka guomo) on drums
they sounded fantastic
like a stereo really
Joe sat in with me for my set
we opened with "western hills"
and ripped through a bunch of the new ones
his harmonies on "stranger in my own skin" were spot on
the highlight though was "she'd walk a mile"
in which the entire room of about 40
joined in with handclaps
foot-stomping and floor drumming
they kept it going for the duration
bringing the volume up and down as joe and i led the way
of all the times i've played this song
(all over the world)
this was my favorite performance of it
an incredible moment for me
guomo then joined us for "1978" and few others
it was relaxed and fun
the crowd was really appreciative and listened intently
a beautiful gig
Buttercup took the stage last
it was awesome to see them in their element
in front of adoring fans and friends
i think this was my favorite show of theirs that i've witnessed so far
it was so much fun
"it's in the way"
and "i am a tiger" ruled
they sounded tighter than hell
and with all 4 of them singing
Erik was in particularly fine voice and form
with hilarious and theatrical between-song banter
i felt like it couldn't have been a better return to San Antonio for me
an incredible night of music in a cool music venue
with a bunch of friends whom i love
who could ask for more?
Joe dropped me off at the el tropicano around 1:30am
and i passed out
happily exhausted


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