Small venue, small turnout and lots of fun. Ironically enough we talked at great length on the drive down about how people ask us “why do we waste our time on these small shows” or “why do we play in towns that won’t really help get you signed”. This show was a perfect example of why we do it. You get to play for people that want to see a show and have fun, and we get to bring along two friend’s bands to see play. Hanging out, seeing bands, playing music, what’s not to love about that? I love playing big shows with big bands, but to do this for as long as we have you gotta enjoy playing to 25 people in a basement too. This was one of those shows. Go Get The Scissors came down from Olympia for the show and did really well. I wish a few more people were there to see them but they sounded great. Eat Your Heart Out was second was up second and was a night and day difference from the last time I saw them. Of course last time was their very first show ever so there’s only way to go from there. They seemed so much more at ease up there and really have found their own sound. Our set was fun. Some people knew the words and that’s a plus. It’s worth mentioning that Dustin’s grandma came to the show which makes here the coolest grandma ever. Thanks to Zelan and everyone else who helps make shows at Outpost happen.
Well, not nearly the same crowd as our last trip to Salem, but the show was every bit as fun. The Hornswogglers were up first and sadly I missed them as Justin and I made a run for food. It took forever to find something which is ironic seeing that it was “The Bite of Salem” that night. What’s with that term anyway? Why does every town have “A Taste” or “A Bite”? How about calling it what it really is … “the night people use as a catalyst for drunken fights on the city streets of Salem”. Anyway, we did get back in time to see BXF who sounded pretty damn tough. The slower song (‘voice’?) sounded particularly impressive in the cozy confines of the basement. It’s always cool seeing someone who can really belt out a song up so close. We were up third and chose to play a set of songs we never play live. Why? No idea, just seemed like a good idea. Some selections included Destination Space, Holiday, Everybody, Beachhead and even Get In The Van. There were 10 oldies in there and it’s safe to say it had been years since we performed most of them. In fact I don’t think Justin has ever even played Holiday live and I know Dustin has touched a few of them outside the practice space. We had a good time playing them (mistakes and all) but it was easy to tell why they aren’t the crowd pleasers as people’s energy level drained quickly after a few songs. Still with only 30 people in attendance (most of whom we knew) it was all good. Kill The Kids were last and sounded great despite the lack of their singer. I meant to ask what happened but forgot. Oh well. Giving the crowd a microphone is always a scary move, but everyone there knew all the words so they wound up having about a dozen singers. With the exception of the song where Justin accompanied them on cowbell it was a cool show. Thanks to Andy, The Sip, KTK, BXF, the Hornswogglers and Salem P.D. for the advice on what the ticketing laws are for public sidewalks. Happy birthday Derek and thanks for the invite to play!
The show tonight was a benefit for a kid named River who was killed in a drunk driving accident. The family and friends setup a benefit in his honor to raise some money and awareness. We were told he had actually seen our band a few times and Dave actually recalled meeting him in Longview so it was flattering to be invited to play. From a feel good point of view event it was a pretty cool night. Nice vibe, nice stage, and lots of effort put into promoting and running the show. From a band waiting to play it was admittedly pretty frustrating. I don’t want to tarnish the memory or upset anyone but we arrived and setup at 5:00 PM. There were 4 bands before us and the first band (one guy playing acoustic) started around 6:00. Everyone’s gear was backlined (ie- already set up and plugged in) so if you do the math we should have been on by 9:30 or 10:00 at the absolute latest. We didn’t even get to play a note until 11:00. For the millionth time if there are 5 bands you have to keep that shit moving. You do not need to play 45+ minutes when there are 5 bands after you. Ever. How long do bands play at the Warped Tour play? 30 minutes. Ozzfest? 30 minutes. The times we’ve gotten to play large shows in big venues it’s often 25 minutes or even 20 minutes. I guess it’s one of those things you can’t truly appreciate unless you’d watched helplessly as people file out the door because a show is running late. Given the circumstances surrounding the show we just kept our mouths shut and tried to make the most of it. On a positive note (finally) it was a blast playing again and it was cool to see how much River’s dad and family appreciated it. Dustin did well despite performing double duty with his cover band called DTP. Thanks to the people that did stay late, everyone who helped setup and run the show and the other bands for dedicating their time as well.
It’s been way too long since we’ve played Bend. Well over a year in fact. Despite there being way too many bands (8 of them … on a Sunday!) the show went off without a hitch. We ducked out for some pizza and calzones soon after arriving and engaged in a bitter game of Scrabble for the better part of an hour. We’re so rock and roll. Got back in time to catch a song from The Roe and most of Wache The Dead who were far more metal than you. Eventually we got to play and it was pretty damn fun. Shows in Bend are so much more energetic than the ones in Portland because people aren’t afraid to move. We mostly stuck to the old stuff and it was cool to see unfamiliar faces knowing the words to songs. Kill The Kids were up next and had a pretty sloppy and rocking set. LAHF was last and although we had to bail in order to get home on time I’m sure they rocked as they are a great band to see in person. All in all a fun night. Thanks to Marty and his house’s crew, all the bands and our Bend friends whom we haven’t seen in a long time!
