January 1, 2010 approximately 2:15am was the last time I saw March Fourth Marching Band (M4) performing in front of the Widmer Brothers Brewery in Portland, OR for New Year’s Eve. My last trip to Portland before then the band was filming their commercial for the Portland Trailblazers. My friend Aspen the bass drummer invited me to come along and march but the day of the event I was unable to make it due to my accommodations with other friends on my stay. There has been a great coincidences between my trips to Portland since the last Tour de Fat when I hung out with them all night last year up to the one year reunion of the 2010 Tour de Fat. I’ve stayed in touch with Aspen during their tours throughout the year and catching up with him on my tours. When he told me that he has started a spinoff band with some of the members of M4 and he wanted to test it out in Boise I was excited to have an opportunity to take on the project for a few reasons. First he told me it had more edge than M4 which is already amazing on my list of favorite live entertainment. Second I was ready to bring something mouth dropping to Boise. Still am! During many conversations trying to figure out accommodations and the Boise market, I wanted to make sure I can put something together that would be a success for the band and audience. Initially we were thinking about having them come to my ADD First Thursday event and make it a big spectacle but the costs associated with bringing them out here was a big obstacle for a non-traditional show. Since time was running out and I was not hearing back from some booking agents at a reasonable time we decided the Tour de Fat would be the reunion show. Within hours of finalizing the venue I was informed that Aspen was not going to make it due to some health issues. It was sad to hear but I was more concerned with his recovery and taking it easy. If you have ever seen M4 with the curly blonde drummer you know that he gives it all he has and his petite figure has to have a break, especially with as many shows they have been doing within a year and the upcoming fall tour to Europe. M4 was still going to perform a late show after the Tour de Fat festivities but the Manhandel appearance had to hold off until next time.
The festival had it’s typical expectations but the Tony Danza mache arms made it a Tour not to forget. There are no words to even explain the pictures you see documenting this. If you missed it, you are going to miss the punch of the comedy behind it. After finishing handing out my flyers I was stopped by one of my friend’s who caught me as I was walking to grab my bike. We ended up taking a break and grabbing some food before the late night show. My phone was dying during our time at Owyhee Plaza with caffeine infused cocktails while listening to jazz. How great is an evening with jazz as break music before the circus? After a few hours of conversation and energy charge we walked to The Bouquet to meet up with the band. About this time the storm started or it was going on while we were at the hotel. A few patrons were in the bar while the opening artist performed and while the M4 crew settled in. Idaho weather has a great impact on show turnouts and I figured since the venue the show was taking place it may be a little more difficult than usual. I suggested to some of the female members hanging out in the restroom to have a march in the streets and followed up with John the leader of the group. He gathered the other members and after getting the amp on wheels we headed towards 6th and Main. People were stopping along the streets trying to talk to the members while they performed while others joined us on the march back to the bar. Several people were enjoying themselves and this year the crowd seemed to be into it more than the previous year. I hope the guy that was in the front of the crowd manage to make it home okay. He fell down more than a handful of times but would jump up immediately as if he was shocked. I love a good show but I love it even more when I see how happy everyone else is around me because of the music. It ended up being a great turnout despite the odds against me with other shows and the curse of the weather.
Although the after the show was a lot more tame than last year, each time I see their performance I never get tired of it. Next time I hope that I can catch up with my favorite bass drummer and PDXer. Get well Bam Bam xoxo
Special thanks to Arianna at Beehive Boise for their amazing full service salon and helping me with services for my events. Boise Fry Company for having the best burgers and Fry sauce in the Treasure Valley(try the blueberry ketchup) and Boise State Taxi along with Vatric Taxi for ban transportation around the city.