Purple lights flooded the stage and a neon sign reading “Scavenger Hunt” accompanied by a palm tree decorated the back left of the stage at the Rock and Roll Hotel.
The air was light, the music was upbeat and a crowd danced along to Scavenger Hunt’s opening song, “Sweet Talk.”
Scavenger Hunt was one of Panama Wedding’s two opening acts, and set the ethereal vibe for those who attended the concert in late December.
Peter Kirk, the frontman of Panama Wedding, said in an earlier interview that having the chance to connect with friends, family and fans he usually wouldn’t see is what he likes about being on tour.
“I think that the best thing about being on tour is connecting with the fans. It may sound cliché or corny, but it is true. He said he met up with his hometown friend Chris in San Diego, and that he wouldn’t have gotten the chance to see him if he wasn’t on tour.
Q: You did a lot of your own music for a while before the band started, so how did Panama Wedding come about?
A: “I was releasing music under my own name for about four years, and some of the songs like Uma and All of The People, I had released under my own name.”
“Panama Wedding was a song that I had written, and I thought well, this could be good. I re-released All of The People under the name Panama Wedding and it got a lot of attention online.”
“At that point, I went about putting together a band. Most of the band members were friends of friends, and really we just started playing.”
Q: Would you say it’s different for you working as a group rather than being solo?
A: “I think in a broader sense, having toured and playing so many live shows, I have a better understanding of how to arrange music that sounds good in a live context. Whereas when I was basically a laptop project, I didn’t think about how songs would sound live.”
“It’s mainly the experience [of] having to work and understanding how things sound live that informs how [I] arrange and produce now.”
Q: I also saw you grew up in New York, which is a very busy place. Do you think growing up there has had any influence on the way that you write and sound?
A: “Living in such close proximity to New York City gives you a bigger sense of possibility. If I lived somewhere in the Midwest, not close to a city, I might wonder where I would play or how I would reach fans.”
“Growing up in New York, having venues like Roseland, Bowery Ballroom … there was a sense that if I put together a band, we’d have a place to play. It made it more realistic to try it out.”
Q: Your last EP came out in November, correct?
Q: And there was one EP that came out before that. Do you find it takes you a while to write?
A: “Every song is different. Some songs I write quite fast. Some songs I spend two to three months on, maybe even more.”
“The gap between Parallel Play and Into Focus … was mainly because we were touring a lot, playing a lot of shows promoting Parallel Play.”
“There was some talk about doing a full length record and we felt that we wanted to put out more music to our fans before dropping a long-form, long-winded statement on our fans. So we thought that Into Focus was that next step.
Now we have nine songs out there in the world which is, almost an album’s worth of material.”
That’s really cool.
A: “And the fans are really excited and they’re really digging the songs … it’s going to be exciting to see what the reaction is when more people know about Panama Wedding and when we release a full length.”
Q: Does having a crowd influence the way that you perform, or the way you and the band perform?
A: “Yeah, absolutely. When you have a great crowd, you’re always playing your best. When you have a shitty crowd it’s not as fun and you’re not in the most natural state you can be.”
“[The crowd] is so important. Now when I go to a show I have a better understanding that yes, the band can actually see you, and your energy is important.”
“Since I have a better understanding of being a performer, I attend shows differently than I have in the past.”
Q: Is it harder to [write songs] on tour?
A: “You don’t have a lot of time to yourself. For me personally, I work a lot by myself. The touring life [isn’t] really conducive to that.”
“But there is a lot of downtime on tour … I think normally I just watch Netflix or download movies.”
Q: Well, you brought up Netflix. What are you currently binge-watching?
A: “[I recently finished] Bloodline, which I love. I’m about to start Narcos.
Oh I’ve heard of that.
A: “I’ve heard it’s really good, and I want to watch Aziz Ansari show, [Master of None.]”
That was really good.
That’s a good variety.
Q: So what are your favorite and least favorite things about being on tour?
A: “I could easily tell you what I don’t like about it, you’re constantly around other people all of the time.”
I feel like that could be stressful.
A: “Yeah, you guys are fine though.”
“When you spend so much time working on music alone in the studio, it’s great to obviously play a show [where] the crowd is excited.
When you meet people after the shows and they tell you it means a lot to them, it’s cool. It’s a really cool thing.”
Featured Photo Credit: Lead singer of Great Good Fine Ok, Jon Sandler, and lead singer, keyboard player, and guitarist of Panama Weddding, Peter Kirk (left). Great Good Fine Ok joined Panama Wedding on stage at Rock and Roll Hotel for their final two songs, a cover the bands recorded together of Easy Lover and PW’s hit song, All Of The People. (Cassie Osvatics/Bloc Reporter)
Alex Carolan is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.