October 31, 2008

Tour diary: We are Seahorses lead singer knifed at Baltimore show

we are seahorsesGet ready. This is the most wild, hilarious story you will ever read on Midnight Sun.

Well, maybe the J-Roddy Walston samurai sword story was weirder. But this one is pretty freaking far out there.

I had heard something about the lead singer of the New Jersey-based band We Are Seahorses (pictured) getting knifed at a recent Baltimore gig.

His name is Darren Mabee, but everybody calls him Dale. He describes himself as a "300-pound monster singer guy."

Since there is no way I can do this story justice, I'm going to let Dale describe it in his own words ...

Continue reading "Tour diary: We are Seahorses lead singer knifed at Baltimore show" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:59 AM | | Comments (25)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Local music, Tour diaries

June 27, 2008

Tour diaries

victoria voxI should really still do tour diaries.

I used to do them semi-regularly when MS was in its infancy. But it just seemed like nobody cared. So I stopped doing them.

Here's a link where you can read the dozen-odd ones on the blog. There are some pretty hilarious/gross/weird stories on there.

If I started doing them again, would you read them? Is it worth it? Or would my efforts go unappreciated?

(Stock photo of Victoria Vox

Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:00 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Tour diaries

January 14, 2008

Victoria Vox and the cops

Baltimore's best ukulele player posted some new songs from her forthcoming album Chameleon on her MySpace site.

Of the three new tracks, I'm partial to "C'est Noye."

Vox tours more than just about any other Baltimore-based musician.

I don't know how she does it, but she's probably on the road 20 days out of the month. 

Vox also posted a pretty funny story about a late-night run-in with the Virginia police. 

(Photo by LAUNCH) 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:39 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local music, Tour diaries

November 14, 2007

Tour diary: All Mighty Senators

In fall 2005, Baltimore funk rock group All Mighty Senators scored an opening spot on Busta Rhymes' (pictured) six-week tour.

From guitarist/singer Warren Boes: 

We were in Atlanta. I was in another room at this point, but [the rest of the band] was in a dressing room and they saw him coming down the hall.

Craig, our trombone player said, "Hey Busta, come over here, we're All Mighty Senators. We're the opening band."

He said, "Congratulations," and then went into his dressing room.

That was the only contact we had with him for five weeks. That was the extent of that. It was very strange. It was a weird tour, for sure.

(AP photo by Gary He)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:37 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local music, Tour diaries

August 23, 2007

Tour diary: To the Moon

From Chris Schafer, drummer of instrumental drum and bass trio To the Moon:

We had a gig at the Continental. This was two summers ago. We drive up there, and it took us seven hours to get to New York. It was horrible. We rented a van, it was supposed to be a four hour drive.

We were late getting there because of all of the traffic, we got denied going through the Holland Tunnel because it was a rental van and they said that it's a commercial vehicle. We had to turn around and go down to the Lincoln Tunnel. We ended up missing our time slot. The club wouldn't change slots with us. It was a total bummer.

The next day, we're walking around, we see CBGB's. We go in just to take a look at the place. None of us had ever seen it before.

I started telling the people there what happened with us the night before at the Continental. They were like 'Aw, man, that's horrible.'

I said, 'What's the chance of letting us play tonight?' They let us open! It was a sold out show when they were trying to save CBGB's. It was a freaking packed house! It was unbelievable.

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:12 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local music, Tour diaries

August 6, 2007

Tour diary: Dan Deacon


On his first national tour in early 2005, the car Dan Deacon was riding in broke down.

Deacon, an electronica/rock performer and composer, was determined to keep going. He packed up his equipment and spent the next 30 days riding Greyhound buses between shows.

In Seattle, bus officials wouldn't let Deacon board because they thought his instruments were explosives.

From Deacon:

After pleading with them and telling them they were musical devices I got on the bus. It was a pretty empty bus.

Then some guy came and sat right next to me and he was like 'Don't ever let anyone tell you what you can't bring on the bus.' He opened up his jacket and he had like 15 knives on one side and 15 knives on the other and a bunch on his belt. And he opened up his carry-on and it was full of knives and he told me he had two suitcases under the bus that were full of knives. It was really insane.

Every time we stopped at a rest stop he would buy another insane decorative knife where the blade was encased within a shark or something like that.

Then there was the heart attack story:

The craziest thing was probably when the guy had the heart attack in the Cheyenne bus station.

We were in transfer and it was quiet, and this guy stood up and screamed 'HEART ATTACK' and then fell on the ground. While the EMTs were still there, over the loudspeaker they just broadcasted 'The heart attack will not delay the buses.' So we got on the bus and left.

(Photo by Frank Hamilton) 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:22 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local music, Tour diaries

July 30, 2007

Tour diary: J-Roddy Walston and the Business

Periodically, I ask local bands to send me stories from the road. This one is by far the weirdest, freakiest yet.

From drummer Steve Colmus of J-Roddy Walston and the Business:

"We were in Little Rock, Ark., on tour and we arrived back at the place we were staying around 2 a.m. after a night about.

"This girl we were staying with told us she and some friends were going to crash an apartment pool and go swimming, and (bassist) Zach and I went along. We got to the complex, found the pool and hadn't been swimming for 10 minutes before this guy came out on his third-floor balcony with a camera with a massive telephoto lens.

