Home Field Advantage - Back in SF

July 20, 2014 - by Nick Schneider

This post will not, in fact, be about our Lost In Cyberspace Generation, nor my fondness for that great social lubricant we so commonly refer to as alcohol, nor the inherent evil of capitalism (occupy Tumblr!).  This post is, actually, pretty superficial.  I just wanna promote the next Stu Tails show.

But Nick, you may find yourself absolutely not wondering, why is this particular show so interesting?  What makes this show, the one taking place at the Neck of the Woods in San Francisco at 8pm (located at 406 Clement Street, $10 at the door or free if you follow me on Twitter!) with Among Criminals and Trash Honey and The Acetates, so special?  Why waste time writing this post, time that could be more productively spent scouring the internet for porn or binge watching House of Cards, or, if I’m in a really over-achieving mood, doing both at the same time.  Well, I’ll answer that question you probably didn’t ask.  It’s quite simple actually: THIS WILL BE THE BEST SHOW WE’VE EVER PLAYED.  That’s a fact from the future.  Lemme explain.

We’ve played seemingly thousands of shows over the past few years, and most of them took place in dive bars, occasionally a food festival, and even a Laundromat.  Many of those shows have a special place in my heart and an even fuzzier place in my brain.  And a lot of these places paid us money.  That’s always nice (thanks capitalism).

But amongst all those gigs, very few of them were music venues, that is, places built to showcase live music for fans who are specifically coming out to see and hear live music.  Neck of the Woods is not a bar that happens to play live bands- it’s a legitimate venue designed to feature live bands.  The last ‘real’ venue I remember playing was the Gilman way back when we first started, when I barely even knew the song structures and couldn’t figure out Chris Devlin at all (actually, I still can’t figure out Chris Devlin…).  Now we’re actually a good band, headlining a cool venue.  There’s no way we can screw this one up.  Well, I suppose Chris Devlin could…

So yes, it will admittedly be strange playing a professional show, not the typical drunken clusterfuck of reggae-rock that usually passes for a Stu Tails gig, especially our three-hour sets at the Grant & Green.  You know how it is.  You start the night off with a coherent setlist full of acutely defined break points and fluid transitions, but after a few Fireball shots (okay, so I did happen to mention my drinking problem; you try and play music with these guys sober) and a steady stream of people heading for the exit around 1 in the morning, that flawless game plan quickly becomes musical anarchy.  By the last few songs the show becomes something that resembles a David Lynch film: people will keep telling you that it made sense but you know deep down in your heart it didn’t.

That is why the Neck of the Woods will be THE BEST SHOW WE’VE EVER PLAYED.  Because it has to be.  If we do happen to screw up, we won’t have anything to blame it on but ourselves.  Not an overlong setlist.  Not a lack of crowd enthusiasm.  Not a crappy sound system or clueless engineer.  Everything is in our favor this time.  Hometown audience, real stage on which to play, excellent opening acts- I reiterate, this has to be our best show.

If there is one thing I like just as much as music (and drinking, and women, and obscure references to cult film directors) it’s baseball, so it’s about that time in the blog post to resort to a sports analogy.  The Stu Tails is like the rookie shortstop just called up to the majors and it’s his first big league game.  His whole family just flew in from Minnesota to come cheer him on (why Minnesota? I don’t know, I imagine it’s one of those places people desperately want to fly away from).  Sure, he struck out his first two times at bat, but a chance at redemption comes in the bottom of the 7th, two out and two on, a hit here could put the team in the lead.  The visiting team’s starting pitcher is running out of gas and he’s just tossin’ hangers over the middle of the plate at this point.  This is the rookie’s best shot to prove himself, to show everyone all those years sweating through the minors were worth it.

If we don’t hit this one outta the park, we better head back to the batting cages.