Sound Tower Gig Diary V:  It's a Long Way to the Top If You Want to Rock and Roll

By George Dionne | Jan 30, 2011
Sound Tower rocks Piper Beau's January 21, 2011

At the end of my last tour diary (HERE), on December 4th we had just performed at Tommy Doyle’s in Hyannis for a chance to get on their regular rotation.  We never got a good or bad back from the booking agent, however all bands received a notice that there would be no more live bands until next spring.  Obviously the economy is hitting Cape Cod (and the rest of the country) pretty hard, and this was not surprising.  Although I like to look at it in a Spinal Tap way, “Sound Tower shuts down Tommy Doyle’s!”

December 10, 2010 - Buzzards Bay Tavern, 149 Main St.

This was our last show before a two week break.  I think we were all ready for a break too. The crowds at the BB Tavern keep getting bigger and bigger.  A nice, small venue like theirs is great.  We’re a little more relaxed and can take a few chances with new material.  We had a guest vocalist on “Rock and Roll All Nite” and “Dirty Deeds...”  Although I had just met him that night, Dave from the band Shovelhead is actually my cousin’s brother-in-law.  Speaking of family, my brother Chris sang a bit on “Fight for Your Right to Party.”

December 17, 2010 - Cabby Shack, 30 Town Wharf Plymouth

Our two week break ended quite abruptly.  We had been conversing with the Cabby Shack for a while now, trying to get Sound Tower booked.  About a week prior, they were asking us about our 2011 summer schedule.  Then on December 18th we got an email about playing the next night.  I expressed my concern that we would have less than a day to promote the show and couldn’t guarantee much of a crowd.  The booking agent assured us it was no big deal.  They had a band cancel, and they advertise live music, so they need to have someone.  They also said there should be overflow from their annual sleigh ride event with Santa.

When we arrived I sensed that the declining economy has had an effect on Santa’s annual sleigh ride too.  There were not many people in the restaurant.  Once we finished setting up, there were even less people.  We have always been of the philosophy that it doesn’t matter if we are playing to a full room or an empty room, the show is going to be the same.  We had a great time, and we still managed to pull about 20 people into the place.

Earlier in the night, Greg’s (drummer) wife said that a friend of her’s was in a band and she might be coming out to check us out.  So when a young blonde woman came up to us and said “What are we singing next?”  I assumed this was the woman.  Once we starting singing, I realized that wasn’t the case. The fact she just left a Christmas party and had a few to drink probably impacted her performance the most.  We do love doing stuff like this, good or not.  It’s all about the fun.

The worst part of the night was when the manager said we could end the night at 11:30pm.  We might have played a little over an hour, and even though there weren’t a lot of people, we would have gladly played all night.  I just think the staff a crew were tired and wanted to go home.  We still got paid in full.  I hope we get to go back once tourist season kicks in.

December 31, 2010 - The Fan Club, 2859 Cranberry Hwy. East Wareham

Clearly not as many people go out on New Years Eve as did on Thanksgiving Eve, but the place was still full of party people.  The Fan Club supplied the party favors and champagne while Sound Tower rocked the night away.  There was even a midnight proposal.  Tim (bass) informed us that his niece’s boyfriend was coming later tonight to propose just after midnight.  He said she thinks that he wasn’t going to be able to make it.  After the New Year rang in, Christian made his move and asked Erica to marry him.  Of course she said yes.  The crowd went wild and we closed out the night with our high energy set.

January 14, 2011 - Striker’s Sports Bar & Grill, 66 Hathaway Rd. New Bedford

Due to a scheduling error, our January 7th gig at the Buzzards Bay Tavern was cancelled, so our first show of the new year was a new venue for us.  Striker’s is located inside Wonder Bowl.  I had no clue they were even doing live entertainment at a bowling alley, but my father played in the leagues and convinced me to check them out.  Striker’s was far from what I expected.  It was like it’s own club with a bowling alley in the next room.  We had a guaranteed audience since league night finishes up at the same time we start.  The bar was more than ample in size and had a huge dance floor which we kept packed most of the night.  One of our Wareham regulars made the trip up to see us and I thought that was quite special.  She also brought friends and kept the action moving on the dance floor.

