So Much Gratitude! Another Tour in the Books!
Man. What a goddamn trip!
At the beginning of July, I started the “Sip & Pass” tour to continue polishing the hour of material that will be my next album. Being on the road can put a lot of wear and tear on the mind and body but it’s a necessity in order to get as much as stage time as possible. The best part about living in Indiana is ease of access to so many cities. It damn sure ain’t the politics, AM I RIGHT? In case you were wondering, any joke that involves violence happening to Mike Pence works in every market. I’m probably on a list now. Now that I typed Light Skinned Voldemort’s name, I’m DEFINITELY on a list.
Over the last year I’ve done a shit-ton (favorite unit of measure) of shows but over the last month, I’ve felt the material strengthen and turn a corner. It’s damn near ready. As I write this, I’m 23 days away from the actual recording and I couldn’t be more excited. I want to thank everyone who has put me on shows in the last month and everyone who has driven me to shows, carpooled, let me sleep on their couch, sent me on the road with care packages, and a super special special thanks to everyone who has donated to the album and to those who bought a poster. I appreciate your support to the moon. Thank you.
The tour technically started in Mishawaka at Smokestack Brew. Comic and pacing ball of energy, Ben Moore and I rode up to this show from Indianapolis. I had never done this venue so shoutout to Ben for getting me on here. This show was fun and rowdy. It’s a big space with about 100 people packing it out every Tuesday. This is the only comedy option in Mishawaka so there are plenty of people who come to this show every week. They’re there to watch but more importantly, they are there to drink. And drink they did. It took me a while to get control of the room but once I did it was great. Small town crowds like to show their appreciation by sending drinks to a comic when you’re on stage. Like, “Hey! We liked that joke! And we like shots! Have a shot! It’s not like you’re fucking working!”. This show was productive in that I was able to test out some “edgy” material on a mostly white audience. I’m not going to say it killed...because it didn’t...because it wasn’t supposed to..but it did okay. The one black lady in the crowd came up to me after and said that she “got it” and that she loved the set. I’ll take that affirmation.
I was happy to get to do some new breweries on this tour. Four String Brewery in Columbus OH and Taft’s in Cincinnati were the next stops on the tour. I love doing independent brewery shows. There’s always an awesome vibe and a sort of freedom from a comic’s point of view. It feels cool. Plus, and not to be understated, the beer. I’ve got to say that what Wayne Memmott and Bombs Away Comedy have done at Taft’s is pretty incredible. Every beer that I had at Taft's was top notch. The show was in a separate room where the audience could solely focus on the show. There was a dedicated area for the comics to hang AND they fucking fed us. This may not seem like a big deal, but as a working comic, free food is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Except the gold is some incredible pizzas and appetizers. They treated us like rock stars. At 4 String in Columbus, the bartender really resonated with my DMX story and played “Party Up” after my set. Euphoric.
Next stop on the tour was Muncie. The home of Ball State and more infamously, Meth. Comics Meghann Kennedy, Luke Basile and I enjoyed our road trip through this railroad town. We had to stop and wait on a train not once, but twice on our way to the show. Ya know...like the goddamn early 1900’s. Crossing over the last set of train tracks into downtown Muncie literally felt like snapping out of Westworld and arriving in the 21st century. And thank God we did. Because this show was awesome. First of all, it was in the nicest apartment Muncie (Of course, I haven’t seen every house in Muncie but I 100% stand by this statement). Super shoutout to Lexy Madrid who set this thing up and Kari Wissel for opening up her wonderful home to a bunch of assholes. It was great to see the comics utilize the space and interact with the crowd as we all shared this cool and weird experience of doing comedy in a living room. I got to play around with some bits in this room and I’m always grateful for that opportunity. This set felt great. I then fell asleep on the way home.