"The girl we were staying with instantly got the creeps and told us we had to leave that minute.  We grabbed our stuff and hustled back to the car while the rest of the group continued swimming with this guy taking pictures the whole while.
"After we got back to the car, as we were pulling away, two of the group ran up and said they were getting their car because one of the guys in the group had gotten cut and needed to be taken to the emergency room. They seemed really calm about it, so we thought it wasn't that serious, and we drove off.
"The next day, we find out that minutes after we left, the creep on the third floor came down to the pool-area and started shouting obscenities at the folks still swimming. One of the guys in the group got out of the pool and tried to talk with the guy, but instead the weird guy grabbed one of the metal beach chairs and threatened to hit him.

"Before anyone knew what was going on, the nutbar threw down the chair and picked up a samurai sword he had brought down from his apartment and laid in the grass! Everyone took off running and the guy took a swipe and cut open one of the guys' back, then took off into the night.

"The rest of the crew took the guy to the emergency room where he received 20 stitches and four staples to close the wound! The cops broke down the door to the nut's apartment and found it stocked with ... weapons and cats, but he still hadn't shown back up when we left Little Rock a day later.
"I'm not sure if there's a lesson here.  Maybe it's that sometimes a woman's intuition is all that stands between you and 20 stitches."

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:06 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Local music, Tour diaries

July 16, 2007

Tour diary: Victoria Vox


Every so often, I ask local bands to send me a couple of good tour stories. This is from singer/songwriter Victoria Vox:

I was recently on tour in St. Louis. After my show I vaguely remember pulling some fancy parking maneuver and backing into a curb a couple of times!  (I swear I was sober!) 
The next morning, with a six-hour window to get to Chicago, I pulled away and immediately felt my car handling differently. Yup, my front right tire was blown! Of the 120,000 miles I've put on my Honda Civic, I've NEVER had a flat tire ... and unfortunately, I fit into the stereotype of women who can't change a flat. 
I pulled over about 6 blocks away to Truck Sales place. They referred me to a tire place, who quickly came to the rescue and checked out my situation. Since I damaged the tire wall, I needed a new one. After a spare was put on I followed the tow truck to the garage. 
While in the waiting room, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ONLY book on the "reading table" was "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." I've been wanting to read that!
I picked it up, and immediately started getting comments from the men working in their cubicles at the garage. I suggested to one man that he should read it ... but he said that there was no need, since he already had his own abbreviated list of do's and don't with women! 
I read it.  It was pretty accurate, I think :) Then he suggested that I take the book, finish it, and bring it back. I said that I was from out of town, and that I couldn't take it.  But he insisted, and gave me his card with the garages address. He told me that I could mail it back!
I never thought that a tire garage could double as a library! I did get to the gig in Chicago, JUST in time ... though a little frazzled ... but hey, I got some good reading material ... and two new tires ;)
Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:44 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tour diaries

June 27, 2007

Tour diary: the Oranges band

A while back, I asked Oranges Band guitarist/singer Roman Kuebler (pictured below) to send me a funny tour story. This is what he e-mailed me.


One night in Dallas, Tim Johnston [ex Oranges Band bass player] decided to play a tour prank on our friends and tourmates, Ozma. He was, surprisingly, very drunk by the end of the night and so failed to recognize that he was being far too stubborn about pulling off his stunt, which wasn't that cool to begin with.

Not wanting to be disturbed by a drunken Tim trying to noisily find his way back into our friend's place at some unreasonable hour, we told him that if he left to play the prank he couldn't come back and would have to sleep in the van.

When he left cursing us all we had assumed that he agreed to the terms but were surprised to find that he was not in the van the next morning. A couple hours had passed and still no word from Tim. We started to think that maybe he got arrested or ... who knows!

We finally did get a call from him. He was in Little Rock, Ark., which was where our next show happened to be. We found out that in his altered and angered state he decided that he did not need anyone telling him what he could and could not do and, therefore, decided to go home ... to Baltimore.

Tim went to the bus station in downtown Dallas, bought a ticket for Baltimore and climbed aboard.  In a cosmic twist, he woke up when the bus pulled into its first stop on the way to Baltimore: Little Rock, our next stop on that tour.

Being slightly less angered and much less altered, he decided to give the band a second chance and got off the bus to await our arrival, which wasn't until late enough that he got the whole day to himself to relax.

When we picked him up the next day the conversation went:

Roman: "Everything ok?"
Tim: "Yeah, everything's ok."

P.S. Tim got the majority of his bus ticket refunded, too!

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:28 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Tour diaries

May 24, 2007

Tour diary: Pontiak

pontiakI'm collecting good on-tour tales from local bands. If you're in a band or know someone who is, leave a comment, or email me --

Today's Meet the Band, Pontiak, just got back from a national tour with a couple great road stories:

Story 1:

When they pulled into Little Rock, Arkansas, the promoter said they would be playing at a pavilion down by the Arkansas River. They ran an extension cord 200 feet to this municipal power outlet, set up a couple lights and a PA and plugged in, said bassist/keyboardist Jennings Carney.

"We literally played a concert at 10:30 p.m. on a Sunday night on this pavilion overlooking the Arkansas River," Carney said. "It was awesome."

Story 2:

Pontiak also played in Tulsa, Oklaholma the same night Bright Eyes lead singer Conor Oberst was performing at a nearby venue. When Oberst's set ended, more than 1,000 people streamed into the Pontiak show, Carney said.

"Faces were melted," he said. "It was funny -- we got done with our first song, and we thought we were playing loud, but people were like, 'TURN IT UP!' We were like, 'OK ...'" 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:45 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local music, Tour diaries
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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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