Our final Barnstormer tour of 2011 got ambitious. We took it out of the Midwest for the first time and began the run of 8 dates on the east coast. Little did we know that Hurricane Irene wanted to pay a visit. The tour was originally supposed to be nine days, but Irene hit the area we were going right at the worst possible time. We played the first show in Maine, just across the New Hampshire border to a receptive crowd, though the night was full of oddities that we couldn’t wait to never think about or have to deal with again. We performed in a Dance Hall there after some last minute shuffling. Doug Paisley, We Are Augustines, Deer Tick and Guards all performed, but the night was soured with strange power outages and menacing cops that caused a shut down of the show before White Rabbits could play. We were all steamed and this was the day that we got the call that our show the following night at the Brooklyn Bowl was canceled because that part of the city was located in a mandatory evacuation zone.
We were riding low at this point, but we drove on to Burlington, Vermont, on a beautiful day. We slept there and awoke in the morning to Irene ripping the city and — we would learn the following day– the state a new one. In the teeth of the hurricane we had one of those shows that you couldn’t possibly dream of. It was magic. Huge crowd, beautiful barn called the Old Lantern, bending trees, unbelievable wind and rain and the bands all killing it. Paisley got trapped in New Hampshire and didn’t make the show so it was a four-band bill of White Rabbits, Guards, We Are Augustines and Deer Tick. Watch these videos for the shenanigans. It’s the only thing we can tell you. We headed to NYC for a club show at The Living Room the next night, joined by Princeton for the first time. It was the last night for Guards and We Are Augustines.
We then made the long haul to New Wilmington, PA, where Chaseland treated most of us really well. Princeton, Wildlife (after getting sorted out at the Canadian border), White Rabbits, Doug Paisley and Hacienda played before a crowd of Slippery Rock folks in a gorgeous old barn in Amish Country, with horses and buggies literally driving past while the show was happening 10-feet away. There was a beautiful outdoor pool, pool house and mansion here and we felt very welcome. The next night took the rolling tour to Akron, Ohio, which was a killer barn in the middle of a National Forest. We then got to familiar territory where we stopped in Dexter, MI, where Jack’s apples were right and the mosquitoes were hungry. It was warm night and the barn once again treated us well.
On to Monticello, Ill. where the night got crazy. We added Psychic Twin and Hundred Visions for the night and the Kalyx Center went NUTS. The springy floor got bent out of shape during Princeton and Wildlife sets and we had to partition off the center of the dance floor less someone should crack through the center. The show turned out to be amazing though and we all got sleep before the grand finale at Codfish Hollow, where we had the largest bill we’ve ever had there, adding Madi Diaz, Keegan DeWitt and Nona Marie & Her Choir. It was a wet day and wet night, with everything but the inside of the barn covered in mud. We had a dedication of some Neil Young to the patriarch of the farm, who passed away earlier in the week and the bands were tremendous to end the tour once again. These 8 days of recordings are as fine as any Barnstormer collections go.