Not nearly the same turnout or energy as our last trip to Lebanon, but that’s probably because hometown rockers Ugly Litter weren’t on the bill. The show got off to a really late start. The first band (who’s name is totally escaping me) had to help get the PA dialed in so the whole evening started about an hour late. After a very long and slow set change they turned it over to Moothart who I was looking forward to seeing play live. Their songs online were totally interesting. Screamo, techno and face melting all carried out by two people. They were pretty damn entertaining, partly for the music and partly for the spectacle. Nicely done. Stopwatch Trauma was up third and pretty much rocked it. They sounded super thick and professional and probably should have been the headliner of the evening. They sounded great so I hope good things come of them. We had to play last and watched helplessly as people filed out slowly during our set. Justin couldn’t keep a guitar in tune to save his life so it was a real stop-start evening at best. Regardless, a few people dug and that’s all that counts. Thanks to Charles and Club Hipnotiq, Jeff Litter and the other bands! No thanks to Dustin’s work for giving us such a close call.
Interesting show tonight. Everything looked promising enough when we arrived as we spotted Breathe Fire outside with a crowd of people around them after wrapping up their set. When the first band has an excited crowd you know it’s going to be a good night. The Mediks were up second and sounded great but as well as they played everyone just kept leaving until there were about 20 people left inside. Weird. The Sun was up third. They are not a punk band. Not even close. They have an album on a major label (Warner Brothers), are on a national tour, have a light show, a fog machine and matching white outfits. They actually had a pretty decent sound to them and under different circumstances I might have actually enjoyed them. Tonight all I saw was a band that started setting up at 8:40 and got off the stage at 9:40 when there were two more bands to play that had to be wrapped up by 10:00. Their set was short but the set up and break down time was ridiculous. Leaving the stage before their set to play 5 minutes of warm up music on the PA and change clothes was not the best idea considering their slot in the lineup and time constraints. Big show headlining a major venue? Sure. Playing 3rd of 5 at the Melrose Grange in Roseburg, OR? Not a good idea. Technically they were good and everybody loved them but all I could see was a band who took way too fucking long and took themselves way too seriously. They signed autographs all night long and outsold every other band 3 to 1 so maybe there is something to be said for the rock star approach? Perhaps we should take notes. Like I said, any other night I would have been pleasantly surprised. The Vacation was up 4th and played 70’s style full on ‘rock out with your cock out’ rock and roll. I was surprised when I discovered they weren’t actually touring in a fleet of Trans-Am’s. They sounded pretty solid and people were definitely into them. We played last and it felt like amateur hour. Why were we playing after two singed bands on a national tour? God only knows. I guess the set was ok. Chelsey rocked the mic, Dave insulted the crowd but no matter how hard we tried we couldn’t look comfortable playing in front of the greenhouse wall painting. The drive home was quick as we played “would you rather” for the last two hours of the trip. I’ll have you know Dave is very good at that game and actually got a few “neither” responses out of us. Thanks to Carlson for putting on the show and having us down there. Despite my prior whining we really do appreciate it. Next time can we play before the bands on Warner Brothers? Seriously though, thanks to everyone else who stayed late to watch up play!
God damn I love Richland. The drive up was nutty. There was tons of rain, then lots of rainbows and a wind advisory in the already windy Gorge area. So windy that we actually saw a semi that had flipped over the median and was on it’s side on both sides of the highway. Hope it wasn’t Dan. When we crossed the bridge into WA there was a creepy and ominous fog everywhere that looked really cool. We forgot to bring CD’s and at one point resorted to discussing Juggalos for the better part for ten minutes. Just a strange drive all around, but we were on time and that’s a first. Daggermouth ended up cancelling so in a strange twist of fate we learned BXF (who we played with last night) was in Richland playing a bar show, so we got them to open our show as well. People didn’t really know what to think of them, but they had a crowd and that’s a plus. As they finished we walked over to Hastings where I located a replica of the Bluesmobile that I immediately purchased. I told everyone that would listen about it, but no one else seemed impressed. Broadway Calls was awesome. After a month of touring they are rock solid. Such a great band with such a great sound. Countdown To Life still holds a special place in my heart, but I do like seeing Broadway Calls just as much. We played last and in typical Tri-Cities fashion the show was insane. Fists, shoving, jumping, stage diving, and a new achievement … girls making out on stage. The bar gets higher with every show at Ray’s. Eventually Dave drove the ladies away by insulting them but that’s just how he rolls. We did some more 800 Octane karaoke since Dave’s voice was toast and man some people can sing. Yotes and Andy M in particular rocked the mic hard on several occasions. On guy brought a “new” lawn gnome to the show for us to approve of. Too funny. Thank a million to those who stayed late and for Dustin and crew for all the help.
