Pints Of Guinness Makes You Strong
There's no question that seeing Trivium in the midst of a touring bill that reads acts like The Amity Affliction, Upon A Burning Body, I See Stars, Motionless In White and Asking Alexandria may be just a little bit puzzling to those familiar with our usual touring-mates. Well - we've stated both musically and verbally that this is a whole new year for Trivium.
Already this year in the USA alone, we've toured with Dream Theater, In Flames, (out with) Asking Alexandria and (will be out with) Five Finger Death Punch. I dare you to find another band who can successfully pull off all four of those different tours in a year. You'd be hard pressed to.
It's amazing how young the AA crowd is… I'm talkin' an average of 14-17/18 being their main demographic… but you will see kids around 8-11 with their parents; and then kids in their 20's. That is an amazing thing for a band - I mean, our demo is young - but not that young. When your audience is that young… they will grow with you and stick with you if you do the right things. Each show night for us… you can see that the AA crowd knows every other band pretty damn well - and us? 60-80 percent first timers - and ya know what? It's working out really well.
We stick out like a sore thumb… and I love that. The other bands on the tour certainly delve into heaviness and have really honed in their own style - but you can just see it that we come from a different musical planet. I feel bands that take the risk of diversity always bring something interesting to an otherwise mundane, stereotypical musical touring-world. AA is being diverse by bringing us out, and we're challenging ourselves with a new audience by being out with them.
Everyone (who I've met) on the tour so far is super nice - the AA guys have let us know that Ascendancy was a favorite album of theirs. This is always a mind-blowing thing for us. We are not used to bands liking us. We have never been a critics' band… we have never been a bands' band… we've always been solely appreciated by our fans only. When we first started touring - all the older bands would always be pretty rough on us… cold if I may. It took 5 albums and an over 10-year career to start getting the respect that critically acclaimed bands get on their first album and first year.
So when the AA guys mentioned they really dug our band - I was blown away and appreciative.
We've recently been able to hang with them all a bit - and Charlotte was one of our first mass group-hangs. But let's back track for some food…
We did 12 performances in 11 days on the beginning of the AA run… some headliner shows in there, some acoustic performances - we had 3 beautiful days at home - then I flew to Charlotte at Amos' to meet up with the tour.
As soon as I dropped my bags, I noticed a Greek place within 30 seconds walking - Greek Isles. I hit that up for a Gyro to go. Pretty decent stuff. It was turned out almost too quickly - but it certainly topped the Gyro I had just tried to eat in San Antonio across from the White Rabbit. I'd say… to quote our merch guy Rob… "It was aaaheeeiiight…"
When dinner time rolled around, I suited up with Paolo and our tour manager Joey to head to a Latin American place I had read about: Pio Pio. We did the well over 1 and a half mile walk to Pio Pio (it even started torrentially down-pouring when we were finally close) and sat down.
This place had a familiar vibe to it… dare I say a really-put together Nando's vibe? Nando's… yes I know I am typically anti-chain - Nando's is one of the very few chains I seek out. It's damn good stuff - hormone free, wood-fire-grilled Peruvian chicken and chips - hit it if you live in the UK or Australia.
Pio Pio's! So I would guess this place is a Peruvian establishment - we certainly ordered a heaping feast: The Matador Combo. It was a whole rotisserie chicken, salad, rice and beans, frankfurters and fries, tostones and ripe plantains. This shit was insanely delicious. 35 or so bucks for what could have easily fed four people.
The chicken was done very simply, no frills or nonsense; the beans were soupy-delicious, and the rice simple. I appreciate a place that can really just like the ingredients be minimal… focusing in on what you're eating - not masking. Hell - even the salad was good. Usually restaurants in the more casual realm blow it with shot salads - this one had a simple vinegar/citrus flavor going on - the avocados were a great touch.
The plantains were reminiscent of Cuban-style, soft inside/slightly crisp/chew outside; the tostones - heavenly. I was really into the frankfurters and fries. I've never seen that before… but what's nice was the saltiness of the frankfurters went right with the non-salted fries - I'm curious how traditional that dish was… nevertheless - fantastic.
We wandered back, played a great show - then headed to the bar next door.
Tavern is a 10 second walk from the bus lot of Amos' - Rob and I popped in for some Guinness on draft and took a seat. Rob is my food buddy… we both also have an affinity for wellness and homeopathic remedies and natural-concoctions. He got me into Kombucha - I got him back into Neilmed Nasal Saline Sprays.
Rob taught me recently that Guinness is actually kinda good for you. It's one of the only (if not only) beers that causes no inflammation… it has a good deal of iron… and a few other science-y factual bits that may not be that interesting on this beer blog just yet.
Soon, the Trivium's and crew started popping in, Nick's brother was even there… then the AA band are crew started filtering in as well.
It's really nice to be able to be on a tour with a band that is closer to our age range than we're used to - amazingly still… the AA dudes are a couple years younger than us. It was great to finally get to have a chat about all the things band dudes get to chat about: beer, shows, guitars, playing… all that good stuff that all us band dudes can easily vent to each other about in that sort of way that each of us knows exactly how the other one feels on all things that come with this lifestyle.
I know that they are getting a mirror of what we were getting shortly after Ascendancy: young band who is successful… people hating on that hard. I'm sure it's the same bullshit jealousy we were flooded with when we first exploded onto the scene. It was nice to reflect on the fact we've both been hit with that… granted - we still get hit with it 3 albums later! It's just a part of musical-life.
Everyone guzzled down their booze of choice and got to have a good ol' time together. It was nice to break the ice with our new buddies in Asking Alexandria.