BassCliff w/ANB at Ho Chunk Casino, 7/18/21

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by BassCliff, Jul 25, 2021.

  1. Greetings ladies and gentlemen,

    After getting off early Saturday night from Knott's Berry Farm, me and the ANB were afforded an extra hour's sleep. That's a good thing because it was a long travel day to get to our gig at the Ho Chunk Casino in Black River Falls Wisconsin. Arnie's Merle tribute, "Big City", was opening for "The Man In Black", a top rated Johnny Cash tribute.

    This would be my first fly date for my new Kiesel PB5 so I had to make sure it would fit snugly in my SKB flight case with all my essentials. Check.


    We met at Arnie's at 4:45am and rode together to John Wayne airport. The flight from SNA to PHX was uneventful until we checked our tickets and found that our connection flight left a half hour after we were scheduled to arrive. That's cutting it close.


    As soon as we arrived in Phoenix I checked the departure board and found our flight to Minneapolis was boarding RIGHT NOW! We were at one end of Terminal A and had to go to the departure gate at the other end of Terminal B. Arnie, Paul, and I took off at a swift pace and left John and Dave to bring up the rear. Dave has a bad knee and John is just old. I figured if we got there in time we could talk them into holding the plane for just a couple more minutes. We broke into a trot as we heard our names on the public address system giving us our final boarding call. We arrived just in time and the crew was gracious enough to give the rest of the band a few more minutes. I asked the clerk at the counter about our instruments and she said the baggage usually travels faster than the passengers. OK, we will hope for the best. At least I had my trusty ukulele with me so we ran over some of our set list. I hope Merle doesn't mind his tunes done on the uke.


    We were breathing a little easier now that we had made the flight to Minneapolis. The next hurdle was getting our rental car and driving to the venue two hours away. We landed, grabbed our bags and instruments, and made our way to the rental counter via tram. From the rental counter this kindly old gentleman shuttled us over to the rental yard to pick up our SUV. He was more interested in telling stories than hurrying us to our car. Bless his heart. But we finally piled into the rental and headed East. Here we are crossing the Mighty Mississippi on the Wakota Bridge. This river sure is small way up here.


    Thankfully the traffic was moving along quite nicely at about ten over the speed limit. Arnie was going with the flow. We saw a lot of this as we drove across the state of Wisconsin.


    We drove straight through, no time for potty breaks. We had a 7pm downbeat and the GPS said we would arrive at 6:10. Arnie shaved a few minutes off of that estimate.


    I believe this was the new indoor theater venue but our show had been moved outdoors.


    The other band had already sound checked, there was a huge line of folks waiting to bring in their lawn chairs. We pulled right up to the stage and unloaded our gear.


    This was my backline, pretty good. I thought for a minute about playing the upright on a couple of songs.


    It was 6:15pm. We had time for a quick line check, had Chris (monitors) adjust a couple things, we played half a song, and we were done. Rhonda was kind enough to give us a golf cart ride to our green room.


    I had traveled in my stage clothes. Turns out I would have had just enough time to change but I didn't want to chance it. We took advantage of the hospitality.


    This utility room was used for the bands' green room.


    We had a nice selection of Subway sandwiches, veggie plate, soft drinks, and coffee. We all had a little snack since we hadn't eaten all day.


    I also had a cookie and a brownie to "sugar up" for the show.


    OK! It's time! We take the stage and Paul's pedal steel takes a dump. Drat. Once he and Arnie figured out what went wrong I helped him change the battery in his volume pedal.


    While Paul puts the last two screws in his volume pedal, what a hassle, I took a couple pictures of the band. Arnie points at the old country bass player. That's Chris down there running monitors.


    John is ready to tickle the ivory.


    It was a friendly crowd. When I waved they waved back. They knew the words to Merle's songs better than Arnie did.


    OK, one quick selfie as the FOH guy, Matt, finished up his announcements. Matt and his whole crew were top notch and really helped us pull this off.


    Our forty five minute set went by in a flash. Then somebody handed me a Bud.


    Sure, I drank it. It kinda hit the spot. I knew there would be better beer later.

    I'll finish up the gig in the next post. Thanks for looking!

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  2. Hi,

    Now that our whirlwind tour of Wisconsin was over we could relax. I tell you, if anything would've gone sideways, a plane delay, a car rental snafu, a road closure or accident, we would have been toast. But everything went smoothly and we made our very tight schedule.

    We met up with Sean and Jennifer at the green room and paused for a photo op.


    The Man In Black hung out back stage for a couple of minutes while the band played him on. They put on a good show, polished and relaxed.


    That case for the upright is bigger than my first apartment. I wandered around the venue taking a few more pictures of "Johnny" and his band.


    They had sold out the show, sold as many tickets as the theater had seats, maybe five or six hundred?


    Here's the view from the FOH console. The sound out front was a little subdued, probably because of the age of the audience. It actually sounded better behind the stage.


    Here's another view over the monitor guy's shoulder. "Johnny Cash" did a great job talking to the audience and relating the history and stories behind Cash's songs. Arnie needs to work on that a little bit.


    Oh yeah, we get to check into the hotel and spend the night. We decided to get our rooms before trying to get over-served at the bar.


    It was a nice room on the third floor, a little smaller than our rooms in Vegas.


    I had a lovely view of the parking lot.


    The facility was clean and fresh but not too busy on a Sunday night. They actually close at 2am.


    The band got changed and proceeded to find good beer. Yay band!


    That Cave Ale Potosi was a nice amber. The Spotted Cow is a local favorite. I also tried a local chocolate stout that was pretty good. I chased them down with shots of tequila. Both bands got together a swapped war stories.


