Saturday, March 17, 2012

On the Road with Victory and Associates, Part 6: Denton, TX

By Conan Neutron
Sat, Mar 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM

03/15/2012 — Denton, TX, Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios

The romanticism of the open road loses its luster at times when you enter your tenth hour of consecutive driving. The gas stations and roadside convenience stores of one state melt away into the gas stations and roadside convenience stores of another in a soft tapestry of the rolling freeway. When I speak to non-rock people about the majesty of touring, it’s all the myth of nonstop groupie sex, and “Live At Budokan”-style stages. Nope, it’s truck stop food, open highway, paying entirely too much for gas, and generally going stir-crazy, just for that thirty minute or so period where you truly live.

WAAAAAAHH!
  • Sam Atara
  • "Just like this."

For us, we realized that this was going to be the hell ride. You do what you have to, to do what you want to. Sometimes that involves a near inhuman level of driving to play a show that probably does not justify the Herculean effort put into getting there. However, fact of the matter is that you just never know. The other fact of the matter is that the United States of America is REALLY FUCKING BIG.

We’re back up to a four-piece for this one, having picked up our lead shredder Shane “The Sleazy Preacher” Otis. Surreal that it’s only been four days since we saw him last, but having his sword back in our arsenal is a great, great thing. We can kill it as a three-piece, but as a band we truly are four-piece rock machine. Also great: having a fresh driver.

We roll up to Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio, an interesting-looking building that doesn’t have a very clearly defined entrance of any kind. It also serves as a band rehearsal spot, something I remember as I accidentally walk in on an indie rock band playing while trying to find the entrance to the venue. Sorry dudes and lady dude.

Eventually we gain entrance to the venue and meet up with our label mates and fellow show players Trophy Wives, from Louisville, KY. It’s crazy that this is actually the first time that we’ve played together, since we have many, many mutual band friends. It will be a cool show just for that though.

In any case, I know Rubber Gloves from countless friends' and peers' itour itineraries, but by name and reputation only. We immediately start soaking in the cheap beer specials and enjoy the atmosphere, all the while wondering if anybody will show — which is always the question. This show being sandwiched between the 35 Denton festival and SXSW makes it a long shot for it to have any kind of a turnout, but one can always hope. In any case, hurry up and wait…

Vaz from New York play first, with a blistering and powerful set of Philip K. Dick-style evil surf noise rock. just as I remember them sounding. It’s pretty rad, and it’s great to play with them again… been far too long.

Locals Old Snack go next, playing some spirited indie rock and still, by their own admissions, nursing hangovers from the 35 Denton festival they just played. It’s good stuff, but it’s being played mostly a vacuum. Thanks for rocking with us anyway, gents.

Then it’s time for us. The stage sound is not our friend tonight, but we bring the damage as hard as we can and are known to do. Not much to say about this performance. We play our new jam, "Friend Rock City”, which makes me really happy.. For some reason we played it like we’re being charged by the second — kind of a drag. But still a badass new song and one we haven’t been playing as a three-piece. So, very fun! It’s great having two guitars again, the show is definitely dece-plus.

Trophy Wives play after us, and Billy, the guitar player, has some issues with his dual amps and the borrowed cabinets. But they get through it, and deliver some awesome Queens of the Stone Age-style rad riff rock with authority. Call it a good warm-up for both of us for the showcase tomorrow.

Terminator 2: yes, yes, we did play with a band called Terminator 2. FANTASTIC. Punishingly and brutally loud. I would liken them to the kind of aural brutality that you could use against enemy combatants. Somehow I think they’d be okay with that comparison.

So yes, a good enough show that was sadly just in need of a real audience. We get one very excited older gentleman who buys two shirts and seems to be legitimately touched in a positive way though. So that’s cool.

In a serious bummer move, we end up leaving the cash box at the venue. Luckily our bros in Trophy Wives grab it and take it to Austin for us. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a serious freak out and some hair torn out over the incident though.

Austin beckons.

Jams in the van:
David Bowie — ChangesBowie, Didjits — Hey Judester, Thin Lizzy — Fighting, Kraftwerk — Man Machine, Mountain Goats — Tallahassee, Sebadoh — Bakesale, Torche — Songs for Singles, Ween — 12 Golden Country Greats, Pink Floyd — Animals, Milk Cult — Project M13, Some classic ZZ Top (hey, we are in Texas), misc Judas Priest mp3s, Vaz — Dying to Meet You, Elvis Costello — My Aim is True

Stuff we sold: one red sparkle white Victory and Associates t-shirt, one blue Turn Down the Guitars t-shirt.

Setlist: Brothers Doing It For Themselves / Noises, Voices, You / You Can’t Eat Prestige / For Serious / Funundrum / Friend Rock City / Plausibly Wild

This is the sixth installment of Victory and Associates' South by Southwest tour diary, which will continue to be published right here this and week. For more about the band, visit their website, follow them on Twitter, or like them on Facebook. For the first five parts of the series, click here.

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