Friday, July 4, 2008

Gentleman Auction House Tour Diary, Day Twelve: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Posted By on Fri, Jul 4, 2008 at 6:00 PM

Venue: The M-Room Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Date: 06.17.08 Other Bands: Padre Pio, Seymore Saves The World, The Weather Underground

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Once we had arrived in Philadelphia, we sought out the opinion of a couple local pedestrians to determine where we could get breakfast. Cafe Ole was the consensus, so we headed a few blocks to the quaint little eatery and found a spot to park the rig. Once we got out of the van, however, we noticed that something didn’t look right.

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The wheel on the right side of the trailer had turned purple and splotchy, with a purple residue coating the outside of the tire. Further inspection revealed that the end cap of the wheel hub was missing entirely, as was the collar that houses the wheel bearings. The bearings themselves appeared to have fused and melted, spraying out from the wheel hub. At this point, the wheel had been spinning freely on the axle, and upon jacking the trailer up, we confirmed that the wheel could be easily pulled right off of the axle. The only thing that had been keeping our wheel from falling right off was the weight of the trailer. Scary.

We decided to go eat breakfast and see if we could look up some service stations in the area. The internet wasn’t working at Cafe Ole, but one of the employees suggested we head down the street to the Gulf station to see if they could help.

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A few gourmet coffee shop breakfast dishes later, Mike, Ryan and Stephen headed down to the service station. The employees there unfortunately couldn’t help us since they don’t service trailers. They were, however, able to help us out by going through their Rolodex in search of other shops in the area that might be able to lend a hand. After dozens of phone calls which resulted in ''No's'' and ''Not any time soon's,'' they finally got in touch with a shop in New Jersey who could do the repairs in the next 24 hours. Problem was, they were 30 miles away.

After a discussion of our options, we decided that our priority needed to be getting our gear out of the trailer so that we could get it towed, and lucky enough, when we called the M-Room (the venue for the night), the cleaning guy answered. At first he was very hesitant to help us, but once I explained our situation, he agreed to let us load our stuff in. So, we pulled the back seat out of the van and crammed all of our gear in, barely leaving room for myself, Mike, Ryan and Stephen to squeeze in and head over to the club.

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Once we dropped our gear off, we hustled back to the trailer and called a tow truck – which proved to be a little tricky since we needed a flatbed truck, and not everyone has one. The truck showed up to take our problem trailer away, and Mike and Stephen followed in the van.

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The rest of us dispersed to kill time in our own ways – for Ryan, Kiley and I, it was tracking down some authentic Philly Cheesesteaks. It took us a bit to walk down to Jim's Steak, so by the time we were digging into our glorious heaps of chopped steak, onions, and melted cheese wedged into a toasted bun, Mike and Stephen (and Red-Face Robot) had made the drive back to meet us and get in on the scarfage.

Kiley, Stephen, and I checked out a couple second-hand shops nearby, which resulted in no real finds, and decided to head back to the van, where Ryan and Mike had gone to nap. Our free time had come to an end, so we hit the road, scooped up the Erics, and headed over to the venue for the second time that day.

After a bit, our new friends in Seymore Saves The World showed up, with their bassist Shawn in tow (he had missed their show the previous night for a Carson Daly taping with his other band, Cloud Cult). We ate some dinner (didn’t we just eat?) and headed into the venue room to catch the opening band, Padre Pio.

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The Weather Underground played next, and then we were up.

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The stage was an interesting shape – deep and narrow – so the soundguy added a riser section to help us out a bit. It didn't keep me from having to take a step off of the stage a few times, but it certainly helped give us all a little bit more room. It's always interesting fitting all seven of us on stage, but we usually do surprisingly well – it's kind of a fun challenge.

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The guys in Seymore Saves The World had a little more real estate with only three members, but they managed to fill the stage with an exuberantly solid set, augmented by their reincorporated low end, bass guitar.

Our set went well, and we got good feedback from a few members of the audience, so we celebrated with a hotel room at the Howard Johnson across the river in NJ (well, we didn’t have anywhere to stay, anyway…) That cut down on the drive to the trailer shop the next morning, and thankfully, the venue let us leave our gear overnight, allowing us to pick it up once we got the trailer back the next day.

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