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Andy Greenberg of Runaway Gin Talks Sold Out Atlanta Show and Upcoming Tour Dates

Runaway Gin at Hard Rock Atlanta.

This past Friday night, Runaway Gin sold out the Hard Rock-Atlanta following the first night of Sweetwater 420 Music Festival. Only two blocks from the venue, Phish phans seeing Trey Anastasio could enjoy a full two sets of stellar type 2 Phish jams from Runaway Gin until the Hard Rock flipped on the lights. The band opened up the night with the time-honored opener “Punch You In the Eye” into their debut performance of “Brother”. The first set closed out with a medley of great songs including “Runaway Jim” that offered exploration before finding a spot in “Reba”, “Carini”, and the Led Zeppelin cover “Good Times Bad Times”.

Runaway Gin at Hard Rock Atlanta.

Set two was full of surprises. Prior to the show, Runaway Gin posted on Facebook, taking requests and asking what might be the opener. A few phans were treated to their requests. After bringing down the house with an all too funky “Cities” in the heart of Atlanta, the band went into “Fuego” only to amp up the pace with “Weekapaug Groove” and “War Pigs”. Greenberg noted they had played War Pigs twice before, but not before a sold out crowd. The band ended with “Sanity” and crowd favorite “Lizards” which seems to take keyboarder John Fitzgerald deeper into the rabbit hole every time they play it.

Runaway Gin at Hard Rock Atlanta.

The following day, I got up with lead guitarist Andy Greenberg on the phone from Sweetwater 420 fest to discuss their tour, how social media fosters growth, and their return to Charleston on Memorial Day Weekend. Read the interview below.

There were like 8 people there from Charleston at the Hard Rock last Friday, and it was a sold out show. When you guys started playing at Pour House, did you have sold out shows in mind?

Our first show was in 2014 so its been about 3 years and four monthsish. We had a band called the Buddhist Prodigies, Fitz was in the band, Fitz was playing keys and I was playing guitar, eventually that band split up and so basically Bobby and I put something together to take over on Sundays. We all basically knew each other from The Pour House and we all just kind of put it together. It was a very loose, very casual Sunday thing where we started and then we started getting offers for out of town gigs and from there we had to step it up. Eventually got to the point where John Pope got back in the band and Fitz got back in the band and the rest was history. I guess our first big sold out show together was at the Hard Rock in 2015 after the Fare Thee Well shows.

Do you think the set list requests and opener requests do a job of getting an out of town crowd into it?

Yeah you know we try to stay really engaged and create an active dialogue with people that go to shows by posting set lists and recording shows and posting that online. Giving away free tickets gets people excited.

Yeah so one kid I remember posted that he wanted a cover of “War Pigs” on Facebook. I was actually right next to him when you guys played it. Have you played it before?

We played that twice, the first time we played that was Halloween 2015 in Columbia and then the second time we played it was that April Fool’s Day show in Raleigh.

So the festival after parties seem to be going well, but you guys are playing Friday night at Hidden in the Hollow Festival, can you talk about that?

I don’t really know a whole lot about it, I just know its like an invitation only festival.

How did you get up with those guys?

Well we started working with Nimbleslick who is Perpetual Groove’s booking agency and when we signed with them, David Limentani just said do you guys want to book a festival and we just said sure so I know we are going to go up there and play Friday night.

Is that the first one you’re going to headline?

We did the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, so  that was the first one we headlined to that extent. Then we did Get Down in Pumpkin Town festival right outside of Greenville, SC. So those were the only other festivals that we played. 

Are you excited to come back home to The Pour House May 28th?

Yeah we got the May 28th show on Memorial Day. We have a lot of new stuff we have been developing for that and it will be a really cool show. I mean I am there all the time but we just don’t play in Charleston as much. We used to play like 50 plus shows a year there. We can’t wait to come back. 

The next time Runaway Gin will return to Atlanta will be the at Terminal West on August 18th. Tickets here. This promises to be a great return to Atlanta as many locals could not wait for the next time Runaway Gin returns to their city. The band has just a few shows left before returning home May 28th to The Charleston Pour House with new additions from the Phish catalog to kick off their Summer Tour.

Thanks again to Runaway Gin for wrapping up a stellar first night of Sweetwater 420 Festival, and special thanks to Andy Greenberg for taking the time to chat with us about the band.

Runaway Gin at Hard Rock Atlanta.

Setlist from Hard Rock on Friday, April 21st:

Set I: Punch You In the Eye > Brother* > Ha Ha Ha, Moma Dance > Theme From the Bottom >
Runaway Jim, Reba > Carini -> Good Times Bad Times
Set II: Mike’s Song > Cities -> Fuego > Weekapaug Groove, War Pigs > Sanity > Lizards
*RG debut