• Local Natives: Mrs. Hippo

    Local Natives' tour blog entry number three comes from vocalist/guitarist Taylor Rice.  Here he pays homage to their increasingly important tour bus, affectionately named "Mrs. Hippo."

    Matt prepares mentally for the show.

    We have a tour bus. It’s monstrous. It sleeps twelve, operates six independent air conditioning units, and between the girth of its walls manages to contain a small kitchen. Should the last couple sentences appear distastefully boastful to you, let me offset that impression by letting you know: Nobody is more grateful or surprised to have a tour bus than us.  We jumped up and down like an award-winning seventh grade Girl Scout troupe when “Mrs. Hippo” (which she was immediately named) first rolled into our lives. The once seemingly insane idea of spending most of the money we’ve saved over the last year to lease the twelve wheel behemoth for this six week US tour came when we saw the drive schedule and venues we’d be playing.

    Millennium in-store show.

     Two nights at the Henry Fonda in Los Angeles, the Fillmore in San Francisco, the Showbox in Seattle, etc, etc. The list of legendary venues rolls on to Webster Hall at the end of October in New York. Any band should count their lucky stars to get the chance to perform in so many inspiring spaces. That’s why we got the bus. Not because we deserve it, not because it makes financial sense, but because we owe it to the fans who come out to support us to be our best.

    Ritual.

     Being on the road the last two years straight, we’ve spent enough sleepless 48-hour periods trading off driving through the night and pissed in enough shaking, empty water bottles while barreling down the freeway to appreciate the finer comforts Mrs. Hippo affords the touring life. However, it's not the two satellite televisions or the ability to pour myself a bowl of cereal en route between Portland and Boulder that makes me fond of that incessantly sputtering hunk of metal. It’s the early morning instore performances we’ve been able to add (and hit our harmonies at). The time to finally let the new songs start kicking their way from my mind into existence. The capability to stay out at the bars with our new friends The Love Language and watch them freestyle rap battle with the house hip hop band.

    Stu Love Language and I at the Boom Boom Room post Fillmore.

     It’s the best six shows we’ve had all year in a year full of hundreds (literally) of great shows. This is going to be the best tour we’ve ever done. A special thank you to Mrs. Hippo, and to the crazy kids, you men and women of the west coast. Eastward ho!

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    (Photos by Bethany Toews)