What do you get when you mix great music, a diverse and beautiful city, and some very creative people together with the support of City Sightseeing Tours? The Audiobus.
My good friend Justin Miller of Phonofly is plugged into the music scene and a very good judge of things and people (and if not, he’ll buy you a Newcastle) so when he mentioned some sort of “bus” show last night with local musician Goh Nakamura I was instantly intrigued.
Goh has gained quite the following from his Youtube video for Embarcadero Blues, and is playing shows on both coasts.¬† His fingers slide easily across the fretboard, and his voice owns its “fall in love again for the first time” feel without trying too hard.¬† Shegeek, Justin, and I arrived promptly late at 6:23 and were quickly waivered, signed, stamped with rouge stars and ushered into the upstairs of the British double decker bus from City Sightseeing Tours.
The back of the bus enshrined Goh as he played.¬† Patrons sat in pairs listening to the concert on headphones sprouting from the middle of the seats (I’m guessing the retro-fitting on this bus took quite a while to pull this off).¬† Odessa Chen, an acquaintance of Justin’s, sat down across from us.
As we prepared for the trip, the wind started to howl through our skin and I lured Odessa over to my seat with the promise of warmth.¬† She quickly hopped over and introduced herself and then we were off.¬† Goh began with a song from his first album as we started our journey down Mission street.
Right about the time that Goh started his cover of the Cure’s Just Like Heaven I noticed Odessa looking to the heavens – there was something magical about that moment, feeling like we were canoeing across the sky, the current turned to clouds as we meandered among the skyscrapers defining our route.¬† Soon after, we turned onto the Embarcadero and watched the Bay Bridge build its way across the way.
Odessa and I pretended to be tourists in this city reborn before us, if only I had brought my camera! Pictures have never done her justice though.¬† We rolled through his stories from the Embarcadero to Dogpatch to Potrero Hill.¬† And just as the city arched its back to show us the beauty of her rolling hills, we descended quickly underneath the highway and up through Mission Bay.
At times, with eyes closed, I lost myself in the music; at others, I let my eyes lose me in stories I was creating for the streets and sky before me.¬† At the best of times, my brain took input from both and bound something within my chest that began to swell. It felt infinite.