My Birthday show at Redemption Alewerks in Indianapolis was a blast. Can’t wait to do another show there. Shoutout to Third Wheel Comedy Tour (Dan Loper, Georgia Barnes, and Tom Plute) for coming through and the wonderful Alex Price for the cake! No dessert should ever be this sexy!
House show #2 of the tour was put together by comic and beacon of brightness, Jimmy Market. I rode with Zain Zaidi to this show in Sidney, OH. Hitting all the big markets. Mishawaka. Muncie. Sidney. What’s next? Brazil, IN? Smyrna, TN? (I’ve done comedy in both of those places) Don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of Sidney either. What a weirdly wonderful time this show was. Originally, Jimmy was going to set the show up in the backyard but sometimes mother nature be trippin and decides to rain all over a parade. As there are no rain delays or cancellations in comedy, we moved inside of Jimmy’s dad’s house and did the show there. The house reminded me of my grandmother’s...Like everyone has an assigned seat. “Don’t sit there, that’s Grandma’s chair!”. The audience was either over 50 or like just turning 21. What a test. Also, this should go without saying, but Zain and I were the only minorities there. What the hell could happen? I’ll tell ya. The show was a damn blast and the people of Sidney couldn’t have been more hospitable or nice. It’s weird but doing well on this show really raised my confidence in my material. If people of two different generations are laughing at this shit, then it has to be halfway decent. Thanks, Jimmy. I needed this one.
To the South we go!
In Louisville, I got to do an awesome venue called Kaiju thanks to Kate Sedgewick. She helped me set this up and also crushed her set that night. As did, Zain, Holly Lynnea and Sara Butryn. Kaiju is an intimate space and the laughs are honest and big. Shoutout to The Leo Weekly for promoting the show with an interview. Benjamin Bussell, the artist who designed my tour poster, was at this show along with a bunch of Louisville comics. It was a great hang before and after the show. Not to mention, Kaiju sent me away with a big ass box of goodies for the rest of the tour. Snacks galore!
Epic Comedy Hour. There’s nothing I can write here to fully explain how awesome this show was. What Scott Eason and Tim Kelly have created in Huntsville, AL, is seriously incredible. Epic is no lie. I was there for their 7th anniversary weekend and did their stand up showcase on Friday, and a couple of specialty shows on Saturday night. On Friday, about 250 people packed the Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment Center and the energy in that place was electric. It feels great to be on a strong lineup with such killers from all over the country. An amazing crowd that’s smart, on board and just fucking good. This show has a reputation for being one of the best shows in the Southeast but seriously, it’s one of the best shows in the damn country. Not only was the show amazing but they are sponsored by a local brewery called Straight To Ale who kept the beer flowing for the comics all weekend long. Great shows and great beer? Orgasmic. Straight up Orgasmic.
Atlanta! I’ve been to Atlanta to do shows 3 times now and headlining Star Bar was on my bucket list. Getting your name written up on that board is like a rite of passage in that city. It’s validation. I love Star Bar because it’s a show where every comic on the show brings their A game. Rodney has been running this show for damn near 20 years and it’s fucking rad. He brings his passion and energy to hosting but also prides himself on giving new comics in Atlanta a shot. And no one disappointed this night. Normally when a show runs over 2 hours it’s brutal. Not this one. I went up 2 hours into the show and did 45 minutes to an engaged and enthusiastic packed house. It felt like gaining XP in a video game. I LEVELED UP BITCH! Thanks Rodney for this. I’ll be able to take that confidence into this album recording. Hell yea.
So now that I’m back home for a little while, what’s next? I’ve got a few dates in the next month to work the rest out of the kinks but I feel great. I just want to say thanks again to everyone that’s helped me out this last month. I also want to say that if you haven’t gotten your ticket to the album recording yet….WHAT IN THE HELL YOU WAITING FOR?
Sorry to raise my voice... but seriously! Also, if you can’t make the recording but want to donate to get the thing produced, you can do that too. Check out the donation tiers on the Facebook event page here.
Thanks for reading and fuck Carlos Mencia.