On the road with Work Drugs: A tour journal
Tom Crystal and Ben Louisiana of Work Drugs began their first national tour on April 2 in Philly and have been out on the road opening for Ireland’s Two Door Cinema Club. Tonight they perform in Vancouver; their last show is in San Francisco at The Fillmore on April 14th. We reached out to Philly’s premier chillwave yacht-rockers and asked them to report in from the road.
After picking up the rest of the crew – we embarked – hitting stormy weather and choppy seas as we worked our way towards Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh. This proved to be the first place we dropped lines in the water. Our primary helmsman (driver) needed his fix of “double meat” sandwiches before continuing onward into Ohio. After a long trip filled with complete listenings of Steely Dan’s Aja, Hall & Oates – Voices, and the entire Velvet Underground’s catalog, we dropped anchor just past Chicago on the first night.
Dawn comes early on a boat, and the same holds true for the Work Drugs tour vessel. At dawn we embark for Minneapolis – for the first date of the Work Drugs – Two Door Cinema Club – “Double Meat” Tour. Early in the afternoon we arrive in Port Minneapolis. The energy is high – and the water is warm – the lights go down – and for at least a short period of time – we try to turn the Varsity Theater into a little sunset bar in Key Largo.
Next stop Port Chicago
As the warm water moved east, so to did the Work Drugs crew. Coasting into Chicago in the early afternoon, we arrive just in time to warm the VHF air waves at Northwestern Marina, playing a short set for the locals – followed by a short interview with rock journalist Robert Leek. Following the interview – we put the Work Drugs vessel up on plane – and cruise down Lake Michigan – eventually tying up at Park West,
It’s a good night – our new lure – Catalina Wine Mixer – is well received. Time for red wine, Shiraz, and drunken piano sea shanties back on the boat. Next stop: Straits of Kansas City and the Middle of the Map Festival.
Cruising straight through the Iowa canal, the Work Drugs Vessel drops lines only once – for Maid-Rite sandwiches – and to put fresh ice on the instruments. If we cruise through the night – we’ll set the market.
Day 4 – part 2
As land is spotted by one of the crew in the crow’s nest- we coast into KC with a little help from Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Eddie Money. We check in with the festival dockmaster – and take a slip for the night. It’s showtime. Next stop Vancouver – from this point on we will have to navigate the seas without our Maps & Atlases.