Super fun show but terribly sloppy. We missed 48 Thrills which sucked since we got them on the show. They said it was ok and claimed to have enjoyed themselves, so we’re thankful for that. The Burning Room sounded pretty thick and it was amusing watching the singer sing from “the bridge”. Of course they loaded out and were long gone before the next band even finished setting up. If you don’t care for any of the other bands why even take the show? Pinkzilla was third and I gotta say I was impressed. Real scrappy, heavy and raw. Kind of like ‘Bleach’ era Nirvana but with a blast of Motorhead. Tuning to drop C always adds an edge. Very cool. Extra impressive seeing that if I heard correctly they are still in high school. BXF was third and despite the 45 minute setup time it was nice to see them again. They seem to have finally found their sound and people really dug them and were shouting along. We were up last and although musically it wasn’t real tight most everyone there seemed to be having fun. Lots of sing alongs to help ease Dave’s shot voice. Special props to the 48 Thrills vocal cameo on Paging Mr. Bronson. No thanks to the 48 Thrills junk sighting at the gas station after the show. Dave was in rare comedic form this evening picking on just about everyone and everything. Speaking of comedy, everyone be thankful you are not Taylor and Michelle. They drove out from Portland, discovered they had a slow leak in their tire, blew the alternator and then broke down on the 405 at 1:00 AM only to be picked up by a creepy tow truck driver. It’s ironic that our van that was totally incapable of motion on Thursday fared better than their car. Thanks to the bands and Mikey from NW Punks!
Fantastic show tonight. We were ok but the other bands were the reason this show was great. I missed Shook Ones but everyone said they totally killed it. I have the album in my possession and am anxious to hear it due to all of the good responses from everyone. The Loved Ones was the band I was most excited about and they sounded great. They were every bit as impressive as their CD live. I wish they were a little bit taller (and wish they were ballers) so I could see them play so they have earned the title of “best band I have heard but not seen” in a long time. Paint It Black was the main draw and they too were every bit as incredible as their albums and even surpassed them in intensity which is a feat in itself. “Memorial Day” is now officially the best live song ever (although ‘True Believers’ by Bouncing Souls would be a damn close second). It’s not often you get to play with two of your favorite bands so I’m humbled, thrilled and feeling good about this evening as a whole. Thank you Chris.
Tonight marked two Seattle shows in a year which is definitely a record for us. Our old once every two years strategy had a few flaws. The drive up was pretty hairy. There was lots of wind and raid. We saw a flipped car, a car backwards in the median and later a cop car wrapped around a tree. Craziest moment was right outside of Seattle at Boeing Field when a SUV driving in the left lane for seemingly no reason drove a wheel up onto the dividing wall, crashed down, spun half way around and drifted to the middle lane. Thank god for right hand driving or we would be an oil slick on the pavement right now. I think that was closest I’ve ever come to being in a highway speed accident. On the home we also saw a car that had driven down an on ramp the wrong way into traffic and got worked. The other strange thing about the drive? There were lots of rainbows. Seriously, it’s sounds odd but I’ve never seen so many in my life. We arrived with incident (or a pot of gold) loaded in and watching the show. Good to see Plankton Beat again and CLR sounded pretty good as well. Normally I’d offer my usual “I wish I had started that young speech” but you’ve heard it before. I was looking forward to seeing the Dead Vampires and truly were impossible to describe. All sported bunny costumes on top of their ‘regular’ costumes which consisted of a skeleton, a vampire, a devil and someone who apparently normally dresses as an evil rabbit. The music was sort of like The Cramps but sort of not. It was nice to see something new for a change. The only weird thing was when the bass player arrived after 30 minutes with only two songs to go. If you are that dude wouldn’t you just cut your losses and stay home? My god, if one of us did that they would never hear the end of it. Anyway, we were up 4th and did alright. The crowd response seemed to make a gentle downward slope the whole night though but we played on. I think I saw Justin jump again which must have felt nice after being immobilized for so many weeks. The Independents were last and did great as usual. It was cool getting to play three shows in a row with one of the nicest bands we’ve ever met and we wish them the best of luck on their tour (3 months total!). After the show we headed up for Dick’s where I came dangerously close to having a breakdown after being forced to make 5 u-turns in Seattle’s city center trying to find the hamburger mecca. Dustin also showed us his “no hands” urination style. Thanks to Greg and Local Chaos for setting up the show, Zac and Monica, Kelvis, Chris, MC Michalor for making the long and treacherous trip and of course The Independents for reminding us why we enjoy doing this.