So we are finally leaving at about 12 midnight and you have 5 pretty tired guys and a 14 hour ride in front of us. I had to drive to pick up Vince Consolo ( Drums) and Barry Kleiber ( Bass ) in Barrington then drive back down to Plainfield and get Brian McKenna ( Guitar) and Ben Lerner who was brave enough to join us and be our Runner, Tech, Swag Hag lol and help with anything else needed. So we drive for what seems forever to get to Wilkes Barre PA in shifts.
When we arrive at the F M Kirby Center around 3 or so in the afternoon, showtime is 7:30? I think and we are first. it is a flurry of activity, everyone is trying to load in as there are 4 or 5 bands on the tour depending on the show. The place has a big stage and nice backstage area. I do have to say our Tour Van was looking badass ( it was a Silver Mercedes Benz Sprinter stretch model with a taller ceiling wrapped with our sponsor logo and T D Clark Extreme Guitar Tour 2014) so we were looking slick! and despite being beat tired we felt ready. We had rehearsed our set non stop because having supported Yngwie before we knew he and his band would be Killing it!!! Not to mention Gary and Ron would be bringing the pain too! We drove to our Days Inn hotel as we figured out all the other bands had to set up and sound check so we had 2 hours to kill. Fortunately we had 2 rooms so everyone got a few minutes downtime and a hot shower.
Back to the venue we went and hung out backstage and chatted with Bumblefoot and his band, whom we had just played with in L. A. at the Whisky a Go Go in January. Both of us were supporting Uli Jon Roth ( who was supposed to be on this tour and cancelled last minute. there was talk of Visa problems or something which was odd as we had just played with him in L. A. 6 months prior with no issues. I heard rumors about other reasons, non of them dark or sinister, mostly Business reasons but nothing was ever confirmed. I would have enjoyed having him on the tour as he is really cool and a great player) and we also chatted with Gary Hoey and his band who I know from numurous NAMM show jams and such. The backstage area had several dressing rooms and a cool dining area and they had a great Buffet for the bands! We ate and basically went over the rest of the night.
When we finally went onstage to line check it was almsot show time. The band after us was having equipment issues and I had to loan them a cable last minute. They also had a pedal board malfunction and I felt terrible for the guitar player. Because of all of this we went on late, which I was non too happy about. as time was ticking away the house lights and muic was still playing. Someone in my band said Fuck it lets roll and we kicked into our first tune lol to the shock of everyone. I think there was about 600 people in the audience and the place was like a big Arcada Theater but less ornate. We ripped it up good and had the crowd roaring! After our set we met at the Merch table and signed autographs and sold16 CD's or something. I know we outsold YJM that night and I was pleasantly surprised as we were talking to his swag people about numbers sales etc. We felt pretty good about our first night on the Guitar Gods Tour.
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