We circled the building housing The Met in Pawtucket, RI looking for a parking spot. From the back side the old red brick mill looked derelict and ominous with lots of rusted metal and broken glass. The front half of the building however has experienced a great transformation. As well as the fantastic music venue it’s also host to shops restaurants, and office spaces. It’s like a mall, if malls were really cool.
We loaded into the venue. The guys from Spiritual Rez, the headliners of the evening were onstage sound-checking. We wandered around the club admiring the giant paintings on walls of music legends like Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Hank Williams. When Spiritual Rez was done with their soundcheck we exchanged warm embraces, hauled our amps onto the stage and did our soundcheck.
Afterwards we headed upstairs to a bowling ally with a bar and restaurant. The bowling lanes were super old-school, candle pin style and they even had “ball boys” who manually reset the pins and rolled the balls back. Rhode Island has a knack for doing hipster things without being pretentious. It’s a gift.
We met a nice couple who had been to a few of our shows in Falmouth. They bought tickets to our St. Patrick’s Day show at Grumpy’s and told us we should play at Ocean Mist in the summer. They described it as “Grumpy’s on the beach.” Sounds pretty cool.
We got on stage and played a pretty brief (forty minute) set with some minor sound issues but it was a full tilt blast. Time constraints can help put some urgency into the music. A big crew showed up and was raging with us. We met a lot of fans for the first time and made some new ones. We signed a set list for someone and tried to act nonchalant but we were probably as pleased as them.
The next band was Cosmic Factory a local jam band trio. They played some funky stuff and threw in covers ranging from Primus to Rage Against The Machine.
Spiritual Rez took the stage and put on a hell of a show. Their energy is infectious. They have been touring nonstop lately and it comes across. They are super tight and the songs off their recent album Apocalypse Whenever are taking on new life. The lead singer Toft is a Florida native and has a southern preacher’s ability to work a room and raise people spirits. At one point he had the crowd singing, “Don’t be afraid,” raising the phrase in volume as he repeated it, building to a wild crescendo as the band all joined in.
I spent a lot of time at the merch stand selling our gear and made friends with Spiritual Rez’s merch guy Jay. He is s good dude. On the porch outside huge clouds of fragrant smoke hovered all evening. I guess that’s just how they get down in Rhode Island.
My sister and her husband came out with some of their friends. It was great to see them at a show. We don’t play their neighborhood often so it was a treat.
After last call we loaded out into the bitter cold, reminded that winter wasn’t over just yet, but having played The Met, a venue on our wish list we knew the future always holds warmer nights.
See you at Grumpy’s on St. Patrick’s Day 8 PM. Get your presale tix at Grumpy’s  or from a band member.

Luke

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