December 31, 2004

Live in Port Townsend

On December 19th, 2004, MWML steamed over to the penninsula.

They were scheduled to play in Seattle on their second US tour, but Graceland unceremoniously dropped them from the bill. Instead, My Way My Love found an eager venue in Port Townsend. The Boiler Room is a non-profit cafe doubling as a hang out and venue for Kitsap County youth. Honestly, I did everything I could to help find a Seattle venue. But in the end, I'm sure the show meant more to the kids in the Port Townsend area than anyone in Seattle.

Port TownsendThey aspired to reach Seattle by early afternoon, coming from Spokane where they played the previous night. Unfortunately we had a quick dinner in Seattle and jumped on a 6:30 ferry from Edmonds. Here's bassist Dai on the left and drummer Takeshi on the right, aboard the ferry.

Port TownsendSinger/guitarist Yukio on the left, Dai on the right. They were trying some mind-over-matter thing and kept commenting on how hot it was.

Port TownsendUS manager Bojan marvelling over the latest in mobile phone technology.

Port TownsendSomeone associated with the show made this incredibly cute flier. It's actually enhanced by the fact that MWML's name is backwards! Our harried driving from Kingston was unwarranted... the opening bands hadn't arrived yet and no one seemed particularly rushed to get started.

Port TownsendYukio at the Boiler Room. When we got there, maybe ten or fifteen kids were hanging around talking and drinking coffee. I was worried that the ferry fare and long drive wouldn't be worth it.

Port TownsendEverything at the Boiler Room seemed lovingly hand-made and very personable.

Port TownsendI went for a walk with Yukio to try to find a place for him to by cigarettes. No luck! Now that I think about it, we should have just gone to the bar across the street. I'm not a smoker, so I don't know all of the tricks for getting smokes in small towns. By the time we got back, the opening band The Gelding was getting set up, and suddenly the place was full of concert-goers. Probably 40 folks. As they were setting up, I was informed about the problems The Boiler Room is having with neighbors who don't appreciate loud concerts after 10. It was 8:30 at this point. My Way My Love is definitely loud, and I prayed they'd play more than 30 minutes. In this shot, Dai is setting up his megaphone. It was a hot topic of conversation in the audience.

Port TownsendYukio's effects pedals and one of three or four guitars he used.

Port TownsendFinal preparations. The stage was only big enough for Takeshi's drums, and for Yukio to jump off of. Dai and Yukio set up on the floor. This meant some folks were sitting a foot in front of them, others right in front of the amps! It was very cozy. But this wasn't the most miraculous use of small space. No, that was in the minivan. Everything on stage, all of their personal gear for a two month tour, sleeping bags and all, was expertly crammed in the back of a minivan! I rode with them from Seattle, so five guys and all of that gear fit in a minivan.

Port TownsendIn action! It was so full of people for MWML that some people were watching from outside. They may have had sensitive ears, too. Right up front are the guys from The Gelding. There were probably 60 people there for MWML. Many looked like they'd dressed up for the occasion. The guitarist from The Gelding said he'd never seen so many people at the cafe at once. It was definitely a big deal for them to have a band from Tokyo in Port Townsend. Before the show, two youngsters were musing about whether they had flown from Tokyo just for this show.

Port TownsendAnother action shot. I didn't get as many as I intended, because I got absorbed in the show and also manned the band video camera for awhile. I need a copy of that tape!

Port TownsendSet list. They only made it through song 7. At 10 the store manger asked them to turn down the amps, which they did but there wasn't a noticeable change. After they wrapped up at 10:30 or so, one employee asked another if the cops had called yet to tell them to turn it down. Pretty hilarious.

Port TownsendBojan sells band merchandise after the show. They played for free, so t-shirts and cassettes were the only way for them to make any cash. A donation jar was also handed around, which covered the ferry cost, food and gas. Bojan was happy with sales, which I guess means the folks in Port Townsend were happy with the show!

Port TownsendDai has a childhood flashback while looking at the cover of a Gundam CD.

Port TownsendYukio practices accoustic after breakfast.

Port TownsendBojan and Yukio on a 36 through downtown Seattle just before heading to Portland.

Posted at December 31, 2004 10:01 AM