Hey! Tommy Plural here. Writing from the home of our always hospitable Denver pals Dave and Mark. I’m posting my journal notes for the east coast part of our tour. Good times. We had the great pleasure to do the first several dates of tour with our dear friends Honah Lee. At the conclusion of these dates it was readily agreed that we needed more than two weeks together. So, here’s to more fun in the future!
Tues 10/9 – Chicago, IL – Township w/ Honah Lee
Stressing a bit, we got around in time to comfortably make it to our show in Chicago, accompanied by Loren and Josh. We got there right as Honah Lee were coming back from their own Chicago adventures. As always, it was great to see our old friends, this time with Paul Stanley (ex-Mad Splatter) on drums to fill in for an absent Goggles. A nice but not over-the-top stage area, laid back staff, and decent accommodations make Township by far our favorite Chicago venue. The first two bands played and were solid, albeit by the numbers pop-punk. Two Houses (whom we met in Milwaukee in the spring) were more my speed and delivered a great set before we went on. I felt like we were rusty but still solid enough. We tried Nich’s new “facebook” song live for the first time as a medley-of-sorts with “Run.” Honah Lee took the stage and were pretty rippin’ – although I thought their extended “I Hate My Job” was cheesy (but they didn’t do it again on any other dates, so I shan’t complain). Paul did a great job on the drum kit, a fact that everyone agreed on. Tim said the tour had been going very well and they were finally seeing a bit of an audience build in their different towns, which made me very happy to hear. Loren and Nich wanted to hang out with Honah Lee in Chicago so they stayed behind while Josh, Hattie, and I drove back to Lansing, pulling into GTG House around 6 AM.
Wed 10/10 – Lansing MI – Mac’s Bar w/ Honah Lee, Racket Ghost and Decades
Waking up far too late, I just kind of wandered around GTG House until Honah Lee (plus Nich and Loren) showed up around 5. We chilled for a bit, then Hattie and I loaded in the gear at Mac’s, checked in with Irving from Fusion shows, then went to Hattie’s house so she could make soup for people to eat. I worked on tour booking stuff in the meantime, and soon enough it was after 8:00 and we went back to Mac’s where everyone, except Racket Ghost, was. Racket Ghost, set to open the show, were misinformed and got there late, causing Honah Lee to open the show and consequently show every other band up. Racket Ghost and Decades sounded good, but were just pale in comparison to a road-tightened Honah Lee eager to play for Lansing folks again. We finally went on and I thought our set was awful, but no one else seemed to so I just shut up about it. Everyone had fun, and we went back to GTG House to toast the evening.
Thurs 10/11 – Honah Lee @ Mulligan’s w/ GR bands (Plurals off)
Rather late post-GTG Fest (by, er, 5 days…) cleaning of The Garage was the first activity on the agenda of the day, after which I drove to my parents’ house to do laundry and get in a quick visit before leaving for tour. Around 9:00 I met up with Isaac, Loren, Christian, Carly, and Nich in Ionia and we rode to Grand Rapids together to catch Honah Lee at Mulligan’s. It was a pretty dead night at Mulligan’s, but still some people hanging out and since they’re an all-too-rare bar that treats bands well it was still a good time. A local band called Squints also played, and it’s always a pleasure to meet new semi-locals. Honah Lee’s set was enjoyable, though less fiery than the previous (and, as it would turn out, following) night’s performance. After a little bit of hanging at the bar we all drove back to Lansing and stumbled to various sleeping areas.
Fri 10/12 – Warren, MI – The PAN Shop w/ Honah Lee
At last, we leave for tour for real. No matter how much I try to prepare I’m never really sure I have everything and just have to go. Tailed by Josh, Loren, and Carly, we met up with Honah Lee at the venue, a rad tattoo shop just outside the Detroit city line. We were also crashing in the apartment above the shop, so we were set for a night of fun. The locals played first, D-Day being shambolic (under-rehearsed with failing equipment to be precise) but endearing and Axe Ripper being a talented metal-influenced group with a lot of potential. We played a set on the slightly heavier side, and I feel like we finally warmed up towards the end of the set. A fine set, but still not “all there.” Honah Lee closed out the show and frankly totally killed it. It was a pleasure to be in the audience for that one, and then to lead the crowd in a singlaong on the encore of “Sobered So Bored” was a great way to end things for me. After bidding our Lansing friends adieu, we retired to the upstairs apartment with the tenants/ promoters Kyle, Jesse, and Eric, falling asleep to “Stepbrothers” on the TV.
