Billings MT (Yellowstone Perk June 30, 2010)

From Spokane, I went to Bozeman, MT, where I met up with some family and mostly just ate food and played piano.

On the 30th I had a show in Billings, MT, at a venue called Yellowstone Perk. The venue was set a little bit outside of the city away from everything. When I finally arrived at the place, I wasn’t sure if it was still in operation or not. It was completely silent and there was no activity anywhere.

Near the entrance was a sign on a post with a picture of an ice cream cone, and a rectangular building with no markings. The only features on the building were a couple of windows, presumably for serving ice cream.

Behind that building was another smaller building that clearly stated this was a place that served pizza.

Beyond that to the left was a gate leading to a giant field of grass, and a collection of movie-western style fake storefronts. Well, some of them looked like they were from the wild west, and some of them looked like they were from the middle of the last century. Some of them looked real and some of them looked very cartoony, as if each facade were constructed by a different person, but they were all nailed together as one structure.

In the middle was a yard full of old cars and a bus. To the right of that was the stage, with two gigantic speakers, in cabinets of concrete, unlike anything I had ever seen in my life.

It was so empty and silent that I feared it was the wrong day. But my fears vanished when Don came out and told me what to expect for the night. Then Derek, the guy running the show, showed up. And then bands started showing up and setting up, and local kids showed up.

They started playing metal music from an mp3 player through those giant speakers and I worried that these people might not like my music. But a lot of the people there had checked out my music beforehand, and they knew what they were getting into, musically, with me. And it turned out that they really liked my performance. They danced, they laughed, and they enjoyed themselves, and they were very nice after I was done.

The other bands that played were mostly metal. I was completely blown away by the complexity of their song structures and the proficiency of their playing, especially considering how young they were (mostly teenagers, I think). They were doing things on guitar I have only dreamed about doing.

The whole night was positive, and I hope to go back to the Yellowstone Perk and play again.

other bands that played:

The Ivory Sun, Wake the Forsaken, Posthumous, and Fallen is Babylon

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