Tour diary: Day 1, Eugene

On The RoadThe first day of the tour was long and satisfying.  We woke up at 5:30am in El Cerrito, loaded the van, and drove for 9 hours up the 5, enjoying amazing views of the California and Oregon terrain as we drove.  Of particular note was Mt. Shasta, which, aside from being gorgeous and awe-inspiring, is also home to a little town of the same name which has a great little coffee shop that sells fireman-approved breakfast burritos.  It is called the Seven Suns Coffee & Cafe.  Yum.

We made it into Springfield, OR at about 3:30 where our good pal Ted was kind enough to put us up for the night.  The Springfield / Eugene area is just breathtaking this time of year – lots of eye-popping colors and serene mountains and rivers.  But we came to rock, so the lollygagging had to be kept to a minimum.  By 7pm we were at our final destination: The Epic Space, an all-ages garage venue abutting a tattoo parlor of the same name. The proprietor, Abe, is a real believer in the importance of music, so if you live in Eugene, go check this place out.

After sound check, we stopped for a bite to eat at a soul food place called Papa’s Soul Food Kitchen BBQ. I know I’m being effusive with praise about everything, but Papa’s was a true standout. As good as any of the brick-oven joints along San Pablo in Berkeley, for sure.

Oh, right, we played a gig. It went very well! We were first, and busted out our lights and fog machine to wow the kids of Eugene. Buttons and stickers were distributed and memories were permanently etched into the brains of audience members. Next up was Adventure Galley who are from Bend and rock the house with a Killers-esque synth-pop vibe. Really nice guys, as well. Finishing up the night was On The Tundra who were anthemic as always. The lead guitar player, Mark Leahey, is a master of tone. He is also a real swell guy, ‘cos he got us this gig!

After all was said and done, we headed back to Ted’s house for some well-deserved R&R. How did we get there? I almost forgot to mention her: Naima, our trusty Ford Econoline 350. She’s a smooth ride and well-equipped with an iPod hookup and a fold-down flatscreen for DVD viewage. Trivia bit: our first van was named Beth, but she ended up being a non-starter.

Talk to you soon from Portland!


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