After our show at Macs Bar we immediately loaded out and started driving north. We had to cut the distance between us, and the tip of the keewanaw peninsula down as much as possible. The plan was to cruise 4 hour north past the bridge to St. Ignace, and then rise early to make Calumet Theater in time for sound check and load in.
So off we rode into the darkness, the van at this point is jam packed with slumbering musicians, sleepy murmurs and the harsh stare of the headlights in the northern Michigan dark. About an hour south of the bridge I got a speeding ticket for pulling 84. The cop was very kind, sent us on our and way and lowered the speed so I wouldn’t get any points on my license, thank goodness. I have nothing bad to say about northern Michigan police. He did the best he could for us.
We arrived in St. Ignace near 5am, and immediately all split off to snag as much rest as possible.
We were up again at 10am, and on the road near 11 to head to Calumet.
Calumet Theater is one of the most beautiful theaters in the country if you ask me. Davey Holmbo at the theater told me a few wonderful stories about the theater, and what it was like in its hey day. It was one of the first places to have electricity. Most notably on a 166 bulb Copper Chandelier hung from the theaters ceiling. Folks would ride 5 hours on a horse or in a buggy to come see a show, through the towering Upper Penisula dark. They’d arrive at the theater, which played host to many of the most famous stars of the day (think 1905). Imagine never seeing electricity before in your life, and then walking into a scene of towering electric ecstasy.
The view from the 3rd balcony is dizzying to say the least, and the murals alone would leave you speechless. It was a big moment for us to perform there. The town of Calumet has a bizarre largeness originally left over from copper boom, and its a strange mix of totally run down abandon buildings, and well maintained elaborate structures that still carry the vibe of big to do’s with copper cash lining their pockets. The town feels like its full of more ghosts then people at some moments, it’s a different world altogether up there.
Post Calumet we retreated to the hospitality of Graham Parsons family abode. Loving called “the block”, due to its location on Farm Block Rd. Graham and his community host a benefit festival each year we’ll be performing at later this summer called “Farm Block Fest”. Think beautiful summer evenings in the UP, with extremely delicious nutritive food, and amazing music from the great state of Michigan.
We pulled up in the van, stepped out, and looked up. Stars, oh yea… they exists.. and are quieting, calming, and shrink right back out of your ego into nothingness.
A couple hours later, after some very wonderful homeade soup, smoke trout, hummus, and black bean dip most of us were ready to sleep off the past 30 hours of madness.