Strummin’ My Six String

Day 37: Hawthorne Theater Lounge
Portland, OR

Load in in Portland wasn’t until a bit later than usual, so us being in town early gave us plenty of time to take care of some necessities. We arrived by 11am, so we did our morning routine and then headed over to the area of the club.

First order of business was food. We walked up and down the strip, finally deciding to split up because no one could agree on just one thing. Root and I found a Whole Foods style marketplace and I got some killer black bean soup. After lunch we all met back up at the bus.

The set in Portland was an acoustic one, something that the band hadn’t done since the first show of our tour last spring with Gone By Daylight. What that meant was practice, practice, practice. The guys set up for practice on the bus, running thru the entire set a few times. Some of the new songs were getting the acoustic treatment for the first time, so those ones were ran through a few extra times.

Once done, we went over to check out the club. The Hawthorne was another multiple room venue. In the main room there a Hip Hop showcase going on all day, with 24 performers having 20 minute sets each. We were playing the bar area, and since we were all doing acoustic sets, I think that as the person setting up the merch I had the most stuff to set up.

Before all that though, we decided to wait until OAS showed up with Trox, the sound engineer, until we actually loaded everything in and sound checked. They were still an hour or so away, so that meant nap time. Once they arrived, we went in to finish the set up and to soundcheck.

Miggs by far had the most polished acoustic set of the tour package. They opted to open the show because their lead singer was feeling under the weather and wanted to get resting as soon as possible. Miggs have done full acoustic tours before, and have had the opportunity to get creative with their songs in the stripped down style. Having to contend with Don, their singer, not having much of a voice due to a cold threw a curveball at them, but they adjusted accordingly. Even worse, a NBA playoff game featuring Portland’s own Trail Blazers was on the TVs in the bar and a good portion of the crowd was very interested in the turn out of the extremely close game. Miggs did a great job of using the distraction of the game to their benefit, changing lyrics in their songs to reflect things happening on the screen, and using the commercial breaks to seize the crowds attention, so that by the end, people were visibly torn between paying attention to them and watching the overtime finale of the game.

Miggs warmed the crowd up perfectly, so by the time Man on Earth took stage it felt like a rock show, even though it was just an acoustic set. After they finished their set, Open Air Stereo came up. They only had a short set planned, so the night ended a bit earlier than expected.

In Portland we also finally were able to meet a long time fan, Weda, who has been on us to make it up to the Pacific Northwest for some time now. After the show, and saying our goodbyes, we headed out toward a Walmart a few hours away. We had to be in Oakland for Tuesday night and Monday and Tuesday are big work days for Nate, so knocking some hours out of the way before going to bed was crucial. What the next day had in store for us though was not quite the plan at all….