We kicked off our tour at The Sea Shanty, our favorite house to play in Portland. This was our last hometown show of 2010, and it was great to see all our friends one last time. Right before our set the cops showed up after they got a call from a neighbor, but they only stopped in for about 30 seconds, so it was all good. Lucky for us we're acoustic, so we still got to play. We had originally planned to play earlier in the night but things shifted last minute. Our set ended with me crowd surfing and stealing hippies hats as I floated around. It was a neat and fun way to say goodbye to Portland.
Joining us on the tour is Tyler Hentschel (a.k.a. Insomniac Folklore). We've been good friends since Junior High and although we've both toured the U.S. multiple times this is our first long adventure together. I can't wait.
After the show we stopped to get gas and met a guy with a small gas can whose truck broke down on the freeway. We drove him to his 66 Ford. He proceeded to put the gallon of gas in the truck and it wouldn't start. So I got out to see if I could help. After standing in the rain for about 10 minutes, I decided we'd use our AAA to have him towed to his sister's house. We called AAA and they showed up in less than 10 minutes. The tow truck driver brought over a 5 gallon tank of gas. Our new friend poured the 5 gallons in his pickup. It started up. Problem solved and towing avoided. After trading cell phone numbers we drove out to my parents' house in North Plains for one more morning of packing before hitting the road until Christmas.
Our Seattle show was a walk down memory lane. We played with Jeff Suffering, whose old band Ninety Pound Wuss was a huge inspiration for Tessa and I in the late '90s. Tessa asked him ahead of time to play some songs from the first album. This was Jeff's first show in a couple of years, and he asked me to play the Ninety Pound Wuss songs with him. It was crazy. I GOT to play guitar on two of my favorite punk songs of all time! I was so stoked.
About 15 minutes into our drive the next day we spotted a sign for XXX Rootbeer Drive-In in Issaquah, Wash. We had to investigate. This place was like a dozen '50s diners threw up complete with the original Buddy Holly Tour Bus parked out front. One of my goals on tour is to be a better tourist. So far so good.
On Friday night I got a call saying our Spokane show had been canceled, so after a quick phone call our show was moved to the Empyrean, a coffee shop that we've played numerous times over the years. Unfortunately the venue change resulted in a much smaller show but we still had fun. During Insomniac Folklore's set Tyler started a very charming rant towering above the room while standing on a bar stool. I love it.
Right before our started we met a kid also named Tyler who had recently been emailed our song "Jesus, Keep Us Safe From the Cops" from a friend of his in Nashville. He didn't know we were playing Spokane, but he had stopped by Empyrean for a quick drink, on his birthday. So he skipped out on his party for an hour and watched our set. It was pretty cool. Tessa asked the venue if we could have any free food and they made us each a pizza (from scratch!). I can't eat cheese so they made mine with extra meat.
Monday night we played our friend Leon's house in Spirit Lake, Idaho. No one knew what to expect as this was their first house show and most of their friends aren't exactly rock 'n' roll types. The night turned out wonderfully. About 40 people crammed into the living room, and 80 percent of the audience was children. It was alot of fun. The night ended with Leon and his kids playing a great set as Yum Yum Family. They are really great in a garage, mod, gospel sort of way, very very charming.
Now we've got a few day off here so hopefully I can book most of our remaining tour dates. Tessa decided she wanted to make our van into an art car so after spending about 50 bucks on spray paint at Wal-Mart, she's been painting for a few days. Our van will soon be black and lime green. I don't think she's going to glue anything to it....our gas mileage is too important to us for that just yet.