We Are the Willows tour diary, Vol. 9
Just Kidding. Sorta.
When I got home from the last trip, it was time to get ready for this one. Kyle, Josh, and Molly (label folks) and myself started workin' real hard to get shit together.
I cleaned out the family van and got it ready for more Wal-Mart slumber parties.
In my cleaning I found a dead lizard. The poor guy/gal must have hopped aboard the family van the last time I was in Florida or something.
Before I left, The Varsity Theater hosted We Are The Willows (the "awesome 9-piece band" version, not the "some sad bastard dude with a guitar" version) for a tour kick-off show. Ooooh man, it was so much fun. Seeing the marquee made me feel like one million dollars.
The first date of this tour was in Winona, MN. I usually play at my buddy Ed's, but the date was booked so I played at the Acoustic Cafe. I saw some friends there and even sang a Spice Girls song with some little kids that were there. I'm not sure how they knew that song...it's way before their time.
The next night I went to Northfield and played at a joint called the Key. It's a community youth center type thing with some real nice youngsters who run the joint. I had a great time playing there. A cool dude from the Twin Cities named Thomas Kivi played too. His jams are really great.
I've played at the Ames Progressive in Ames, IA about five or six times now and I've loved it every time This time was no exception. This show happened to be some high school youngsters' first show ever. They had some sound disasters during their set, but they kept it together quite well. I sorta assumed that since they were high school kids, they'd be "first-show-zillas" (in the same family as bride-zillas), but they were not. I love their matching windbreakers.
I was really lucky to get asked to play an awesome festival in Fairfield, IA for a record label called, Sweat Power Records. The folks in that town are so nice and welcoming. I was even invited to celebrate Dominic's 21st birthday with everyone. Hurray! Long live Franzia!
After my show in Iowa City, IA, at Public Space One, I found myself in a predicament that I didn't expect to be in for at least another week and a half. I didn't have anyone to stay with and felt really uncomfortable asking folks if I could stay with them. So, I decided to sleep in my van. In Iowa. In -10 degree weather. I blasted the heat for a while, bundled up, and buried myself in all my blankets. It was kind of hard to fall asleep because most of my body was really warm, I was even sweating at one point, but my face was so god damn cold. When I woke up one of my eyes was all droopy. Weird.
The following show has definitely been my favorite so far. My buddy Houston set up a show at his friend's house and lots of really friendly folks came out. I think this was one of the first times that I've heard complete strangers, of their own volition, singing the words to my songs. I felt like one million dollars. Again.
We drank some drinks, ate some eats, then went on a winter walk the next day. We went to this little waterfall and for some reason ended up smashing icicles.
I've found that, as a general rule, when joints misspell the name of their establishment on purpose, it's bad news for bands. That's not always the case, (the Kitty Cat Klub rules my brain), but usually. Especially when "S's" are replaced with "Z's." It's hard to explain...it's kinda like they are trying too hard to be super cool, but what they don't realize is that people think that sort of thing is cool when they are eight years old. ("Look Mom! Funky Playz is spelled with a 'Z'!") So I wasn't super excited to play COOL BEANZ coffee house. But I recieved a free Panini and my friend Jordan got some folks there to watch me play. Fun was had.
Champaign, IL was real fun. Darwin and his dudes run shows out of their house and call it Geppetto's Workshop. Those guys will seriously party any night of the week.
I have about one more week of midwestern dates, then I'm heading down south. I'll only need one blanket in the van. And I can wear my hello kitty cowboy boots. Yeeeeehaw!
More travel stories to come...