Green Carnation / Beyond The Embrace tour diary from GC tour manager "Slim Jim" Keller. Check back for updates and photos!

Band Webpage: http://www.greencarnation.no/
Jim's company: http://www.stmmusic.com/

Monday 27 FEB 06 – Newark, New Jersey
It all started with an email. A tour manager had crushed his ankle, and a band was in need of a fill in, ASAP. 48 hours later I had a ticket, and another 48 hours I was flying to New York to meet up with Green Carnation. This six piece metal band out of Norway was set to start their first ever US tour and I jumped in 3 days into it.

Our first stop together would be NYC at the Knitting Factory with tour mates Beyond The Embrace. I’ve always heard about the Knitting Factory and this would be my first time in it. A very cool club indeed. Three floors with three different shows every night. A controlled chaos by any means, the staff and crew handles it well. The biggest thing I noticed about the club was that it was predominantly run by women. The management, talent buyer, sound engineer, and most of the staff were all women, and a very cool bunch they were. My hat’s off to Natasha, Katie, and Nancy for taking care of us during the show. Top notch indeed and all of them were beyond beautiful to boot. Starting the tour in NYC means it can only go downhill from here right? Let’s hope not.

Here is where I have to show my ignorance. I had never heard of Green Carnation until I got the email that they needed a tour manager. After looking them up on the internet, and getting a crash course in their music, I was intrigued to say the least. After seeing them perform Monday night in NYC, I became a fan. The easiest way to describe them is Opeth-lite. However I think that short changes them. They are a very good, talented, and dedicated band. Coming from Norway, you’d think we’d have days off built into the tour schedule to burn down churches along the way, but the band’s sound has more in common with Gothenburg than it does their fellow countrymen.

The after show drive down Broadway during a heavy snow storm was a site to behold! NYC has never looked so clean and pretty at 2am to me.

Tomorrow we travel to Ohio to bring these Nord’s progressive metal sound to the masses in Kent.

Notes to self: Why is it ok to drive a trailer through the Lincoln Tunnel and blow it up, but not the Hudson?

Tuesday 28 FEB 06 – Kent, Ohio
After a much too short 3 hour nap, it was time to embark on a 9.5 hour drive to Kent, Ohio and Screwy Louies.

Tonight we had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Byzantine (a very cool group of guys, go see them when they hit your town, and go now to the store and pick up a disc of theirs). A six band mini-metalfest on a Tuesday night. Who puts 6 bands on a bill and starts at 6pm on a Tuesday night????

Green Carnation has a tour tradition of each member during the night all guessing how many units of merch will be sold. Whoever is closest to the number gets to pick the setlist the next night. So we never know what we’re going to play until showtime. They have a rough idea, but the last two nights they go onstage and pretty much pick the songs as they go along. Tonight gave us a Theremin demonstration by Michael the guitarist. Very cool indeed. House technical difficulties would end up marring a great set, but the band plowed through it with the utmost professionalism, and didn’t miss a beat.

When you see the local promoters wrestling with their friends throughout the club all night, you know it is going to be a long night.

We received a homemade goodie bag from an adoring fan, that could end up taking us a week or two to eat through… and there are 8 of us in the van, and none of us are slight by any means.

Notes to self: it’s damned cold this time of year round these parts. If you put WD-40 on ANYTHING it will not freeze.

Tuesday 28 FEB 06 – Kent Ohio (CONTINUED)
The tour numbers so far:
7 Nords
1 German (who only speaks English) (and that's me, if that doesn't read clear enough for y'all)
3 hours sleep
2 shows
4 states
12 hours accumulated driving
1 driver (not a Nord, but the German)
12 Red Bulls (can't find a rockstar round these parts to save my life)
1 drive down Broadway in NYC at 2am during a killer snow storm. Never seen Broadway like that before...
1st time driving in NYC and it's a 12 person passenger van with a trailer... THROUGH MANHATTAN... grrrrrrrr
1st time seeing a female sound engineer. Oh, and she was hot too.
1st time having to explain McDonalds breakfasts to someone. How do you explain a McGriddle? I tried... and you should have seen the looks on their faces.... priceless. Needless to say, not one McGriddle was ordered.
2 shows and not 1 T&A pass given out yet... sighs...

Well, off to Murder City tomorrow.

Wednesday 01 MAR 06 – Clinton Township Michigan
Now that’s a good sleep. 7.5 hours in a king sized bed with a keyboardist will calm anyone’s nerves, and give them a reason to drive 6 hours for the next show.

How do you close an interstate down? The entire span of 280 is closed. How do you wake up one morning and say to yourself, ‘self, let’s close down an entire interstate today.’? So a detouring we will go. Only to have the detour shut down because of a wreck. Idiots.

