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Date: Wed 25 Jan, 2006 at 14:28
Headline: Cows, Eagles, and Knuckles Of White
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Greetings & Salutations!

Had a good time during the latest Colorado jaunt. I know that I usually don't wait this long between gig and gig report, but Real Life has been stepping in and keeping me from my online correspondence annoyingly often in the past couple of weeks.

Levelz, no longer the great unknown and beginning to feel like the proverbial comfy shoe, was fantastic as always. Ski Jam helped to bring in the biggest crowd we've ever seen there, and The Amazing Patrick once again delivered magic on the lighting end. We filmed the show from a couple of different angles and made out first attempt at getting a soundboard recording through the X5, both of which yielded mixed results but definitely showed potential. Sooner rather than later, we should be producing pro-looking and sounding documentation of gigs on a regular basis. The Mesa show also provided some nice visuals, with the room holding smoke much better than it did the first time and giving the lights some extra vibrancy.

For both shows, we opened with an extended set from The Wall, which we've done a few times before but never taken on the road. It was a cool experiement, in that it allowed us to pull a few lesser-played songs out of the mothballs ("Don't Leave Me Now", "The Thin Ice" etc), create a new (and hilarious) short film for the intro to "One Of My Turns," and bring some thematic cohesion to the show. The energy was a little weird, though. We're so used to saving songs like "Another Brick" and "Comfortably Numb" for the end of the show, that they just didn't feel emotionally right being played that early, for us or the audience. Tim has always maintaind that the only way to truly do justice to The Wall is to make a full night of it, perform the whole thing, and present it as theatricaly as possible. After various attempts to bring the album to life on stage, I'm inclined to agree...but I don't know how motivated we are to pursue something that ambitious, so we'll probably end up just culling bits & pieces of it for the forseeable future.

Realizing just how lucky we got in terms of weather when we traversed the Colorado landscape last year at this time, there was some trepidation about repeating the experience. Fortunately, the gods of travel were smiling again and our journey was 85% smooth sailing. There was much eagle-spotting on the way to Steamboat (as well as droves of cows lined up along the fences with something approaching military precision -- as Daryn noted, there's a song in there somewhere) and a gorgeous full moon rising during the waning daylight hours as we rolled into town. Our only white-knuckling experience came while driving home through a Spanish Fork canyon that was under seige from substantial snowstorms. I must commend Fozz for his steady nerves -- even in my non-driving capacity, I was stressed out to the point of having my eyes closed the entire time.

All in all, a successful venture, and we're all once again ensconced in the comforts of home and gearing up for our first SLC show in nearly a year. We've also returned to the recording; earlier this week Tim and Matt had a night of Guitar Overdub Madness, laying down some subtle coloring on "Visiting Mussolini" and some chaotic riffing on another tune which has yet to find an official name. We will be doing another big push this weekend to finish off the bass lines, do some more guitar and percussion work, maybe even get started on a vocal or two.

Bye for now...

TB