True False Film Festival 2016
Early this month Gora Gora Orkestar went to perform at True False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri. It's a big event in the region with a long history and lots of enthusiasm driving it forward. We were very excited to be asked to participate.
We drove there (about 12 hours including stops), so Thursday morning at sunup Stephen came in his van and picked me up at Shannon's then we went to Tung's to load up the Boulder crew. We drove to Bre's house in Denver to rendezvous with the Denver folks and load up Ian's car as well. Lots of coffee was required. We met Bre's very odd-looking but adorable cat Sphinx, futzed around for a while like "ah it's the morning", then eventually got rolling. I drove with Ian and Adam in Ian's car and everyone else was in Stephen's van.
We stopped frequently thanks to the coffee. Last stop in Colorado was in Limon. At a stop in Kansas to shake out the legs Bre, Stephen, and I had a footrace across the rest area lawn. When we got back to the group, Tung had been watching us while standing directly next to a huge flag pole while wearing his hoodie, so when he turned to go back to the car he had no peripheral vision and smacked his forehead HARD on the flag pole. It made a huge bang and everyone made that "oh damn ouch!" face. We have proof of this because Tung had his phone/camera in his hand at the time and when he hit the pole he accidentally took an off-angle picture of Stephen making that face in reaction.
In Kansas City we did a dinner break at Joe's Kansas City BBQ, which Shannon and I had seen on Mind of a Chef. We were all pretty excited (well except for Stephen the vegetarian). I had been snacking too much in the car to go hog wild, but I ate a pulled pork sandwich which was tasty.
We arrived and checked in to the hotel, then took a shuttle van into town for a Lee Fields pre-festival concert, which was fun. Friday we had a lazy morning (well, I exercised a bit but otherwise no official duties). Then we busked a bit in the afternoon before the March March parade. We played in the parade and then outside one of the film venues. That night was a band review at Cafe Berlin. We watched some great bands including Lone Piñon from Santa Fe, a mariachi trio whom we all loved, and Les Trois Coups from France. We played a set as well which was fun. I was feeling bad with an upset stomach though so I had to quickly run off stage a few times, but overall I was OK. Saturday morning we played at the Jesse Auditorium for the first of 3 sets there, all of which were great. We play 30 minute sets while the ~1700-person audience enters and finds their seats. The sound engineers were good and it's always fun to play indoors for a large, attentive audience. We were really well received I think and we played another set Saturday as well as Sunday morning.
Between Saturday sets we had a nice brunch on a rooftop patio nearby. Saturday night we went out for pizza at Shakespear's with one of Tung's high school friends. Sunday morning we had an early hit requiring a lot of coffee. Just as our set was finished and we were packing up, the fire alarm in the venue went off and we had to evacuate the building. We had some logistics to finish up so we had to wait a while before we could hit the road.
On the way back we made fewer stops and arrived home around 1AM so folks could make it in to work Monday. We really had a blast. All of the festival staff and volunteers were exceedingly nice and supportive, and overall it's a really well-run operation.