We’re just north of Detroit tonight at TNT’s Bar & Grill. Great staff, very cool feeling room, and a 5 band bill on a Wednesday night. Someday maybe I’ll understand why people do that. And apparently no one at Screwy Louies or TNT listened to Green Carnation or Beyond the Embrace when they booked the opening bands. screamo metal is NOT what these bands are about.

Beyond The Embrace are a great group of guys that bring it on stage every night. A thick stoner rock feel to them, they put on a great show, and have a very cool sound to them. I am enjoying them more and more every night.

We’re all looking forward to hanging out together at some point, but this tour is a rigorous one. 4 days off scattered across some 36 odd shows, and most of those days off come with full day drives which doesn’t leave a lot of time to hang out and chill.

Did I mention how hot the staff was at TNT’s? The bartender… (Amy I believe her name was) is scorching hot. Roni Salami has a great club going there. My hat’s off to him for treating us like royalty, and taking care of almost ALL of our needs tonight. Finally had some talent with which to share the T&A passes, unfortunately no green room at TNT’s.

Green Carnation brought one hell of a show tonight. Performing several songs that hadn’t been played yet on this tour. Michael broke a string going into the last song of the set, so he jumped off stage and started jamming out air guitar virtuoso style with Chris (guitarist for Beyond The Embrace) in the pit.

It only took me three shows but I finally figured out how to describe Green Carnations sound. Power Metal, minus the dugga-dugga-dugga-dugga, minus the Dungeons and Dragons imagery, with a Nordic twist thrown in. They continue to impress me more with every show.

Quote of the night…. “I am surprised by our US fans, and how into us they are, I’m also scared of it a bit, but I think it is supposed to be a good thing no?” – Kjetil (vocalist – Green Carnation).

Runner up quote of the night… “I need a beer!” – Tommy (drummer – Green Carnation [see photos].

Thursday 02 MAR 06 - Cudahy, Wisconsin
We’re at Vnuk’s tonight, playing just outside of Milwaukee. November’s Doom is coming in to play a set with us and Beyond The Embrace.

Had breakfast at the local Cracker Barrel and introduced the band to Grits and some country cooking. I’ve been tasked with trying to ensure that we get to sample all the ‘local’ cuisine in the different regions of the US as we pass through. Hopefully we can find some good Brauts and cheese in Wisconsin today.

Speaking of Beyond The Embrace, have I mentioned that they are touring with a drummer that has  been with them for only two months, and their 3rd guitar player didn’t show up for the tour, and yet these five (Chris - guitar, Jeff - guitar, Sean - vocals, Steve - drums, Chris - bass) continue to slay the crowd at every turn. Highlight of their set tonight was “Bastard Screams”; of course it has been the set highlight for me every night so far.

Well, time for GC to take the stage….

Best set of the tour tonight. The crowd was the loudest, most energetic, and most into it as a whole of the entire tour. After playing for 90 minutes (their longest set so far) the crowd wouldn’t let them leave, so they played “As Life Goes By” for an encore.

Notes to self: If the groupie has bigger hands than you, a bigger head, and a deeper voice, you can always count on the drummer to hit on her.

Latest numbers:

13 hours sleep
4 shows
8 states
27 hours accumulated driving
1 driver (yup, still me)
30+ Red Bulls (and I STILL can't find a rockstar round these parts to save my life)
1 breakfast with grits discussing the civil war, the reasons for it, and the differences in versions of the same history.
4 hours sleep sacrificed to ensure we get to the show on time while having to drive to it through the storm that never was.
4 shows and not 1 T&A pass given out yet... sighs... My kingdom for a Green Room!

Friday 03 MAR 06 - Kansas City, MO
Drove 11 hours today to get to a club that was run by a very cool guy, but had no audience. Why? Flogging Molly was right down the street, and everyone was there tonight, as well as there were many other shows in town. Our show ended early, early enough to catch at least half of Flogging Molly’s set. Tonight was my first time seeing them, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. 

That said, the guys put on a hell of a show tonight. Reminds me of another band I know. It doesn’t matter if there are 2 or 20,000 people in the audience; they pour it all out, because those 2 people paid as much money as those 20,000 to see the show.

No, there weren’t two people in the audience, I was making a point.

Short drive tomorrow. To Des Moines, Iowa, and a show at Hairy Mary’s. Yup, you read that right.

We just lost the show in Denver on Sunday the 5th of March.

Maybe we can cut an 18 hour drive (from Des Moines, to Denver, to SLC) in half if not more.

The tour crud is starting to creep in, and peeps are starting to get sick. Stein ( bass – Green Carnation) and Sean (vocalist – Beyond The Embrace) are starting to come down with a cold or flu. The rest of us are making sure we stay healthy as we still have five weeks to go.

