Posted May 6th, 2008 by reversedotty

Maybe I’m spoiled, maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m naive, or maybe I’m just talking in hyperbole, but touring is fucking EASY. So easy, in fact, that maybe it’s not even worth doing. It truly is amazing that, with a little bit of planning and a little bit of being in an awesome rock band, I can basically take what amounts to a sweet-ass vacation with some of my best friends, and at the end of each day all I have to do to earn room, board and a little bit of reimbursement to do something I WANT to do anyway. (And this is without even considering the drink tickets and words of encouragement from the other bands and people at the show).

I mean, yeah, driving sucks. It sucks a lot less if you’re surrounded by hilarious people that you love and you stop along the way to do fun shit like hike at Deception Pass or go thrifting at a small-town Value Village that hasn’t been raped and pillaged by hipsters like some used-clothing Antioch. But I digress. I’ve read Our Band Could Be Your Life. I know touring can be hard, and maybe we just lucked out playing cushy venues and not doing a desolate pan-Californian drive to play a show for two people in a barn. True, the crowd and bands at WhAAM were all really nice and awesome, and true, the crew at the Dept. of Safety fed us delicious stuffed mushrooms and pasta (AMAZING!!), but even though we definitely spent more money than we made, and even if it were only as fun the next time, I’ll still be chomping at the bit to hit the road and ply my wares to the wild savages in far flung locales we call “people we haven’t met yet in towns we’ve never been to.”

When I got in the van on the first day of our little tour, the first thing I said was “it’s been a while since I’ve gotten really drunk”. I fixed that promptly after arriving in Seattle. The show went great and luckily I was still feeling fine when we played, however, by the end of the night I was leaning over Tucker to vomit out of the van.

After spending the majority of the afternoon in Seattle we made our way up to Bellingham where we played at an all ages club with the cutest staff in the entire world. Three young girls wore little clip on badges that stated in bold letters “security”. One of the girls looked like Dakota Fanning, all 50lbs of her. I so badly wanted a picture of her physically kicking me out of the club. I said on stage that I’d give her a free t-shirt if she would do it, but I never got kicked out and felt a little creepy pressing the issue too much. The same night, we got invited to a party at an old, shut down hospital. In my mind I pictured a big, old creepy hospital and we’d go down to the morgue and take pictures of each other in the body drawers. However, it looked more like a big punk house with one shitty coating of red paint on the walls. The morgue was essentially the basement and I got the impression that everyone there was thinking “who the fuck are you?” My suspicions were confirmed when a really wasted girl walked into the room, swaying from side to side. We were all tired and pretty mellow at that point, sitting in a line on the couch. She walked up to each one of us individually and shoved her finger in our face, yelling “who the fuck are you?” and we’d tell her and she’d shake our hand and say “I don’t fucking care. I fucking live here” and then she’d move onto the next person. It was mildly entertaining but mostly just annoying.

The third night was also just incredibly fun and I think we all felt a little more at home on stage. Department of Safety is really great. The people who ran it were funny and gracious, the bands were talented and fun and we actually sold some merchandise! I think one of my favorite moments was when we began playing a song and a couple of young girls in the audience giggled and jumped up and down saying “oh they’re going to play that one.” I almost wanted to stop and be like “hey wait a minute, you mean you know one of our songs?” It was just a great time altogether! We were all sad it had to end so quickly.

I was just watching this YouTube video of Mike Tyson’s craziest moments, having not previously realized the full extent of his unsoundness. There was this bit where Mike had engaged in a fierce verbal duel with a man, and as people around him prepared for the potentiality of restraining an animal, he yelled “I’LL FUCK YOU TIL YOU LOVE ME FAGGOT”. Jesus! Mike Tyson is intense. You might even say that one phrase blasted from the mouth of a real live madman is more intense than a measly three night tour of Washington state from a Portland band who has never stayed more than one night away from home before but you’d be wrong.

Even though the whole thing only added up to about the distance from Portland to San Francisco, I found out that I just want to tour around with my friends and play shows all the time, forever. We’ll need a van first though. For this trip we rented a totally sweet one from Budget rent-a-car. The newer Ford Econolines have a really big and intimidating chrome grill which made us seem pretty legit wherever we rolled. It cost us 400 buxxx for three days and that seems like a lot until you consider the first time the $500 band van needs a $500 repair in the middle of anywhere. So that’s what we’re telling ourselves anyway. We usually rent a cheap trailer from U-haul for shows closer to home and sometimes we even spring for the damage waiver.

The Comet is always fun and we played with good bands there again. Playing with good bands really makes the difference between a good show and a bad one. Wow that’s like the smartest thing I’ve ever said. Buck’s kick-ass uncle Doug graciously allowed us to stay at his house after the show where we managed to fit six people in a two-person hot tub. I didn’t meet Uncle Doug who was busy at Wintergrass. Wintergrass is a really awesome bluegrass festival that goes all night long in a hotel, thus he never even came home. You kids think you know how to party but you never even heard of Wintergrass. Max weighs 8,000,000,000,000,000 tons. Get real!

Anacortes was fucking awesome. I can’t say enough about the Department of Safety and what a great thing they are doing. We were already impressed with the place BEFORE they made us dinner and offered us a place to sleep. Both of the bands we played with there were very good. One of them was called The Cherubs, and although I hadn’t thought much of them based on a single pass of their MySpace tracks, I really liked their set. They played grunge music, but I should clarify that while I do mean the notorious Northwest rock punk music of the late ’80s/early ’90s, and I specifically do NOT mean the butt-rock tainted kind like Soundgarden or Alice In Chains. I didn’t talk with any of them, but Buck said they were really nice kids. Once we were back in the van he mentioned that they had wished us well on the rest of our tour, which really made us all sad that there wasn’t actually any more tour ahead of us. Then we came home, which is pretty lame.

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