Sat 10/13 – Frostburg, MD – Duncan’s w/ Honah Lee
After a stop at Autozone to get some much-needed new windshield wipers, we drove through Detroit (to Honah Lee’s delight/ horror) and made our way south for the next seven or so hours. The Plurals beat Honah Lee by almost an hour, so after checking out the venue (an inviting enough dive bar) we walked around what seemed to be a fairly uneventful college town tucked away in the mountains. We got back to the venue just as Honah Lee were starting to load in and met Sarah, our host for the evening. Blinding Eye Dog from Baltimore opened the show with a costume gimmick and noisy punk songs – to three veterans of the Cartridge Family it was quite tame, but they sounded good and were cool guys. We played second and, feeling that it was a “blank” enough crowd, decided to try out a handful of new songs (“Kerry Patey,” “Hate My Job,” and “Marigold”). We went over well enough and got some much needed practice on our new material. Honah Lee closed out the show and seemed a bit less energetic (again, mostly compared to the glory of the previous night) but managed to turn the sloppiness of the night to their advantage with the anarchic closing punch of “Sobered” and the all-but-forgotten “Ballad of the Cobras.” We made our way to Sarah’s house, met her sister Megan and some dogs and cats, ate some butternut squash soup and grilled cheese, and passed out. Awesome.
Sun 10/14- Wilmington, DE – El Paso Cafe w/ Honah Lee
Waking up to a beautiful day, we were treated to a wonderful breakfast by Sarah and Megan’s mom. After a relaxing and filling morning we made our way across Maryland and, for the first time in our lives, got out of the car in Delaware. The show was being held at a Mexican restaurant which was not even open, but we were early (about a half hour ahead of Honah Lee as well) so we drove down the street to a Walgreen’s to use the bathroom and loiter. We came back and Paul, the promoter, was there, also waiting for the owner to get there and open up. We were soon joined by Honah Lee and one of the locals. Eventually the owner got there and we slowly got the show going, though it seemed like we hung out in the parking lot for forever. Once again the locals played first, and we realized the 10 PM curfew was coming up so we all ended up sharing drum kits for the last three bands. Blasting through a set of mostly familiar songs (although keeping “facebook” and “Kerry Patey”) we finally seemed to find our tour footing and I was very satisfied with our set. A cool fella named Charlie Gibb took some great photos of us at this show. Honah Lee once again closed out the show mightily. Packing up, we drove the 90 minutes back to Trenton and crashed out at the Hoh house.
Mon 10/15 – Brooklyn, NY – The Place Bar and Lounge w/ Honah Lee
After a great night’s sleep, I got around with coffee and tour booking stuff (coming together, yeah!) and finally took a shower. Yep. Honah Lee had to pick up Jim from work so we drove separate (with Paul in tow) up to NYC. We listened to “New York City” by Andrew WK at least 6 times on the drive. Despite the tolls being frustrating and a mild tap from a taxicab in fairly brief stop-and-go traffic the drive was painless enough. Beating Honah Lee by an hour (a situation we’re very used to by now), we walked around rainy Brooklyn and got a cheap beer at a goofy metal bar decked out in chintzy Halloween decorations before making our way back to the venue. The venue was okay… one of those bars that shoves the show into a back room through a shut door, but, we were actually playing a show in Brooklyn with people that are part of the DIY community, so I wasn’t complaining. We opened, and I thought we killed it. It feels good to be back. Honah Lee played second, delivering some solid rock before locals Bombers and Girl Crush closed things out. Kind of a slow night on the attendance front, but enjoyable enough. We drove back (toll-free!) and settled in at the Hoh house rather uneventfully.
Tues 10/16 – Off
We woke up at the Hoh house, got a slice of (mediocre) pizza with Paul down the street, then decided to be productive Plurals and spend our day off fine tuning new material. We even practiced twice! After this productivity sucked us dry, we hit up Taff, ex-singer of The Rape Babies and Too Much Too Fast Too Soon, one of our oldest and dearest east coast friends. We decided to hang out at the Mill Hill Saloon, due to the fact that it is both our main hangout in Trenton as well as below the apartment that Goggles lives at. Having been without Goggles for these shows with Honah Lee since he had to stay home to start his glamorous new job, it was definitely a necessity to be in his company. What is normally a 10 minute drive from the Hohs to the Mill Hill was something like 45 minutes because of construction and most of the downtown streets being closed off because apparently someone had jumped off a bridge. Um… pure Trenton? Anyway, we got there and the good times rolled. Beers were drank with Goggles and Taff, Jack (ex-TMTFTS/ Cryptkeeper 5 bassist) showed up, we realized Ray Strife was playing in the Mill Hill Basement, Nikki Nailbomb was bartending… and somehow we ended up back at Tim’s. Good night.