That being said, this is no band of rockstars and egos. We received guest list passes for the Flogging Molly show tonight, and only Kjetil and I went to the show, everyone else went to the hotel and rested up for tomorrow nights show.

BTW… Flogging Molly was great, even if they didn’t play the songs I wanted to hear. We met some of the band after the show, and there were very cool, sociable, and hospitable, even if only one of them are from Dublin.

T&A pass story coming soon.

8 shows down for the band and only 28 to go.

Saturday 04 MAR 06 - Des Moines, Iowa
Took the band on their first trip to Wal-Mart. We’ll Americanize these Nords yet!

We’re at Hairy Mary’s tonight, a venue I’ve never heard of before, but upon walking in I see they have a storied history here. Stickers from every band imaginable is plastered all over the beer cases and walls. As always, cool people working the venue. Another early show. Apparently there is a curfew and the show must be over at 9pm. Looks like we might have time tonight to find some trouble!

A nightmare of an ordeal at the hotel last night. Lost our reservation, we were supposed to have a new shipment of Merchandise waiting for us there, but they said they didn’t have it for us. They gave us two rooms (4 guys to a room), the first room already had people sleeping in it, and the second room only had one double bed. Can anyone say cluster f*ck. After a mad scramble this morning, and me tearing the manager of the hotel a new a-hole, he happened to ‘find’ the merchandise sitting in a back room of the office (shocker!!!!).

Quote of the day: “You look like a computer programmer” – Manager of said crappy motel to Kenneth (keyboards – Green Carnation, who does use a laptop with his keyboards and is the band’s webmaster).

Notes to self: Jameson Whisky is NOT to be taken lightly. In fact, never take it again. Damn Irish bands, and their fancy whisky and pickled livers!

Coming up… an 18 hour drive to Salt Lake City!!!!!!!! Oh the horror.

Tuesday 07 MAR 06 - Boise Idaho
Goddamn I hate Super 8 motels and their “FREE Internet Access”; sure, it’s free, because it doesn’t exist. Two nights in a row we stay at a Super 8 motel, no we are not gluttons for punishment, we are simply forced to stay there because the label has prebooked and prepaid the rooms. So Super 8 is where we stay. That said, it is impossible to get any work done online when we can’t stay online more than 30 seconds at a time. Boycott Super 8 and their non existent high speed internet connections! Oh, and when you complain to management about it do you think they care or do anything? Hell no, they know they’ve got you by the short hairs, they know they have your money from Hotel.com and hotel.com won’t give you a refund to save your life.

(Gets off soapbox)

We’re in Boise Idaho for no good reason. Why are we in Boise Idaho? Well, 1.5 reasons. The first reason is because we HAD a show here in town. But as of 1030am it was cancelled by the promoter. I don’t have a reason, he never gave a reason, he didn’t seem to care, he simply called and said the show was cancelled. I won’t go into the rest of it, as I’d probably be sued for slander for saying what I feel about all of this. Those that know me know that I can be a grade A asshole. That’s part of what makes me good at what I do. Those that don’t know me, suffice to say, I’m not polite if I’m crossed.
The second reason we are in Boise is because of the first paragraph of this update. The rooms were already paid for. It would cost us more money to drive straight through to Spokane and get different rooms than to stay in Boise for no reason.

So, where were we?

Last we left you we were on our way to Salt Lake City without stopping in Denver. We estimated the drive to be 18 hours, and we were close. We left Des Moines at 11am and drove straight through to SLC arriving at 6am for a 19 hour drive. Crashed at the aforementioned Hellish Super 8 for a few hours and then went down to Green Carnation’s label (The End Records) home office for a few hours, and then to Club Vegas for the show.

Club Vegas had to have the best light rig we’ve had this whole tour, not to mention a great sound system even if Beyond The Embrace couldn’t hear anything from the stage monitors for their set.

Dusty (Owner), Mike (the promoter), and the very busty (and unwilling to share her endowments for a free shirt) bartender were top notch, and we finally had a green room to write home about. But, alas, there wasn’t anything to write home about in the green room. I swear… Before this tour is over, many, MANY adventures that would make Penthouse Forum blush will transpire, if I have to lie and make it all up for your enjoyment!

Oh, and what is the deal with SLC blue laws? There’s a gentleman’s establishment a couple blocks from the venue, so a couple of us decide to stop by and have a beer, only to be told that there is no nudity at the strip club. Um, excuse me? What’ the point of a strip club if there is no nudity? I mean I get a topless club, I get a full nude club, but how can you call yourself a gentleman’s club if there is no nudity whatsoever?

