Woodhands Tour Diary
Pink Mafia asked us to write a tour blog, and we said yes but really it’s a little illusory – the tour was only three shows, and one of them was in Toronto which is where we live. But! It was still a crazy couple of days and as intense as touring gets for us. Maybe even a little more, because we knew that we were coming home pretty soon. In any case, here’s how it’s gone down for the first couple of days.
Paul and I just got back from touring Europe on Sunday and after having a couple days rest in our own beds we headed to Calgary on Wednesday (Canada Day) to play at Sled Island, which is a pretty awesome festival all over Calgary. With Sled Island you never really know what you’re going to get because they take over every single venue in the city – and some of them are a little…shitty. But it doesn’t really matter because the kids come out and we’ve definitely played our fair share of dive bars. It’s kind of like coming home in a weird way.
While there is something romantic about flying across Canada, it goes out the window when you arrive and your gear isn’t there. Yup, my keytar and synths and drum machines didn’t make it on our plane. So after checking into the hotel (Hilton! Yes!) we walked around a bit and met up with some Calgary friends. But that’s the thing about touring – there’s always something in the back of your mind that you know you have to be worrying about. No matter: we made our way to Tubby Dog, which is the best fucking hot dog joint we’ve ever been to (and sadly, we’ve been to a ton).
Air Canada told us they’d deliver our gear to our venue in a cab – assuming that it was really on the next flight out. So we did as we were told and showed up on time to the venue, which was as suspected a hilariously divey basement bar. It was only hilarious, though, until we met our sound guy. There’s a this really weird feeling that you get when you walk into a club and realize that the sound guy is insane. It’s like the whole purpose of your life has just been compromised and there’s nothing you can do about it. You could be playing the hottest show of your life but if the sound guy is crazy, it just doesn’t matter. So when he walked up to us, angry for some reason and sounding like he hadn’t been out of the bar in 30 years, we started getting sketched out. Here’s a picture of him (we wanted to protect his identity a little bit):
I think he’s trying to turn up the suck in this picture. Anyways, the beautiful thing is that just in the middle of talking to him, I get a text from Matt Lederman – our touring sound guy – who out of the blue says that he’s coming to Calgary tonight! Turns out that he is doing sound for !!! (also known as chk chk chk) for our show together the next night and he was getting in early. So we beg Matt to save us from the luddite who is going to do our sound and he agrees, on the condition that we buy him some bourbon. Seems fair. After that, we roll upstairs and wait until, like a vision from heaven, a cab rolls up with all of our gear inside. Sweet, sweet relief.
The show was pretty amazing and there’s still, after all these years, something really special about hearing people sing your lyrics back to you. We debuted some new material too, and there was so much love in the room that by the end of it we were on a serious high. I did elbow a girl in the face by accident, but hugged her during a crowd charging session during the last song so I think we’re square. The bar (Vern’s Tavern) was conducive to sweaty crowd participation and we definitely shared some sweat with our fans. It was dirty and delightful.
It’s funny, before a show I always feel like there’s no way I’m going to be able to make it on stage. I get crazy exhausted, like my body’s anticipating the energy that’s about to be expended, and I am 100% positive that I’m going to play the show and go straight to bed. Never works like that though! As soon as we finish our shows all I want to do is party with Paul and whoever else is around. After the show at Vern’s, we owed Matt for saving our asses so we wanted to give him the best night of his life, which ended up being a hilarious house party featuring reams of home brew beer, tents in the backyard, and a really, really stupid jam session. I was given a synth that had no notes on it and I contributed less than zero. Did I mention we were really drunk? That might have had something to do with it. Anyways, Matt started to fall asleep around 5AM so we grabbed a cab back to the hotel and tried to get enough sleep to seize the day. We had another show the next night, and because days that don’t include hours in a van are such a luxury on tour, we were intent on making the most of it. Fingers crossed the hangover isn’t so bad…
Oh yeah – did we mention the amazing Canada Day fireworks?