Gig Archives: 2017

(Disclaimer: this may be incomplete or inaccurate)

Friday, August 11th, 2017
Given life and day job demands and timing and broken hands I haven't played a gig in over a year. So how's this for getting the ball rolling again: kicking off a Secret Chiefs 3 tour opening for Dead Cross?! After some rehearsals in LA (as the band this time around includes Jason and Pej from way back, and new guy Joe from Intronaut) we hit the road for Las Vegas to play at the Brooklyn Bowl. The show was in fact a giant venue/bowling alley. And there I was, right back in the rock and roll saddle. On the way out a loader kid dropped one of my keyboards right in front of me and didn't apologize. Immediately after the show we went to see Free Salamander Exhibit who were playing elsewhere in town that night. Caught their last few tunes. Then I got dropped off at Las Vegas airport to fly back home because I already had a gig booked with MoeTar before this tour came about.
Saturday, August 12th, 2017
with MoeTar:
After a brief nap the MoeTar gang showed up at my house to rehearse real quick, and then we headed to Cornerstone - Craft Beer & Live Music in Berkeley. What a show this was: Jack O' the Clock, MoeTar, and Free Salamander Exhibit! Fun hang with many local friends old and new. We debuted "Gingerbread Man" and also one of the Nina Simone tunes we're performing next week (just to shake it out and see if it works live). End of the tour for FSE but I'm really just getting started on mine with SC3 - who were driving all the way to Texas without me for two days straight. On the second day I stayed in Oakland just to have time with Jenya and not miss this week's Game of Thrones.
Monday, August 14th, 2017
We played in Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar & Grill. But first I had to fly there. My flight was from SFO was early - I got up at 5:30am to catch the BART to the airport. But the plane was delayed at the gate for three hours due to mechanical issues, during which other passengers fled and I texted the bandmates (still driving towards Dallas) that I may be late. Luckily they did fix the problem, and I arrived with plenty of time. Took a Lyft to the gig and beat the band van by a half hour. Turns out that half hour exactly coincided with a weekly work meeting at the Breakthough Listen lab, so I called to check in while waiting in the hot, sweaty parking lot. The band arrived, and then I learned it's an outdoor gig. It's like 100 degrees outside. It was very damp. But we powered through, and the band is coming together on the tunes nicely. Packed show. Each show seems to be building due to word of mouth, perhaps. While packing up by myself in the dark back lot a stranger approached asking, "Matt?" When he was close enough I saw his face. Holy shit, it's Marco from my (very very) old band Flywheel. Turns out he just moved here from SF weeks ago. We caught up as I dripped sweat into all my keyboards while packing them away and gaff taping their cardboard boxes. Really lovely to see him.
Tuesday, August 15th, 2017
Easy drive to Houston to play at Warehouse Live. Got delicious all you can eat BBQ buffet at Sam's en route. But the Dead Cross guys were running late. Eventually got the story they were pulled over by police en route. Details emerged after they arrived. It's a fucked up story. But the upshot is we still had to wait for their soundcheck and thus had zero time to do ours. Luckily we had our secret weapon - Ricky on the front of house. He's been filling in for Steve on these first few shows before Steve could wrap up his current Flaming Lips tour. Still, I had no monitor and couldn't hear myself on stage, but I know it sounded good out there in the house. Meanwhile, I caught up with Erik, my old pal and bandmate from Mumble & Peg - it's been ridiculous I haven't ever seen him in Houston since he moved here ages ago, but here we are. We got a beer together and caught up while a noisy hermit crab race was taking place right next to us for a moment. Little did me or Erik or the crab racers knew this city was going to be underwater next week. Erik and other Houston friends ended up okay, but in varying degrees lost houses, had to swim with their pets to escape the floods, etc. This was a very intense night at the time, and even more so in retrospect.
Wednesday, August 16th, 2017
Another easy drive through Texas. Finally getting to play at Emo's in Austin, but it's a different venue/location now. Much bigger. Huge fuckin' show, really. Great sound, lovely air conditioning (it's been like over 100 degrees the whole time in TX thus far). The tour is really hitting its stride now. After the show some guy set himself on fire in the back lot (as a regular stunt). Weird. The next day went to get Stubb's BBQ with some of the Dead Cross gang before hitting the airport. I almost ate Lombardo's brisket platter, thinking it was mine when the waiter served it up.
Friday, August 18th, 2017
with MoeTar:
Once again flying home in the middle of a tour to play a very special show (booked long before the tour): Undercover Presents: the music of Nina Simone! And what a line-up: Jazz Mafia's Realistic Orchestra, OSA Vocal Rush, MoeTar,, and Zakiya Harris + Sólás Burke-Lalgee of Elephantine. Goddamn! So refreshing during a rock tour where I have to set up my laptop connected to a trio of midi controllers and fight with monitors to suddenly have a gig where I just show up and play on a beautiful grand piano and everything just sounds awesome automatically in that room that I barely even needed a monitor. We rocked the set, led by Moorea totally killing it (of course).
