When we rolled into New Haven at about 6:30 pm we noticed an usual number of punked out kids all walking in the same direction. The Tune Inn, where we were playing, was still locked up so we parked our van and followed a group of the punkers to see where they were going. Their destination was The Collesium, a sports arena. A man handing out religious tracts told us that Marilyn Manson was performing tonight.
When we got back to the Tune Inn, the owner was out front sweeping up glass and vinyl car seat covering from the curb. (New Haven is a tough town, and we were not in a very nice looking section. All the stores on the block were already closed, with roll-down steel graffiti-covered gates securing whatever valuables might be for sale inside.) But the club turned out to be a great place to play and the owner, Fernando, a very good person. Even the sound guy was friendly!
Alas, the show was not well attended, but a small group of very excited eager youths were there to see us and it was worth the drive to play for them. Also the band that played directly before us, The Spiveys, were really very good (reminded me a little of early Nirvana with a sense of humor) and they liked us too. They were from Chicago and, like us, they had recently played with fellow Chicagoans Lustre King to an empty bar.
The show in New York City at Coney Island High (Upstairs) was a slightly different matter. When we got to the venue we learned that the headlining band, Nod, had cancelled. We had been looking forward to not being the headlining band for once, because we don't draw. We even considered cancelling the show and driving home. But then we thought that would be unprofessional (not very becoming of a Town Manager), and since we were already there, there'd be no harm (except to our fragile egos) to play the show and it would be good practice anyway. So we did. There were a handful of people there, including the opening band and some of their friends, so it wasn't a total loss. Rain poured which perhaps kept other potential clubgoers off the streets. One guy from Australia, visiting the states for 2 weeks, though, was there to see us. His extreme enthusiasm to see us play contrasted sharply with our utter lack of enthusiasm to play. He was a Dead Milkmen fan, and he had The Town Managers first single. He went completely nuts when we played "13 Lucky Days" and at the end of our set asked us to please play it again. (We did not, we had used up our alotted time anyway. The sound guy, who was a typical jerk, really wanted to go home.)
By the way: the opening band wasn't bad. They were Dirt Bike Annie, from New Jersey. The played a brand of pop punk akin to that of The Queers, The Ramones and Mr. T Exp. with a little art-damaged feedback thrown in for flavor. It was a big day for them. They had their first ever promo picture taken in the morning. They finished up recording their first full length cd. And then came into the city to play a rock show.