iA


Oct. 4-6th Tour Diary, Part One

by Andy Boyle.

basement-show

So I’m sitting in the house basement where I did a show last night, waiting for my tour mate to wake up so we can grab some breakfast. Last night was a blast, and I thought I’d write about it.

First off, I don’t normally write about comedy here. Since the start of the year, that’s been the purview of www.andyboyleisntfunny.com, which is where I’ve kept most of that stuff. In the next few weeks, I’m going to start moving that content over to this website and making a special area for it. So, in the meantime, if you’re coming to this blog for tech-y reasons, well, now you know I’m not only amazing at writing about programming, but I’m also mediocre at writing about comedy.

This three-day tour started because someone couldn’t make a few shows and I was the first to comment on a Facebook status update. That’s how fancy the comedy game is in Chicago, folks. I didn’t have anything planned for the weekend, other than probably sitting on my couch and eating burritos or aimlessly walking around Chicago while I listened to some podcast, so I thought visiting some cities I’ve either never been to or haven’t seen in awhile would be fun.

Also, I would get to tell jokes, which I’m a fan of.

So the tour started with Collin Bullock picking me up downtown from work. It took Collin at least two tries of passing me on Michigan Avenue before I was finally able to get into his car. Collin recently recorded an album and is touring to support it, so he’s headlining this tour. I get to play “tell jokes for 10-15 minutes” alongside him.

Collin hosts a showcase called Wonderbar Underground Comedy, which I helped out as an “intern” for about four months this year, trading moving chairs and tables for the occasional stage time. Alas, once I took over my open mic at Weeds Tavern, I couldn’t do it anymore.

Anywho, after picking me up, we drove for five hours, with two of those hours to move 15 miles outside Chicago. For dinner, I got two hot dogs from a gas station somewhere in Illinois, a part of the state where judging by the gas station clientele dentists are apparently hard to find. Fun fact: Most gas stations in my home state of Nebraska also contain dentists.

It was about 6 p.m., and someone had already lost their dinner on the floor in front of the men’s restroom. Whomever that was, I bet they’re totally living the comedy life, am I right? I don’t know if I am right, which is why I’m asking you.

After a sing-a-long in the car to Fall Out Boy and then forcing Collin to listen to The Lawrence Arms and Jawbreaker, we made it to Peoria. First we bought beer, because we are adults. Then we went to the house where the show was happening, and waited outside and drank beer until the people who lived there showed up. This freaked me out, and I was sitting there, really, really hoping we weren’t just drinking beer in some random person’s driveway.

Eventually, Collin’s buddy Trey, who lives there, showed up. Trey used to run some awesome shows — some that are still happening — in Chicago. And now in Peoria he runs this DIY punk venue in his basement. It was spacious, with cool rugs on the floor and a low ceiling, not to mention mood lighting. I wish when I was in terrible punk rock bands in high school we could’ve played this basement instead of the majority of venues we did play.

We started the show at about 11 p.m. after some 20 people crammed downstairs. Some local Peoria comics were also on the bill, one of whom was awesome at beatboxing. The host had the coolest first name ever — DRIFT — and I assume he’s aware he could be the first NASCAR comedian.

After the show, people hung outside, drank beers, smoked and were real cool. This one older gentleman with a sweet beard hopped on a super tall bike and rode away into the Peoria darkness, perhaps never to be seen again. Well, probably not really. He had on a reflective vest, so I’m assuming he was seen.

Now I’m waiting for Collin to wake up so we can go drive to St. Louis because we’re playing The Firebird tonight. I’m pretty stoked, as St. Louis has good barbecue, good people and good comedy. I always wake up early on the weekends, because I know my mom would be mad if she ever found out I didn’t, so hopefully soon we can find a diner in Peoria and read their newspaper, which has the same name as my college city’s newspaper. Their newspapers should get in a softball league, for dominance of the Journal Star name.

Here are some photos from last night. They aren’t the best photos, on account of my being in a basement and also Miller High Life:

This is the crowd in Peoria

Here’s our crowd in Peoria. Very comfortable couches. I would know: I slept on one.

 

Collin telling jokes in the dark.

Collin telling jokes in the dark. Also, Collin telling dark jokes.

 

Tall bike

This gentleman had a tall bike and told us he most definitely was not old enough to have served in Vietnam.

 

Now, off to St. Louis!