After the blizzard/closed interstate in Wyoming and the break-in in Idaho (which we wrote about here), we considered turning around and going back home. But instead, we continued on, and the second part of our Northwest tour went quite well. We especially enjoyed our stop in Pendleton, OR.
The day had been long—woken up at 6 a.m. by the motel front desk clerk, talking to police officers and insurance companies, waiting to get a new window in the van, and then driving to Oregon. As we showed up at a wine bar called The Great Pacific in Pendleton, we were greeted with warm hospitality. It was exactly what we needed after the drama that had surrounded our recent days. Pendleton is a rodeo town, known for the Pendleton Round-Up, which is in its 100th year. We even met a man at our show who used to ride bulls in the rodeo!
Seattle and surrounding areas were green and flowering, as always. That is certainly one of our favorite parts of this country. After several shows in Washington, we made our way home through Montana and North Dakota. Our show at Rhombus Guys Pizza in Grand Forks, ND, left us with some entertaining stories. Perhaps our favorite is of a guy we’ll call Visor Bro (you know, visor, spiky hair, board shorts).
Every level of Rhombus Guys, including the rooftop deck where we played, was packed. Since no tables were available, we were eating pizza at the bar. Directly in front of us was a poster for the show that included our picture. A couple girls came and sat to the right of Nic; Visor Bro and another guy stood behind them. They were having drinks while waiting for a table to open up. Pointing at the You & Yourn poster, Visor Bro said, “Look at that guy. He doesn’t even look like he could hold a guitar.” The bartender responded with, “Umm…they’re sitting right next to you.” Of course, at that point Visor Bro began to backpedal. “Well…you don’t look that small in person,” he said. Too funny.
We were also left wondering if ska and skanking are making a comeback. At our show in Bellevue, WA, we saw kids skanking, and then in Missoula, MT, we played with a ska punk band. Makes ya wonder…
We kicked off a tour in Omaha, Nebraska, last night, and we had the pleasure of playing the Clawfoot House in Lincoln this evening. Over the next three weeks, we’ll be traveling to the Pacific Northwest and back. Tour dates are below.
03.31 — Omaha, NE — Barley Street Tavern
04.01 — Lincoln, NE — Clawfoot House
04.02 — Greeley, CO — Zoe’s
04.03 — Ft. Collins, CO — Everyday Joe’s
04.06 — Logan, UT — Why Sound
04.07 — Boise, ID — 208 House
04.08 — Pendleton, OR — The Great Pacific
04.09 — Bellevue, WA — Ground Control
04.10 — Olympia, WA — Chez Puget
04.11 — Seattle, WA — Sunset Tavern
04.12 — Seattle, WA — Shenandoah’s
04.13 — Spokane, WA — Empyrean
04.14 — Missoula, MT — ZACC Gallery
04.16 — Bozeman, MT – Leigh Lounge (MSU-Bozeman)
04.17 — Grand Forks, ND — Rhombus Guys Pizza
04.18 — Minneapolis, MN — Kitty Cat Klub
Later this month, we’ll be heading to the Northeast for some recording and a few shows. More info on that to come!
Take good care,
Nic & Heather
Booking shows can be hard—especially when those shows are thousands of miles from home and in cities you’ve never visited. No matter how much you communicate about the details, surprises are inevitable. Such is life…
On Sunday (Oct. 4) we showed up in Spokane, WA, to find a “Show Cancelled” sign on the door of Empyrean Coffee. As a small independent band, we’ve learned that things like this are bound to happen. Even still, it’s always a bit disappointing. There were people inside, so we went in to find out what was going on. The barista informed us that the two owners, who were supposed to work the show, were stuck in the central part of the state because of some intense wind/dust storms that led to road closures.
After realizing we were from Illinois, however, the barista made some phone calls, took down the “Show Cancelled” sign (which we were the first to see), and said the show would go on. Empyrean is set up as a coffee shop with separate rooms for live music. Coffee shop “venues” can be pretty lame, but this was actually a really cool place. Attendance was decent for a Sunday, and despite the rough start, we had a good time.
The following two nights were spent in the hipster meccas of the Pacific Northwest. Monday night (Oct. 5) we walked along the Puget Sound and saw a beautiful sunset (pictured above) before playing in a Seattle DIY spot called The Josephine. It’s basically a hidden venue; it looks like an unmarked storefront with an interior room that’s a cross between a living room and a theater. The sound system had been double booked, so the show was delayed. A few people had to leave before the music even started, but most of the crowd was able to stay late on a Monday, and it ended up being a great show.
The Josephine is another one of those places where people come for the music—not for beer or hooking up or studying or any of the other options. Show-goers sat on couches or the floor and listened attentively. Our music was very well-received, and we enjoyed the locals. Mike Dumovich opened the show with a great folk-inspired trio, and Eyvind Kang closed out the night. Eyvind (who has collaborated with Lou Reed, Laura Gibson, Beck, and many others) did a solo viola performance as accompaniment to the black and white silent film, Man with a Camera. It was amazing!
We drove through the night and arrived at our friend Bill’s house in Portland somewhere around 5 a.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 6). After a few hours of rest, we did some laundry and met up with our friends Ryan and Ashley (transplants from Champaign-Urbana) for happy hour. Then we played that night at Ella Street Social Club (pictured at left)—a small bar with tables and chairs facing an oval stage.
The show was alright: The crowd was completely silent (which is apparently unusual for this particular bar); Nic got to spend some time with a high school friend; and we enjoyed meeting Justin from Midwest Dilemma. After the show, we headed back to Bill’s for another short night.