Tholen is the crew member who faces the most grief and logistical curveballs and somehow remains the most even-keeled.
Tall and curly-headed, with a deep, Seth Rogen-like laugh, he has been enjoying Carroll’s banter since they were college roommates in Duluth. The travel agent, scheduling guru, baby sitter and seemingly best friend of everyone in the band, he is also the guy who sees to it they get paid at the end of the night (by check; the days of cash and/or cigarette payoffs are long ago).
As car lights streamed from the parking lot a half-hour after show’s end, two band members hung out backstage drinking their Sold-Out Ale and talking shop with Scottish opening band the Dirty Beggars. A couple others chatted it up with a trio of pretty young women who — coincidentally or not — had found two of the three guys in the band without rings on their fingers.
“You ready?” the show’s promoter asked Tholen, ushering him into a trailer. That was the one and only part of the tour the band didn’t want to see reflected in print. But Tholen did share one fine detail: Merch sales that night were particularly good. “About $4 a head,” he said. Translation: $8,800.
The crew kept earning its keep. The tour bus and trailer couldn’t back down to the stage and risk getting stuck in the mud, so a smaller truck was rounded up to shuttle the gear. “Twice the fun,” Svobodny cracked.
• • •
“From the very first time we got in a car together, nobody played music that everybody else hated. Nobody ate something that drove somebody else up the wall. That’s why the band I was in when I was 20 years old never drove to Colorado, because we would’ve killed each other. We’ve been very lucky from the very early days, it’s been kind of effortless.”
Erik Berry, mandolinist
Sunday, July 20
Gigs: WFPK “Bourbon Brunch,” Forecastle Festival
“One of the best rock ’n’ roll shows I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Trampled’s frontman wasn’t the only one gushing after seeing the Replacements. “Not a bad way of turning 40,” said the band’s elder statesman, Berry, who was nonchalant about spending his birthday on the road. He turned 30 the day the band played its first gig outside the Central time zone, and has worked most birthdays since.
Held in a riverfront park, Forecastle drew about 25,000 people for its final day — many of whom showed up for Trampled’s late-afternoon set.
The band was resoundingly happy with the large turnout and rowdy response. “You’re making it too hot out here,” one fan yelled after the barnburner “Sounds Like a Movie.” Even better, the crowd listened to quieter new songs such as “Winners.”
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