November 12th, 2004 — The Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park, NJ

The Tiki House    I loaded the car in the pouring rain knowing I had a heck of a drive in front of me as I drove down to CT to pick up TooFastJim on our way to the show. As I left Boston, that pouring rain turned into nasty snow. Two hours later I roll into TFJs and we load drums, clothes and TFJ, and we're back on the road. For the next three hours the snow gradually turning back into rain as we head south and remains with us the duration of the trip right up to the front door of the Lanes.
  So we get out of the car and head in to scout the place. I was stopped dead in my tracks as I walked in the door. I couldn't believe my eyes. This bowling alley was like none I'd ever seen. Occupying the center 3 lanes was a STAGE. A STAGE!!!

 We were warmly welcomed by Mike Sullivan, promoter extraordinaire for The Lanes, and then Mel Stultz...owner of the lanes by night, hot rod builder by day. I'm used to getting the "who are you again?" attitude so rampant in the northeast, but these guys were genuinely psyched to have us there. I just got this feeling as I walked the place...The Nebulas and The Lanes were a perfect match.

 Soon after meeting Mike and Mel, we were introduced to The Sharkskins, our billmates for the evening. A quick gear setup, no soundcheck (who the F needs one anyways. That's what the first song is for) and it was "go time". We took the stage in Skulls, and the crowd was digging it. It was a charge to finish a tune and hear sets of pins getting knocked down in the background.

 The crowd...the crowd was just awesome. They were totally into it, and you know, it just feels great to play this sh%t and hear people screamin' and hollerin' for more. Screw the dough...that energy is what makes this genre move.

 For us it was over all too soon, and it was time to relinquish the stage to the Sharkskins. I was pumped to hear these guys as they have some great tunes on their site, killer artwork, and they had made an AWESOME poster to promote the show.

 Once I cleared my junk off the stage, I realized I hadn't eaten since like 11 that day, so I asked Mike "Hey man, where's the snack bar?". So far I had managed to find just the bar...hey, you gotta have your priorities. Mike points me to the snack bar, and...this is a no-shitter...they have SUSHI!!!

 At this point, I'm freaking out. This is an adult A-D-D DREAM. Remember that feeling as a kid going to a pizza birthday party and there was sugar, soda, candy, other kids, pizza, playing, toys and everyone just FREAKING OUT?

 OK, fast forward to me, sitting at the grill eating Sushi with a buzz already kickin', watching people bowl and digging the Sharkskins running through their set. Kill me now. I'm free to go.

 I think The Nebulas have played something like 70 shows, and we've NEVER experienced anything as cool as this. Seriously, The Lanes is just an unbelieveable establishment. The concept is genius. Think about it: who REALLY wants to go to a club and stand there for three hours suffering through a few bands you could give a rat's ass about waiting for your buddy's band to play, or worse yet, a band you "heard" was good. Screw that, go bowl! If the band sucks, who cares! Bowl another ten frames! Watch vintage porn on the screen behind the band! Eat sushi!

 Overall, the experience was completely surreal, and at the end of the night we couldn't thank Mel and Mike and the crew enough. They surprised us by offering us an opening slot with Fishbone!!! We graciously accepted, and we can't wait to make the trip again. If you're within 100 miles of Asbury Park at any time, you will be doing yourself a disservice if you don't swing by. As for The Lanes, we'll see y'all on the 8th!!!

 The one thing that pisses me off is that I didn't get a chance to travel a few miles up the road to Red Bank where Kevin Smith shot the movie "Clerks". I'll hit that sh&t next time...


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