Venue: High Five Bar & Grill Location: Columbus, Ohio Date: 06.19.08 Other Bands: Ruvane
After snoozing the morning away, we felt our tummies growling, so we piled in the van and followed Ahmed down toward the Ohio State campus.
We hit up a restaurant called the Blue Danube (aka The Dube). The eatery was oozing character, from the tastefully stocked jukebox (got to hear a couple Toadies songs – so pumped about the show on the 30th!) to the individually composed ceiling-tile paintings. The grub was tops – a couple of us would highly recommend their ''Cobb'' sandwich, which included avocado, bleu cheese, turkey and bacon. Quite good.
We hopped down the street to a great little record shop called Used Kids, where we quickly got to work flipping our grubby little fingers through hundreds of used discs priced at $3/5/7/9. I think most of us at least found one thing we couldn’t resist purchasing, and as usual, I was the guiltiest splurger of the group. Used CD stores are like going to confession for me (at least I'm assuming, I'm not Catholic) - if I see a record I love but don't own, I have to buy it out of guilty obligation. ''Forgive me, Father, for I don't own this CD yet. It's been three years since I downloaded it...''
After making my bookbag about five pounds heavier, we dispersed to our standard pre-show stations: - Eric E., Stephen, and Ryan sought out a bar/pub with a pool table - Eric H. tagged along to get a beer and read a book - And Mike, Kiley, and myself hit up a coffee shop for some free Wi-Fi.
And actually, this ''coffee shop'' was actually Shi Sha Hookah Lounge, which is why the guy at the register asked to see my ID when I ordered a (delicious) iced chai – it threw me off for a second: ''Really? What do you guys put in your chai?''
After a few hours of laying low, we packed it up and headed down the street to the High Five Bar & Grill, where we met the show opener, Ruvane. He was just setting out on his own tour, traveling by himself in a huge shuttle bus, which he claimed gets ''10 or 12 miles to the gallon.''
Ruvane's need for space is due to the PA and lighting rig he travels with, since some of his shows are not at proper venues (i.e. Buffalo Wild Wings). He also has quite the merch spread, with everything from the standard CD/t-shirt fare, to embroidered handbags and fleece pullovers in multiple colors. How does he afford all this, you ask? Sponsors. One of them being White Castle, which is why he breaks out a Crave Case at the end of every show. No joke. I’m sure it goes over famously with the campus-town crowd.
We had found out a couple days before that another Columbus venue, Cafe Bourbon Street (which we played last our last time in Columbus), had just closed, leaving our friends in Headlights with nowhere to play for the night – so they had decided to jump on our bill. Unfortunately, with Columbus being the last stop on their tour, they had decided the night before that they were ready to head home (which I totally understand). So, the bill was back to just being Ruvane and us.
The crowd was sparse, but we had some familiar faces in the form of Ahmed, my friend’s brother-in-law Mike, and Erik from Margot & The Nuclear So and Sos, who had stopped in to check out Headlights (''Sorry dude, they’re not coming…''), and us, since we had both played with them in Champaign, Illinois last year, and we had also come out to see them at the Duck Room the following night with Page France and Canada.
Our set was fun or frustrating, depending on who you ask – the stage is an interesting semi-circle shape, and despite the light attendance, everyone seemed engaged. You can read more from local Columbus blogger Joel at Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There.
According to blogger Joel, we played a great set, which is always good news. Thanks Joel. Sometimes, after playing the same songs every night, you need the audience to tell you how everything went and put the minute details of a performance into perspective.
After the show we headed back to the aforementioned Mike’s new house, which is awesome (congrats, Mike). Having stayed with he and his wife Elise at their old apartment last time we were in Columbus, we were super appreciative of them taking us in again, especially into their sweet new crib (no pun intended – baby-on-the-way joke).
Most embarrassing moment of the night: Realizing that somehow all of us had been calling Mike by the wrong name (Mark) all night, and finding out when I asked him to spell his (last) name for me so I could put it in my phone: ''Well, it’s Mike, actually.'' Wince. Blush. I honestly don’t know how that happened. Sorry Mike!