12/29/12 – 2/1/13
In which the dirty birds play The Beacon, share the stage with Warren Haynes, say goodbye to three original members and get lost in and around a casino.
So hey there. It’s been some time since we last wrote. Many great things have transpired since then, such as the fact that we finished off 2012 playing Tower Theater in Philly and The Beacon Theater in NYC with Gov’t Mule. It was one of those moments that I am sure will stick with us forever. Here’s some video footage of Warren sitting in with us on Roadhouse Blues.
Then, the night after the Beacon show, we played a surprise, secret New Year’s Eve show at our old haunt Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2. Once again, our fans proved that they are some of the best, most passionate fans out there. The show sold out before it was even officially announced (which, according to Ken Rockwood, is the first and only time that has ever happened at his esteemed venue). So, thank you all! It was a bit of a bittersweet moment however, as it was the last time we’d have three of our original members onstage with us: JJ, Johnny and Aidan, all of whom had been with us since those crazy epic early nights right next door at Rockwood Stage 1, had decided after the last tour to pursue other projects in 2013. When you think about it, it’s amazing we had made it that far with almost no turnover in such a large band (Phil joined us right before we hit the road for real in March of 2011), but that doesn’t make it any easier to move on without them. The band has always been as much a collection of personalities as musicians, and their energy will be missed. I just want to say that we love and respect them all so, so much, and wish them great success in all their endeavors. And as much as they will be missed as members of the Dirty Birds, this is in no way the end of our relationships with them. I mean, shit, I’ve known JJ since meeting him at band camp in the summers between fifth and sixth grade, Ryan and Johnny met in college, so much history… And all of us have our shared experiences from the past four years that will live on and transcend everything. Moments of joy and clarity and so much love. The adventure of the road. Whatever the future may hold for us and them, they will always be a part of our story.
However, the show must go on, and so with an eye towards the ever brightening future, we’re pleased and delighted to introduce y’all to the newest members of team Dirty Bird: Josh Myers and Brian Graham. I’ve known Josh for many years, first playing together in Ryan’s band Pull (along with Sasha and Johnny) and then other projects over the years. When we all got together and started brainstorming, thinking of who (in a perfect world) we would get to play bass in our band, the answer was clearly, without a doubt, Josh Myers. Brian Graham is a beastly baritone saxophone player from Portland, Maine. Ryan first met Brian a few years ago playing in some sort of dysfunctional wedding band (coincidentally, Brian took over from Johnny in that band too!) and strongly recommended him as someone who could come in and nail the horn parts right away. He also works with and helps lead the bands Sly-Chi and The Fogcutters up in Portland. Anyway both of these guys are super legit, great musicians and people, and walked right into our crazy scene with grace, professionalism and humor. After some well deserved time off, we holed up in a rehearsal studio for three full days relearning and rearranging all the music, and then went up and played two nights at the Fairfield Theater Company. After the second (sold out) night, we were carved out of stone:
After another week off, we played the Mohegan Sun Casino this past Friday at one of their venues called ‘The Wolf Den.’ Which, as it turned out, was literally sculpted to look like a cave that might be home to a pack of wolves. Totally surreal. There were these life-like wolves perched high upon the fake rocks, and every now and then they’d turn their damn heads and give you the hunger stare, look straight into your soul, and literally howl. After the show, we were whisked away by the friendly casino manager people over to take a 360 degree picture in some sort of crazy future machine and then taken and treated like VIPs at a nightclub called the Vista Club (high above the casino floor built in a fake rock outcropping made of stained glass and steel) where we partied away the night in style. Totally, utterly surreal. Here’s a series of pictures from the night.
Sooooo, yeah. That’s what happened. It involved lots of dazed wandering through the casino lights (that place is a maze), viking-horned hats that lit up, and dancing. Thanks for the memories Mohegan Sun! Seriously, we had a blast. Hopefully we’ll come back and do it all over again sometime!
Apart from that, all I can say is WE WILL SEE YOU SOON, WE ARE COMING TO ROCK YOUR WORLDS! And as always, thank you for taking this journey with us!
And lastly, this: (It’s really all about the floppy wrists. And Bjork. And driving through Brooklyn confusing people…)