Tales from the Road: Learning Team

by Emile Panerio

Our story from the road, was an easy decision.  We had one stand out day on our Fall tour that was clearly the best day, ever. The day was our stop in Long Beach, WA just a few days into the tour. We were working on a movie project with Bellingham-based film production company Empty Roll Productions and had a gig at The Adrift Hotel that evening. So our best day ever began with the Empty Roll boys at a property on the ocean just outside of Long Beach owned by one of their friends. This guy was the ultimate outdoorsman bachelor, and we certainly enjoyed ourselves. Shortly after arriving, we were barbecuing and having a few beers which quickly morphed into riding ATVs and motorcycles in a big meadow.  Lincoln and Matt kind of knew what they were doing, but Alex, Tyler and myself were probably more hilarious to watch almost kill ourselves flying around on this field. Mind you, this Bachelor’s name was fittingly “David Wolf” and this guy made everything way more intense/hilarious/exciting. Through a fairly quick transition, lots of yelling, and a brewskie or twoskie, next thing I know we’re back at David’s house.
Literally about five minutes later I found myself in the back of this guy’s enormous truck, blasting country music sitting next to Alex; our rear view was Matt shooting something with a BB gun while Tyler and Lincoln had a equally intense game of PIG on the basketball court. Alex: “Hey David? Where are you taking us, are the guys cool back there?”  David: “Hell yeah, they’re fine as long as Matt doesn’t kill somebody.  We’re going crabbing.” Next thing you know, Alex and I are flying through some very sketchy rough waters on the cusp of the Pacific in David’s dingy, including some occasional airtime and lots of saltwater faceshots. This dude drove his boat like Matt Damon escaping someone, it was insane.  After catching a large amount of Dungeness crab it was just about time for load-in at the venue.
From here, we figured the rest of the night had to be mediocre after having so much fun, but the best day ever continued with more very-best-day-everish activities. We were playing a bar at the top floor of Adrift Hotel on the shore of Long Beach, who were nice enough to give us a couple hotel rooms, (already more than your average hospitality for a baby band from the PNW) so right off the bat we were feeling giddy.
The next chain of events had to be my personal favorite. We load into this bar as the sun was setting (the view was gorgeous) and on our third load up the elevator I saw a very familiar face joining the elevator ride. I asked abruptly, “Are you Jimmy Tamborello?” Shyly, Jimmy (of Postal Service) said that’s me and happened to be staying at the same hotel with his girlfriend for the weekend, just a week after finishing their global Postal Service tour.  Trying to keep our cool around probably one of our favorite album makers, we sound checked, played two long sets overlooking the beautiful ocean and got to small talk music with Jimmy freaking Tamborello.  (Jimmy, if you are reading this right now, here is our public apology for our ultimate fan nerd behavior, and thanks for watching our show).
Between our comped rooms and open bar we then had a really fun and comfortable night, which is a combination rare on tour, for us.  We seem to find ourselves having lots of fun, with usually little comfort. In the morning we woke to a sunny day on the Washington coast, which alone is awesomely rare and went on an epic beach cruiser bike ride up and down the coast, before hopping back in the van and pretty synchronized, we then looked at each other and said, “WHAT.”
Best day/morning beach cruise, EVER.
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