West Coast Tour Diary | Portland

roem baur west coast tour 2011Closed.  Shuttered.  Dark.

There are many words to describe a certain unnamed Portland venue that night.  Had I really come 650 miles from San Francisco to play a show, to find the place deserted?

There's another one.

Deserted.

I couldn't believe it.  Someone pinch me.  This must be a nightmare.

But how?

I immediately went into glass half full mode... at least I only had a few confirmations. Maybe people wouldn't come and it would be the one night of my life that I would wish people not show up for a show.

How ironic.

Certainly there weren't going to be a ton of people showing up, right?  Definitely 5 that I know of.  Ok... maybe 10.  Crap.  But where am I going to take these people as they show up... I just stood there in front of the wooden "closed" sign hanging in the door and tried to rack my brain for ideas... looking around for a bar, a coffeehouse, a restaurant nearby... anything.

So many questions competing for my mental power.  I called my booking agent.  She was just as puzzled as I was.

Then people started showing up.

First a few, then a few more, then... we had a crowd.

With each person or group that showed, I had to explain, apologize, and then tell them there would in fact be a show.  Their faces said it all.  Puzzled, disappointed faces.  Especially from the group that drove an hour and a half to "surprise" me.

"Surprise" is what they got.

And just as I was pulling my guitar out of the rental car and about to ask everyone to walk across the street to the park for the show they came for... one of my fans offered their living room.

Because, as I learned long ago... When life hands you lemons, you make a house concert.

And that's what we did.

In a living room 20 minutes from the dark venue, we gathered in the warm light of a living room, surrounded by kids toys and the familiar asthetics and smells that make up a household of 5 children (I grew up with 4 brothers and sisters).  And I played my heart out, sang from the gratitude of my soul and remembered, ever so vividly now, as I had sang many years ago in front of my own family.  I looked into the eyes of my friends and fans, once strangers but now so much more.  650 miles from my apartment but now I am with my extended family, gathered around a fireplace in Portland, OR... feeling so much like home.

I am so blessed.

Comments

Sean Henning November 03, 2011 @01:47 pm
You the man! Great concert and we didn't even have to pay for front row tix. WWJD. Sean
Bethany November 03, 2011 @12:21 pm
I don't think that night could have been any better...we were so blessed to be in the presence of an amazing artist, singer, song-writer, and most of all FRIEND! My door is always open...feel free to use my living room ANYTIME. :)
Victoria October 31, 2011 @11:45 pm
I'm so glad it worked out so wonderfully. Sure do miss you...and your singing to us. Love you~M
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