Portland and the infamous Acropolis cannot come soon enough!!!!!!!!

So, we now have a night off in Boise. Wonder what kind of mischief we can get into in Boise?????

Next show Spokane WA.

Tuesday 07 MAR 06 - Boise Idaho (cont)
Sorry, got so worked up over the hotel that I forgot the big information.

Kenneth (keyboards) actually took Tchort’s guitar during the “Dead But Dreaming” break down last night and wailed with Michael and Stein for the first time ever in Green Carnation history. Here’s a couple of pics for you. The first is of Kenneth on the guitar, and the second is Michael with a message, last but not least is the boys on top of the Rocky Mountains today on the way to Boise

Tuesday 07 MAR 06 Boise Idaho (cont again)
Quote of the day: Found on condom dispenser in men’s room of Club Vegas, Salt Lake City, Utah:

"For refund, insert baby here"

Wednesday 08 MAR 06 - Spokane Washington
Well, after a night off drinking at a local Irish pub (not sure what made them an Irish pub, no Jameson, no Guinness on tap, no Irish décor, guess it was the Corned Beef and Cabbage on the menu that made them an Irish pub), we made the journey to Spokane, WA today.  

I must say the weather has really been gracious to us. We were to have driven through another big storm today, but either drove through the area earlier than the storm or it just never transpired. This is the second time it has happened for us.

We are at the BLVD tonight and waiting for the crowd to arrive. Have overheard the band talking about some ideas that could make the next few upcoming shows be very cool ones indeed.

Spokane was not good to us. The club and promoter were, but the crowd was sparse to say the least. However, Beyond and GC did not let that affect them in the least, they still put on one hell of a show for the small but very appreciative crowd.

My thanks to Jen for making the green room what it should be. A pleasure indeed.

Notes to self: Never let the label book your hotel rooms. Stayed at a scary rendition of House Of 1000 Corpses last night. NOT my idea of a good time, and seeing Ma Kettle walk out to the office in her flannel night gown (she of the four feet tall, three feet wide variety), damned near erased the very pleasant memories of Jen!!!!!

Thursday 09 MAR 06 - Seattle Washington
Hello Seattle and Studio Seven. A great city, a great club, and kick ass owners. Tracy and Nicole are top notch. Our first home cooked meal on the road! The city’s (or state’s) silly blue laws keep the drinking crowd far away from the stage, and makes it tough to work a crowd when the few underage people at the show are the only ones allowed in front of the stage. Once again, Beyond and GC bring it. No new surprises in the set, but the ideas are flowing back and forth, and we’ll see what becomes of them.

Again, I personally, and both bands, would like to thank Tracy and Nicole for making us feel at home and taking care of us so well. You two are top shelf in my book.

Quote of the day: “Pussy is where it is at, that’s where you commit all the felonies. Tits are just misdemeanors” – Unknown audience member speaking in front of the Merch booth.

Friday 10 MAR 06 - Portland Oregon
Anyone up for some Rock & Roll Pizza?

A small world exists in the music business. You meet friends and people you’ve seen on the road with other bands, venues, promoters, etc. and your paths constantly cross. Tonight we met up with Jeff Hall a Tour Manager and local promoter in Portland. I’d met Jeff some months previously at a show we did in Raleigh with Scum Of The Earth and Brand New Sin, at which he was our guest for the night. Tonight he returned the favor to us.

Which reminds me, I’d be remiss in my duties and thanks if I didn’t mention Terry Swan from the BLVD in Spokane also. We met on the same tour Jeff and I did. Hope the tooth and mouth is doing better Terry, ya missed a hell of a show last night.

Back to the pizza, club that is.

Our largest crowd on this tour was tonight, but you couldn’t tell it from the front of the stage. Portland and Seattle share the same dumb blue laws apparently and you can’t have alcohol in a common area with minors. So we had all but 20 people packed into the bar area all night.

My personal thanks to Will, Jeff, Susan, and Kat for taking care of us. Y’all rock.

Extra special thanks to Mystique and Sahara for a job well done. Thanks for the cherries!!!! A Green room with a bed, I’m in heaven, and was able to put the room to its proper uses finally.

Here is were I must put in a disclaimer to save my band from personal private strife. As much as I am trying to show them a good time, and have fun out here on the road, they are being very good and not submitting to my charms, wily ways, and decadent behavior. It is frustrating at times… laughs, but they are a great group of guys, and they are not into living the ‘rock n roll’ lifestyle.

I promise you, I am doing my best to more than make up for them! 

We are 3 hours into a 10 hour drive to Sacramento, we have a day off today/tonight, and I’ll see if I can’t drum up some mischief.  

A special shout out to Jason (runner-extraordinaire) for picking me up my much desired Widmer Berrywizen.

