West Coast travelogue: Night of Joy, Lust-Cats of the Gutters and Sara Century check in
The next morning, we went to Travis's work, a local coffee shop and organic restaurant where he and his co-workers (some of the punks from the show) hooked us up with a hearty veggie-friendly breakfast. The West seems to have a lot more vegetarian options in general (compared to the Midwest and some of the the East Coast) which made us (and our stomachs) extremely happy.
Next, we made our way to the van and headed to Tempe to play a female-centric mini-fest called Fox Fest, and to visit and stay with our friend Anna Nxsty (who has played in and fronted bands like Hell-Kite, Vegetable and Pigeon Religion). We arrived late in the afternoon and did some shopping at a thrift store before heading to Anna's to make a big family dinner. That night, the show (even though it was at a bar) went just as smoothly as the house show the night before. We again made a good amount of money and had a warm place to stay.
After a day off in Tempe spent at Saguaro Lake, we headed to Van Nuys (near Los Angeles) for our next show, at a shop called Take Off. The hosts and venue/store owners Luis and Jordan (of L.A. band Protect Me) were welcoming and effortlessly chill. California was definitely more on point with Denver in terms of the vibe. Our third show of the tour was also a success, a night of low-key hanging out and playing in the minimalist space. Our friends Neonates from the L.A. area popped in for the show and ended up playing a surprise set as well.
We had a few days to kill in L.A., so we took over our drummer Fernando's parents' house in Moorpark, where we swam and slept and were very well fed. The night after our show, we wandered back into the city to catch Abe Vigoda, Cold Showers and Beaches at The Smell -- an awesome all-ages, D.I.Y. volunteer-run space in downtown L.A. After the mini-vacation of sorts, we got back on the road to head to San Francisco for a show at a gay bar called The Stud.
The spot was again welcoming, and we played to a sparse crowd of strangers, and thankfully, some good friends. That night, we stayed with our friends, Denver transplants Alejandro Archuleta (of bands Slight Harp, Psychic Handbook and Heavy Petting) and Johnee Evanofski (of Popdrone) in their spacious place in West Oakland.
We had another relaxing day of seeing family and hanging out before our house show at Alejandro and Johnee's. The weather was warmer than usual, and made a perfect night for a veggie-burger BBQ and bonfire party with bands: All of us played in the living room, along with Heavy Petting. The turnout was perfect for the space size, and all of the bands ended up selling a good amount of merch.
The next morning we had brunch and made a visit to Down at Lulu's, sexy divo frontman Hunx of Hunx and His Punx's vintage store and hair salon, before getting on the road to our next show in Davis. The drive was a quick 66 or so miles, giving us time hang for a bit before the house show. This was the only time so far on the tour where things went slightly awry -- the house we were supposed to play decided last minute that they were shutting the show down. Apparently, there was another show in town that everyone wanted to go to, so we kind of got screwed.
But spirits were high, so we decided to jump in the van and drive to our next destination, Portland, Oregon. A harrowing ten-hour drive got us to the city in one piece, and we lounged and hung out with friends for the day, giving everyone time to cool off after the kind of crappy Davis situation. Now here we are, all bands pumped and ready to go as we play our fifth show, midway through our ten-date tour of the West Coast together tonight at the Tonic Lounge in Portland with our friends Guantanamo Baywatch.
Still very much above our monetary expectations for tour, I think every bandmember was and is still flying high. From Night of Joy's past touring experience, things didn't seem to go anywhere or in any way as smoothly as our first few week of this current tour. Robin Edwards of Lust-Cats said it best: This actually feels like a vacation.