Smile Politely

You & Yourn Tour Diary: Idaho and Montana

Thursday (Oct. 1) we made a stop in Pocatello, Idaho, which proved to be a good idea. A guy named Levi from the college radio station set up a show for us at College Market Coffee and Books. We were very much at home. Idaho, in general, felt strangely similar to the rural Midwest. College Market also reminded us of a place called The Coffeehouse in our college town of Normal, Ill., where ISU is located (Idaho State in Pocatello or Illinois State in Normal).

There was a good turnout at the show, and people seemed into our music. We also learned some fun facts from the crowd. For example, Pocatello is the Smile Capitol of the U.S. It is actually illegal to NOT smile there. Also, the lead researcher of Bigfoot apparently resides in Pocatello.

We stayed with our friend Cary Judd and his family after the Pocatello show and had a great breakfast of waffles, eggs, and bacon the following morning. We were quite comfortable at Cary’s house and probably could have just moved in. But soon enough, we had to embark on the beautiful drive to Bozeman, Montana.

Friday night (Oct. 2) we played at The Filling Station in Bozeman, which is one of the only bar shows on this tour. In recent years, we’ve become realistic about who we are (and who we aren’t). The Filling Station served as a reminder that our music is not well-suited for a bar on a Friday night.

Nonetheless, it was a good show. We’re glad we got to see Tony Furtado from Portland and Gospel Gossip from Minneapolis — both pretty amazing. And the audience was quite nice. We even had a world music lesson about the harmonium when one guy from the crowd said, “That lady should tell us about her instrument.”

Saturday (Oct. 3) we drove down the road to Missoula, Montana. We took one detour during our trip. The signs for Garnet Ghost Town looked innocent enough…

As we followed the signs, the road became gravel, then eventually dirt. It also became increasingly narrow and steep. Abrupt drops bordered one side, and of course, there were no guard rails in sight. As you might imagine, our mini-van is not ideal for sharp turns on an uphill one-lane gravel road. But by the time we figured that out, we were committed, because there was nowhere to turn around. Luckily, Nic is a calm driver, and we made it out alive!

Our show in Missoula was a smaller show in the basement of an art gallery. We had reached a point of exhaustion, so this was a lower energy performance for us. It felt like we were playing in our living room for a group of friends. Everyone at the show, including several children and our dog, sat on couches and conversed with us between songs. It was a nice show, and was the first time we’ve shared a stage with eight-year-olds (The Scribblers). Missoula seemed hip, and we enjoyed spending time with new friends.


See more pictures on You and Yourn’s blog.

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