Words x Sounds: On The Road with Greg Holden

It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday…

Now that we’ve got that stuck in your head for the first time since like 2008, let’s check out our fav weekly column, On The Road, and see what Los Angeles-via-New York-via-UK singer-songwriter Greg Holden is up to after his first week on the road. 


The first night of tour began on a frigid evening in Boston, with my best buddy Ben Thornewill (lead singer of Jukebox The Ghost) opening up the show with his new solo material. We’d driven up from New York that morning, which is usually an incredibly dull experience, but Ben and I act like 10-year-olds around each other, so it was hilarious.

Plagued with anxiety about ticket sales and the impending six weeks on the road by myself, I was excited about a stiff drink at the venue. Until I remembered that Cafe 939 is a Berkeley School of Music venue and on campus, so alcohol is strictly prohibited. Shit. A quick Yelp search led me to Bauer Wine & Spirits and my needs for booze and my desire to break the law were quickly fulfilled.

I wish I could gush about the gourmet meal we ate around the corner, spoon-fed to us by a celebrity chef, but alas, the venue provided us with something terrible from next door and we ate it because, well, we were on a college campus, we were hungry and we had no other choice. Despite the food, the show was great. A somewhat full room of seated, sober Bostonians was enough to scare me into delivering a pretty vulnerable and passionate performance for the first night of the tour, and we were off to the races.

Next stop was my old hometown, New York City. First order of business, pizza. I made the pilgrimage to Giuseppina’s on 6th Ave and 20th in Brooklyn, a place I’ve eaten at over 100 times and literally abandoned second legs of flights back to Los Angeles for. The show at my old stomping ground Rockwood Music Hall was everything I’d hoped it would be: packed full of drunk New Yorkers singing along and having a gay old time, while showering my insecure ass with love and enthusiasm. I left with a very full heart and after pizza round two at Rosarios on Orchard & Stanton in the Lower East Side (another place I’ve probably eaten at 100 times), a very full stomach.

After a couple of great house concerts in Staten Island and New Jersey over the weekend, we were off to Philadelphia to play a tiny, intimate show at Ortlieb’s Lounge. Headlining shows are always tiny and intimate for me in Philadelphia. It’s a market I’ve never really been able to crack. To my surprise, the place was full, and the crowd was into it. Our van wasn’t broken into and we made it back to our nondescript hotel near the airport safe and sound, and I was only a little bit wasted. So all in all, a raging success in Philadelphia and a great start to the tour.

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