Jeff: “Remember, Dan, it’s not a lie if you believe it, right?”
Anthony: “Wait… didn’t George Costanza say that?”
Jeff, takes Anthony aside: “Shhhhh, I’m training him.”
Sunday, March 18, Winnipeg
We wake up a sweaty, hungover mess in our hostel room to the sound of the front desk clerk knocking on our door, telling us to vacate immediately. I answer the door in my underwear, barely able to speak. She seems frightened. I would be too. It seems the weather has been getting warmer and more humid as we’ve been traveling. We are completely unprepared for this and sweat our lives, and all the drinks we drank the night before, out as the day goes by. It was a good St. Paddy’s Day, that’s for sure. In the middle of the night, it seems that Tyson had stumbled in as his alter-ego, someone we are now calling “Razor-Wire,” and pestered Dan and Anthony in their sleep, finally residing to a nice spot, curled around the toilet. He moves back to his bed early in the morning and I tie his shoelaces together while Anthony draws his masterpiece on Tyson’s arms. “It’s a dick-farm.” Anthony calls it, in retaliation for the other phallic resemblances Tyson prides himself on, drawing them on people’s skin when they’re asleep. “I guess it’s something he learned to do professionally when he was in college other than web-design. Drawing dicks, that is.” Says Dan.
With Van Halen at the doctor’s office, we have no other means of transportation, for us, or our large amount of equipment we have left overnight in the Lo Pub. We have to be at an all-ages show at the Crescent Fort Rouge Church in approximately 3 hours from now so we contact the Greater Than Giants boys. They are our saviors for the day and kindly lend us their van and trailer to bring our gear to the church. The ride in their van from point A to B consists of bad accents, bad smells, bad jokes and the use of a mega-phone provided by Tyler, to scream out the window at attractive girls, or to promote the shows we play in the town we’re in. Haven’t decided which one is what it’s actually for, but I like it.
We load into the church and it is beautiful. The building is a century old and the acoustic are absolutely incredible, quite ideal for our situation. Every tour I have ever been on, there has been a venue such as this, something that reminds you of the beauty of live music, that carries voices and strings quite literally to the heavens, where you don’t really need a microphone or any amplification for that matter. You can hear a pin drop between songs and connect with the entire audience in a way that is lost on so many people who come out to see bands at loud, rock and roll clubs late at night. It is my favorite thing in the world, to perform at or attend. It is beautiful, and our friend, and wonderful photographer, Joey Senft from the night before, who I promptly call “Joanne,” shows up to take some more pictures of the show. She is unimpressed with my inability to remember her name, but is very forgiving and kind. I tell her not to worry and that it is not just her. She laughs and tells me to stop digging myself out of the largest hole ever created.
The show begins with an acoustic act, a local man by the name of Andrew Mitchell, who has a sound very reminiscent of early City and Colour with a country twang at the heart of it. He explains the Winnipeg music scene during his set and I begin to love this city again, forgiving the “pothole” incident altogether. I fall in love, hard, with the next band. They are called “Ferris Wheels” and they have a fresh indie-rock sound that reminds me of The Promise Ring if Nate Reuss from “Fun.” was the singer’s influence. I inform the singer, Adam Hanney, of this and he tells me he gets that alot but doesn’t see it. Greater Than Giants go on next and, as always, perform a great set, in which I charge the stage and sing along for their song “Never Growing Up,” a growing favourite. They get a great response.
We play the quietest loud set we have ever played and again, I am in love with the sound of the church. It is perfectly balanced and we, along with the crowd, just have fun with the set. I talk between songs without a mic and tell stories of my childhood and all the stupid things I used to do, all my shortcoming and drunken antics, everything on the sleeve tonight. I decide at the last minute to perform a completely acoustic version of our song “This was not my best day ever” on account of the intimate setting and vast beauty of the church. It is a moment in which I was so happy to share with everyone who came out tonight. Following the song, in sheer excitement, I accidentally smash my eye into the side of the acoustic guitar as hard as I can. “Hulk strength!” I cry as I begin to bleed from the side of my head. It throbs the rest of the night and I am happy to one day have a scar that will remind me of such a moment.
Thanks to Handsome Anthony for capturing this. If you look very closely and quickly, I smash my face real good.