Quote of the day: “I’ve never done this before!” Mystique – adult entertainer

Runner-up Quote of the day: “I’ve licked more ass than most shit”. Chris (Bassist – Beyond The Embrace). (Not spoken at the same time or in reference to quote number one at all!!!!!)

Note to self: When you build your own club, you MUST have a queen sized bed in the green room too.

Sunday 12 MAR 06 - Sacramento, CA
I’ve been a tour manager/promoter/roadie/etc for many years. I’ve put on shows with local bands right out of the garage, and I’ve done large theatre sized shows. And I’ve never pulled the plug on a show once, until tonight.

A little background for those that don’t know. Green Carnation are touring with their own sound engineer. Many bands of all sizes do this. A sound engineer ensures that the band sounds the best they possibly can show in and show out. Green Carnation also have quite a bit of equipment they travel with that they need to connect to the soundboard for the keyboards also.

We arrived in Sacramento and got some sleep. After trying for a couple days to advance the show with the local promoter, we finally get a call as we are 2 miles from the venue that load in will not be for another 90 minutes. Instead of heading back to the hotel to simply turn back around and come back to the venue we decide to hang out and wait for the owner to arrive. Arrive he does only 30 minutes later and tells us that we cannot load in for another two hours from THAT point, and that he doesn’t have time to ‘baby sit’ us so we can’t come in and relax until it is time for load in.

Off to the local watering hole we go.

We return five minutes early and begin to load in. Things feel hinkey from the get go. But we are working through it. The sound man is about 45 minutes late or doesn’t make himself known until about 7:45 pm. By that time we are completely loaded in, and set up. All we have to do is have Reuben (our sound engineer) connect our subsystems to their soundboard and go over a couple things with the house sound guy. Once I introduce those two to each other it doesn’t take 5 minutes for the sound guy to walk off muttering to the owner of the bar that we’re insulting him and there is no way we are touching his soundboard. Now I have seen Rueben do about 12 shows personally, and I know he has been with Green Carnation since their inception some 15 years ago. It is my understanding that he has done their sound for every show they’ve ever done. Not only that but when GC isn’t touring he is a professional sound man for many other acts in Norway and traveling around the world. I’ve watched Reuben interact with all the local soundmen on this tour and never seen anyone have a problem with him. I’ve watched him work and seen him dial in GC better than most of the local soundmen have dialed in the other acts of the night on the same PA system.

But apparently in this ‘club’ nobody touches the house sound system. No one. I’ve never heard of such a thing. In all the shows I’ve done, run, been to, etc, I’ve never heard of such a ‘house’ rule. I can understand if a local garage band comes in to play for the door or a six pack and brings their ‘sound dude’ (read friend who wants free beer) to run sound for them, I’d tell them no also. But we’re talking an internationally touring band here with a professional sound engineer. Not only is he not allowed to mix GC’s sound, but we can’t plug in our sub systems for the keyboards either. That means no keyboards for the show. And that my friends is unacceptable. We MIGHT have been able to deal with Reuben not running sound for GC, but when we can’t connect the keyboards to the soundboard, well then we don’t have a show.

A pow wow ensues between the band and I, and they let it be known that in no uncertain terms will the go onstage without Rueben mixing them. So off to the promoter I go, who understands my position, but is hoping I can convince them otherwise. It is all a moot point at this time because we aren’t allowed to connect our subsystems into their board, or if we are the local sound guy won’t know how to run it. So the conversation is really a waste of time.

Let me spell something out here for you all. We are not talking a multi million dollar system at Madison Square Garden here, we are talking a little biker looking bar on the outskirts of Sacramento that didn’t promote the show, is normally closed on Sunday nights, didn’t have us on their schedule flyer in the club, whose soundman when I asked if he was the sound engineer, laughed and said, ‘no, but I occasionally do sound here.’ And we are not allowed to touch his soundboard.

So we walked. No keyboards, no show.

Off to the local watering hole we went, and took some fans that drove from San Francisco to Sac to see us with us.

That was our Sunday night.

We are now in LA and I’ll be damned if I didn’t just lose the trailer off the back of the van driving down Hyperion BLVD. Trailer and gear are all ok, thank the gods for the safety chains!

We’re playing a sushi bar, no I didn’t misspell that, we’re playing a sushi bar. Beyond The Embrace is taking the stage now.

After the show we are on a long trek to Texas, South By Southwest here we come!!!!

Quote of the day: “$9.99 divided by 10 is 9, no 10 divided by 10 is 1 so $9.99 divided by 10 is 1. No, that’s not right either.” – Tommy (drummer – Green Carnation) while sitting in a Hooters trying to understand a joke on their menu (a cup of coffee was $9.99/10). Damn metric system gets ya every time!