Wed 10/17 – Trenton, NJ – Mill Hill Basement w/ Honah Lee, Local Demise
Hurting from the night before, we got around (thanks to some breakfast sandwiches made by Jim!) and had our third practice session in two days. Honah Lee squeezed in a practice to fine-tune Goggles after his two weeks off, and we were off to return to the scene of many crimes, Mill Hill Basement. After another night of construction detours we got to the Mill Hill where the mighty Local Demise awaited. We hung out at the bar with bartender extraordinaire Dave Locane for awhile and people started showing up. Cornelius III opened up the show with a quick set, then Honah Lee rocked the house doing some fresh material with Goggles. I was really stoked to rock the Mill Hill and we were a sweaty and well oiled machine. In tribute to the Rape Babies we covered “Keep It Coming” and Dim sang with us, which was a great moment. Definitely the best set so far of tour. LD closed out the night, really bringing down the house with a set of Misfits songs, with Dim leading the crowd. Dude couldn’t stay off “stage” the whole night. The Mill Hill is truly a home to us, and the night went by quickly for me, I was having such a great time. All too soon, once again, we crashed out back at Tim’s.
Thurs 10/18 – Jersey City, NJ – The Lamp Post (HL off)
We were woken up by the legendary Big Jim walking into the Hoh house and yelling “where are the Michigan people?” Big Jim took it upon himself to take us around and help run errands, and then treated us to some great pizza at Anthony’s Pizza Town in Bordentown, NJ. Anthony, we won’t pull a J Lo and forget about you. After this great meal we went back to Tim’s to chill before heading up to Jersey City for our only east coast date without Honah Lee. I didn’t really know that Jersey City is quite literally right next to New York City, which was cool enough to realize. We got there to find locals The Micks and Frank (alleged legendary guitar guy) arguing about who was going to play first, for various semi-valid reasons, eventually culminating in the flustered booking agent having The Micks play a few songs to start the show so a members’ underage cousin could see them play before curfew, followed by a full but brief set by legendary Frank. We just kind of stayed out of it. Joe from Not the Bees, who had gotten us on the show, showed up and we hung out with him for awhile before we played. Once again, I was satisfied with our set, with us slipping in a couple of newer “melodic” songs (“Marigold” and “Fine”). The Micks closed out with a fine set, and we hung out with them in the bar for a bit before heading back down to Trenton to uneventfully crash.
Fri 10/19 – Off
Lots of lazing around, enjoying bagels dropped off by Big Jim. We pretty much just hung out with Tim all day. A truly delightful experience. We were later joined with the rest of Honah Lee for a backyard fire at the Hoh house. Dim and Jim went to see the Misfits and reported that it was awful.
Sat 10/20 – Morrisville, PA – Carpenter’s Workshop w/ Honah Lee
An insanely awesome Halloween party at the sweet home of the ridiculously awesome Lori and Brian Carpenter was on the agenda for the night. We threw some costumes together with Tim and Jen, myself going with a Bart Simpson mask found at Goodwill. We made our way over to the Carpenter’s to find a great spread of snacks and a plentiful supply of beers. We finally got to see and meet Cryptkeeper 5, who opened up the show with a great set of rootsy punk rock. Our set was a lot of fun. We debuted a new song called “Clouds” as well as busting out “Keep It Coming” and an abridged “Radar Love.” The Bart Simpson mask is nigh impossible to play in! Honah Lee closed out the night spectacularly, delivering a wonderfully chaotic set to soundtrack the party. I’m not entirely sure what happened after this, but I slept quite well.
Sun 10/21 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fire w/ Honah Lee
We woke up and went to the Carpenters for 2 PM “brunch.” A truly lovely way to spend an afternoon. Eventually we got around and headed the half hour-ish to Philadelphia. Fun times in Philly; expectations were low (there were a lot of other shows going on this night and all weekend) but there was a good turnout and good sets all around by all the bands. Taff showed up but wouldn’t watch Honah Lee. I thought our set was really “on,” and was very satisfied with the whole thing. Fittingly, the Hellstroms, a regular band of Paul Stanley’s, closed out the show with a tight set of Descendents style poppy punk. Alas, this was our last show with Honah Lee. All good things must come to an end.
Mon 10/21 – off
Did some errands, cleaned up, had a great dinner with the Carpenters, then crashed with Dim. Lots of GTG discussions. Cheers to the future!
After this we said farewell to the east coast and headed to Clarion, PA to begin our next phase of tour. Updates forthcoming!