111403 moe./nero, Burlington, VT

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When nero performed at moe.’s summer festival I had convinced their manager that my guys should open their upcoming Canadian run in return for getting the same slot on some bigger American dates.  He somewhat came through; we did indeed open the Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal shows for them but we were given just one US date in return.  And so it was that November 14th, 2003 was our payback show, opening for moe. at the Memorial Auditorium in Burlington, Vermont (a room in which I have seen both Phil Lesh & Friends and the best Ween concert ever).

Burlington was also the home base of our booking agent, and it was either during this exact show or during the show in Montreal the previous evening that his entire office building burned to the ground, which put a bit of a damper on the evening, but only a little.

Though I was understandably excited to see nero’s first ever American arena performance, for some reason or another I had had to drive back to Ottawa following the Montreal performance – likely some managerial pain-in-the-butt – and instead of driving to Burlington in the band bus I raced there alone in my Honda (which had accumulated 2,500kms over the course of the four-day run).  I got to the venue near the end of nero’s set, just in time to catch one of moe.’s drummers (Jimmy I assume) sit in for a set-closing Lemondust.

I guess I watched moe.’s set as well, but just as likely I maxed out my time revelling in real-live small-time big time band management, which would have placed me in the sweaty backstage changeroom scouring deli trays and pulling on beertaps.  

All in the name of Rock and Roll, of course.

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