TricksBlog - May 2010

May 14 & 15 - Tricks at Sue's Sidetrack Bar & Grill, Pearl, Michigan

Friday was another slow night. Mostly Sidetrack regulars and Tricks family & friends - not that there's anything wrong with that. Happy Birthday to Raymond - we had a great time helping Ramond celebrate - hope you didn't suffer too much the next morning, buddy. We all had a fun time on Friday, but it's pretty important that Sue makes enough money to pay the band. Good thing we have nights like Saturday to make up for that.
Saturday is a contender for "best bar night of 2010". Julie had a big birthday party celebration happening all night long. Happy Birthday Julie, and thanks for bringing your birthday party to dance with Tricks at the Tracks. Various groups of friends travelled the distance from Allegan, Hudsonville, Dorr, Grand Haven, and Wayland to hang & bang with Tricks on a wild Saturday night. It was a Rock and Roll frenzy! Lots of crazy dance-floor action on Sue's huge dance floor. Tricks pumped up the adrenaline and got a good work-out keeping up with all the dancers. There were a few incidents where the dancers overran the stage, and started attacking the guitar players. See my pictures!
With big helpl from our friend Lone Wolf, we had lots of action in the Sidetrack Jail. We helped Sue raise almost $600 for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. Thanks to all the donators and jailbirds for being good sports and helping out with a good cause! You're the best! Sue is the hardest worker I know, when it comes to benefit work.
Thanks to all the usual unsung heroes; Sue the owner and "hostess with the mostest", the Sidetrack staff - cooks, waitresses, bartenders, the "friends of Sidetrack" regulars, our camera crew - Roger the Showfur and Debbie Beastmistress, Tammy and her crew from Dorr area, brother Larry and his Grand Haven bunch, Scott and his Allegan "trailblazers", our Hudsonville fanclub, and everyone who I'm forgetting to mention. You are the music, we're just the band! We appreciate everyone who came out to make a fantastic night. And, every night is fun in its own way, huge crowd or not. That's the truth!

YouTube video from Saturday Night at Sidetrack (May 15, 2010):

May 7 & 8 - Tricks at Sue's Sidetrack Bar & Grill, Pearl, Michigan

That's more like it! Tricks had two fun nights with the local regulars at the Sidetrack this weekend. There was no crazy mob scene to write home about, but there were just enough Sidetrack and Tricks fans to make for a nice little party crowd. The band was hot, and the dancers were hotter! We even had a little fun with the Sidetrack Jail, raising some money for Relay for Life. Friday was cold and windy and rainy for those parking lot smokers. - More than one smoker suggested that the band needs to play longer, to make up for the lost time when smokers go outdoors. Makes sense to me.
Saturday was Diana's birthday, so we had lots of fun with her. Happy birthday, Diana! Thanks for partying with Tricks! Thanks to Dave & Sue Hiscock, who get the prize for coming from Allegan two nights in a row. But, the biggest prize goes to all the Sidetrack regulars. You know who you are. You guys know how to rock it hard. Tricks was certainly feeling the love from the local party people on both Friday and Saturday. Thanks to everyone who came out to party with Tricks at the Tracks. You make it all worthwhile! Thanks to Roger for helping with cameras.
As always, a huge thanks to Sue and the Sidetrack staff for creating a fantastic rock and roll party environment. Support local music. Support local restaurants and bars, especially when they know how to serve it up just right! The Sidetrack's "Taco Monday" is highly recommended! Great food, lots of it, for a very low price. Sidetrack Dinner specials on weekday nights are always a good idea for those on a tight budget.
Fri |Sat

TricksBlog - April 2010

Apr 30 & May 1 - Tricks at Sue's Sidetrack Bar & Grill, Pearl, Michigan

People stayed home in droves this weekend. Was it a protest against Lansing's heavy-handed smoking ban that took effect on Saturday? Who can say? (At least in Florida, the smoking ban is enforced against restaurants, not bars.)
Tricks is a non-smoking band, no one in our band smokes cigarettes. We don't like breathing smoke when we are singing, and we don't like our bodies, clothes, and equipment to smell like smoke. But there is one thing that we hate far worse than cigarette smoke, and that thing is Big Government. And, yes, Michigan's new smoking ban is Big Government at its bureaucratic worst.
Ask any small-business owner about the effect that regulation has on keeping their business afloat, not to mention the effect on Quality of Service and Products. This is not about "smokers vs non-smokers". It is all about, as drummer (and small-business owner) Steve says, "Love America, your country" vs "Love America, your government". Big Government piles one straw after another on the back of small business, all in the name of "the Public Good". After a while, the back of business gets broken - and, you know who pays the price? The "Public" that the government claims to be protecting with their regulations. Consumers pay in the end. The good effects are seen, and the high costs are hidden. The cost is always paid by the little guys, not the politically well-connected (e.g., Casino owners).
I hear people cheering this smoking ban, but don't you realize that the next thing to be banned or regulated will be something you like? This smoking ban is a violation of Private Property, the thing that America was built on.
Friday was very slow, but Saturday was slower. Tricks had fun playing, since we've had too many weekends off this year.
Thanks to Sue. Thanks to Doug and Verne for driving the distance for Tricks. Thanks to Chuck and Jen for coming out for your first night out since the new baby. Thanks to the Sidetrack regulars - we love ya, man.
I'm sorry for the political diatribe. But, just this once, I need to scream about injustice at the hands of "majority rule". We are all victims of government abuse in many areas of our life. It just bugs the hell out of me to see victims kissing the boot that is stepping on their throat. Nuff said! (Rick's words.)
Fri |Sat

