Touring with St. Terrible

The basement of the Matador in Vancouver, BC. Also, the last night of tour.

What I learned while touring with St. Terrible:

1.       Junior mints left in a hot car become one inedible block of junior mint.
2.       The tin foil and wrapping paper of Reeses peanut butter cups are nearly impossible to remove once said Reeses are melted in said hot car.

Besides the inedible candy, I couldn’t have asked for a better first tour. Here are some tour moments and highlights:

On Thursday night after our show at the Olympic, a guy pointed to our group while walking down main street and said, 'hey you! Singer! Come here!' So I went up to him and he said, 'I don't even have words. Every song of yours has a story and has all of you in it. Beautiful.' Then he kissed my hand and wished me good luck in Portland.

In Portland, we played at Heretic House. It was the first house show I had played since May and it felt good to be in a house show environment again. The people who were there were receptive and made my night. While performing, I felt truly connected to the entire room in a way I hadn’t felt in a long time.

When not performing in Portland, I got to go to Doug Fir Lounge for $5 burger week, drink locally roasted coffee in a Portland coffee house, and go shopping for vinyl. And for the first time in my vinyl-collecting life, I finally walked away from a record store with a Billie Holiday record and a $2 vibraphone album in the jazz bargain section.

Seattle was a mixed bag of emotions for me. On one hand, the drive to Seattle was filled with traffic and by the time I got to Substation, I was pretty out of it. The venue seemed to be in a residential/industrial part of town and the people who were working that night were the majority of the audience. However, on the plus side, Andrew, a security guy who was working Substation that night, was so enthusiastic about my set and gave me the nicest compliments. Between his kind words and the super nice guys in Barring the Weather, my day was turned around and I left Substation feeling way more energized and validated as an artist than when I walked in.

3.       It’s hard to find cheap food in Seattle late at night.

After Substation, we drove around looking for food. After an hour of hungrily driving and walking the streets of Seattle, we found a $6 pepperoni pizza and Rainier deal and ended up watching the Olympics and listening to Mac Demarco in the pizza place.

4.       Humans are incredibly nice.

On this tour, I was blown away by how nice people are. From those who offered us shelter when we had nowhere else to stay in Portland and Seattle, to a professor named Rosanna who let us stay with her in Port Townsend for a few days in between our tour dates, I was blown away and so grateful for how kind and giving people are. While staying with Rosanna, I woke up to strong coffee and even found a coffee cup at her house with Basque symbols on it and felt like I was at home again.

5.       Sometimes, a gig isn’t about your own performance. Sometimes, it’s about the other performers who inspire and move you at that gig.

Before my set at the Matador, I had never played to so many people at once. On top of that, I had never felt an audience so receptive and attentive in my life. During my set, I had this weird out-of-body experience where I felt the complete opposite of present with my songs. Everyone clapped and cheered so loudly after every song. I couldn’t believe that this was my real life and that I was really there.

After performing, I came back to earth and got to really be present with all of the brand new people I was meeting. I had another moment where I thought, “I wish I could live in Vancouver because these people are so cool and I want to hang out with them more than just one evening!”

But honestly, it was watching Wallgrin’s, Sky Brown’s, and St. Terrible’s performances that night that made me feel the most inspired. Wallgrin’s reminded me so much of Chairlift and inspired me to go home and finally learn how to use my damn looping pedal that I’ve had for months but haven’t used yet.

And Sky Brown’s cover of Father John Misty’s, “I went to the Store One Day” moved me way more than Father John Misty singing it himself. Even though I had heard the song before, I had a moment during his cover of the song where the meaning of the lyrics truly hit me and tears came to my eyes. It was one of the most emotionally-present experiences I’ve had at a live show.

6.       St. Terrible is a bad-ass

Not only does he have a very entertaining song called Pussy and Crack that gets stuck in my head while I’m working as a Barista now, but by the end of his emotional outpouring of improvised-and-off-the-cuff songs at the Matador, he was laying on the ground.

I’ve never seen a person so energetically-and-emotionally invested during a set. Everyone in the room was moved. Afterwards, I gave him a hug, and more people came and gave him more hugs! After a set like that, no one was more deserving of all of that post-performance-love than St. Terrible.

I couldn’t have asked for a better person to tour with.

Or a better first tour.

Thanks Zach!


Watch St. Terrible's full performance of Pussy and Crack at the Matador: