We Are the Willows tour diary, Vol. 18

​Have you ever had moments where you weren't sure if you were awake or asleep?  I kinda feel like that all the time these days.  Van sleep isn't the best.  Don't get me wrong, its cozy, but you can't sleep super deeply when Harley Davidsons cruise right by your window or the Walmart street sweeper drives circles around your van.


Guess what you do when you email 30 bands in a city and none of them can play a show with ya?  You play it anyways!  Hurray!

​I fully expected to play to 0 people.  I ended up playing for 3 dudes and one of them bought both my albums.  It was actually awesome.  

I was extremely pumped about playing in Portland for a number of reasons.  1: My gal pal was flying into Portland to spend a week with me on the road.  2: My best friend from high school lives there and we were going to be hanging out a ton.  3: I had reason to believe the shows I booked would be decent.  

The first show was at a joint called Alberta Street Pub.  Think the 331 club with church pews and a marquee out front.

​The show was really fun and I was extremely happy to play with local dude, A.W. Feldt.  Mr. Messersmith was playing that same night in Portland and I really wanted to see him play.  That would have felt like home.

The next day I picked Karen up from the airport and we hung out in the woods.  I don't think that's a euphemism for anything.  Then we went to Mississippi Studios and I played a show on the patio.  It was a blast.

​Next I played a house show at my friend Jame's house in Newberg, OR.  He and his roommates did so much to make it a special night.  And the chickens came out!

​I wasn't able to fill a couple dates in California, so Karen and I took the time to do some camping near Crescent City, CA. This was our spot, which was not really a state camping grounds spot, but we figured we'd be okay.  We were.

​Karen carried most of the stuff.  Because she's tough as nails.

​After a couple days of ocean camping and hot dog eating, Karen and I boot scooted and boogied down to the ghost town that is downtown Sacramento, CA.  

​The venue hadn't opened when we got there so I picked an orange from a tree in the park.  


​The show was really fun.  Dean from a band called Be Brave Bold Robot was extremely helpful in getting the show set up.  

Karen's friends in San Francisco let us stay at their apartment while they were out of town.  Man, even though it was someone else's home, I felt so comfortable.  Staying in and watching a movie felt like vacation to me.  We did bike/walk our bikes around the city though.

​Karen flew out of Oakland and I made my way to the Amnesia Bar.  I felt like the world weighed more.  

My show in San Francisco was great.  The promoter, Jessie, did so much work to make it a successful night and it was just that.  I felt so happy to be able to play the show.  The world is particularly small in SF too.  I'm friends with Jessie's cousin and a dude in a band called, Bells used to be in one of my favorite bands, The Winston Jazz Routine.  Jawesome.

​In Santa Cruz I played at a cafe called Abbey Lounge.  Someone put $10 in my tip mug.  

​I played on the streets the next day and made $40 and sold five CDs.  What the what?  The day after that I made $40 and sold more CDs and these high school cheerleaders made up a bunch of cheers for me.  WHAT THE WHAT?!?!  

​I played at a record store in town and I quickly realized I should have just kept playing on the street.  Doesn't this store have cheerleaders?

​I had to scoot right after that show to another show in Fresno.  It's funny...most days, I have plenty of time to get to a venue and I don't get lost.  But, the one time where I was short on time, I got lost twice.  Dang!  Fresno was fun though.  I got more drunk than I anticipated.  I guess that's what happens when all you eat in a day is a granola bar and some graham crackers.  And, the world is small in Fresno too.  I ended up playing with Fort Collins, CO band Fierce Bad Rabbit, who I played with in Omaha, NE.  Wowza!

​I drove to San Luis Obispo the next day, very tired and hung over.  I played a show at a very nice cafe called Linnaea's.  This was my audience.

​Some folks did buy CDs though.  Yahoo!

I think I'm going to need a very long nap when I get home. 

More travel stories to come...

Read more of Peter's travel stories on our tour diary page.

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