We Are the Willows tour diary, Vol. 4
Parima, the Thai restaurant (weird huh?) I played in Burlington, Vermont is something of an enigma. Or a magic trick. It looks tiny, kinda dirty, and relatively insignificant from the outside. But then, when one walks in, one immediately realizes that it is actually a warlock's parlor. Parima is home to huge ceilings, fine woodwork, and stained glass windows.
Here are Mark and Raianne playing in the wizard's chapel.
I am officially a creeper. I smell. I have a beard/haven't shaved in a while. I sleep in a van. And I sleep in that van in a Toys 'R' Us parking lot.
Vermont makes you forget what you thought beautiful country looked like. It is stunning there; Montpelier especially.
This is an unofficial We Are The Willows press release:
I played in Montpelier at a joint called the Langdon Street Cafe. Lots of great folks have played there, including Ms. Anais Mitchell. In fact she was going to be there a week after me. Ben, one of the folks who owns and runs the joint played harmonica and made dog barking sounds on Hadestown. And just think, I slept on a mattress in his kid's room. (not actually that creepy because his kid sleeps in their room, and they also call it a guest room).
I went on a tour of the state house in Montpelier. Pat was a very good guide. She always guided our attention to the tassels on the curtains. They're from Spain.
The next show has been my favorite thus far. The folks who run THE STARVING ARTIST in Keene, New Hampshire are incredible. The starving artist is a non-profit arts collective that hosts workshops, lectures, and art showings and concerts. Everyone who works there works other jobs and often times funds the Starving Artist with their earnings. I was treated very kindly. I felt at ease and almost like I was at home.
After the show we went out for beers. However, Liana has a job (one of her many) cleaning a law firm's offices in town so we all teamed up to get it done quick. Chris even vacuumed their thesaurus!
Thanks so much to Liana, Chris, Dan, Adrian, Ben, Brandon, and Aaron for the killer time!
The next couple of shows were shows that have made me consider how big of an asshole I want to be. In Turner Falls, MA I played this gal's quasi-cd-release show at a bar called, Rendezvous. I suspected that I'd be playing first, being from out of town and being that it's just me; no rock-tacular band to drown out the noise of that super loud guy quoting the movie Varsity Blues at 12:30 a.m. on a Saturday Night. But, to my disappointment I was put last. Now, it was this gal's CD-release show (one of a couple I think), so I think that is usually a license for someone to arrange the night however they'd like to, but usually, it's most appropriate to have either the louder or more local band play last. I decided that I should just be grateful for playing her CD release. So I played last to a few nice folks and could almost hear myself.
The next show was in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I had some time off before the show so I went to the coast and saw the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. The water looked so similar to the water of Lake Superior or Lake Michigan. I couldn't believe I was at the ocean. So I dipped my hand in the water and tasted it. It was the ocean. And some confused and slightly disapproving East Coasters shook their heads at me from down the beach.
My show at the red door was the other instance of...character building. I was set to play second, between a gal who was sorta local and a gal who was a home-town hero. The home town hero, unbeknownst to me had assumed the second act position. I overheard her chatting about it so I attempted to clarify. She said that she wanted to play second and I said that I don't think that makes sense but it's not the end of the world if she plays second and I play last. She said she wanted to play second.
Now, to folks who aren't familiar with concert social norms, my talking about this may seem trivial and childish, and it might be, but, the fact of the matter is that nobody sticks around to listen a dude they've never heard of at midnight on a Monday night, especially when they specifically came to hear the home town hero. And I'd like to think that I didn't drive close to 2,000 miles to play for a bartender. (Steve, the bartender at the red door was a super cool dude though).
So, I played last, and it actually turned out to be just fine. Folks stuck around for the most part. Tristian, the dude who booked the show, was super nice. All the folks I met were real nice. There was even a gal who had heard me on Daytrotter. It was really fun. But that is sort of a miracle. I was definitely expecting to play for nobody.
I think for the future I need to be really clear about what I want. Then I won't find myself complaining about it on the internet.
More travel stories, and hopefully no more toys r us stories to come.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.