99 days of live music on the wall. 99 days of live music. Take one down. Pass it around. No wait, don’t take it down. Fuck that. Put it up. I have done 99 days of live music in a row. I can’t believe it. 99 days? Seriously? What the hell is wrong with me?
Oh man, I can’t believe I’ve almost made it. Almost there. Oh, and I’m in Portland. What a way to close it out. I had meetings all day, and they were awesome. Yes, I just used the word “awesome” in relation to the word “meetings.” Believe it. It’s true. Meetings at the Portland office of the company I work for are like that: WK Radio. Coca-Cola. Levi’s. iPhone app developers. Like I said, awesome. I love the company I work for, and I don’t care who knows it.
So, when I first heard about the project here, I emailed people I knew in Portland asking for suggestions of bands to see. One was Ingrid from Kill Rock Stars, who I’d become friendly with via email during the project. She suggested I drop by the newly renovated Mississippi Studios for Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, who are pretty awesome. I was psyched at first. What a great day 99, I thought. Then I thought again. Hmm. I have all these people working to make Day 100 amazing back in NYC. And I’m in PDX. Shit. I should try and get back as soon as I can, I thought.
I mean, it’s way more rock and roll to go to a late show of a great band on the other side of the country. To stay out until 1 or 2am, then catch the 6:30am flight back to NYC, getting in at 3pm, then rushing right over to Fontana’s for any last minute details before the party. That’s fucking rock and roll as hell. But, also stressful as all hell. And while awesome in a super dramatic way to close out this project, just not a risk I was willing to take.
So I found a band playing in Portland at 5:30pm and changed my flight to the 10:30pm red eye Friday night. I’m not taking any risks. And what am I saying? Isn’t flying back from the complete opposite side of the country the day before the final day dramatic enough anyhow? Yes it is. Especially when I find out that the bar I’m going to see The Reverb Brothers perform is haunted.
Some people from the Portland office were telling me how the previous owner of the White Eagle would absolutely refuse to go into the attic. Something happened to him there, or he saw something that made him refuse to step foot up there. He would make his employees go up there instead, and eventually sold the place because he just couldn’t handle it.
Matt Z and I grabbed a cab to a really industrial section of downtown Portland, popping out at the White Eagle Saloon around 6pm. We walk into one of the oldest bars in Portland, which doubles as a hotel, restaurant and music venue. And it’s awesome. Old, off the beaten path, with character out the ass. The beer is awesome, the food is awesome, the people are awesome. My kind of place.
We get there and The Reverb Brothers are already on, and they sound great. It’s a 6-piece bluesy, Americana band of older guys who seem to just have a great time playing live, every Friday night from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. They concluded the first set shortly after we showed up.
Then, I grabbed Doug, the lead singer, telling him of the project. He was taken quite aback (I swear, this never gets old). I gave him the URL, told him to check out the site, and mentioned how I was racing back to NYC for the 100th show. He was all smiles.
The band started their second set and a few songs in, Doug gave me a great shout out. He said, “During the break, I was accosted by this guy named Nick, who’s sitting at the end of the bar. He is on a musical journey where he’s going to see 100 bands in 100 days. This is day number 99, and he’s headed straight back to New York today for the 100th show.” He gave out the blog URL, I waved to the crowd, grabbed a couple more beers with Jerome, Matt and Tatum (from the Portland office), watched the end of the set and grabbed a cab to the airport.
Which is where I sit. Waiting to board by overnight flight to NYC. For day #100.
Holy shit, this crazy journey is almost over. I’m not sure whether to be happy or sad.
See you in New York.