January 19, 2011 - British Beer Company, 2294 State Road Cedarville

The British Beer Company has been our “holy grail,’ and Sound Tower has been trying to lock it down for about a year now.  That’s not to diminish any of the places we currently play.  We love them equally as much.  With the British Beer Company you’re getting 10 possible locations to play.  Plus it helps they promote the gigs in print on radio.  The exposure they can get a band is unmatched.  Over the past year we’ve sent promos, made phone calls, and sent emails.  Finally, with the help of a few friends of the band, we were offered our first gig April.

Jack (guitarist) plays in a hockey league, and after his games usually stops into the BBC in Hyannis.  He knows a lot of the employees there.  BBC has one person in charge of booking bands, so none of the managers can book bands on their own.  One night Jack was talking with the manager of the Hyannis BBC when she mentioned they were going to throw a birthday party for one of their cooks.  Jack suggested that Sound Tower could play the party.  She said that it was possible, but we couldn’t be paid.  This was a no-brainier when the band discussed it.  What better way to get exposure at the BBC than to get the employees talking about us.

It was the smartest decision we’ve ever made!  Most of the area managers were in attendance.  We were no more than five songs in when the Cedarville manager approached us and asked when we play the BBC next, customers were curious.  We told her April 30th.  She said, “April 30th?”  “No, we have to get you in sooner than that.”  The birthday boy had a blast, his friends and co-workers had a blast, and the room was absolutely electric.  We only intended to play 90 minutes or so but we played every song we knew.

Everyone in the band had the same look in their eyes.  We knew that we had finally “made it.”  This wasn’t just a night of proving ourselves good enough for the BBC, but we also proved how tight, spontaneous, and improved we had become as a unit.  We had discussed two new songs in weeks prior, but never had the chance to practice them together.  We decided to give them both a shot this night, and both were delivered as if we had been playing them for weeks.  In addition, if an instrumental went longer than it was supposed to, each member knew how to adjust as if it was part of the song.

The employees and management raved about us and vowed to get us into the BBC sooner than April...and they did!  The booking agent heard about how great the show was and hooked us up with a date in February.

January 21, 2011 - Piper Beau’s, 207 Main St. Wareham

How could we ever follow up a such a momentous gig?  With a hometown show right in the center of Main Street at Piper Beau’s, that’s how.  It had been two months since we last played there, and anticipation was building.  An hour before the show started the place was already filling up.  It was standing room only as we took the stage, and the crowd was hooked from beginning to end.  I almost hated to take a break.  I’ve seen familiar faces in the crowd before, but not as many as I did that night.  While I thought the BBC was a huge feather in our cap, this gig at Piper’s was by far our greatest show to date.

People danced, people sang along, and everyone was having a good time.   Our photographer (yes, we have one) Dena was surprised with a little bit of cheesecake for her birthday, and there were a couple of more birthday girls in the crowd celebrating.   We all fed off the energy of the crowd.  Recently we’ve promoted Sound Tower as “Wareham’s Hottest Cover Band,” and this night we proved it.  With each passing gig I am grateful for our returning group of fans, the new ones we make, and all of the friends they spread the word to.  Wareham has had a major part in the success of Sound Tower, and we love you all.

Upcoming 2011 shows:

Feb 05th:  The Fan Club - 2859 Cranberry Hwy. - East Wareham (10pm)

Feb 11th:  Shooter’s - 360 Wareham St. - Middleboro (10pm)

Feb 12th:  British Beer Company - 46 Route 6A - Sandwich (10pm)

Feb 18th: Buzzards Bay Tavern – 149 Main St - Buzzards Bay (9:30pm)

Feb 19th: Piper Beau’s – 207 Main St - Wareham (10pm)

For more info:


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