Three weeks ago, Dallin Bulkley, Andrew Carew, Ian Cook and Jamin and Jeshua Marshall were onstage under a giant circus tent in Biddinghuizen, Netherlands. As Larry and His Flask, the spirited and wild five-piece band screamed, spit, headbanged, plucked and strummed to a crowd of thousands at the Lowlands music festival that drew more than 50,000 attendees in total, making it one of Europe's largest rock festivals.
"It's a three-day camping festival so the crowd is on drugs and drinking, and there for the whole weekend," explained drummer Jamin Marshall. "Somehow, all the sudden they organized a dance routine where people in a line would jump down and other ones would jump up and yell 'Hey! Hey! Hey!' We were like, 'What the hell? This is amazing!' "
There are no other bands from Bend that can say they've been on two cross-European tours in the last year. An impressive feat, the local folk-roots-rockers just returned from an August trek across the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland.
"It was great. We did a lot of really cool festivals," said guitarist and singer Ian Cook. "But the weather was terrible. Everyone is really used to it over there because it rains all the time. All of the festivals are under huge covered tents, there's no standing outside. They have it down to a science."
The group's fifth European adventure in total, The Flask is returning home for a rare and intimate appearance at Volcanic Theatre Pub before setting out on another whirlwind tour of the US and Canada. In recent years, the band has primarily stuck to playing larger festivals like SummerFest that draw thousands to the streets of Bend. A club show isn't the typical format for the band that, as it evolved from primordial punk basement rock into a polished roots act, has snowballed in popularity in its hometown. When the band started out—and was more used to playing weekly sets in dingy dives and at beer-guzzling house parties than as support for bands like Dropkick Murphys and at Warped Tour—they would always signify their departure and return from tours with local shows.
"Every time before we went on tour we would have a goodbye show and the day we got back we would have a we're home show," explained Jamin Marshall. "We got to the point where we just wanted to get home and go to sleep, or we had to drive 20 hours to get to the first show and don't feel like doing a show before that. But it's a great way to say goodbye. And it's going to be a long, long time before we play Bend again."
The Flask will be on the road starting in Hailey, Id., (it's no Biddinghuizen) next week, and after years of a breakneck tour schedule, is planning to take some much-needed time off upon their return in October. Cook said they want to take the next year to relax and write what could become the band's fifth full-length album, and its first release since 2013's By The Lamplight. The next likely Larry and His Flask show in Oregon won't be until their annual New Year's performance.
"A few of us were at Parrilla and we started talking about it and it just makes sense," said Cook of the show at Volcanic. "We stopped doing shows for the sake of doing the shows, and we always end up doing the festivals. We want to focus more on Bend again and be in the local music scene."
"Larry has never done Volcanic before," added Marshall. "It's going to be very packed. We could probably have a guest list that could pack that place."
Larry and His Flask
Mon., Sept. 15
Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century Dr.