We Are the Willows tour diary, Vol. 19
Once, I played tunes at my grandparents' old folks home for about 12 of the residents and, of course, my glowing grandparents. Playing in Saint Margarita, California felt very similar, except no one fell asleep and my grandma wasn't there to be "so proud of me." At the Porch Cafe, I played to some older folks who seemed completely bewildered by me and my songs. I now know that 65+ folks may not be my demographic.
I had a good time playing in San Luis Obispo, (my second show there) at Kreuzberg. That joint is super duper cool. I didn't make much dough, but folks seemed to dig the jams.
After playing in SLO I had a couple shows in the LA and Orange County area. I will never complain about traffic in Minneapolis again. Ever. It took me about three hours to travel 35 miles. Once I got to the Gypsy Den in Santa Ana, CA I was refreshed by free food and drinks! Yahoo! I think I ate more there than I had in the previous week. Again, I didn't make much dough, except for my friend Brad buying a bunch of my stuff. Golly, what a guy!
I spent the night at Brad's and the next night I went to watch him surf. He shredded on some nuggie waves bra.
That night I played in Long Beach, California. My friend Darrell brought some folks out, including a dude I went to high school with. I didn't really play for anyone but them, but they seemed to dig it and they bought a bunch of stuff. Thanks guys!
Brad wanted to take me surfing the next day. I was extremely excited to try it. We stretched, Brad gave me three or four pieces of advice and we paddled out. Brad was able to scoot under incoming waves, but I was learning on a huge long board and I couldn't go under the waves. I got pounded for a while, but finally made it out beyond the breaks. My arms were already tired. Brad gave me some helpful advice on how to catch a wave: "Some waves want to party, and some waves don't." That really helped. I spent an hour or so trying to catch some waves. I got pummeled by a couple, which actually was really fun. I didn't catch any waves and eventually got spat back onto the beach where I hung around next to the surf board, trying to look cool. I had a killer time even though I didn't catch a wave. I also have a deeper bro connection with surfers. That shit is difficult.
The next day I said tootles to Bradley and headed to Arizona. I think Arizona is the "You'll Cook Alive" state. It is incredibly hot. I played a three-hour set at a joint called Carly's Bistro and made $35.
The next day was laundry day. I hadn't washed my clothes since the beginning of the tour. The family van was beginning to smell like a middle school boy's gym locker.
I played a show in Tempe, Arizona at a cool joint called Open Source Project. Lots of folks came out, but I was put on last, and usually folks don't stick around for someone they don't know. A bunch of folks left but the folks that were there were super great. I had a great time playing and the other bands were really fun to listen to.
That night I cooked alive in my van. I tried to sleep but my sheets and pillow getting soaked by sweat made it a bit tricky. I ended up giving up on sleeping and went back to the laundromat. I washed my sheets, and watched movies all night. I turned into a Zombie.
It was a little cooler in Tucson. I went for a really long bike ride, did some reading, and tried not to fall asleep. I played at a joint called Sky Bar. It was definitely a bar gig where folks are chattin' it up while ya play, but I got some dough and met some incredibly nice folks.
I am now 8 weeks into an 11-week tour. I feel really tired and a bit disappointed in the amount of work I've put into some of the shows and the return I'm getting. But, every time I start feelin' bummed out, I remember how lucky I am to be able to do this. I can't feel too bummed out when I think about that. More travel stories to come...
Read more of Peter's adventures on our tour diary page.
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