Tour Diary: She-Devils – Sept 17 1999, The Varsity Theatre
September 17, 1999
Venue: The Varsity
City: Baton Rouge, LA,
It was another highly enjoyable show with Oxford, MS rockers Blue Mountain. Besides the fact that Glen the booker/manager never officially informed us that we were playing (I had to hear it on the radio), the Varsity is a class act. Every club should have a service entrance leading directly to a ramp at the side of the stage. No sooner had we arrived at said entrance when Lauren, the Varsity assistant manager, arrived with our backstage passes, food tickets and drink coupons. Mike the soundguy has the stage perfectly tuned and EQed. The fact that I’m so unaccustomed to being able to hear everything, especially at such a comfortable volume, actually threw me off a bit at first.
One of BM singer Carey’s favorite things about playing the Varsity is a free meal at the Chimes. Sadly, there was no VIP seating for the bands. All seven of us had to wait about 45 minutes for a table. I followed the anti-bloating advice of local rocker Lee Barbier and ate only a small portion of my shrimp po-boy and stowed the rest in the Varsity green room. In addition to the smoke-filled, broken down couches (a staple of any green room), this place had a private bathroom with a shower and a kitchenette with a full-sized refrigerator. The Blue Mountain rider was in full effect: bottled water, chips & salsa, soft drinks, fruit (I didn’t see Laurie eat any), fruit juice, herbal teas, coffee maker and so on and so forth.
Master soundguy (and mixer of my last two albums) Mike Merriam was in attendance. He had volunteered to (with permission from the house engineer) ride my vocal mix and make a mixer recording. Little did I know that Mr. Merriam actually completely took over the board during our set. During the changeover after our set, I expressed my gratitude to the house soundguy for the great sound and he didn’t even look at me. Yikes! Later, It took me forever to collect my meager merchandise display from the Varsity merchandise person. I think she was pissed at me too.
We played a great set. Blue Mountain played an even greater set. The crowd was far from capacity, but still respectable in a venue of that size. I’m guessing that we won’t be asked back though. I estimate that about 40-50 people came out specifically to see us play, but that probably wasn’t enough.