Thursday 16 MAR 06 - Austin, Texas SXSW
LA has come and gone, a 16 hour drive to El Paso, Texas and we played a conference room in a hotel. The House Of Rock And Roll, or HORR as it is known is in a gutted out conference room of a hotel in El Paso. Decent crowd for a Wednesday night. I am still amazed at the distance some people are traveling to see Green Carnation.

A ten hour drive and we arrive into the heart of chaos, also known as SXSW (South By Southwest). We’re playing the Lava Lounge on a label showcase with The Gathering, Unexpect, Giant Squid, and special guests Beyond The Embrace. The town is total chaos. Something like over 1,000 bands play in a three day period and who knows how many people descend on Austin to witness it. The tail here is unbelievable. But we are so busy trying to setup, find a place to park (only 5 miles away) and deal with 1,000,001 things that we don’t have time to enjoy the scenery or do anything about it.

Last night before the show we went to the Cattleman’s Ranch and Steakhouse to have a steak. Amazing food they had there, great big steaks, and decently priced. The conversation at the end of the meal went something like this…

I'm having trouble bending over” - Tchort
I'm going to fucking puke” - Tommy after ALMOST finishing a half a cow of ribs.
That was the best steak I've ever had” - Kjetil
That was certainly the biggest steak I've ever had” - Tommy (even if he only finished 9/10ths of 1/2 a cow, and it wasn’t a steak, it was ribs. But he’s the drummer, ya know?).

No sleep for the wicked, as we don’t stay in Austin after the show, we drive on to San Antonio. A two hour drive for most…

Friday 17 MAR 06 - San Antonio, Texas
A two hour drive turns into a 7 hour drive. We’re a day early into San Antonio, ain’t no thing really, just called the hotel two days prior and bumped up our reservations from Friday night to Thursday night, only problem is when we get there instead of having two non smoking double rooms for Thursday and Friday, they have one smoking single room for Saturday. How the hell does that happen?

Problem is they have no rooms. No hotel in San Antonio does. Between spring break, St Patty’s day, and the Spurs being in town there isn’t a room to be had anywhere, and I mean anywhere. We spend the next 4.5 hours driving around looking for rooms only to drive half way to Corpus Christi to stay in a dive an hour outside San Antonio.

We arrive for load in at 5pm, and I get a feeling it is going to be a long night. I was told when I advanced the show that there were two shows tonight; we were playing on the front stage. I was never told we were the ‘early’ show, until we arrived at the venue. No promoter in site, and 4 bands loading into the club. Come to find out we’re playing with the Hellacopters, Nebula, and the Illuminatis. Well, sort of playing with them. I’m told by promoter number one that we are on the front stage. I’m told by the sound man when we arrive that there is no PA for the front stage and he just got off the phone with promoter number two and we are playing the main stage at 1:30AM. I’m sorry, I’m sure I heard you wrong; we’re taking the stage at 1:30AM? Color me unaccepting of this.

They decide to push three of the local openers to the front stage on the ‘non existent’ PA, which pushes us back to 1AM. Not favorable, but doable.

The Hellacopters finish their set, and all hell breaks loose. The sound man walks out. Leaves. Gone, Adios Muchachos. C-YA. Leaving a sound dude in training to run the show. Only, he doesn’t know how to cable the stage, snake, monitors, etc. So an hour and fifteen minutes pass between the Hellacopters and Beyond The Embrace, everyone leaves. All but 5 people. I’m all over the local promoter. He has already paid us and has offered to let us go without playing, but retaining our pay. I’m ready to walk, pack it in and go back to the hotel and forget tonight ever happened. But the five people that are still there all came from great distances to see Green Carnation, and they are not leaving until they see the band, and the band will not leave until they play for them. So, at 2AM we take the stage, play till 3AM and pull a decent crowd out of the front of the house that is having a Goth night dance party.

Off to breakfast at MR Taco we go, cut short, and to the hotel for a couple hours sleep before our drive to Corpus Christi.

Saturday 18 MAR 06 - Corpus Christi, Texas
And hello Denny’s. We spend 24 hours in Corpus Christi Texas and eat at Denny’s 3 times. No lie, 3 times. Tempting fate we were, but the first two meals are understandable, well one of the meals there was understandable.

We get to Corpus Christi at noon, rooms aren’t ready till 3pm, so we drive to find something to eat, and we drive for 1.5 hours only to end up back at the hotel and a Denny’s on the other side of the highway.

One Denny’s meal down.

Now this is a day off for us, and big plans are made, it’s the day after St Patty’s, its spring break, it’s a Saturday, and we don’t have to play tonight!!!! So booze is on the books for everyone. But first a nap.