Apr 9 & 10 - Tricks at the Corner Lounge, Hilliards, Michigan

Here we are, back in our old stomping grounds at Hilliards again. Seems like the "Good Ol' Days" are still with us. Tricks has played many a hard & heavy party night in this building, back when it was called "The Royal Knight" in the 1980's. Well, this weekend was good enough for the history books. We had a good crowd on Friday and a better crowd on Saturday.
This was our first weekend after three idle weekends. I thought that we might have trouble with our new songs from the iwinter break, since we all have "grandpa memory" syndrome occasionally. But that wasn't a problem. The band was hitting those tunes with aggressive confidence and tightness. The only big memory blunder was Rick & Krys forgetting to bring the cameras along on Friday night. So, no pics from Friday's crowd. Sorry. We drive down the road saying "what are we forgetting?" And we don't realize what we're fogetting until it's too late. Roger was ready to take some pictures for us, but all we had were cell-phone cameras, and it was too dark for those pics to turn out.
Saturday was a different story. We have a hundred pictures in two albums. We needed that many pictures to show you the crowd. We had all kinds of Tricks friends ready to drink and dance "All Night Long". There were two bachelorette parties going on, so there was lots of wild girls out for a good time. Check out the pics for living proof. Nothing but smiles on all those pretty faces.
Thanks to family and friends who came out for this single Tricks weekend at Hilliards. We needed that!
We were supposed to play a second weekend, but, . . . Steve and Tammy won an all-expenses-paid 4-nights in Vegas, with round-trip air fare and special show tickets included. So, we couldn't make Steve stay home with Tricks, when he could be partying in Vegas instead. Have a good time, Steve & Tammy!!
Thanks to Roger for taking pics. Thanks to Eric and the Hilliards wait staff for everything.
Rick Doogie and Tom Northrup will be alternating musical afternoons at Hilliards Corner Lounge, starting in June.
Saturday Pics - |

TricksBlog - March 2010

Mar 12 & 13 - Tricks at Wayland Hotel, Wayland Michigan

Tricks had another slow Friday, but our slow Friday had some very special Tricks friends from Grand Rapids and from Allegan. The band was extra tight and "in the pocket". We are really getting comfortable with the new setlists already. Thanks to our friend Scott for bringing a table full of all-night-party people from Allegan (most notably, Greg Howard, former Tricks band member, Allegan High classmate of Krystal, and long-time guitar buddy of Rick.). It was very cool to party with you Friday people. You can't help it that not many other people came out to party at the Hotel that night. I guess they were all saving their strength for Saturday's St. Patty's party.
And what about Saturday? I guess I could write three thousand words trying to describe the gr-r-r-r-r-reat time that everyone had. But, instead, I can just say five words; You had to be there! And, most likely you were there, because everyone who was anyone was there on Saturday night. I hope the fire marshall doesn't read this Tricks blog. It was asses & elbows in there. The pressure at the tables and around the bar was relieved greatly when people packed the big dance floor for nearly every single Tricks song. Just go and check out the pictures; why are you wasting time reading this Rick blather?
Okay, one good Rick story (thanks for reminding me, Doug, I forgot about that two-sceond mini-disaster close call) from last night. It was during "Alright Now", with a packed house and a packed dance floor. The song was just going into the little drum solo before the lead guitar break, and the lights went out all of a sudden. It took about a half a second to realize that the lights were out for the entire building, and all of our band gear had lost power. Only the drums kept playing, and everyone kept dancing and hooting and hollering because they thought the "lights out" was intentional. The power was only out for about 2 seconds, but you know how it is when electonics get turned off and on; they go into start-up mode, and I was clicking my pedals like crazy to get into my lead break mode. Thankfully, all 6,000 watts of power amps started back up without anything burning out from a "brown-out" effect. And the band played on! I don't even know what our soundman Dave had to do to keep things going. It was such a quick little instant, we all forgot that it happened. by the end of the song. Steve probably didn't even know what happened, he was concentrating on drumming.
One important note: Special thanks to the Wolowicz family for bringing Megan out to party with Tricks while she is on semester break from the Maryland Naval Academy. After seeing the lyrics to the song "Broken" (by Seether with Amy Lee from Evanescence) posted on Megan's Facebook page, Rick & Krys decided to learn the song. They performed "Broken" for the first time in public, especially for Megan when she came to the Hotel with her family and friends. Check out this article about Megan
. (Sorry, Megan, I know you're the shy type.)
Like always, Tricks would like to thank Mary Kay for having us, and putting up with us. Thanks so much to all our Tricks family, friends, and fans for all the love and support. Thanks to Roger and Debbie, and anyone else who helped with pictures.

