Quote of the day:
Jeff: “Have you ever seen Ferngully? It’s actually pretty rad.”
Dan: “Ferngully? Like the prequel to Avatar?”
Friday, November 18th, 9:00 am, Regina
We spend the morning in our friend Erin’s house, abusing her facilities, making her dogs crazy, Lewis and I have a beer for breakfast. It’s pretty rough. The night before we watch the grand finale of the Peak Performance Project streamed live from the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver and it is the most heart-wrenching event so far on the tour. Watching all our friends in The Boom Booms, Current Swell and The Matinee kill it without us there makes us slightly homesick, but when the winners are crowned we celebrate loudly with whiskey and crush our twitter feed with drunken praise. After texting in drunken silence for an hour, we decide to watch the Disney classic “Aladdin.” And yes, we even rewind it during the part where Scott Weinger is being a total perv under his breath, my favourite childhood tape phenomenon, much like the erection incident during “The Little Mermaid” which I didn’t notice until I was much older. We say goodbye to Erin and are in the van on the way to Yorkton. It is -20 and the roads are sheets of compact snow and ice. Welcome to Saskatchewan, where Lewis actually eats fruit for the first time on the whole tour. Miracles.
6:00 pm, Yorkton
Tonight we play in a Veteran’s Hall. Ten Second Epic have a meet-and-greet in the Yorkton town mall which, unfortunately, we do not make it into town in time to crash it and admit that we, and only we, are their biggest fans, other than Mike Noga of course. It is a frigid power-load into the old legion hall. There is Christmas tree beside the merch tables and an out of tune piano on the side of the area designated for the performance that Daniel, Tyson and I entertain ourselves on with horrid and incompetent renditions of Katy Perry’s, Adelle and yes, even Britney Spears. The opening band “Plectrum” plays a nice set for their friends packed into this pool-hall/bar. It is a nice, warm space with a makeshift sound system and a fireplace, but we find a happy medium and play a decent set to a town who has never seen us before. This is always the hardest part, I find, the attempt to win over locals, who are indeed music fans, but are most likely there to see the headliner, even at a small all-ager like this. We are able to make a few new friends with our constant bombardment of sing-a-longs and stomps and claps. Ten Second Epic kills it, charming as ever with their heavy, catchy, pop-rock, and watching them interact with their die-hard fans on stage and off, warms my heart. They even take requests.
Following the show, we are rewarded with pizza in which we devour in less than 5 minutes, like a pack of drunken hyenas. There is talk of bowling and hitting the local night-club “Holly’s” after we load out. The members of the opening band and a few of their friends then warn us of going to the club by ourselves. Apparently, fighting is a staple activity when attending Holly’s, no matter what the occasion. The bass player enlightens us with a story of partying there one Thanksgiving weekend and being knocked out with a beer bottle and waking up in the hospital, not 5 minutes after entering the bar. We laugh, and then he shows us the scar. Most of us gasp and put our faces into the “holy shit” expression. Sandy and Pat yell in unison “We ain’t afraid of no man!” Fighting words, for sure. During this I am reminded of my high school years in Castlegar, the gem that it became over the last decade, and how, even though their were decent local hockey, basketball and rugby teams, the ability to fight was always #1. It was a classic shame, but it was definitely a weekend activity in which every college boy and girl seemed to participate in. That and owning a big goddam truck to outrun the cops in when driving to and from some bush party. Shamefully, we steered clear of the bar, got the cheapest of cheap motels and went to sleep. And yes, we did miss the brawl later that night.