Saturday, August 19th, 2017
Back on the road. Flew down to San Diego early enough to avoid any mishaps. And since there were zero mishaps I sweatily walked around town for like 4 hours before the gig. The others, schlepping all the way from Texas, were an hour late, but I had everything sorted before they arrived and we got the tour rolling again. The heat and days off were a momentum killer, but we had a fun time at The Observatory North Park and then headed to LA that night to avoid the traffic the next day.
Monday, August 21st, 2017
Day off in LA, and then the big show at the El Rey Theatre. Somewhat sad I missed the total eclipse, but Jenya was up in Oregon seeing it for the both of us. Our opening set ruled, and it was great to catch up with many LA friends, including my old high school/college pal Dave. However Dead Cross was taking forever to start their set when suddenly the curtain opened with Lombardo and Crain standing there announcing Patton got into an accident - it's not grave, but the show is cancelled. Fuck. There was a lot of drama and unknowns surrounding the rest of the evening and the following day, but long story short while we were bracing for a complete, sudden end to the tour, it continued as planned (with Dead Cross doing a make up show the very next night without us). Fair enough!
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017
Hometown show! Plus since I got home from LA super late last night I got to enjoy catching up on this week's Game of Thrones with Jenya before load in. I was stoked to finally be seeing, and playing, the UC Theatre in Berkeley. I haven't been there at all since it became a music venue, which is especially lame as former bandmate Smitty from Research & Development is the general manager. Lots of local friends and props to Danny from Breakthrough Listen who was the only one from our project to attend this show. Between sound check and downbeat I had a lot of time to help Jenya find a parking spot somewhere in Berkeley. She was circling for like 20-30 minutes before then. Then SC3 had a great set, and Dead Cross capped their evening with Jello coming out and doing a version of "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" with them.
Friday, August 25th, 2017
After a day long shlep to Seattle, we then hauled up to Vancouver to play at the Vogue Theatre. It was refreshing to get out of the country and away from the Big Orange Fuckhead if only for a few hours. Alright set. I was a bit slowed perhaps as I shoveled down an entire serving of lamb/beef shawarma salad just before hitting the stage. After the gig went right back down to Seattle. A much faster border crossing on the way back.
Saturday, August 26th, 2017
So we had a day to sleep in and relax before the gig tonight. This included me taking a solo hike around the usual touristy downtown region where I somehow have been so many times before. Probably more times than I've ever hung out at Fisherman's Wharf in SF. Anyway we played at the Showbox. One of the best shows of the tour. Great crowd. Maybe I got some good show karma as beforehand I found a wallet with cash and handed it over to the club to hopefully somehow get to the rightful owner.
Sunday, August 27th, 2017
And then down to Portland to play at the Wonder Ballroom. Another wonderful show, perfectly set up by a pulled pork Bunk sandwich (served up in a bar adjacent to the venue). Previous SC3 keyboardist Adam was there, as was Travis from miRthkon, so I had a lot of hanging with my peeps before and after the show. Of course had a casual Portland brunch the next morning.
Tuesday, August 29th, 2017
Last show of this leg of the tour, playing at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento. Enjoyed the air conditioning of this venue, and its proximity to the Warehouse Artist Lofts where I got a much-needed smoothie before soundcheck, and a yummy to-go dinner after. Andrew from Breakthrough Listen attended the show so I had a chance to catch up on everything I missed at work the last few weeks, including some fast radio bursts that will be announced tomorrow. Great show, and we headed home to Oakland afterward. Tour half over!
Friday, September 8th, 2017
original announcement:
After a short rest we're back on the road again opening for Dead Cross. This time starting on the East coast and working a bit westward. First stop: Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage

Saturday, September 9th, 2017
original announcement:
Headlining this one. Jersey City, NJ @ Monty Hall

Sunday, September 10th, 2017
original announcement:
Opening for Dead Cross. Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

Monday, September 11th, 2017
original announcement:
Opening for Dead Cross. Boston, MA @ Royale

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
original announcement:
Opening for Dead Cross. New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
original announcement:
Opening for Dead Cross. Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw

Thursday, September 14th, 2017
original announcement:
Headlining this one. Toronto, ON @ Longboat Hall

Friday, September 15th, 2017
original announcement:
Opening for Dead Cross. Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew's Hall

Sunday, September 17th, 2017
original announcement:
Opening for Dead Cross. Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom

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