Believe it or not, Maine is probably one of the greatest states ever. They support equal love, they are as organic as it comes, they have some of the best beer we’ve ever tried, and they have pretty much pushed out all major corporations. The place thrives on art, nature, and small businesses.

We were pretty anxious to get back to Maine after visiting earlier this year. Andrew’s birthday happened to be on the 7th, so we took advantage of that and used it as an excuse to have a mini mid-tour getaway. Of course we had a few shows, but our stay in Maine lasted  about a week.

The first night was spent at the welcome center in Kittery. It was quaint but clean and smelled like pine. Every time we had to go to the bathroom we passed this creepy Smoky the Bear statue. Not so funny in a place that more than likely actually has bears. We thought it would be funny to watch Welcome to Mooseport before bed, not realizing that it took place in Maine.

The next morning we got up and drove to Portland. Both of our shows that week were booked in Portland, so we figured it would be a good time to scope out the city and find some local food. We went to this place called Wild Burrito. Sarah and I both ordered these awesomely huge veggie burritos. Andrew got a slice of pizza. Who gets pizza at a burrito place?! Anyway, we wandered around a bit and found some weird second-hand book stores. There were a few badass music shops as well, which is always nice to find. But back to the whole anti-corporation thing. I’m not sure if it was just a coincidence, but we could only find one McDonald’s in all of Portland (yes, we’ve been playing Monopoly), and it just so happened that they could only accept cash. Unheard of. So rather than chicken nuggets that night we found this amazing little Thai-Vietnamese restaurant called Little Saigon. It was a total feast. You know a place is good when they have a golden cat statue on the counter waving his paw back and forth. Not to mention free tea is always fantastic. Around 9pm we went to an open mic poetry reading at Mama’s Crowbar, which is a hotspot in New England for touring poets. We ended up meeting John Sinclair who is a legendary jazz poet and had a song written about him by John Lennon. He was old and humble and awesome.

John Sinclair at Mama's Crowbar
John Sinclair at Mama’s Crowbar

Andrew wanted to spend his birthday at a casino, as he is a semi-pro poker player, so we drove about thirty minutes to Oxford Casino. That place was a freakin’ party! The excitement of senior citizens standing in line for the lunch buffet was almost too much to bare! In reality though, it was cool. Sarah was literally the youngest person in the place, just beneath me and Andrew, but we got all the free coffee and soda we could drink.  That night, we shared a bottle of blueberry wine, watched Family Guy and finally got to shower. Success.

On the 8th we finally had our first gig in Portland at Flask Lounge with the three nice gentlemen in Battery Steele– a raw punk trio to the likes of The Lawrence Arms.

Battery Steele outside of Flask Lounge
Battery Steele outside of Flask Lounge

We met a handful of interesting New Englanders that night, and the venue was super inviting and comfortable.

October 9th and 10th are a bit of a blur. I got food poisoning, and we were all just exhausted. We spent a good portion of those days resting, and we even found some time to visit Old Orchard Beach. Sarah created a mini time-capsule and buried it in the sand with an “X.” Andrew got to eat a deep fried Twinkie, and I found a cool rock. The end.

The 11th was our final day in Portland, and we played at a badass venue called Bayside Bowl. It was a classy bowling alley with a delicious menu, and everything seemed brand new. They fed us and let us watch the Royals game in its entirety before we played. A band called JeffBeam opened, and they were a laid-back, mostly instrumental rock group. Nice guys, though they didn’t seem to stick around long.

Sign inside Bayside Bowl
Sign inside Bayside Bowl

Overall, we collectively decided that Portland seemed like a place where we could belong. At least temporarily…


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