Top 5 December Spo Shows since 2014…
This time of year is such a cognitive dissonance. We have this vision of it being white and snowy and everyone being happy because after all we are going to get to be with our family come the 25th of December. But, I look out my window and see sun, and no snow… well, there is on the mountains, but that was there through July this year. The most arbitrary part of this time of year is the best of lists that I see and have been a part of coming out. Why point at things now? I mean, I get it, the year is about to turn over, but I just feel like the awesome things that happen at the end of the year get forgotten. There is like a certain part of the year that is perfect for releases and if you are before or after that you missed the wave.
So, in this list that I’ve compiled, it is the top 5 December shows of my last 5 years…
Chali 2na 12/30/18… Last year I played my first show opening up for a national act here in SLC when I took the stage with Scenic Byway at The Metro Music Hall. I honestly, can’t remember too much about this show other than we fucking killed it, but, I do remember shaking Chali 2na’s hand and fuck does he have huge hands. The artist/rapper is in my eyes an icon of the independent scene that is a well kept secret in America. This dude is doing it himself and packing medium sized venues across America. He’s brought Scenic up to Portland, OR where we rocked too. I think that show is why this one is a little hazy… when we drove up to Portland to play with Chali 2na, that crowd was insane… to play a sold out show in another state… WTF… a first for me.
Spo @ Kilby 12/14/18… Just a few weeks before that Charli2na show last year Spo was still pretty active and Pat Rutchaplee had kinda just got to Salt Lake City, UT from me driving him here from Boston. He’s since gona, but one of the last shows that we played with him… maybe the 3rd to last was this show at the infamous Kilby Court. Spo had played at Kilby earlier in 2018, but this one was notable because we were opening up for Western Mass’ own, Potty Mouth… The Boston Music Award winners were an act that I had interviewed at The Boston Music Awards in 20… maybe 2014. They definitely didn’t remember me and the city of Boston didn’t understand the importance of this show for me, but it was just like, Spo would have never been on a bill with Potty Mouth in Bean Town. But, here we were, new line up and rocking this bill. Penny, Zach, Pat, new member at the time, Andy and I, we played well and soon recorded 8 songs that have yet to see the light of day… Hopefully in 2020.
WEMFalalalala 12/22/17… The last show I played in The Middle East Downstairs. I mean, hopefully it’s not the last time, but it was the last time to date. I don’t know if I knew this was going to be the last time, but I sure made it count. Spo released a song about Gordon Hayward’s then recent injury and I wore a Kyrie jersey on stage in honor of that song and Christmas Green. Mikey Shake was Santa that night and I rode him onto the stage where Spo rocked a really emotional set. I played guitar on a few songs, which I didn’t usually do, but at that moment in my life when my divorce was becoming a reality and my discontent with how things had gone with music in Boston I put it all into that set. I woke up the next morning wondering if I could top that… I picked a tarot card from my mate at the time Mariah’s living room coffee table. It was The Hermit card and I knew it was time to go. By the way, don’t touch other people’s tarot deck’s. Moments later a tree branch almost hit Mariah. I definitely believe it was from the energy of touching her deck.
(Me riding Santa Shake)
This show was packed as fuck though and really an awesome way to start to say goodbye to my time in Boston. Winona and The Riders played and killed it in addition to I believe Scotty & The Gang, which will be back there at The Middle East for a show I put together next January; 1.18.20 with Color Channel & more.
SCISSORFIGHT 12/30/16… This show is an interesting one for me because I guaranteed Scissorfight way too much money for what this show ended up drawing. So, in the end, I lost money, but it didn’t feel that way. I remember hearing about Scissorfight on the radio when I was listening to Boston Emissions on WFNX, the former local independent alternative station in Boston. There was always an anecdote about Scissorfight and how they would capture Massholes and put them in their van. Then drive them to the woods of New Hampshire and leave them there… whether or not that was true; it was local rock lore. I later met their original singer, Iron Lung at his record shop in Provincetown when I was running the P-Town Rocks Music Fest for Martin Doyle… I hope to blog about that at some point.
So, booking Scissorfight for a headlining gig at The Middle East Downstairs was just part of my childhood coming back around. Although it wasn’t lucrative I booked a sick line up including Protean Collective, See This World and more of course. It was a heavy show, which is not what people expected out of me, but I do all kindsa shows and then move them to the center of their genre… for better or worse; that’s what I do.
“The Mouth of the South,” JIMMY HART introduces Robby Roadsteamer 12/13/14… This list has gone chronologically, but I think this show was the biggest and best. First off, the date is awesome. Look at it! In addition, ZipTie Handcuffs rocked this show. Listen to them now!
But, the real story of this show is Rob Potylo. This motherfucker, which has since transplanted to LA got “The Mouth of the South,” Jimmy Hart, Hulk Hogan’s ex-manager to introduce his alter-ego, Robbie Roadsteamer. This dual stage show went back and forth between amazing bands, but then when Robbie got introduced this happened…
Pits are illegal technically in Boston & Cambridge. But, whatever; that was great. Rob also had a video series that came out in promotion of this show. It was fucking hilarious and I think I make a cameo in it too. Here it is…
As for the Spo set, I think we were technically still called, DAve Crespo’s After Party. We rocked the side stage and did it with honor. I think it’s fitting that this was 5 years ago as my newest project, DAve Crespo & The Dudetastics will be doing a similar thing at another dual stage event, but this time in Salt Lake City. We too will be rocking the dual stage, the side stage, and I did that in 2014 and next year on 1.4.20 at The Metro Music Hall to make people see that this side stage is cool. Like, sometimes during these dual stage shows that I produce the bands playing the second stage are less enthusiastic, but I like to show them that you can do some fun and cool things with the alternative stage especially when climbing things… If you saw then, then you know. If you didn’t, you’ll see, SLC.
You’re wondering from this list… What about 2015… I will give an honorable mention to this show. It was 12/5/15 when Spo first rocked with our friends of Snow Day. Sam Pitino also joined us on this bill with his band, Answerman at the hooka bar in Worcester, MA called, Electric Haze. This night had the magic in it that you dream of when it comes to music. It was one of my first ventures outside of the show’s I was booking for WEMF. One that was for me & us, that us being Spo. Spo had released PULP PUNK earlier that year, so I put together some shows outside of Boston to help support the record and this show definitely did that. Snow Day and their brother band (literally), The Other Stars rocked their hometown and brought all their friends down. They stayed till the end too when Spo played. After it all Snow Day and Spo ended up in the basement of Electric Haze rolling blunts, counting money and finishing out last beers of the night. Maybe it’s hard to describe these bonds that happen between musicians that are peers, but it was one that I think both bands respected what each other brought to the table and we cheers’ed over that. 4 years later Snow Day found themselves on The Boston Local Music Festival on City Hall Plaza.
December is a hard time of year for people. If you have family it’s hard to deal with them. If you don’t that is fucked up too. So, often people need to lean on the local music scene as a community to feel a part of something. Local music is great for that. But, also, touring is slow at this time of year, so I would and will always get access to venues that I won’t get access to in peak times of the year. Venues are hard up and will take more chances on local music. This is why I’ve always taken these opportunities year in and year out to make sure that local music helps to keep these clubs afloat. And thus, these two circumstances help to make this list possible. Thanks to everyone who played these shows, came to these shows and helped to create them with me.