You see we’ve gone three or four days on three to five hours sleep each day. So we’re tired. Bone weary tired, and all decide to take a nap, and then go out and paint the town purple.

I hit the sack at 4pm and don’t wake up until 11:30pm. So much for a ‘nap’. Tchort and I are hungry, so we stumble back over to Denny’s to eat, and this is where I learn of Reuben’s strange teeth fetish. Don’t ask, or better yet, DO ask, because I just let it go at the basic information. So you want to know? Get on the Green Carnation boards and ask him yourself!

So there’s meal number two at Denny’s.

We go back to the hotel, and back to bed. So much for partying in Corpus Christi.

We wake up Sunday morning to play an all day Deathfest at The Ballroom with Six Feet Under, Sworn Enemy, and 9 other bands.

Yup, an all day Sunday event with 14 bands.

Woo hoo.

We’re told there will be two stages, and that we are going on at 8pm before the Six Feet Under tour package of five bands.

We arrive for the 2:30PM load in, only to find we are the only ones there. The sound man and light guy are there setting up, no promoter, and no other bands. Damn I hate being on time for anything around here. Nobody else is.

But we walk in, and find only ONE stage. For 14 bands. Which means the show should have started 3 hours ago if we are to take the stage at 8pm. We’re told that they are going to split the stage in half for the locals, and as one band is playing on stage right, the other local will be setting up on stage left. This would work, if the soundman knew what he was doing. But as the day goes on, and he is asking Rueben to show him how to run his own board, I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.

10PM rolls around and we finally take the stage only to be cut short after 15 minutes to accommodate the rest of the bill that needs to play. So off we go looking for food, and end up back at Denny’s for meal number 3.

We sleep and take off on a 15 hour drive to Tallahassee FL for our gig on Tuesday.

Notes to self: Sleep is not over rated. 16 hours of sleep in an 18 hour period does a body good. There are never enough washers and dryers in a hotel.

There are some hot women who don’t own washers and dryers in Tallahassee. Got to remember to start hanging out at Laundromats more.

Tuesday 21 MAR 06 - Tallahassee, Florida
A sixteen hour drive is good for many things; sleep usually isn’t one of them. But I can tell you what it is good for, making the first ever Green Carnation road movie. You can go to www.greencarnation.no and check it out. It is also good for watching the entire Lord Of The Rings special extended edition Trilogy in its entirety as well as taking naps in between each movie, just ask Tchort.

So we arrive in Tallahassee and are playing at Big Daddy’s. a dive bar like no other. And I say that with the utmost respect. I love a good dive bar. And if I were to live in Tallahassee, then Big Daddy’s is the bar I’d hang out at. Not only do they put on some great shows, but they’ve got pictures all over the place of hot young women in various states of undress, wet t-shirts, and no shirts implying that things can get quite nuts at Big Daddy’s. My kind of place for sure.

Tonight’s first…
Kjetil plays keyboards while Kenneth grabs the sax and comes out and jams with Michael and Stein.

Unfortunately no women got up on the bar and doused themselves with pitchers of water for us. Such is this tour eh?

Wednesday 22 MAR 06 - Jacksonville, Florida
This would be the last show Shawn (vocalist, Beyond The Embrace) would do with us for several shows as he had a family emergency he had to attend to back home. The Green Carnation camp (Kjetil, Tchort, Michael, Kenneth, Stein, Tommy, Ruben, and I) would like to extend our heartfelt sympathies to Shawn and his family. Hurry back brother.

Thursday 23 MAR 06 - Fayetteville, North Carolina
I’m home! Well, an hour from home. And we’re at Jester’s Pub tonight. Beyond The Embrace played as a four piece this evening. And even had a fan jump up and try his hand at vocals for them. Mad props to BTE for getting up and throwing down like they did tonight. It was a tough challenge and they rose to the occasion like champs. They have taken a few days off the tour while waiting for Shawn to return. They will rejoin us in Baltimore. You’re equipment is still safe!!! But we had to hawk The S’s drum kit for beer.

Hats off to Mike, Claudia, and the entire Jester’s Pub staff for a great night. A class act, with world class peeps running the place.

Quote of the Day: “Cat, nobody eats cat!” – Stein staring at what he thinks is cat (ok, so we told him it was cat), but is actually beef teriyaki on a stick.

“A hard man is good to find” (see picture) – found on local Sunday school teacher cum Rollergirl.

Friday 24 MAR 06 - Raleigh, North Carolina
Well, we were supposed to be in Augusta Georgia today, but that didn’t happen. The specifics aren’t important, but we’d like to apologize to the fans that showed up to the venue not knowing we wouldn’t be there. We did everything in our power to notify everyone, and hated that we had to cancel the show, but there… well… there it is. We’re sorry.

