Our trip to the show in Ponferrada started off with a big traffic jam. Not sure if this was because of the upcoming Easter Holiday or what. Dog played DJ opening his powerbook and playing cuts. We spotted more castles and cathedrals on our journey today. Miguel was excellent at making up time only putting us a little late at the club.
Ponferrada is a beautiful small town located up in a valley surrounded by snow capped mountains. When we arrived some of the crew and door people yelled at us “We cannot believe the Mono Men in our little town of Ponferrada!”
The Mono Men kicked off the 3-night Freakland Festival with some local acts and the Demolition Doll Rods opening the night. Sound check went very well. The on stage PA guys came over to me and pointed at the master volume setting on my Marshall and said. “you do not have to play at this volume setting”… I did not have a response for him other than “I need to hear over the drums”. Yea right.
From the Freakland sound check - Lie Detector:
From the Freakland sound check - Burning Bush:
One of the opening acts was a guy in clown suite riding a bike, playing a kazoo and electric guitar. As he pedaled he kept some kind of contraption hooked up to the bike that would keep a beet. Apparently he was in some big Punk band back in the day but now makes more money doing this Musical Pixie act. At least we didn’t open for him.
The sound was really good inside the Cotton Club. Plenty of power to keep up with us. As per usual here in Spain we ate dinner around 10pm and took the stage after 1:30am.
The crowd smashed up against the stage barricade and started pushing over the top. Guys were getting dropped on their heads as they climbed over the barricade. At one point some guy threw all his clothes on stage, then jumped up on stage and proceeded to leisurely put his clothes back on right in front of Aaron’s drums.
Later in the set some dude jumped up on top of the PA Side fill on my side of the stage. He was probably like 12 feet in the air rocking back and forth. My spider sense told me to get away from that side of the stage and I was right. A song or so later the PA main cam crashing down right above my Marshall smashing right on top of my stage monitor. Just missing Ledge. The dude was swinging like a monkey on the light grid as the sound guys wrestled him down. I knew that guy was gonna fall. The next day in the van the joke “What was the last thing that went through Morts mind before he died? the PA sidefill” was told. Just a bit after that a different guy went crashing into my side of the stages PA main. I watched that 20 foot column of speakers rock and roll back and forth, threatening to crash down on the crowd.
This was certainly a no non-sense set from the Mono Men. We played straight through the set with out stopping at all.
Our good friend Charlie (Radio 3 show host) wrapped up the night DJ’ing playing stuff you certainly would never hear in a club in the states. I noted catching a Miracle Workers song I had not heard in years.
All the bands on the bill stayed in the same “Hotel”. It was more like a multi floor boarding house. A bunch of scantly furnished rooms with shared bathrooms. Basically each band had it’s own half of a floor that had it’s own key. Pretty nice actually. I shared a large room with Aaron and Ledge. Snorkestra! It was cool to see all the bands loading up around noon and getting on their way. Of course we were all just waking up at that time.