Saturday May 24, 2014
Only 173 miles to Seattle on this day. Not too shabby.
We began our day getting breakfast at a restaurant next to the hotel. Was a weird place, we entered what we thought was the front door but turned out was the back video lottery lounge. And wow. The vibe hit us like a stench. Very unpleasant. Had this been the actual restaurant, we may have moved on despite not having a full meal in who knows how long.
But then we found the main dining room. Thank Crom. Much better. Families and old people. Service was spotty but the food was awesome. I almost couldn't finish my thick-cut bacon...!
Drive to Seattle was uneventful if memory serves. We made an afternoon detour to stop by Adrian's parents' house, was looking forward to meeting them :)
They were of course, super nice! The house was amazing, Asian inspired and built by some architect with awesome style. Imagine if the Brady house was built by someone who was actually cool, and liked arched Japanese roofs, multi-level designs, and stairs incorporating amber glass. Wow!
Her parents were great. Adrian has some of her dad's facial features and her mom's stature and mannerisms. We had lunch with them, first actual home-cooked meal at an actual dining room table in perhaps the entire trip.
As the food coma set in I retired to a downstairs bedroom, and fell asleep to the sound of Adrian and her mom laughing and going through pictures in a nearby room, as her dad continued to work on some garden terraces in their yard.
When I awoke, I was informed that indeed Vincent Van Go is 22 feet long. Her dad and Armando measured it, heh
Was very much looking forward to being back in Seattle. Had been there with The Mother Truckers, as well as when I teched for King's X. Great city. Did my best to spread the word and invite friends, but no dice. But we knew Bryan Cook was going to be there \m/,
The Tractor Tavern was exactly as I remembered it from my visit with the Truckers in 2008. Good to be back!
We pulled into the back parking area/loading dock and settled in. Zepparella was soundchecking, and was playing two sets that night, with us opening for the later show.
Had enough time (and enough energy) to take a walk around the block, tho going from the stage door through the already waiting crowd to the front door I lost Armando in the process so hoofed it solo.
I haven't been nearly as exploratory in my recent travels as I was with those first tours I did with the Truckers. Didn't take walks like I used to, to get a feel for the cities and their unique vibes. Maybe I was tired as the tours became more grueling, or maybe I'm losing my youthful excitement and sense of adventure.
Whatever the cause, the walk was nice and the line to get in to the first Zepparella set was already stretching around the block. Nice!
I wanted to check out the green room, as I recall it was plastered with sharpie renderings of band names and logos but all poop-related. Somewhere on that wall is "The Mother Poopers" hahaha!
The Tractor sound crew and barstaff were all really nice people. The stage manager asked Armando and I what kind of beer we wanted our venue-provided band cooler stocked with. We kind of drew a blank, as we are not picky drinkers. So the guy stocked it with a fine selection of local microbrews and a surplus of Olympia so we didn't feel too hoity-toity, heh!
Adrian's poster for Seattle:
Caught part of the early Zepparella set. Of course those ladies were on fire, and the almost capacity crowd was eating it up. Mainly watched from the side of the stage, as there was a size-able wall of people around the stage that I didn't feel like trying to maneuver through. Crowds are really starting to get to me. As long as they are not moving, or I don't have to move through them I am ok. But when you get a mass of people all wandering around bumping into each other, I can't handle it. Add to that grocery carts or buffet trays and fucking forget it. Weird.
By now we had piled all of our gear onto the loading dock, awaiting Zepparella to end their first set so we could load on and soundcheck.
The crowd had disperesed, somewhat, but a lot of people were remaining in place. And a lot of people said they were sticking around because they wanted to see us. Awesome! This is Adrian's stomping grounds, and she has a slew of loyal fans!
Among the people who came out was Adrian's bandmate and Hell's Belles drummer Laura Derig. Have seen them play a few times but never really met her. But that finally changed. She's cool, and definitely a badass.
The place was filling back up fast as we were about to go on. I did manage to slip into the green room to grab some waters, but Clem was crashed out like Sleeping Rock Beauty on the couch in there, so I was fast and stealthy like a ninja and got the hell out of there without (hopefully) waking her up. So I did not get to investigate the poop poetry on the walls. Well shit (seewhatIdidthere?).
Our set was another blazing barn-burner, and they loved us. Adrian did manage to make it to the bar this time, and as I was about to help keep her cables untangled, she had help from either a fan or Tractor Tavern employee. Awesome! I didn't venture out there tho, and I should have. I did get a pic of her tho, heh!
Tho I was on stage left and mainly looking stage right (I like to watch the guitar player, as well as keep the drummer in the corner of my eye to stay in the pocket with fills) it was good to look back left and see members of Zepparella rocking out :D
Some fans were yelling out requests, so we also played some songs we hadn't been playing much at the previous shows. We typically know how we will begin (free form jam of "Relax, Sleep, Dream" straight into "We Got It All"), and know we'll close with "Rice & Beans." The in-between usually followed a similar flow of songs, but we never wrote a setlist, so it varied a little or a lot night to night. I like that!
Great show! End of set crowd shot by Armando Reyes:
We stowed our gear back onto the loading dock and awaited Zepparella to come back on.
And they again KILLED it, and played mostly different songs from the first set. THAT was awesome. They even brought Adrian up for second guitar on two songs!
Alternate vantage point by Armando
Bad ass. Jesus Fuck, they rock! And they pulled no punches for the long second set, even with the long set they played earlier in the night. Respect.
By the end of the night they were understandably exhausted. But finally got to talk bass shop with Angeline, that was awesome. Complimented her on nailing the JPJ basslines, and even asked "So, on 'Bring It On Home' did you also blow that one change going back into the chorus and pedal the E before re-joining the main chorus riff?" HA! #dork. Asked about her amp, a newer run Fender that I'd never seen before.
She said "Come here, check THIS out..." and I followed her onstage, where she shoved it away from the wall to look at the back. The amp had a row of 6 LEDs on the back, one for each power tube. Green means go, but they change to red when there is a problem... and you know EXACTLY which tube is the culprit. Whoah. I had never seen that before, and was impressed by the genius of it.
Chatted for a bit longer, and I gotta say it feels really good when a badass calls you a fellow badass. Thanks Angeline! But soon was time to load the van and head to the hotel.
And what a weird fucking hotel. Swank, but also a veritable maze. Multiple buildings attached and arranged in a way that made absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Front desk person tried to explain how to get to our room:
"Walk to your left, take a right, find the elevator down the hall. Take that to X floor, get off, turn this way, go that way, take the other elevator to floor X in building YYZ and then turn this way and that way, pat your head and rub your belly at the same time while hopping on one foot and clucking like a chicken while chewing gum, and maybe you will find your room before checkout time in the morning."
Paraphrasing of course. But fucking hell, that is exactly what it sounded like, especially with my brain pickled in alcohol and misfiring from exhaustion.
Didn't we already pass this going three different directions?!?
But we somehow did find it. I don't know how. But we found it. God forbid we had to go back to the front desk for something. Fuck that! Just glad we didn't wind up sleeping in the hall.
And I still needed to do laundry. Shit...