So, we’re in Raleigh, NC. I’m home. I get to sleep in my bed. The band gets a day off, and we spend it repairing guitars, amps, heads, racks, etc. I treat the band to Clyde Coopers North Carolina BBQ. The best NC BBQ there is, and the band loved it. We go our separate ways to nap for a couple hours, then I pick them up to go out and paint Raleigh purple. We meet up with several friends of mine and head out to one of our favorite watering holes… Night Moves.

My personal thanks to Ed for treatin’ the band like the VIPs they are.

And more personal thanks to Rachael for a great night. We’ll be back soon.

Saturday 25 MAR 06 - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Tonight we are playing the Social, and what looked like a disaster in the making turned out to be a really good night. We had to play early because Beyond isn’t playing, and the locals that were scheduled to play dropped out at the last minute also. So we actually opened for ourselves tonight. The guys opened with the acoustic set first, to warm up the crowd, then knocked their dicks in the dirt with their electric set. One thing I’ve noticed (besides the amazing amount of merch we sell) is how people will come up during the set to buy their merch. Tonight, I had one guy that bought the acoustic album while they performed their acoustic set, then come up to buy The Quiet Offspring because of a song being played off it, and towards the end of the set he comes back to buy A Blessing In Disguise because A Lullaby In Winter was being played. Usually people buy merch at the beginning or end of a show, but the ‘new’ fans of Green Carnation come up during the set and purchase their merch as the show progresses.

We have a day off tomorrow, and it looks like if the weather will hold out we’re going to have a miniature golf tournament here in Myrtle Beach.

Sunday 26 MAR 06 - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Miniature golf on our day off? Anything done on our day off? Hell no. We watched a marathon session of “Deadliest Catch” on the Discovery Channel. And that was Sunday.

Monday 27 MAR 06 - Spartanburg, South Carolina
Well we had some fans that drove to the cancelled Augusta show come out tonight and the band played one hell of a set. The venue was blown away by the band as was the small crowd. The band and I would like to thank Mick of Ground Zero for treating very well. We appreciate it!

Tuesday 28 MAR 06 - Baltimore, Maryland
Tonight saw the return of Beyond The Embrace to the tour for our last two dates. We played in downtown Baltimore at the Sidebar. A small punk bar most nights saw the local act playing on the floor, with Beyond The Embrace and GC taking the tiny stage. The crowd tonight was another small one, but louder than most of the crowds on the tour. Took the band to Five Guys for some world class burgers, and despite what Ruben says, they were damned good.

Wednesday 29 MAR 06 - Springfield, Virginia
Time to finish the tour and no better place to do it than Jaxx. Jay Nedry and crew have a great establishment going there, and know how to take care of their talent. Speaking of talent, they have some of the hottest bartenders we’ve seen all tour! As this was the last show of the tour the band pulled out all the stops. They played a full electric set, a full acoustic set, and then came back and did 22 minutes of Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness! Sometime during the acoustic set the madness began. The bartenders got up on the bar and danced for the rest of the show in various states of dress and undress. I’m sure the combination of the alcohol and the half naked ladies on the bar were the cause of a couple of small mistakes during the set… laughs, hard to concentrate on performing with all the madness swirling around. And Beyond The Embrace showed up onstage with a round of drinks for the boys as payment/payback for the toilet paper and silly string that GC littered their set with.

A couple hours were spent with the bands after the show saying goodbyes, etc. and we hit the road to drive 2.5 hours to go 20 minutes because I got us lost. Jaxx was certainly the best way I can think of to end a tour.

A break down of the tour by numbers:

190 hours of driving
13300 miles driven
31 states
1 complete circle of the United States (NY-WA-CA-FL-NY)
? Cases of redbull
40 rockstars
25 shows
34 days
2 tires
2 van washes
1500 pictures
2 strippers
3 bar dancing bartenders

Lots of thanks to throw out, but I won’t bore you much… so here’s the short list.

My personal thanks go out to Green Carnation for being one hell of a band and never boring me even after 25 shows. Seamless Entertainment and The End Records for their help during the tour. Beyond The Embrace for also being a great band and great guys (well maybe not The “S”) and never boring us and bringing it to the stage every night! The venues and promoters I have already mentioned for being so cool and treating us so well. And to the fans for showing up and rocking out every night. Lastly to Dave at Away-team.com for allowing me the space to throw up my tour diary, as well as the initial hook up for the tour.

Cya on the road.


For four weeks I have called Kenneth Spitfire, because when he smiles he looks just like the spitfire logo. So now, for your benefit and to prove I am right… 

Here is Kenneth and here is the spitfire logo side by side…

You decide which one is which.

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