When we arrived at the airport, we were told that one of our equipment cases was ten pounds over the limit, costing us an additional $90.00! So, Dia stuck in-ear monitors in her suitcase. Nick tucked cables in between some t-shirts and underwear. I found a place for a few percussion instruments in my purse. We managed to remove enough items so that we met the mandatory weight limit. Everyone gave me funny looks as I walked to our designated gate, tambourines and shakers clanking with each step.
Upon our arrival, after locating our bags, the first thing I did was clench my teeth and step through the automatic doors preparing for the chill. It was cold, but there wasn't a raging blizzard outside, and there weren't angry polar bears roaming around the streets. In fact, once we started driving to our hotel, we all discovered that Alaska was pretty much the same as where we had just come from.
The first night Carlo and Jonathan ventured out into the streets of downtown Anchorage. Dia and I usually stay in and sleep. I always regret my decision to stay in the hotel because the next morning Carlo and Jonathan always have some outlandish crazy story that happened at this bar or that restaurant.
Sure enough, they made friends with all the bartenders and the coffee baristas, saw a moose, and were hounded by a crazy drug dealer walking down the streets. (Of course they didn't buy anything! We aren't The Rolling Stones!)
The next day we ate breakfast at a delicious cafe called Snow City. The food and excellent green tea they serve there were well worth the icy treck twelve blocks or so from our hotel. Dia and I got all bundled up. She even wore a Meg and Dia sweater around her head, because she forgot a scarf! Once again, I need to figure out how our camera phone works so I can share these memories with all of you.
We didn't know what to expect from our show we were about to play at the University of Anchorage. The room was a music hall on the smaller side, usually used for the students' symphony concerts.
Dia opened up with "Jar of Hearts". Whenever she sings and plays alone, I like to creep into the audience to experience what they are experiencing. She launched into the most beautiful performance. So much power and confidence resonated from every note. The audience clapped just about every three phrases.
We were all a bit stiff starting the set out, and we knew it, but for some reason, once we banged out those few measures at the beginning of our set, we settled into each other's sensibilities and really paid attention to each other. We would do a lot of things on the fly. If Dia came in a little later, we all came in a little later. If someone changed around an instrumental part, we all accommodated.
After the show Meg and Dia received our first standing ovation to date. Back in the green room Dia was tearing up.
Today, Dia and I will probably spend our last morning here eating a final Alaska breakfast at Snow City. She'll probably order the crab cakes, and I'll probably order my "bird food" as usual and eat some berries and granola. Nick will probably sleep in until noon because he was out chasing moose with his new Nikon camera. He came back to the hotel a few times in between "moose chasing" last night. At one point, he blew into the hotel room, his nose pink with the cold. His eyes were wild with excitement, as he practically shouted, "Look at this shot I just got!" I stared into the camera viewing window, and there it was, a giant mother moose gazing straight at nick's camera with such an intense and questioning human expression. It seemed to be thinking, "What the hell are a bunch of Utah kids doing in my city? Excuse me while I continue eating the berries off of this tree."