Monday, 10 September 2012

South of the Border

A few days of work sometimes validates a holiday, sensing this three friends and I decided it would be good to have a bit of a change of scenery. From the moment the idea sprouted everything basically fell into place, super cheap bus tickets, awesome gigs along the way and one night after another of brilliant shenanigans.

   Friday, 7th September, 2012, 3:00pm.
    Climbed in a friends jeep and began the drive down to vancouver, headed to another friends house. Upon arriving in Vancouver we dropped our possessions off at the floor we would be inhabiting for the evening and headed to the cambia street pub for a few drinks before heading to our first gig for the weekend, Girl Talk. A few pitchers later and mitch left us to hangout with big papa pierce; enjoying the eclectic scene that the cambia offers Dan and I stroke up conversation with perfect strangers for a while before heading to the show. From there the night went crazy, Dancing, Music, venues, lights, people, lost items, glow sticks, food off the ground...who knows. The sun was rising as we slumped onto the timber floor that would be the resting place for the four of us. A few hours of sleep consumed us before we had to make a move. Gingerly and gently, trying to recount the nights proceedings, we slept in a park and made our way to the bus that would carry us the four hours south and over the border to Seattle.

    Sleep was looked for but not found on the bus, and a few hours later we'd arrived in the colourful international district of seattle. Our hostel was a welcome sight for our weary eyes and we spent a couple hours staying lateral before we branched off for our night of music and moshing. Mitch went separate ways to a hardcore concert he'd been holding his breath for and Riley, Dan and I headed a long way out of the city for what we expected to be Jose Gonzales. Upon arrival we immediately felt out of place, a quaint, candle lit restaurant, white table cloths and an upper class cliental. Leather shoes, Original penguin and expensive perfumes affirmed our assumptions, Jose Gonzales was not the Jose gonzales we were expecting, a hasty exit was all that followed and a long walk back to the hostel where we crashed, sore and defeated, welcoming the closure of our weighted lids on hollow eyes.

 Sleep was exactly what the doctor ordered and we awoke the next day at a reasonably late hour to rather sprightly demeanours. Slowly moving into my day after some exercises and Yoga we decided to walk and see what the day would bring. Out of the door of the hostel and we'd already decided. Tattoos, a great idea, find a parlour and ink ourselves something fierce, over 4 hours later, 2 parlours, 3 artists, and good judgement prevailed walking us away with zero regrettable decisions and ink less skin.

Seattle being known for many tourist attractions it's very easy to get sucked into paying money in order to enjoy your time. This clashed with out view a little so we decided to embrace the journey in the hope we'd stumble upon Kurt Cobain's old place. Another 2 hours and we were sitting on the bench next to his house; taking in the silence and stillness of the place. Paying our respects to him, we headed downtown for a stroll through pike place markets.

 Bustling markets, colour and smells knocked us around for a couple hours before we gave into our desires for some solace away from the rest of the world. Heading back to our hostel, we readied ourselves for the nights lineup of music. Riley and I headed off to see "The Tallest man on Earth", and their opener "strand of Oaks." While Mitch and Dan departed fro a hardcore gig, expected to bring bruises and sweat and tears. "Tallest Man" was playing at the Moore theatre an exquisite venue downtown with tiered seating and incredible acoustics. The crowd was an eclectic mix of university students, hipsters, yuppies, old and young. We found good people and good music, Stand of Oaks played an excellent opener, although repetitive at times, their grittier stuff got the audience going and helped them forget about some slipped falsettos by the singer. Overall a great performance by a two piece band, a lot of heart and sincere humility resonated from the musicians as the made way for the main act of the evening. The Tallest man on earth, was a outstanding playing a perfectly balanced set of songs from all three albums, Kristian Matsson, displayed his musical talent and comedic flare with witty interactions with overwhelmed audience members throughout the set. Leaving the venire at a reasonable hour, more than satisfied we made our way back to the international district, king of spain reverberating around  between well fed ears.

 Reuniting with the hardcore duo at the hostel, planned the next step. A few minutes later Dan, Mitch and I were wandering down the streets of a sanguine blanketed cityscape capping the evening off on the waterfront, looking out over a restless sea, clouds racing the soon to be rising sun across a canvas of shipwrecked skyscrapers.

winding up the weekend, weary and un-wasted.