    Since most of the Man In Black band is from So. Cal. they promised to try to make Arnie's Birthday Jam on Sept. 1st. I hope so. It will be fun. IIRC it will be at Cowboy Country in Long Beach.

    Oops, you can probably tell Johnny and I are feeling no pain and have the munchies. We found some Pringles. There was no food in this joint. The town rolls up the sidewalks at 10pm. So we had vending machine snacks again.


    The next morning the band heads back to fly out of Minneapolis. I'm going to miss breakfast with the gang because my daughter is driving out to pick me up.


    I'll see the hairy legged pickers back at Knott's Berry Farm on the following Saturday after I spend a week with my grandkids.


    Mrs. BassCliff had flown up the day before I did. She rode with our daughter to pick me up. They made good time on the two and a half hour drive.


    Then after spending a week with my two youngest grand daughters I had to get back to work. I flew home on Friday. My youngest daughter had forgotten her neck dragon. I was happy to give it a ride home with me.


    I got home about 11:30pm, just in time to catch some shuteye and head back to Knott's to put on the show the next evening. Hopefully our next fly date will not be as rushed. We all enjoyed ourselves anyway. Yay band!

    Next week will be busy for us. We've got a concert in the park on Wednesday, The Ranch on Friday, then back at Knott's on Saturday. Oh yeah, I have a day job too. But not for much longer! Retirement is looming. Maybe I'll pull the trigger a little early, hmmmm? :D

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
  3. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    When faced with similar circumstances, I always remind myself that free beer is good beer. Something I learned back in my college days.

    However, no matter how much I reminded myself of that, free beer in the Soviet Union was crap. Took one swig and that was that. Tasted like a horse drank it first.
  4. Hi,

    So if we ever have a fly date to Russia, I'll stick to vodka. :roflmao: :thumbsup:

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  5. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Hey Cliff. Looks like a fun time even with the shaky timing.

    I had the same issue as you connecting on a business trip there. Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix is looooong. Point A to B is nasty under a time crunch. :p

    And a great set list it is. Mama Tried is a good opener. :thumbsup:

    The look on your face says it all. :D
  6. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    I thought Denver was worse. Not so with O'Hare because if the itinerary says 30 minutes between flights, it's really 3 hours.
  7. Last Rebel

    Last Rebel Lone Wolf - No Club Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2011
    Ontario Canada
    .. again

    Cliff..leads the way..

    .... We're starting to open up ..up here I'm Canada...

    Lookout boys I'll be heading down south soon Atlanta Georgia in August for sure
    mikewalker, BassCliff and nixdad like this.
  8. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    Subway and Budweiser??

    — this aint no Orange County anymore! Lol

    thanks for the gig report - looks like a real fun time was had by all. Loved the Wisconsin scenery and Mississippi pics too!
    Sore Thumb, BassCliff and Last Rebel like this.
  9. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    As always another awesome BassCliff gig report... it never gets old.. ;)
    JRA, kobass, BassCliff and 3 others like this.
  10. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Atlanta resident here. Are you gigging or just visiting for pleasure?
    Kitsapbass and Last Rebel like this.
  11. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm glad it all worked out, Cliff.
    Man - I'm exhausted just after reading about your adventure!
    Kitsapbass, JRA, BassCliff and 4 others like this.
  12. Last Rebel

    Last Rebel Lone Wolf - No Club Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2011
    Ontario Canada
    ... I want to come in for the drive by truckers show at the 40 w if it ain't sold out for two nights
    Kitsapbass likes this.
  13. Last Rebel

    Last Rebel Lone Wolf - No Club Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2011
    Ontario Canada
    .. yes I'll be bringing my bass guitar me or two of them
    Kitsapbass and BassCliff like this.
  14. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    Glad it all worked out and you were able to spend some quality time with family too. Those connecting flights can be a real adventure sometimes, I try to avoid them even if it costs me a bit more for a direct flight.

    I live a half a block from the Mississippi river, its maybe a couple hundred yards or so across up here on the north end of town
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
    nixdad and BassCliff like this.
  15. Jamvan

    Jamvan The Bassist Formerly Known As Meh Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    Living in Minnesota, it'd take a LOT more than Spotted Cow and vending machine Pringles to get me to go to Wisconsin for 45 minutes. My (cowboy) hat's off to you for making this trek and putting on an(other) exceptional show!

    You saw the Mighty Mississippi south of the locks and dams where it looks like water is still flowing but up where I live within 50 miles of the headwaters, it's down to a trickle due to the crazy drought we're in the middle of. Kinda freaky.

    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
  16. dlb1001


    Jan 30, 2007
    Wow! That's quite a weekend...good to see all of these cool gigs that you guys are doing.
    My band is just did one gig but we need to fix the sound issues...too many problems!
    BassCliff likes this.
  17. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Always enjoy checking out your gig pics! Quick question - is "Bass Guitar" prominently stenciled on the case code for "Not a Rifle" when you're traveling? I had a Steinberger clone in the late 80's while in Germany and was stopped by on base security a few times to see what I had in the gig bag. I guess it did look like a firearm case, especially strapped on my shoulder like you would do with a rifle. Heh.
  18. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    Thats what it looks like here to right below the Dam , never seen it so exposed as this year
    BassCliff and Jamvan like this.
  19. Sounds like the flights were scheduled without much room for error, which is always a concern.

    Overall looks like a good time and a fun gig. Taking a plane to a gig seems like an unbelievable fairy tale to us small timers.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Sore Thumb, BassCliff and nixdad like this.
  20. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Interesting - a Cliff gig in Leinenkugel's country! They call 'em "Leinie's" out there. It's their old regional brewery just like we have Yuengling in our neck of the woods. It looks like you had a pretty decent selection to choose from back at the casino.

    Anyway, it was great watching one of your bands going on a fly gig again!