Day 4: We Are Band Name From Location
We had a small caravan headed up to Seattle, so we said our goodbyes to our Portland friends and family and went north, crossing the Columbia river via a bohemoth steel drawbridge, and winding our way through swales strewn with evergreens and switchback streams with Indian names. Our car stopped by the hotel to unload some gear while the other car took first time Seattle goers to Pike Place for some delicious mac and cheese.
We confirmed an in-store rather last minute at Sonic Boom Records’ Ballard location, so we had to track down a bass amp for the show. Luckily our friends in By Sunlight had already arrived home from their leg of the tour the previous night, so we were able to cruise by their house. With Scott from Manuok and Robert from By Sunlight in toe, we made the scene at Sonic Boom.
In contrast to previous in store performances, the Ballard location of Sonic Boom was staffed by kind, gracious people who were genuinely happy to have us. Even the owner, Jason, hung out and ran sound for us! We played on a butterfly stage that transformed back into a wall between sections when we were through. We played a quieter set, opening with a blessed out lounge version of “Son” and followed with alternate versions of a number of our jams.
The afternoon hours we spent at King’s Hardware drinking happy hour beer and eating fancy hamburgers. The group once again split up, with Heather and I taking the van back to the By Sunlight house. Their house was another three story Craftsman affair, with a rehearsal space in the basement and an large open back yard with a work shed. One by one the members of By Sunlight rolled in to meet up with Heather, Robert, Scott, John and I. We drank cold Rainers and sipped Ten High whiskey from a plastic jug. Mike and John rifled through some records and played some classics like ELO and Hiroshima at alternate speeds—the 45s at 33 and the 33s at 45.
We commented on how necessary it is to hang with other people in bands from other cities. It reminds us that while we may be crazy, we are not alone. I spent a drunk’s minute contemplating this pacifying effect. While it shouldn’t matter whether anyone else can relate, somehow it does make me feel better to know that the By Sunlight kids are doing what they do all the way in Seattle and Scott does what he does down in San Diego. Ultimately the pre-party felt like a solidification of a friendship that’s been three years in the making.
The show at Sunset Tavern was the most fun of the tour. Perhaps we played better in Portland, but we definitely connected more with the crowd in Seattle. Manuok and By Sunlight followed with appropriately spirited sets—we were all a bit soused by this point—and the mood was celebratory and festive. We left for our hotel with our hearts and heads drunk on new lasting friendships and the feeling we’ll be back to conquer Seattle in the near future.