Yesterday evening I ran into Anna Lombard (of anna and the diggs) and was super envious when she told me she was on her way to the State Theatre to see the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Originally a friend and I were supposed to get tickets, but alas, we never did. And when I saw the ever-excited Anna, I was running late to my second job at Pai Men Miyake. I hugged Anna, told her to enjoy the show, and went into work a little bummed I’d never followed through on that ticket purchase.
About twenty minutes later, my coworker Alison approached me as I watered a table and whispered in my ear, “don’t freak out but Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi are about to walk in.” Naturally, I freaked out.
Normally, I’m not one to go Beatles-mania over celebrity sightings. They’re just like everyone else for the most part, right? But if you’ve ever seen these two live before then you understand why I went all fangirl. Not five minutes later was I seating them at our bar, pouring them water, and trying my best not to fawn all over them like the geek I know I am. Holy cow, I’m pouring water for Rolling Stone’s #81 pick for Greatest Guitar Players of All Time. God, I hope it’s good water.
I wasn’t the only fan amongst my coworkers. Alison, who kept herself much more composed than I was able to,* told me she asked Mr. Trucks if they were going to be late to their show, to which he replied, “probably…but I hear this place is worth it.” Another fangirl moment: Ohmaga, they’ve heard about us!
*I’m pretty sure I stared at them for ten minutes straight. Derek, Susan, if you’re reading this, apologies from the creepy hostess. But I love you guys so much. Yikes, I got a little creepy again just now, huh?
I went over to their bar seats a few times to refill water (maybe unnecessarily as I’d previously left them with a full carafe) and continued to smile while I tried not to stare. I won’t run through everything they ordered but I was happy to see they did get the pork buns, a Pai Men specialty. I was a regular at Pai Men long before I worked there so I really mean it when I say the pork buns alone are worth tardiness to any engagement. Perhaps James Beard put them on to the buns. Fangirl got the best of me again and I imagined Derek and Susan late to their show, happy and full, allaying the disgruntled crowd with these words: “If you’ve ever had the pork buns at Pai Men, you understand why we had to be late.”
For the record, I’m pretty sure they weren’t late. We had them out the door shortly after 7pm and on their way to the lucky ducks at the State who actually bought tickets. Though I didn’t get to go to the show, I did get to speak to them (if you count my awkward and mumbled “hi” as speaking), and I am proud to say they chose Pai Men as their Portland dining experience. Here’s to hoping they’ll be back next time. And for all the rest of you, stop in for some pork buns—all the cool kids are doing it.
UPDATE: Sources say Trucks and Tedeschi made an appearance at Gritty McDuff’s, as well. They even saw Velourosaurus play a set. Way to represent, Portland.