Tandem Tracks & Tourist Traps

I believe everyone shifts into tour guide mode when they’re visiting their alma mater with folks who’ve never been there. This was certainly the case for Max, who dazzled us with facts about Brown University as we visited the campus before our gig in Providence. (This will also be true for me if we ever play Chapel Hill because I was actually paid to give tours there.) College campuses at the front end of autumn always look lovely, and I enjoyed walking around the academic buildings and popping into the music building to say hi to one of Max’s former music professors. Thanks for helping him be good at writing songs!
Providence is home to one of the best antique shops I’ve ever been to, Nostalgia Antiques & Collectibles. This place has everything: Van Halen concert videos on VHS, AWANA Sparks uniforms (this is essentially a Bible verse memorization club that I assumed stopped existing in 2004), a framed photo of George Washington Carver, metal busts of famous historical figures, and other boring stuff like useful home décor and nice vintage clothes. I picked up a little Carolina Hurricanes trinket, which felt appropriate since the franchise was founded as the New England Whalers back in 1972. In their memory, please enjoy the team’s theme song, “Brass Bonanza.”
We’ve eaten very well on this tour and kept the streak going by visiting East Side Pockets, a restaurant whose food formed a large part of Max’s diet during his junior year at Brown. Each of us got a different massive wrap — buffalo chicken for Sean, falafel for Max, gyros for me — and enjoyed them while watching music videos with increasingly intense and nonsensical plots on the restaurant’s TV screen.
Revival Brewery, located just south of the delightfully named Woonasquatucket River, was our venue for the night. After an opening performance from high-energy duo People Eating Plastics, we hit the stage and blasted through a shorter set for a few of Max’s former classmates who came out for the show. We then got some sad news along with some unexpectedly fun news: Alyssa wasn’t feeling well, so Max filled in on vocals for an abbreviated set. He did a great job filling in for her — “This song is about dating scumbags in New Jersey!” he said excitedly while introducing “Sadboy” — but we hope she starts feeling better soon.
Alyssa’s partner and drummer Evan gave us another surprise: He’s from Rhode Island, and his bandmates from a group he was in over a decade ago were in the house, so they gave us a one-night-only Kicked reunion show. I had a blast watching them. They were clearly having a great time, and it’s fun to watch people realize they still remember songs they haven’t played in years. One of his former bandmates also performed in Ziggy Gnardust, a classic rock-tinged act that closed out the gig.
This perhaps wasn’t the most outstanding show of tour, but it was a night we’ll never forget thanks to Harry Lorayne, author of How to Develop a Super Power Memory. Max purchased this priceless tome at Nostalgia, and we ended our night learning some of his secrets. We’ll be back tomorrow for day number tape measure of tour.