Notes from the Road
The MSP Films tour makes the rounds.
Words: Jeff Berman and Rob Greener
The Matchstick road crew is taking the Superheroes of Stoke on tour. Here’s what they’ve seen at their first few stops.
The Final Leg: New England and the Big Apple
Saying goodbye to Rob Greener, and the western half of the US. I found myself on a red eye flight to the east coast. In attendance were myself (Jeff Berman) and our tour director, the one and only, Frankie Alisuag. We flew throughout the night, and when the plane landed in Philadelphia we hopped in a cab straight to Subaru of America. Subaru is a sponsor and they were gracious enough to loan us two 2013 Outback’s to cruise the Northeast.
Our first task was to drive up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, usually an easy 7-hour drive. However, running on little to no sleep, this was not a mission for the weary. With heavy eyes at 1pm in the afternoon I found myself in a rest area getting some quick shuteye. Luckily the Subaru front seats recline to a horizontal position. Later that night at the hotel we met up with James Heim, and Michelle Parker, and hit the town for a well-earned dinner.
The next day while James and Michelle were slaying some single-track with a local mountain bike guide, Frankie and I were busy setting up for the show which was taking place at The Music Hall in old town Portsmouth. A key player in making this show a success was our local ticket hub and diehard ski store; Fire on the Mountain. They have such a huge following that without their help we would have been working double time to fill the venue. Afterwards we packed up our gear and began looking forward to our next stop in the heart of Boston.
Feeling refreshed with a couple good nights of sleep we then had an easy drive into Boston. In the shadows of Harvard University is a tucked away venue called Brattle Theater. Seeing how we were in the presence of some of the smartest minds in the world we kept reminder each other to “think smart”. Sometimes that can be a tall order with our crew, but I am pretty sure we still have the most fun.
The next day we had lovely, scenic, east coast drive through the countryside looking at all the foliage on our way to Burlington Vermont. Burlington would prove to be the most fun of any tour stop we had all fall.
With a day off we felt fully recovered for our last and final stop of the tour in NYC. In the heart of Manhattan we found ourselves at the Merkin Concert Hall. Joining Frankie and me for this show was MSP’s newest rock star, Leo Ahrens. It was Leo’s first time in NYC and I am pretty sure he had the time of his life. He must have signed hundreds of autographs all the while Red Bull’s DJ, DJ Zeke was blasting beats welcoming all the peopleAfter the movie ended we had a surreal feeling. It was hard to believe that after nearly 7,000 miles of driving and a month and a half on the road it was all over.
Frankie soon returned home back in SLC and I decided it was a good idea to hang out in N.Y. for and extra week. Something I find myself regretting now seeing how the Super-storm of Sandy is about to bare down on me. But that is the life of a roadie. You just never know what the next day brings. So for now I am saying goodbye to the blogging world, and I hope everybody who has read my blogs has enjoyed what it’s like to go on tour with MSP. People often ask what I do while I am travelling. I just tell them that I am with the band, heading to a different city every night. So I wish everybody a fun and safe winter, and I will see you next year!
MSP came, and Squaw Valley Delivered
Some call it a homecoming, others just say it’s the best night all fall, but everybody in the Tahoe area knows MSP will provide the action needed cure the off-season blues. If you have ever skied Squaw Valley you can understand why it breeds the top skiers in the world.
With “generation x” doing their best to recreate the baby boom days, it was total romper room for the first showing. That’s what makes MSP movies so great, it’s the fact that people of all ages are welcomed and families get to share the Stoke with everybody.
But if you think Squaw Valley has gone soft you better stick around for the second screening later that night. The Hallway was packed, and the line for the bar was around the block.
By the end of the night the MSP crew realized that dinner was long gone. Seeing how food was scarce after 11pm, they did the next best thing to not eating, which means 12oz. curls till the night fades away.
Oktoberfest at Snowbird
Ziggy Zaggy, Ziggy Zaggy, Oi, Oi, Oi! The chants were heard all day coming from one of the many beer gardens at Snowbird. Ahh yes, Oktoberfest, Snowbird style. Thousands of people at the base of Snowbird pretty much assured the MSP crew that we were going to have a blow out that night at the Cliff Lodge.
After a guerrilla style poster campaign, Superheroes of Stoke was roaring its face to the masses. Snowbird seemed a little wary, wondering if we were going to meet our $400 bar requirement. We assured them with our crowd they will more likely hit the $4,000 mark. I’m pretty sure they made some money that night with their liquor sales. Don’t let the rumors trick you about Utah not knowing how to drink, because that was wiped of the map on Saturday night. With a rocking after party at El Chanate grill, the people had Stoke on their brains.
The MSP crew was more than happy with how the night ended up, and since SLC is home for the entire road crew everybody was looking forward to spending a night in their own bed.
Roadies Jeff Berman and Rob Greener sailed through the border to America junior with ease, no rubber gloves needed for the MSP road crew. A true Indian summer is upon us and its hard to think skiing is around the corner t-minus 60 days and counting.
In North Van fashion, we had an explosive rowdy crowd stoked to see something in the terms of the winter season. On hand we had the backbone of MSP: Hoji, Heimer, and Townsend. The autograph line was slammed from doors open till the start of the movie. Movie goers were treated with complimentary Red Bull and plenty of beer to get the party started before Superheroes of Stoke.
Whistler shows MSP why they are some of the greatest fans on Earth
World class ski area, world class athletes, and of course world class fans. Yes it was the perfect trifecta. With two sold out shows (the second being of max capacity) the fire was truly alive that night.
After the movie the crew strolled over to the Longhorn Saloon for the official MSP after party. One lucky party goer walked away with a pair of Salomon skis. If you missed this party, I hate to say it, but you missed out.
The next day, with foggy heads, MSP’s road crew got to enjoy what makes Whistler so great, the Mountain Bike Park. Showing genuine hospitality, Whistler set up Cody Townsed, Jeff Berman, and Rob Greener with bike rentals.
Following a stellar day of riding the long haul started. Next stop: San Francisco.
San Francisco, California
In the heart of San Francisco is an incredible theater known as the Palace of Fine Arts. That’s where we showed the film.
The night started off figuring out how and where we were going to park the Red Bull MX truck. It wasn’t easy with a monster truck that converts to a multimedia DJ booth.
With the DJ spinning outside, the guests inside were treated to an autograph session with Red Bull’s newest athlete, Michelle Parker. People were definitely feeling the stoke. The line for the bar was on par with any ski town showing.
As the movie let out the fans were all smiles and the stoke for winter was high, leaving the road crew satisfied with a job well done. The next stop is Squaw Valley.
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