March 19th and 20th:
About a month ago I found out that one of my all time favorite musicians, Lady Lamb was coming to play a show in Missoula.
If you don’t know anything about Montana, you should know that the only place popular artists really come to play in Montana is Missoula and occasionally Billings. Very occasionally.
I had to see her perform. I have a painting of her on my wall it would be a waste of an opportunity to not go. I found a friend (the same friend mentioned a few blog posts ago) and we started planning a road trip.
Biggest problem: I was the only one with a licence and had never driven on a highway before. My ultimate decision was to just wing it and hope that we didn’t get in a crash.
It is truly a miracle that my car didn’t break down. I drive a 1993 Mitsubishi and I was honestly amazed that it could even go 80 mph. The only issue with the car that we really had, was not being able to go above 65 mph on an incline. After about an hour I was comfortable with driving on the highway and we were on our way.
We stopped in Columbus and Rocker for snacks and made it to Missoula in about 5 hours. Driving across Montana is just driving past a bunch of grass and trees and the occasional mountain. Things don’t get that interesting until the Butte pass. [I feel like I should insert a map here for people that don’t know Montana geography.]
When we got to Missoula I picked an exit at random and happened to end up right by our hotel. We checked into the hotel, got ready for the concert and then we went to dinner at 5 guys.
I’m a vegetarian and why doesn’t every fast food joint have a grilled cheese option!? That is absolute genius. If your vegetarianism is similar to mine than your favorite foods are bread and cheese and FAST FOOD GRILLED CHEESE IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED. Still waiting on those fast food vegan options though I guess.
After that, we headed to the venue, which was a coffee shop and once again was conveniently located right by the hotel. The coffee shop was set up with string lights and blankets and gave off a very cozy vibe. Within an hour the space had filled with around 25 people and the concert began. Lady Lamb was beautiful her voice sounded just like it does on her records which is rare these days and her music was so authentic.
Right before she played her last song she talked to the audience about what her new album “Tender Warriors Club” meant. She talked a lot about what it means to be sensitive during hard times, not only in your personal life but in the world as well. With the current political climate it is often times had to remember to care for the things you stand up for instead of just fighting for the things you’re against.
This last month has been a bumpy one for me. After being in and then back out of a psychiatric unit I am still trying to find a way for my mind to work through it. I think I will write about it at some point, but right now I don’t have the guts. Lady Lamb reminded me that that’s ok. She reminded me that it’s okay to just exist with those feelings. Be brave, be a “tender warrior” and live your life to the fullest even if there is still a bit of a monster inside of you.
I cried at the show. After it was over we went and bought some merch and met her and then we headed back to the hotel. We ate snacks all night and talked about how magnificent the show was and how we felt about our lives currently. The answer was good mostly.
The next morning we unwillingly got out of bed for the five hour drive back to billings. After a stop for breakfast at green source and another stop at a gas station we were on our way.
The trip was one of the only ones I’ve been on by myself and I felt so good the entire time. It’s trips like these that ease my mind and the numbness I sometimes build in myself to keep me safe.