Cowboy Junkies – Vienna, VA – Blacksburg, WV – Black Mountain, NC (Oct 14 – 16, 2009)
A cold, rainy day in Virginia, spent on the grounds of Wolftrap. The rain kept us inside.
A beautiful venue tonight (The Barns at Wolftrap) with a completely wood beam interior and a top of the line sound system. It was also a sold out venue. Unfortunately we didn’t have a very good night on-stage. Sometimes even the most beautiful sounding venues (and this was a very nice sounding room) have sound issues on stage. We just couldn’t find each other. It may have come off ok in the venue (Jared said that it sounded great out front) but it was a tough night on stage. The audience was also a little reticent: whether it was due to our own reticence on stage or an audience that wasn’t getting what they expected, or didn’t even know what to expect when they bought the tickets…who knows. The odd thing is that I’ve noticed that the audiences at The Birchmere, which is very close to here, have a similar standoffishness (almost as reserved as a roomful of Canadians). I always thought it was that venue, but maybe it’s a DC audience thang. I’ll have to investigate further. In any case it was a disappointing night for us.
Another rainy day. We seemed to have used up all of our good weather karma. This was our first time in Blacksburg and it would have been nice to explore a little bit, but I didn’t have the energy to fight the cold and the rain. I did manage a brief walk through the Virginia Tech campus in between rain showers. It’s a spectacularly large campus. Right in the middle of the campus is the enormous Commons area, which was built around (or near) Drapers Meadow the site of a particularly nasty mid 1700s slaughter of early settlers at the hands of some locals. One of the settlers was decapitated and his head was delivered to the neighboring settlement as a warning. Sometimes it’s hard to not believe that demons, evil spirits, inhabit a particular place and are waiting to let their presence be known.
Another sold out show and a great sounding theater. The audience tonight was amazing, definitely the best one on this tour: lots of give and take, we had a great show. It was certainly the most fun that we have had on stage in the past couple of weeks. We will definitely be back.
After the show the streets of this town were filled with young sorority girls and their fraternity pals selling pancakes, drunk out of their collective skulls.
The final day of the tour and we find ourselves on a mountainside in North Carolina at the LEAF festival. A full on pitch-the-tent- break-out-the-tie-die-time-to-sell-the-jewelry-that-I’ve-been-making-in- my-basement- lets- pray-for-lots-of-mud-how-many-types-of-massages-can-I-get-in-a-day-where’s-my-hoola-hoop hippie fest. It’s a beautiful location for a festival and its definitely fulfilling a need in these parts, because the weekend is sold out. Unfortunately the weather is probably a little colder than the norm for this time of year, but that didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the campers. The festival has the feel of a very large extended family reunion. It’s obvious that this is an annual ritual for many. Overall a very laid back vibe.
The gig, for us on stage, was much like any festival gig. It was a little difficult to hear, so subtlety was abandoned quickly. The audience was great and was going to have a good time no matter what so we were more than happy to be part of their party.
This has been a very good tour for us: a lot of new venues and towns and, overall, very good attendance. I think that the band is in a really good space as far as its live work is concerned…we seem to have found a very good groove. Now we just have to be able to focus when we get home and get ourselves into our studio to start working on a new album.
We’ll see some of you in November..those of you tough enough to brave our little journey through Quebec…bring your touques and mufflers.