After our must needed rest in Hide River Oregon, we headed to the great city of Portland, Oregon. We were playing another show with our buddies and and and from Portland. I really can't say enough good things about these guys. Great band; awesome guys. I Really hope we can play again with them soon. We played at Bunk Bar. A happening spot, known for good music and good sandwiches. What more do you need?
After Portland it was time to start our descent into California. We made sure to spend plenty of time on the west coast this tour; spending 10 days playing shows in California alone. First on the list was Sacramento. We pulled in late the night before and checked out the neighborhood (which means "go to a bar") and breathed in our fist batch of California air.
We played at Old Ironsides, a fun neighborhood bar that has been around for the better part of a century and will probably be there long after we're gone. On the bill were 2 great bands, one of which were one of the musical highlights of the tour so far. They were called the Bathtub Gins and if I were to guess have probably been playing for 20-30 years. These guys killed it. With a mix of original and classic bluegrass, rock and country covers, I could have watched them all night.
We took the stage last and with about 2 songs left in our 45 minute slot, someone yelled out; "play all night!" To which Keith responded "What time do you close, 2am?, ok we'll do it" It was about 12:30am at the time and we decided to do an impromptu double of our set length. We cranked out a bunch of our stuff mixed in with some of our favorite Beatles, Sam Cooke, and Wilco tunes. I think it was just something in the California air that night; we could have played until the sun came up.
Also on the list of new CA cities to hit were Monterey, Fullerton, and Hermosa Beach. All sunny and all great cities. It was an average of about 80 degrees for our entire west coast span. We played the Slide Bar in Fullerton with another excellent band called The Ross Sea Party; and I'm not just being biased because we share the same name.
San Francisco is one of my personal favorite cities. It's very culturally rich and has strong musical heritage which makes it feel very exciting and welcoming at the same time. We played at a smaller venue which was more conducive to a stripped down set. There was just no way we were going to fit our full band setup in there without knocking down some walls or blowing out some ear drums. So we opted for an acoustic style set with Will on the snare drum. It actually turned out to be a lot of fun. There was a strong crowd connection and anytime we get to stray from our normal routine it usually ends up being a breath of fresh air for us.
Next up was Los Angeles. There are certain cities that just have an energy about them. Las Vegas being one of them and LA falling into a similar category. The city is just enormous and has so much to offer. We stayed with our good buddy Jay and former drummer of one of our favorite Boston outfits The Honors. Jay recently relocated to LA and helped us see as much of the city as possible in our 1 and half day stint there. We took in some art shows, good food, music, nightlife, site seeing; all before even playing our show. We also met up with Brent's old college roommate who is a producer in LA and plays guitar in Angels Fall. We got to LA a night early and he happened to have an extra ticket to the Foo Fighters concert so he brought brent along with him.
Our show was at The Mint, a pretty historic bar with great sound and atmosphere. This show was definitely another highlight of the tour. A beautiful Friday night in LA with good friends and fans; it doesn't' get much better than that. In the crowd was Dave Schiffman who mixed our recent album. It's funny how much the music world has changed. Dave was such an integral part of our album and with modern technology this was the first time we were actually meeting in person. Needless to say we already felt like we were old buddies. We caught up on music, life, and future plans. Good times all around.
Our last show in CA was another favorite city of ours; San Diego. We showed up early so we could hit Pacific Beach and then made our way to the Gas Lamp district where we met up with some more MA transplants who now reside on the left coast. Our show was the following afternoon at a street fair located in the Hillcrest district in front of The Ruby Room; where we've played before. This was a great close to our California invasion. It's always bittersweet visiting because eventuality we have to leave.
Onward and eastward to the state where everything is bigger; TEXAS!
See you soon!