Shakers Tour Diary: Cali Foursome Hits NYC, Pees in Butcher Shops, Eats Copious Amounts of Pizza + More
[Editors Note: Earlier this year, we gave away 'The Weight,' a killer tune by L.A. foursome the Shakers. So smitten are we with their bluesy, blustery rock 'n' roll sound (some liken them to an unholy union of AC/DC and the Supremes) that when they offered to guest blog about their latest East Coast swing -- a three-date run prefacing the release of next month's 'Rescue Team' album -- we couldn't resist. In episode two, singer Jodie Schell writes about peeing in butcher shops, rocking NYC and lots more. Check back tomorrow for the third installment, and peep the first one here.]
Aaaaaaaaaaand we’re back!!!! This tour continues to beat us up, but we’re having the time of our lives (cue the music). Our road shenanigans don’t include groupies or drugs, but they include hilarity, pizza, pee stops, pizza, beer, divas, public-restroom-yoga, love and pizza. Are you on the edge of your seat? Me too.
We started off at the crack of dawn in Jenkintown, Pa. Ron and his girl Steph were kind enough to open their home and makeshift some cozy beds for us. Except Chris: Chris had the guest room. Most of us were hung over and sweating bullets from a night without AC. Kinda gross. First stop needed to include coffee before we began the trek to Brooklyn.
We stopped at a rad diner on Easton Street, and 10 minutes into the meal, the waitress started calling all three boys “Fancy.” This title was due to extravagant requests like pepperjack cheese, tea and sourdough toast. I secretly enjoyed being the low-maintenance one: two eggs over medium for me and coffee. Done. Who’s the diva now? After breakfast, Chris got breakfast again in the form of a nutritious soft pretzel with cheese. They just don’t have bread like this in L.A.
Now on to the New Jersey Turnpike. I had to pee almost immediately, but I like to phrase it gentle, like, “Fellas. Sorry. Just a heads up. I need a potty stop within the next 20 minutes.” The highway gods threw a curveball and trapped us in traffic for the next 40 minutes. My option was hold it, visit the port-o-potty on the nearby construction site or hold it. I’m a pro, so I only whined a lot.
We finally made it to a grocery store in the middle of nowhere, so I kabuki-walked in at ludicrous speed and begged for a restroom. They were far more courteous than I anticipated New Yorkers to be to a stranger, and I was guided to a bathroom deep within the butcher shop. I was trying to not be weird about it, and when the butcher greeted me with [insert New York accent], “Hey Beautiful, you wanna try something good,” I responded with ladylike flattery and continued kabuki-scooting toward a potty. Does anyone know what it means when someone says to you, “Ya’pet my pitbull? Did you see my pitbull back there? No? Well he saw you.” Is that a butcher reference?
We got to Brooklyn just in time to meet Ross with Charged.FM. Such a nice guy. Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to give an in-studio performance, but they still sat us down and gave us an in-depth interview. Next they took us to the porch outside their offices, and we had a perfect view of the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge. We took a thousand photos each. So beautiful.
Now I was given a permission slip to break the 2013 no-wandering policy (see tour blog Day 1), since my cousin John was going to escort me to family in Uptown Manhattan. I’m a tourist, so I took photos and video on the A train. Meanwhile, the boys headed to Williamsburg for thrift-shopping and pizza. It was a family affair across the board, though. While I was meeting my newborn new cousin, Kyle was reuniting with his sister, cousins and aunts.
We were all getting more and more excited for our show at the Bitter End. We made Wicked Willies our home base, while more and more friends and family filtered in from L.A., Jersey, N.Y., and Pa. Right before us onstage at the Bitter End was Jillian Jensen of ‘X-Factor’ fame, and a killer band called Sonic Cult (phenomenal N.Y. band, and we’re still jamming their CD now). We were so blown away by the wide range of distances our friends trekked to be there, so we took song requests to form the night’s set of songs. It included ‘Low Lights’ for Lane, AC/DC for Mer, ‘Already Gone’ for Spez, etc.
The show, from the first beat of ‘Whatcha Want Whatcha Need,’ was off the chain. The audience energy was so overwhelming we were climbing the walls and wailing. I’m gonna stop and say that we adore the Bitter End, and our New York friends are titans!!! We love you.
We handed the stage over to our good Boston friends Dave Crespo’s After Party, while we took pics with our buddies and packed up our gear. We’ll play with Dave Crespo again the next night in downtown Boston, so we’re looking forward to that! Post show, there would be no late-night partying. We grabbed a quick slice or three at Joe’s Pizza and prepped our trek toward our Motel 6 in Connecticut. Despite some rather inescapable ladies at the counter space demanding, “Oh mmmmy godddd you’re a band, aren’t you? I know youuuu. I do. I know youuuuuu,” we truly enjoyed our delicious Joe’s pizza. Lots to do tomorrow in Massachusetts, so there was no rest for the wicked, and we split hard outta town to get a good night sleep in a real bed and with glorious air conditioning.
Side note: Chris is the one who broke the towel rack in room 225 cuz he put his towel on it.