Aplscruf's Music Blog

North Twin at the Tractor Friday 10.02.2009

[Caution: I was quite crabby for this show, but managed to have a good time, eventually]

At the Tractor
Finally, again. A show at the Tractor. I love the Tractor. But first, the day. I took off from work about 11:30. Quite uneventful, considering it’s usually crazy when I want to take time off! And Fridays have been about 50/50 crazy. Got home and rested up. P took the boy to P’s brother’s house to play with his cousin, so that worked out well. Meanwhile, I got ready and ironed P’s shirt.


Off we went, a nice evening. We arrived in Ballard expecting it dead, since it was cooler, hinted of rain, and no longer summer. Wrong! It was packed, and we spent yet another 20 minutes looking for a place to park. Finally, someone pulled out down along the railroad tracks. We hiked up the hill a couple of blocks to The Matador for dinner. We had some serious time to kill. It was now only about 6:30. The show didn’t start till 9:30. We got in and vultured for a seat at the bar. The place was packed, of course. I love it in there. It’s so Tex-Mex, lots of iron and big windows behind the bar that face the sidewalk. 

We ordered drinks…Sangria for me, a Manny’s for P. Then piles of food. I had verde enchiladas, but they were so loaded with guacamole, pico de gallo, lettuce, beans, rice, etc. that they were no longer recognizable. But they were good! P had carnitas. They were very tasty. He gave me a bite!  A little nutmeg in the sauce, I think. P proceeded to have either another beer or whiskey and coke, can’t remember. I had my sangria and barely finished it before we left. It was pretty loud in there, so we had trouble talking. And it seemed like we didn’t have much to say. I think we were both a little tired. 

We left right after the downpour. Luckily, it settled to a light rain. We had a few blocks to walk and cross the street to the Tractor. We were still early; only about 8:00 by this time. So we slipped in to Hattie’s Hat. They had a newspaperthe big Reverb show that was happening all day Saturday. Unfortunately, we would be going to Gig Harbor for football all day Sat. The Reverb show would have been a great thing to experience; maybe next year. They had bands playing all over Ballard and special restaurant deals, too. We read for a while. I ordered my Hattie’s Cosmo that I’d been thinking about for 2 months! I hate Great Expectations…it didn’t quite live up to my hype. A little on the sour side. Pat had a couple more whiskey cokes. I was getting tired and crabby. I don’t know why. The drinks were getting me down.  So I tried to put on a forced sense of cheer, but I’m no good at that. We turned around, and there was the band behind us trying to order drinks. Had I been more mindful, I would have introduced myself and tried to start a conversation. Again, it was pretty loud in there, too, and I was still crabby. 

We left about 9:00 and stepped in to the Tractor. We had our pre-ordered tix in hand, got our Cowboy stamp on our wrists, and we were in. It was dead, as usual, until right before the first show. We didn’t care, we were here. We ordered a couple more drinks. I took two sips of my vodka soda and gave up. I was done. Tired, not talkative. I must’ve been such a fun date! 

At least we got to sit down for a while before the show. Right at 9:30 we moved to our favorite standing spot, left of stage, with a little table to rest our drinks and sweater, next to the keys and bass player (P’s not-so-secret crush) and of course, the bathrooms and water bucket. 

The band, North Twin, was pretty much on time. I got excited then. They have two albums out. We have the second one, the first sold out. The set list (P asked the nice keyboard player for his after the show): 


Roll On 



Motorbike (rockin’ song on 1st album) 


Carol Anne 

You Can Never 

I’ll Remember 




Clear as Day 

They are so amazing. Tight, great lead singer Tony, and of course the Sheryl Crow-esque bassist. The lead guitar is a mini-Will Kimbrough and rocks all the solos on the album and definitely brings the solos to life onstage. The drummer is really good, too. Keyboardist also played mandolin and accordion. Awesome. Very much a southern rock style. 

Well, after giving up on my vodka, P brought me quite possibly the best coffee I’d ever had!! He thought he’d wake me up a bit. It worked! That’s it, I’m switching to coffee when we’re out late! It was in a Tony’s coffee mug, perfectly brewed, with real half-n-half. Yummy! I had seconds and then thirds! Probably not the smartest thing. I couldn’t sleep very well that night! 

After their amazing set, P met a guy in the bathroom who said he was here for the Bottle Rockets and said he had one of their albums from 15 years ago. Wow. He was also blown away by North Twin and proceeded to buy one of their albums on P’s referral. 

The Bottle Rockets are from Missouri. I heard them on MySpace and they had a familiar sound. They have that sourthern/country rock feel. Well, I guess they didn’t bring gear besides their guitars and borrowed North Twin’s stuff for the show. They promptly cranked the amps up. I was glad I brought ear plugs. 

We didn’t know their music, and because of the volume and where we were standing (they had a guitarist where the keys were) we couldn’t hear the lyrics at all. This made for boring music for me, even though the beat was good. It was so incredibly loud it made me uncomfortable. After 3 songs, I asked P if we could step outside for a minute. 

We went outside and I apologized for feeling old and tired, but it was too loud for me. He agreed. I don’t know why they had to crank the amps. It was just right for North Twin. We couldn’t get used to the noise, even with ear plugs. We listened outside for a bit, then went back in when P noticed North Twin members over by the t-shirt counter. We wanted to buy their other CD, but they were out. P talked briefly to the lead singer Tony, and then I gave him my prayer hands of thanks and told him we loved them, they were awesome. He thanked me. I asked P if he wanted to meet the bass player who was nearby, and he said he was ok. It was so loud, we couldn’t have talked to her anyway. 

We decided to leave early. Wow. We are getting old! No more 2 am nights for us! Ha I drove home, as P was now feeling great. I was wide awake. We stopped at Dicks for a burger and milkshake. Yum, as usual. 

We had a busy football day the next day, so we were glad to be home a little early. 

Now it’s on to the next adventure. I don’t know what that is yet. 

February 10, 2010 Posted by | Concert Season 2009, Music, North Twin, The Tractor Tavern | , , | Leave a comment