Patriot Place part 3

It was about the great outdoors this week. Kicking it off on Thursday, we were back for more! With rising-star scenester Robyn Glaser’s vision and pull, Patriot Place outside of Gillette Stadium in Foxboro has become one of the premier venues for a Boston band to play, and certainly one of the only outdoor stages for anyone who has yet to graduate to the shed circuit. Robyn has been at the top of the mountain, working as a lawyer at Atlantic Records before coming to this coast to work with Robert Kraft. And as a result, she knows the way to treat a band, which involves deli trays and people to help with load in (including herself! I mean who does that?) and TICKETS TO THE GAME. I heard her telling someone to leave some of the water bottles out of the ice, because singers don’t like cold water on their throats. She’s absolutely right, and while I don’t usually worry to that level, it speaks to a level of fangirl obsession with all things musical that you’re just not going to get in a club, at least not until you’ve earned the right to also require someone to pick all the brown M&Ms out of the bowl in the dressing room. And when we finally achieve that exalted status, I for one will remember Robyn’s spirit of service and just shut my mouth about the buns being too small to accommodate the meat (heh heh), or the carrots being cut into chunks instead of julienned.

Anyway, this was our third time playing Patriot Place, and the preseason home opener for the Pats themselves. And this time, because they were inducting football great Jim Nance and team founder Billy Sullivan into the Patriots Hall of Fame, the usual stage in front of the hall was in use. So we got to play up on the mezzanine looking over the whole scene, about thirty feet up the massive stairs that lead to the shopping center. So that was a kick right there, to be masters of all we surveyed. Then when we turned around, there were people lining the fence above us, checking us out from the back. Yowza! It was good to work with Geoff on sound again, and he did an even better job than he usually does, thanks to a little help from his young daughter, June (who told me she was Jenny, at least for the day. It must be a stage name). Everything sounded great from about half way through the second song, when the mix came together (no sound check today, so Geoff had to work on the fly). There is nothing like hearing yourself echo across a massive plaza all huge and rock god-like to make oneself giddy with delight. Not too many of us on this planet will ever get the opportunity and we don’t take it lightly. And there was still a game to watch.

So we played our two sets, and then it was into the stadium proper to watch two quarters of Brady-led Patriot preseason action, and then the uh, other guys came out to essentially run out the clock for the remaining half of the game. Well, you can’t have everything, and so we resigned ourselves to the great view and good beer being the highlight of game time. But the seats were excellent, right where the cameras would shoot for TV. So it was like watching the game on the world’s biggest most high definition TV, complete with refreshments and instant replay on the real screens on either side.

As ever, this is one of our very favorite things to do as a band, if for no other reason than to experience the treatment usually afforded bands with labels and management. But the actual venue, and the experience of playing to the open air is the real attraction. We officially deem that Patriot Place rocks!

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