Sound Tower Gig Diary VI:  Hot in the City Tonight

By George Dionne | Mar 04, 2011
Photo by: David Willis Sound Tower at Piper Beau's - February 19, 2011

At the conclusion of my last tour diary (HERE), Sound Tower had just come off of a wild hometown gig at Piper Beau's.  One of our greatest gigs ever.  Could we top it?

January 28, 2011 – Buzzards Bay Tavern, 149 Main St.

I’ll never forget this gig, but it certainly wasn’t for any good reasons.  The week leading up to this one I got a respiratory infection.  In fact, this winter it seems that I get one cold followed by another.  This one caused heaviness in my chest, a sore throat, and stuffy nose.  But as they say, the show must go on.  Big mistake.  The crowd was smaller than our usual BBT shows, but I still gave it my all, figuring it was the tail end of my cold.  By the end of the night I was exhausted, my lungs felt full, and my speaking voice was shot.  It was tough getting to sleep, and by morning my voice was gone.  We had a private birthday party that I had to cancel.  I was in no shape to perform.  I wanted to give myself time to rest before the next week’s gig.

February 5, 2011 – The Fan Club, 2859 Cranberry Hwy. East Wareham

I really wanted to cancel this gig and give myself another week of rest.  Each day leading up I felt a little better, but I was worried just the same.  The day of the show I did not feel 100%, but at this point it was too late.  I had an inhaler for my lung issues and cough drops for the sore throat that was still plaguing me.  By show time I was glad I didn’t cancel.  The night turned out to be one of our most successful and most attended at the Fan Club.  Sure, I couldn’t hit some of the high notes, and I was noticeably scratchy, but it didn’t really matter. People were having a good time.  Most of all, I was supported by friends in the audience.  They supported me with applause when I knew I was sounding horse, and a couple even came up to sing a few lines.  Jack and Tim picked up some of the vocals in the chorus section, and Tim even performed “Surrender” on his own.  By the end of the night I was belting out “Fight for Your Right (To Party)” from on top of the bar with a couple of Fan Club regulars. As you could imagine though, I woke up the next morning horse and swollen.  Now was the time to see a specialist.

February 11, 2011 – Shooters Middleboro, 360 Wareham St.

Good news from the throat specialist was no damage to vocal chords.  There was a broken blood vessel in the area of my vocal chords, but that would heal with about a weeks rest.  Only probably with that was I had two gigs this weekend and two more the next weekend.  It was too late to cancel tonight, and tomorrow was our debut at the British Beer Company in Sandwich.  Tim and Jack agreed to sing more choruses, but I had to get through this weekend.  I’d need to see how I made it through this weekend to decide what to do next weekend.

Shooter’s has always been a funny place for us.  There are always plenty of people in the bar.  They cheer, they applaud, but they hardly leave their seats. A lot of our fan base doesn’t really take the trip to Middleboro either.  A pro-photographer friend of our wanted to take some pictures of us that night, but instead of having us in the big back dining room, we were in the smaller room that separates the bar from the dinning room.  Not much room for picture taking.  In the limited space we had we got a few of the people dancing.  It wasn’t until a half and hour before our set ended that the bar filled up.  That small crowd was really into us.  Sadly, we had to end the night shortly after.

February 12, 2011 – British Beer Company, 46 Route 6A Sandwich

My voice was okay after last night’s gig.  It was still a little horse.  I still couldn’t hit the high notes, but I felt I was on the mend, or I guess causing more injury that I was unaware of.  It was good to see a good group of our friends show up to support us.  It’s humbling to have such great die-hard friends.  I would call the night a success, although the turn out could have been bigger.  People were dancing and having a good time, even though we more or less brought those people with us.  The staff was impressed.  The cook even made us a pizza for the end of the night.  I know the more we play there, the greater it will become.

February 18, 2011 – Buzzards Bay Tavern, 149 Main St.

After the BBC gig, my voice was getting no better.  Add on the fact I had congestion and a nasty cough to go with it, I felt like garbage.  I just wasn’t shaking this cold, and I certainly wasn’t getting enough vocal rest.  I really wanted to cancel the BBT and Piper Beau’s gigs.  The following week we had no gigs booked, so I would get some rest, but maybe two weeks of rest would be better.  I was very scared I would cause permanent damage if I didn’t rest.  I suggest a fill-in singer.  The only problem with that is, the band will sound completely different.  With a hometown show on the horizon, would this be a great move to begin with?  BBT is usually a laid back affair, so there was no pressure going in.  I took it easy that night.  I knew I had to save my energy and voice for the hometown show at Piper Beau’s.  There wasn’t a very big crowd at BBT, but it was still fun, and I survived it.

February 19, 2011 – Piper Beau’s, 207 Main St. Wareham

I only had to get through one more show, and then I could rest.  I woke up with my throat still scratchy and a good amount of phlegm.  It didn’t sound good.  I went to take a nap about four hours before the show, praying that my throat would be better.  I knew this was an important show and I didn’t want to fail.  And wouldn’t you know it, I woke up with clear pipes.  Some of the high notes still caused a crack, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

We’ve always had respectable crowds at Piper Beaus, but this night was exception.  People started filling up the bar while we were setting up.  Once we started it was a wall of people as far as they eye could see.  Most nights people don’t start dancing until our second set, but tonight they were out early.  You could feel the energy in the air, and the band fed off of it.  I felt my voice could do no wrong.  People danced and sang along all night.  It felt like we were playing a huge arena.  At one point the room was so packed, people were being turned away at the door.  This is no small feat for a band, especially in the dead of winter.  Lots and lots of people were our friends, and lots more we’re soaking it in for the first time.  I always bill Sound Tower as “Wareham’s Hottest Cover Band.”  But that night I felt we moved up to “Wareham’s Greatest Cover Band.”

It’s been such a wild ride over the last six months.  Sound Tower had gone from playing one or two venues to almost ten different places.  We’ve gone from small crowds to sell-outs.  We’ve gone from small venues to larger ones.  We couldn’t have done it without the continued support of our fans.  We see you all at the gigs.  We see you all on the dance floor.  We connect with you on Facebook.  We appreciate you telling your friends and local bars about us.  We couldn’t have gotten this far without you.  We love you all and promise more good times over the next six months!

And yes, I finally got my vocal rest and I’m ready to continue rocking!

Upcoming shows:

March 05th:  Shooters - 360 Wareham St. - Middleboro (10pm)

March 11th:  Buzzards Bay Tavern – 149 Main St. – Buzzards Bay (9:30pm)

March 12th:  Striker’s Pub – 66 Hathaway St. – New Bedford (8:30pm)

March 17th:  Piper Beau’s – 207 Main St. – Wareham (10pm)

March 18th:  Parrot Bar & Grill – 1356 Rte. 28 – Cataumet (10pm)

March 19th:  British Beer Company – 2294 State Rd. – Cedarville (10pm)

March 25th:  Bert’s Landing – 140 Warren Ave Rte. 3A – Plymouth (9pm)

March 26th:  The Fan Club – 2859 Cranberry Hwy. - East Wareham (10pm)

For more info:

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