We flew out of Victoria to Vancouver and, finally, hooked up with our bus. Those quiet stationary nights in hotel rooms are now finished, but so is the constant packing and unpacking and the daily uprooting. Our home is now on wheels. We were suppose to play Vancouver tonight, but for some reason we can't seem to sell a ticket in Vancouver so we ended up canceling the show a couple of weeks ago. Vancouver has been an ugly place for us over the past few years, we can't figure out why, it must have something to do with those Canucks. Whatever, the gig in Seattle has been sold out for weeks so we headed south to where we are wanted.
We have never spent any time in this part of Seattle, The University District. The streets here have a pretty well worn feel to them, the students have marked their territory….the houses in the area and the accompanying gardens make one want to pick up stakes and move here immediately: funky old bungalows overgrown with all sorts of semi-exotic plant life. We also played a new venue for us tonight, The Neptune. One of those old movie theaters turned concert venue. I'm not sure what I think of the room, it was definitely not an easy night on stage and Jared said he had a tough time out front, but these things are always relative. More importantly, the audience was over the top in their enthusiasm. We have just had an excellent run through Western Canada, and I thought the audiences had been generally enthusiastic, but one song in to the set and we remembered why we love playing in this part of the world, the audiences are insane…in a good way. Seattle has always been good to us and tonight was no exception.
Pete's ipad drawing of the Channel Islands:
JASON LENT FOLLOWED OUR TOUR BUS BACK IN 2011 AND SUPPLIED US WITH HIS TOUR DIARY. HE WILL BE DOING THE SAME FOR THE COMING WEEK. HERE IS JASON'S SEATTLE DIARY.
When Seattle appeared under Tour Dates last year, I was navigating the end of a relationship and found myself with a round trip flight to Mississippi that needed to point in a new direction. A few clicks of the keyboard and a short weekend in Seattle was slated for April. Since my 2010 ramblings across North America chasing the Junkies tour bus ended at 14,000 miles, I felt content with a few shows here and there. However, as the dates approached, life felt like it was closing in around me. The end of the relationship gave way to a first home purchase and all the headaches that come with it and then, last week, I found myself typing 40 into the stairmaster when it asked for my age. Call it a perfect storm, or another mid-life crisis, but heading out across the country for more shows couldn't have come at a better time.
Seattle has long been a land of fascination to me. Growing up in South Florida (before the Heat and Panthers), I choose my favorite sports teams seemingly at random. Whatever the logic, the Seattle SuperSonics and Quebec Nordiques were my teams as a young boy. I've since watched both migrate elsewhere but I've always wanted to see the Emerald City. Arriving a day early, I wandered the downtown area and Pike's Place market. Despite the relaxed smoking laws the state has boldly passed, the busy downtown felt no less safe than most. The homeless population was abundant and aggressive to a point of distraction but never mean spirited. There's a sense that folks up here leave you to your own decisions.
The Seattle show was next to the University of Washington campus in a deceptively beautiful theater that was packed with a lively, sold-out audience. Worn and unassuming on the outside, the inside clung to it's history as an old movie theater with stained glass along it's hip. The band immediately sensed the energy of the audience and the show took off quickly. The first set walked through the Nomad Series material and the audience stayed with the band throughout. The poignant "Damaged From the Start" and a gentle "Fairytale" brought the first set to a close at such a high that a second set felt like an extended encore of gems from almost every record. Just like that, another Junkies show came to a close and us aging rockers walked out into a busy Saturday night on the main college drag. We caught more than a few curious glances as my traveling companions and I settled into one of the college bars for late night IPA. Little did they know, and who am I to tell them, that twenty years on, they'll be on the other side of the canyon that appears suddenly between your life and your youth.