Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Supportive Fans, Great Sound, and Awesome Food

Ancient River's tour continues in Chicago

Chicago skyline (Ancient River)

[Editor’s Note: This is the ninth part in an ongoing series chronicling Ancient River’s 2014 North American Tour. If you missed the first part or would like some background on the series, click here.]


We woke up and got some laundry done, checked out, and went searching for a Chicago dog. We ended up at Hot Doug’s, a legendary hot dog joint frequented by Steve Albini, Aziz Ansari, Patton Oswald, and many more. We stayed for too long and ate too much. I highly recommend paying a visit here if you’re ever in Chicago. [Editor’s Note: Better hurry! It’s closing soon.]

Last night we played at the Burlington Bar, and then we headed to Burlington, Iowa. Burlington was truly in the middle of nowhere. I had zero phone service the entire time we were there. The town itself was very cute, despite being practically vacant. It reminded me a bit of a fake town created to test out a nuclear weapon or something. The venue, The Washington, was surprisingly one of the best venues we’ve played in. It was very classy, had great seating, and even had a private green room for the performers. The sound on stage was the best we’ve experienced thus far.

Ancient River at Hot Doug's in Chicago

Hot Doug’s (Ancient River)

Although there weren’t many people there, one guy was so happy that we came to Burlington that he insisted on buying our CD’s for double the price! We hung out with him for a bit, had some offers for a place to crash, but decided to get out of there. Before we left, James put their Bloody Mary skills to the test. His assessment: “Not too much effort put into the presentation, but the taste was simply good.” Updated top five: 1) The Foxhole, Columbus, Georgia; 2) Edley’s in Nashville, Tennessee; 3) Zaza’s in Conway, Arkansas; 4) Siberia in New Orleans, Louisiana; 5) The Washington in Burlington, Iowa. Next stop: Kansas City.


Heading to Kansas City, Missouri, I received a phone call from my mother warning us about a man who was shooting people on the same interstate we were driving on. True. So we kept our eyes peeled for anything suspicious, but luckily we never crossed paths with the guy.

We arrived at the venue with plenty of time to kill. recordBar was awesome, especially because they gave us two delicious pizzas of our choice. They had a live blues band during the day, and their menus were all inside old record covers. We hung out with the other touring band, Darsombra. I was very excited to play with them again, as they are my favorite band we’ve played with this tour. A psychedelic audio/visual duo, Darsombra is definitely something you should get into.

Before the show I spoke to a man in a tie-dye shirt, who said he came specifically to see us. I was happy to hear that and after the show I made a point to speak with him again and thank him. Well, he just looked at me sort of funny and walked away, collapsing in the grass about twenty feet away. I found out he was okay, and had been kicked out of the bar because he was tripping on lsd and was acting strange. We loaded up and spoke for a bit with Darsombra and the local band Expo 70, who also played a great set. Then we hit the road toward Wichita, Kansas.


AlexCordovaAlex Cordova (@theAncientRiver) is a guest contributor for Little Utopia.

Previously from Alex Cordova:
Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Adventures in the Midwest
Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Homecoming in Ann Arbor
Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Friendly Locals in Memphis
Ancient River North American Tour 2014: New Gear, New Orleans, and an Interview in Little Rock
Ancient River North American Tour 2014: Getting Lost and Playing Vanderfest

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