Sound Tower Gig Diary VII: Takin' What They're Givin' Cause We're Workin' For a Livin'

By George Dionne | Apr 14, 2011
Sound Tower at Piper Beau's - March 17, 2011

It’s been a little over a month since I posted my last gig diary (HERE), and since then Sound Tower has played twelve gigs that criss-crossed Massachusetts.  I’ll touch upon seven of them here, and follow up with another gig diary in the coming weeks.

March 5th – Shooter’s, Middleboro

We had hoped that after a few bands had played the cramped middle room area that the band would be moved back into the back dinning room.  However, that was not meant to be.  We made the most of it though.  Shooter’s has always been funny in the sense that there are lots of people there, but they shy away from dancing.  We had a few daring ladies.

March 11th – Buzzards Bay Tavern

I usually have no problem remembering gigs, but for some reason I’m drawing a blank here.  I should probably keep a journal after the performance.  It’s not like I partied like a rock star and everything is blur, I just I don’t think anything memorable happened.  We do play the Tavern a lot, so that might have something to do with it.

March 12th – Striker’s Pub, New Bedford

I won’t be forgetting this gig.  It was booked back in January.  The booker told me that Saturday is an early night so we would be playing 8:30pm to 11:30pm.  I always hate it when the person that booked the show is not working.  They are usually the only ones that can answer important questions.  And on this night, he wasn’t there.  We played to a good size crowd that was either there to bowl or drink, but not so much to dance.  The dance floor had its moments.  During our second break we confirmed with the manager on duty that we were supposed to stop at 11:30pm.  He said, is that what [the booker] told you?  That’s not right.  He said stop time is 12:30pm.  Most venues have bands for 3 hours and now we needed to play 4.  We didn’t make a big deal out of it, but we barely had enough music to fill that extra hour.  We stretched and stalled where we could and made it till the end.  Thankfully we were also compensated for the extra hour.

March 17th – Piper Beau’s, Wareham

St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Thursday this year so I didn’t expect much of a crowd.  However, there was still a rather large group of people there to see us.  Most of them were what I refer to as “The Sound Tower Faithful.”  Over the past few months I’ve been noticing a group of 20 or so people that have been showing up to our gigs, no matter what the location.  They really get the floor moving and the energy flowing.  We’ve really gotten to know them in that time and love them all for their support.  And Piper Beau’s is their home base.  This night saw the debut of our Sound Tower T-shirts and five new songs.  The crowd was on fire.  We autographed items and gave them to the crowd.  Piper’s even made up shirts of their own for the staff that read “Piper Beau’s & Sound Tower” with a shamrock on the front.

I had made a Sound Tower t-shirt for myself during a prior version of the band.  So now with our new line of shirts, I decided to have the band autograph the old one, and gave it away to one of our biggest supporters.  Cindy had no idea it was coming and was very appreciative.  Cindy and her husband have been coming to Sound Tower shows since the very beginning and have always talked up the band to their friends.  I would say that they are responsible for a lot of the crowd that we draw in Wareham.  Cindy took the shirt with her to Las Vegas and created her own little “Flat Stanley Project.”  The shirt visited Caesar’s Palace, the Hard Rock Café, Pawn Stars, and more.  Now if only the band can play Vegas.

March 18th – The Parrot Bar & Grill, Cataumet

This was our debut at The Parrot.  I was a little concerned at what the turnout would be since most of our friends are on the other side of the Bourne Bridge.  And the last time we played on this side of the bridge, it was practically a ghost town.  Also, the Parrot usually only has one band playing there every other week.  The crowd was about 10 or so people when we began, but as we started to get deeper into the first set, that’s when “The Sound Tower Faithful” started coming it.  Before we knew it, there were more than 20 people in the bar and they stayed most of the night.  Word was, on the other side of the bridge, the bands weren’t so good.  I was astonished that people traveled this far just to see Sound Tower.  The night was a great success and we got two more gigs out of it.  Meanwhile, the bar across the street, that passed on Sound Tower many times…they were empty.  Ha!

March 19th – British Beer Company, Cedarville

Wow, three gigs in one week!  The last time in Cedarville was a free showcase, this time it was the real deal.  Once again we were proud to have The Sound Tower Faithful in the house.  And the British Beer Company has its own sizable crowd as well.  We rocked the night away and made new loyal fans along the way.  One person stated they never saw so many people on the dance floor, and they were a frequent visitor to the BBC.

March 25th – Bert’s Landing, Plymouth

Ahhh, Bert’s.  There are so many things about Bert's that rub me the wrong way, but it’s a gig just the same.  First off, Bert’s expects bands to play for four hours, when other bars are typically three hours.  Second, you are expected to play more, but you are paid much less.  In a situation like this we grin and bear it.  We figure that we can show the establishment what we bring to the table and once they see how good the band is, coupled with how much the crowd is into it, maybe just maybe, they’ll work with us for proper compensation.  Another issue with Bert’s is that they book so many different bands that it’s so long before you get a return gig.  By then most of the customers that saw you last time, have pretty much forgotten about you.  We packed the room fairly well with our fans.  Greg is from the area and a lot of people he knew came out to see us.  We held the room for all four hours and everyone had a good time…except maybe Bert’s.  They wouldn’t budge on compensation or length of the show, so we had to say goodbye to them.  That can be the nature of the business sometimes.

Upcoming shows:

Apr 15:  Parrot Bar & Grill – 1356 Rte. 28 – Cataumet (10pm)

Apr 16:  Shooters - 360 Wareham St. - Middleboro (10pm)

Apr 22:  Buzzards Bay Tavern – 149 Main St. – Buzzards Bay (9:30pm)

Apr 29:  Piper Beau’s – 207 Main St. – Wareham (10pm)

Apr 30:  British Beer Company – 46 Rte. 6A – Sandwich (10pm)

May 06: The Fan Club – 2859 Cranberry Hwy. - East Wareham (10pm)

May 07: Shooters - 360 Wareham St. - Middleboro (10pm)

May 13: Buzzards Bay Tavern – 149 Main St. – Buzzards Bay (9:30pm) **George’s Birthday Bash**

For more info:

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