Days 35 & 36: El Corazon
Seattle was only three shows ago (well TECHNICALLY four), but it feels like it very well could have been a month ago. The last few days it has been a little difficult to garnish enough fuel and ambition to light any sort of creative fire. But, things are better now an we’re moving forward again. I digress.
The trip to Seattle took me through two states that I’ve never been in, and by some of the most beautiful vistas that the United States has to offer. The trip leaves four states on my ‘yet to visit’ list, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, and South Dakota. Most of the rest I’ve visited in the last few years that we’ve been on the road. Driving through the mountain passes of Oregon was one of the best rides we’ve done so far. The vast rolling mountains and wide open sky made a perfect backdrop as we made our way north. We drove all through the day, opting to marathon drive to Seattle instead of having to wake up and still have a few hours ahead of us.
We spent the night in a sketchy Walmart parking lot, but there was security guards roaming around so it wasn’t that bad. The next morning, after our Planet Fitness stop, we headed to downtown Seattle.
We parked by the club and walked the eight blocks to check out the city’s famous Pike Place Market. The market is one of the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers markets. It opened in 1907 and still is going strong today.
We were in Seattle on a Saturday, and the indoor market and the street that it is located on was a complete mad house. Inside the building, people milled about shoulder to shoulder, no room to really function, following the flow of the crowd like cattle being driven down the staging alley. Vendors lined the walls, hawking various wares from tee shirts, to fish, to tulips. Outside was no better, so after checking it out, we moved on.
We passed by the original Starbucks coffee shop on our way to find some food. There was a line clear out the door, which is kinda funny, considering the one two blocks away that serves the exact same coffee was empty. With the amount of Starbucks that Nate drinks (he’s a proud Gold Card member!) I kind of think that the first Starbucks has got to be like his Graceland. Nate and I split off and grabbed some Thai food and then reconvened with everyone back at the club. After soundcheck, Root and I set out exploring.
We walked in the opposite direction of downtown, heading up what seemed to be an endless hill. We stopped in a pub for a while to relax, but the peacefulness of it was cut short by a large group of pub crawlers playing something they called ‘Bar Golf’. On top of being loud and rowdy, they harassed us to buy them drinks so that their team could win. Over it, we headed across the street, gabbed a slice of pizza, and then headed back to the club.
There are two rooms at El Corazon, a large main room and a lounge. Our tour was booked in the lounge, which was set up to be all ages. In order to accomplish that, the bar fenced off an area that you had to be 21 to enter. While better for the club’s security and the cutting down on the possibility of underage drinking, it made for a crowded 21+ area. Most of the people at the show were of legal drinking age, and the drinking crowd stayed in the gated off area for pretty much the whole show, which made the front and center of the dance floor feel a little sparse, when, in actuality there was a solid crowd (John from Miggs hails from Seattle).
Set times were pushed back a little bit because one of the local bands on the bill refused to play because they didn’t want to set up their drums in front of the ones that our tour package shared. It’s very common practice for the opener to have to set up in front, or even off to one side. This is because once you go through the process of setting up your kit and sound checking it, there’s a greater chance of messing things up if you move it. On huge stages, the drums are set up backstage and wheeled in on a separate riser. It was honestly their loss because the crowd was amazing.
The night seemed to wrap up quickly. I think everyone was tired after the two marathon drives that we had just done. Even though Portland was relatively close, as per our custom we headed on on the road right after the show to knock out a bit of the trip. Shortly after 1am we found a Walmart, and stopped for the evening, a little earlier than normal for us.