Mar 5 & 6 - Tricks at Wayland Hotel, Wayland Michigan

Tricks was on an emotional roller-coaster ride this weekend. Friday was a mostly chit-chat crowd, with some bursts of dancing activity now and then. We had a minimum of regular Tricks fans there, but we all had a great time, especially "airing out" the new setlist material from the basement. And then Saturday. What can I say? You know the drill; pack the room full of Tricks fans and Hotel regulars and put them on a "hair trigger" response level. It was Electric! So Frantically Hectic! We didn't have to beg this crowd to have fun. And the new song additions are bigger than ever. (Less and less screw-ups - Yes, it happens! I know you don't notice most of the them ,but onstage we sometimes feel a disturbance in The Force.)
Thanks so much to all our friends for coming out and having a good time with us, hangin' and bangin', especially those from way back (remember the Michael years?). I know you think the band makes or breaks the party, but that just isn't so. The crowd's enthusiasm makes or breaks the band. We can't take the party any higher than you want to help us lift it. And so many crowds want to make the band do all the work, so the party just doesn't happen, except on a very forced and fake level. This Saturday crowd was aggressive and assertive, and didnt' wait for the band to cheer-lead them into a good time. By the end of the night, I think the score was Band - 10, Crowd - 20. Tricks could barely keep up with the party crowd. But it was win-win for everyone.
Thanks again to all our friends, especially those who travelled from Holland, Grandville, Grand Rapids, Middleville, and Kalamazoo. Dude, be careful on the drive home. Tricks recommends the Designated Driver plan. Always!
Thanks to Dave & Debbie's big group of friends. We appreciate your party attitude. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our "Show-Fur", honorary member of the band, and all-around helper, Roger! Thanks Roger, for helping with pics and video, like usual; our job would be more difficult without you. We love you, man! Can't wait to critique the new songs on video.
It was good to see Nicki, former Hotel waitress. Thanks to Sherrie & Brian for coming out, and bringing back memories of the legendary "Irons Party" of 1977
. Thanks to Mario & Jeanette for visiting from afar. So many people to thank. Thanks to Mary Kay and her staff for doing an excellent job taking care of an unexpectedly wild and crazy crowd of rockers.
And this year is just getting started. Remember; Tricks loves you!

TricksBlog - February 2010

Feb 26 & 27 - Tricks at Wayland Hotel, Wayland Michigan

Tricks had no "Coming Out" party this year, because we were cramped for time and wanted to add LOTS of songs to our 2010 repertoire. We usually learn around 20 songs during our winter break. And, before going back to a paying gig, we like to test our new repertoire on a small crowd of friends. We've had coming out parties at Roger's, at Rodney's, and at Steve's . But, this year Tricks was "all work and no play" because we were cramped for time as well as space (see the basement if you want to see "cramped").
So, going into the Wayland Hotel with 23 songs added was slightly scary. I have to say; we all rose to the occasion. I give Bassbeast the most credit, because we threw about 17 songs at him from the Tricks Graveyard, i.e., songs that Steve, Rick, & Krys had done before, but songs that were brand-spanking-new to Dave's musical brain and fingers. Conversely, and very unfairly I might add, we only added 3 songs that were "old hat" to Bassbeast and brand new to Steve, Rick, & Krys. BTW, it turns out that those 3 old Bassbeast songs were the biggest "hits" in the new repertoire. I'm talking about "Man In The Box", "You Shook Me All Night Long", and "Enter Sandman". We had lots of very positive feedback from the party people at the Hotel this weekend, but the new Bassbeast adds got "over the top" ratings. See my post below for an elaboration of the Tricks 2010 new song additions.
Friday's small crowd petered out by about midnight, because the winter weather really wrecked the roads with wet ice & slushy snow these last few days. Mary Kay actually let us go home a half hour early when there were only two people left sitting at end of the bar. We made up for it on Saturday, though. What a great crowd of regular Tricks fans and regular Hotel revelers. Everyone was raving about the new set lists. I guess we met our goal (Again, see elaboration below in the "out of the basement" post.)
We missed our show-fur, handyman, photographer, sound recordist, all-around helper Roger this weekend. Thanks to Mary Kay for having Tricks at the Wayland Hotel. Mary Kay and her staff know how to keep the crowd happy with food and drinks. We appreciate the hard work and class act that is the Wayland Hotel.


