West Coast travelogue part two: Night of Joy, Lust-Cats of the Gutters and Sara Century come home

There is something really awesome about being able to wake up and look at a day and think, I'm probably going to be in at least two states during the course of the next 24 hours. This is the epitome of what tour feels like, when it's going well, anyway. Our stay in Portland was a continuation of the first week of greatness, as we crashed out in the attic of our friends and Colorado transplants, Mali and Dave. We had a day off to shop, eat and catch up with people we knew in the city before playing an awesome show with Best Supporting Actress (also made up of Colorado transplants) and Guantanamo Baywatch. Seeing Guantanamo Baywatch play is generally an unreal experience, mostly because the band's bass player, Chevelle, is not only a total shredder, but is possibly the most beautiful woman you will ever see in real life. To be in her presense is daunting for me, because I admire her playing and am mesmerized by her every move on stage. It is always an honor to play with them, and the show proved again to be great for all of us.

The next morning, we packed up and headed to a tattoo shop for our appointments with Mannee Friday, an artist we were connected to through a mutual friend. While some of us were getting matching tour memoriam tattoos, others in our group were getting "marijuana in the park" tickets.

Our mothers would be so proud.

From there, we headed to Olympia, Washington, for our show at an all-ages volunteer-run space called Northern. We played another good show with a rad, riotous, local three-piece, Morgan and the Organ Donors, and got to catch up with our friends (and yet more former Coloradoans) Sarah and Joel. Sarah is a photographer, and post-show, we were lucky enough to get in a late night photo shoot at their cozy apartment.

From there we made the quick drive to Tacoma to spend the night with Robin from Lust-Cats' sister, Monica.

We left mid-afternoon the next day so we could get into Seattle in time to do some Nirvana sightseeing. After wandering the wrong block for a few minutes, a woman came out of her house and directed us to the proper spot, knowing that (based on our sketchy appearance in the shmancy neighborhood, I'm sure) we were looking for the Cobain house. Surrounded by a fence and a plethora of security cameras, the house was pretty well hidden, but the adjoining park was open to the public. I don't think any of us anticipated the heaviness of such a visit to the sacred grounds; on top of the grating sadness, I was overcome with a nasty headache and mild nausea.But ultimately, I think we were all energized by the pilgramage, and took the inspiring thoughts with us to the Rendevous Grotto for our show with our sister Seattle band, TacocaT. This venue may have been the coolest one we've played so far; set in the Belltown area, it had a rich history as a live music spot in the 90s, and was supposedly haunted from its speakeasy roots. The vibe was so pleaseant though, we concluded that if it was really inhabited by lost souls, the ghosts were probably serious partiers who had been subject to pretty cool after life in their favorite bar. The show was awesome and getting to play with TacocaT again felt really good. All seven of us then headed back to Bree from TacocaT's giant old communal house, where we had to load our gear inside because the neighborhood was just a little too sketchy to have someone sleep in the van. With sleeping bags laid out like a game of Tetris on the living room floor, we stayed up and talked about astrology and Nirvana lore with Bree until about 3 a.m. At this point some of us passed out, and apparently, missed a second wave of partiers that came through the big old house and kept things going until 8 a.m. The next morning we headed to Moscow, Idaho, for another house show. This connection was made in kind of a backward, cool way: A friend in another band, Colleen Green, knew we were looking for a show around the area, and let someone in Moscow know, so they actually came to us. The gentleman who booked it at the Craft House (a DIY home and show space), Kentaro, also worked at the local co-op and hooked us up with a good discount on a pre-show meal. Road food can be brutal --especially for vegetarians -- and it felt good to eat some hearty vegetables again. This show, much like our first show in Flagstaff, was insane! Dudes were dancing and taking their shirts off-- always a hilarious reaction to witness from a crowd. Since it was technically Cinco de Mayo, the kids who ran the house brought in a piñata to finish off the night. We were bummed that we couldn't stay and party with them, but with an impending twelve-hour drive (and a time change not in our favor) to Utah on the morning horizon, we had only a few hours to sleep. Some very nice people we didn't know at all, Emily and Ian, let us stay in their cozy apartment for what little of the night was left, and we bonded over watching weird cult videos on Youtube.

Saturday's drive was a long and rough one, but we finally made it to Provo around 9 p.m. The party was already going, so we loaded in almost immediately and set up. Night of Joy played a short set, and as Lust-Cats were getting through their songs, the cops showed up. It was just a warning, but the L-Cats cut it short and Sara Century played an abbreviated acoustic set and effectively played the last song of the tour.

With another long morning ahead of us, we tried to catch a little sleep before heading back to Denver. The Lust-Cats had a show at the Hi-Dive opening for Hunx and His Punx on Saturday and load-in was at 7 p.m., so we wanted to get there with plenty of time for them to get everything in order.

Exhausted but happy, I think everyone was a little sad tour was over. It is strange -- at first, things like no sleep, shitty truck stop food and moving gear in and out at least twice a day are taxing. But then, as you get into the grind, there is a feeling of satisfaction that settles in, and it suddenly becomes clear as to why so many bands love to tour. It is real life, yes, but it is that feeling of always moving and playing music all of the time that becomes more pleasing than the daily stationary city grind that we all must pick back up when we come home. On a final note, we ended up coming home with money -- and that makes things feel even better. It is less the idea of making a profit and more of a constant relief that we, as bands, are actually doing okay. The money will go to cleaning the van and some additional rental fees, but as we tour more and continue to play to new faces outside of our city, our hope is that surplus of funds will grow, and we can make our bands the way we create our own incomes. I feel lucky to have had this experience, and I think we're already planning for a late summer adventure.

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