Well, well, what can I say about Portland, Oregon?
Not really sure where to start. The whole operation from the get go went pretty smoothly. Slept in. Showered. Snacked. Had coffee. We were in no rush to be anywhere and we were up and running by 9AM.
Robert and his bandmate Mike were really cool and hospitable. We kicked it around their couch and our suitcases, joking about Mike (not ours) replacing me for the rest of the tour and me going to work at Guitar Center and staying in Seattle. Pretty good times, but I am very glad that didn't happen, because Portland was some of the most fun I've had in awhile.
Mike and I probably began drinking around 3PM (Greer joined in after the show at a really chill bar, Water Trough, i think, that had a bathroom door full of peeping tom holes and a slew of arcade games) and i know all of us combined racked up a pretty impressive tally of drinks, though for most of the night i hardly felt drunk (which, of course, just encouraged me to keep drinking ).
The show sounded phenomenal, in my opinion and the crowd was really responsive and in general just great. Mike started off the session early with a really beautiful sounding solo song ("Playing for Fun"), a request for Mikel and Darren, while Greer shouting the lyrics from behind the stage.
With the help of some badasses at the Wonder Ballroom ("Wonderland", some call it in Portland guess) every band sounded "frackin'" awesome. Thanks Shira, for reminding me frack even existed. hahah.
Henry clay People followed us, and blew up the stage with bright rock n' roll personalities and badass music like usual, and i danced down the halls listening to them on my way to dressing rooms... but don't ask about the dressing room... except that they were nice and full of beer. That's all you get on that one. Besides Mike forgot about it, anyway.
Joey (of Henry Clay People) handled the audience really well, if your wondering, and stalled a little for The Airborne Toxic Event who was running a tad bit behind schedule by playing a request from the audience.
Despite the intensity and energy that the crowd and bands gave off in the front room, backstage was a little different. Mikel was met with a some vocal trouble and he received a shot of cortisone to help his vocal cords.
But T.A.T.E. bought the ticket and took the ride (lol) and sounded awesome despite the earlier trouble. :-) I danced around while the Airborne Toxic Event played their set and at the end of the set, a couple of us from the the tour and some awesome Portland peeps jumped onstage for "Missy". We shook tambourines and grooved with the band.
The night didn't let up until well after we had played several games of pool, drank beer, wine, ate nachos, hotdogs, and made human pyramids. We got a nice warm place to sleep in and I passed out to the sound of tickle fights and melted tension and felt pretty good, despite everything to the contrary.
As i write this we happen to be on the road to Vancouver, everyone in good spirits, ready to commence with the music and the playing and the bonding and the drinking and the fighting and the cussing and whatever else long car rides and cramped vans do to people like us who just like to go places and play music.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Posted by Malcolm Sosa at 7:10 PM