Boston Beats Seattle for Hospitality, At Least for Heavy Metal Techies

2/10/10

We were really stoked when we received the e-mail from Greg asking if we’d be interested in playing at the Boston Xconomy Battle of the Tech Bands. We had a great time at the Seattle battle, but we really thought that was the end of a fun gig… Traveling out to Boston to play a gig sounded awesome! [Juda's Wake is (left to right): Peter Dixon, James Dixon, and Will Dixon---Eds.]

Booking travel accommodations fell nicely into place, lining up vacation time came through, confirmed with Delta that our guitars/cymbals could be carry-ons, doubled our practice schedule to prepare for the “big gig in Boston,” and we were feeling good about pulling off a respectable set.

I had traveled to Boston a bit for work and actually played some gigs in Boston about 10 years ago with another band (long story), and whenever I brought up Boston, my brothers/bandmates responded with, “Meh… Boston. What’s so cool about Boston?” Sure we enjoyed Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and Fever Pitch, but…?

OK, so we had an early flight on Wednesday morning. We get to the gate at SeaTac with 3 minutes to spare, and the clearly metal-fearing gate check attendant exclaimed that bringing our guitars on board was against FAA regulation and they would have to be checked. So we confirm that they would be handled like a stroller and would be handed to us after we arrived in Boston. As we see our guitars dramatically toppling out onto the luggage conveyor at Logan Airport, we cringe at the thought of the damage to our babies that just spent hours freezing in the belly of the plane! Thanks Seattle!

Thankfully they only received some cosmetic scratches to the cases (that’s what they’re for right?), but here’s where the remarkable Boston hospitality starts (not kidding). We go to the luggage desk at Logan to see how we could avoid this on our return… The luggage manager apologizes profusely, files a complaint on our behalf, assures us that there is no FAA regulation against the guitars as carry-ons, gives us all Delta $$ vouchers and stresses that if this were to happen again, make sure to get the PINK check tag, and not the yellow. Luggage with pink tags are handed to you at the door of the plane. Luggage with yellow tags are handed to oversized playful gorillas.

The luggage manager, cabbies, hotel staff, waiters and bartenders—all inquire if we’re in a band, related, where from, etc., and all affirm that the Middle East is THE place to play, especially the lower level. Cool!

Juda's Wake

Three of the four spots we hit on Wednesday night bought us rounds, did shots with us, shared Boston music and architecture history, tips, and advice. The three of us are out in Seattle all the time, and the whole “Nah, that round is on us—how ’bout doin’ a shot?” just doesn’t happen. Let alone three times in a single night.

There was not a setting during this trip where we spent more than 30 minutes at that a Bostonian didn’t stop to chat with us, take a picture with us, share a story, etc. etc.

Add a really fun gig, big crowd, smooth running operations, at a top notch venue with other great bands… we love Boston—and Xconomy! Thanks guys!

Will Dixon is a senior product manager in the Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft, responsible for Windows Live for Mobile Services, and has worked in mobile technology for 10+ years. He plays drums in the Seattle-based metal power trio Juda’s Wake. Follow @

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