In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the indie pop artist, Jake Davis, talks about one of his crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.
I set out on our first night of our first west coast tour. I had been playing around Los Angeles with my two best friends in a 3-piece for a little while now and decided it was time to get the chops up and hit the road. Having never booked a tour before, it was a lot more work than expected, but after a few weeks, we had a mini-two week tour with a bunch of bars and clubs up and down the west coast. To help get our feet wet, the very first show was supposed to be a low-key house show. We got up to Berkeley, threw our stuff on a friends couch, and headed to the house.
On the way, we found out that this wasn’t officially a frat house, but was the house that most of a frat lived in because their actual frat had been banned from having a house after some excessive partying. Off to a good start. When we arrive the owner opens the door in a towel, he quickly informs us that he’s “tripping balls,” and points to a corner of what is a fairly small living room. We figure it’ll be 20-30 people, slightly embarrassing but that’s alright just a warm-up show.
By the time we get set up and started the house is completely packed, maybe 100 people stuffed into the living room, hanging from the stairs, and lined out the balcony and windows. We’re doing everything we can to keep a perimeter around our gear because broken equipment at the first show is never a good start. Without fail, at some point, the owner grabs the mic and proclaims it’s somebody’s birthday and thus the birthday song has to be sung.
It’s worth mentioning that I despise singing the birthday song in general, but especially at shows, even casual ones like this. There’s just no good that can come of it. At best you completely interrupt the flow of your set, and at worst you come off looking like complete hacks. Actually, at worst, the birthday boy tries to get up on the shoulders of somebody with-beer-in-hand, which is exactly what happened. Clearly unable to handle basic motor skills, there was no chance this was going to happen successfully. The ship was starting to sing and catastrophe was about to strike in the form of two drunken messes smashing into our PA speakers/mixer covered in beer. Something had to be done.
Someone in the band, can’t remember who, knew we had to cut this birthday song short ASAP, but without losing the favor of the crowd. A swift push of the two-manned drunkasaurus rex caused them to tip into the crowd. “1 2 3 4” and we launch into our fastest, loudest possible song. Everyone goes nuts and the rest of the party looks like a scene out of any American Pie movie.
I guess for some bands this isn’t really a “crazy story” as much as a typical Friday night. But the moral of the story here is: never, ever sing the birthday song. And you’ll be alright.
Let us know what you think of this feature in the comments below or by tweeting us!