Rose’s Bar

We had a day off in Chicago after our show at SPACE in Evanston. While wandering around near Grant Park, a few of us stumbled upon a dark bar, shyly tucked away beneath a visibly aged sign that simply displayed a local beer logo and a small decal that proclaimed “2 DOLLAR DRAFTS”. This sign, as I soon learned, had been on display since the bar’s establishment, over 30 years ago. 

As we entered, I heard a small voice calling from the far end of the room, welcoming us. I heard the voice before I even saw it’s source. Then she emerged, a small and slow moving woman, most assuredly in her 70s. Her accent was undeniably foreign. We began talking to her, and learned that she (Rose was her name) moved to the United States from Macedonia many years ago. She was one of the sweetest souls that I have ever met.

She placed bundles of lilacs on the bar for us to smell. It was wonderful.

It wasn’t long until her son, probably in his 50s, entered the bar. He asked if we might be willing to help unload his car (supplies for the bar) because he has back problems and couldn’t lift the boxes by himself. We obliged.

One of the most touching things about this experience was that Rose was very quick to “adopt” us as her grandchildren. Every ten minutes, she would softly call out to us, “I love you”, with sincerity that couldn’t be questioned. Complete warmth.

We weren’t able to stay as long as we would have liked, but as we left, I gave her a big hug and told her that I loved her too. And she told me that she loved me again.

I promised that we would be back in August, and we would most certainly return to Rose’s Bar. 

These are the things that make touring a beautiful and meaningful thing. 

NIAGARA

Sleepy

We arrived in Buffalo, New York this morning at about 10am. We drove through the night from Chicago to get here - departed at midnight. I am pretty exhausted, to say the least, but excited about our show tonight.

We’re playing with a band called THE SLEEPY HAHAS. Be still my heart.

Stay tuned for a story about Rose from Macedonia, a sweet old woman who we met yesterday in Chicago. 

Lollapalooza!

It’s official! This summer, the Kopeckys will be headed to lovely Chicago for Lollapalooza 2012! I am extremely excited about this festival, not only because of the awesome line-up, but because it is in one of my favorite cities in the nation. And, I’ve never been! (To Lollapalooza, that is… not Chicago.)

Today officially marks the beginning of our tour with The Lumineers! Our first show is tonight with them here in Minneapolis. We had a great afternoon of practice yesterday in preparation, and we are looking forward to playing our first full band show in Minneapolis to a sold out crowd!

Out Of Hibernation

        

For those of you who have not lost all faith in me and in this web log*, I am here to inform any/all of you that this season of silence is drawing to a close.

Before any of you get any funny ideas, let me rehash my original intentions for Traveling Bear. Back in August, shortly before embarking on a 6-week tour de Estados Unidos with Kopecky Family Band, I hatched the idea. I wanted to have an outlet to document my (our) experiences while on the road - for my family, friends, and even for myself in years to come. 

Since that time, the band has done moderate touring, but nothing over a week or two of traveling. We’ve primarily been in the studio, finishing up a brand new record (!) that we are excited to release this coming summer or fall. 

However! Tomorrow, we embark on a brand new journey with a band called The Lumineers. This tour will last until the end of the month, and we will be visiting some of our favorite cities… such as Chicago, New York, and Maaaaaadison, Wisconsin! (We’ve actually only been to Madison once, and it was very very cold when we visited. But I enjoyed it nonetheless.)

So, stay tuned, if you please. I won’t guarantee “a post per day” or anything overly ambitious. But I do guarantee blurbs and photos when I am able to provide them.  

*That’s right! The term web log paved the way for what we now know simply as a ‘blog’.

the past week in pictures

Here are some shots from this past week on the road. 

  • KEXP in Seattle
  • The Showbox
  • In-Store performance at Trucker in Chico, California
  • The Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California, with Gomez and DeVotchKa
  • Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown, California

(I have no idea what was being discussed when this picture was taken, but I love it. It looks like everybody has got somethin’ to say.)


the Ogden Theater - Denver, CO

(Guess who played the Ogden the night before us?)

Time Off In Denver

Before we kicked things off with Gomez this week, we had a few days off the road. A few of us were fortunate enough to spend this break in Denver. I’m a little late on getting these pictures up (Mmm.. surprise). I am now learning how difficult it is to keep a consistent update schedule when constantly in the van. But hey, I’m trying!

Anywho, during our break, we had the opportunity to get lots of sleep, celebrate our beloved David’s birthday, hike around in the mountains outside of Fort Collins (and wade through a bone-rattling cold river), visit the New Belgium brewery, and explore the historic Red Rocks amphitheater.

Without further ado, here are some pictures from our “vacation” in Colorado, most of which are of rock formations. And the photographs do not do the scenery justice, whatsoever. 

Ta-ta for now!

Gomez Tour, Show 1: The Blue Note

We had our first show with Gomez tonight in Columbia, Missouri at The Blue Note. 

These guys have been together for SIXTEEN YEARS. It has been a pleasure to get to know them, and an honor to be on the road with them for the next 2 or so weeks. We are super excited. 

The show went really well. It is nice to get back into the swing of things after a few days off. 

Back On The Road

I have to be honest, I’ve fallen behind a little bit in the last week, as far as updates go. This is the result of being very busy and then having a few days off in Denver.

Our break in denver (Littleton, to be specific) is the dividing line between our tour with GIVERS and our rapidly approaching tour with Gomez (Which kicks off tomorrow).

What’s fun (or funny) about this next tour is that we are literally playing nearly all of the cities that we hit with GIVERS in the past couple of weeks. The biggest difference is that the shows that we’ll be playing with Gomez will be in significantly larger venues with, hopefully, significantly larger audiences. Only time will tell, I suppose.

I’ve also decided to keep the ‘text’ aspect of this page to a minimum, and photos to a maximum. Just a heads up.

Without further adieu (ado?), here is what I failed to show you in the past week that I haven’t updated. The following pictures will cover San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles.

 

Enjoy.