In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the electro-pop artist, Memorry, talks about one of his crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.
Winning the contest to perform at the Six Flags in Massachusetts SEEMED like a great opportunity. We had established a loyal NYC home base following & were just starting to branch out on little East Coast tours. We knew how to cram all 5 of us in my SUV & get the 2 drumsets, 3 keyboards, guitar, bass, and all the amps arranged Tetris-style in the smallest U-haul rental trailer. We booked the cheapest hotel online I was all set to go.
I woke up butt-crack of dawn early on a Saturday, hustled to scary deeeeep Brooklyn to get the cheapest U-haul trailer, hustled back to our rehearsal space to meet the guys & load up. Drummer Dan showed up on-time per usual, coffee in hand & guitarist Charlie was soon after. We waited and waited, wondering where were these other 2 guys? They weren’t answering their phones & we knew they had played Upstate NY the night before with their other band. “They probably just got home so late, they slept through their phone alarms. Let’s drive to the one’s nearby apartment & get them up.” Waking up their confused roommate & finding an empty bedroom only increased our worry. Panic set in. It’s the afternoon before a show, we have a 4-hour drive and half my band was missing.
After standing around the loaded U-haul for too long losing daylight, finally, we get the phone call. “Hey, we’re stuck Upstate. Can you pick us up?” They are 3 hours out of the way and I. AM. PISSED.
Hours later, we check in it to the hotel & sneak the 5th person into the max 4-person room. We make up over a late dinner at the local Chill’s & get drunk. (One of us gets a little too drunk… There’s always one!) We wake up early again & get our asses to the Sunday 10 AM Load-in at Six Flags. There’re 2 stages at this Six Flags & they’ve decided that we’ll be the guinea pigs & the first ever to play the new stage by the water park. It’s noon, we’re setup & can start whenever we want. There’s just one problem – NO ONE IS THERE.
Every tour is guaranteed to have a few shows playing to an empty room. It’s the name of the game. You learn to take these in stride, turn it into another rehearsal & maybe if the bartender likes your set, you get free Genesee beers afterwards. I’ve never played an empty water park before – the scattering of soaked kids running from one water slide to the next; their parents chasing after them with 200 SPF sunblock in hand; a random Dad walking by stops to take in 30 seconds of a song while he finishes his hot dog… It’s a miserable 95 degrees outside, the mix sucks, and out in the rows of empty picnic benches, 2 of my co-workers – who up to this point have never seen my band – decide to surprise me here at Six Flags. I’m as embarrassed as I’m sweaty.
I should’ve known ahead of time that you don’t go through the hotel / U-haul / planning trouble just for one show. You add a few other cities around it, build a mini-tour out of it & everyone calls in sick for a few days. Somehow we had this vision we’d be selling CD’s hand over fist to these Six Flag families who’d be dancing along for a few minutes in between roller coasters. The reality was worse. When the rain started during our 3rd song, we were relieved.
Packing up & running our expensive gear through the rain back into the U-haul trailer, I was mixed with emotions: frustration at the Herculean effort to get us all there & play only 2.5 songs, embarrassment & relief. But the day was still early, we still had these Six Flag passes & rain or not, we would make the most of it goddammit! While the band was riding on roller coasters, I grabbed pizza with my co-workers who re-assured me those 2 songs were really good. As I ate the pizza crust taking in the Pi-rats of the Cat-ibbean animal show, I realized it was all worth it – the planning, the driving, the failed show – it was worth it just to see those cats scurry up the fake boat’s mast.
“Let’s give these cats a round of applause!” the pirate lady with a microphone said. And you know what, they got more applause than we did that day. I joined in, clapping & hooting my heart out because they earned it. By God, they earned it!… Cats!… Climbing up boats!… Unreal!
You guys really should go see that show!
(This post was previously posted – and banned – as a Six Flags New England Yelp review.)
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Source: Digital Tour Bus