March & February - Tricks Basement Work, Steve's basement, Dorr

Tricks has been hard at work for the past 2 months:
• 13 long & grueling slave-sessions in Steve's basement • Untold hours spent working on songs at home
• Innumerable e-mails & phone calls to discuss rehearsal logistics • Countless song repetitions, ad nauseum
All of that for Our Goal of bringing more diversity to the Tricks song repertoire.
• 23 songs added to the Tricks repertoire
Mostly songs dug up from the Tricks Graveyard. Songs that you've been asking about;
"Why doesn't Tricks do that one song any more?"  Here's our "Work-In-Process" List and Who Sings What:

• Added for Bassbeast to sing: 1. Man In The Box - - - Alice In Chains 2. You Shook Me All Night Long - - - AC/DC 3. Enter Sandman - - - Metallica 4. I Just Wanna Make Love To You - - - Foghat 5. Rock & Roll - - - Led Zeppelin

• Added for Krystal to sing: 1. I'm The Only One - - - Melissa Etheridge 2. Hot Blooded - - - Foreigner 3. 30 Days In The Hole - - - Humble Pie 4. When You Say Nothing At All - - - Allison Krause 5. We Will Rock You - - - Queen

• Added for Steve to sing: 1. Copperhead Road - - - Steve Earle 2. La Grange - - - ZZ Top 3. Life In The Fast Lane - - - Eagles 4. American Band - - - Grand Funk

• Added for Rick to sing: 1. Won't Get Fooled Again - - - The Who 2. Brown Sugar - - - Rolling Stones 3. My Head's In Mississippi - - - ZZ Top 4. Why Part II - - - Collective Soul 5. Locomotive Breath - - - Jethro Tull 6. It Stoned Me - - - Van Morrisson 7. Get a Haircut - - - George Thorogood 8. Ballroom Blitz - - - The Sweet 9. Pinch Me - - - Barenaked Ladies

In addition to these newly added songs, Tricks isn't going to drop any songs from 2009.
Instead, our plan is to keep all 103 Songs in rotation by altering our set lists, night after night.
So, we won't ever play the same song setlist 2 nights in a row.
That keeps things interesting, for you and for us.
We have pictures from the basement. It's not as roomy and pretty as Roger's living room, let me tell ya.

TricksBlog - January 2010

Jan 2 - Final Blow-out at Sue's Sidetrack, Fennville

Tricks did a final "Blow-out" night to top off our 2009 schedule. No brakes, no net; just a bunch of great friends drinking and dancing to the Tricks tunes. Roger was good enough to pick up 4 people in Holland, for a "Designated Driver Deluxe" ride to the Tricks party. We also had friends travel in frigid weather to come from miles around, for our Tricks final fling of '09 schedule. Diane & her 3 friends from Holland; Doug, Darcy, & Verne from Borculo; Paula & Mark from Dorr; Sherrie from Grand Rapids; Craig & Jane from Hudsonville; Deb & Bill from Grandville; and 4 Snowmobilers from Hilliards. These travellers plus the local Sidetrack regulars made a nice "headbangers' ball" for Tricks. Now we say "goodbye" for a couple months, and we pack into Steve's basement for some winter rehearsals.
Tricks usually learns about 20 new classic rockers each winter, to keep our songlist fresh, eclectic
, and not-boring. We don't want to be one of those bands that do the same 40 songs for years and years. For this winter, we've already decided that we're going to concentrate on bringing back lots of the old Tricks favorites from the Tricks Graveyard . If you have any faves from the graveyard that you would like to bring back to life for your dancing and listening enjoyment in 2010, send us an e-mail .
Thanks so much to the Sidetrack staff. Thanks Sue; you're the greatest! Thanks to all you folks who drove for an hour or more in the dead of winter to get some lively Tricks action - one more time!, especially those snowmobilers. Those riders told me that they left Hilliards about 11pm, and got to the Sidetrack at about 12:30, in time for last set. And my car's "outdoor" temperature reading on the way home said "-8º F" when I got home it said "-12º F". Thanks to the regular Sidetrack gang for welcoming Tricks into your comfort zone to bring some "Premium Rock" out to your neck of the woods.

Back to Late 2009 -
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