“It certainly is a good day to own a moustache, fellas. Hell, maybe even the whole month.”
– Shane Deyotte. The Man. The Mystery. The Legend.
Saturday, Nov 3
We drive into the United States of America! Most of us sleep through Fargo, North Dakota, unfortunately. It is a massive bummer. We usually never miss Pancake’s House on through this way, so most of us wake up a little sad, but mostly groggy. You know what the quick fix for that grumpiness is, right? AMERICAN JUNK FOOD. From Monster Energy Beer to Funions and Extreme Fajita Doritos, you won’t be disappointed with your choice. What you WILL be disappointed in is the weight you gain from 36 hours of driving and the ridiculous amount of diarrhea fuel you put into your gullet. Just ask Dan’s newly acquired boiler.
We arrive in Minneapolis, the hometown of one of our most favourite rock bands “The Hold Steady,” and explore and scour it for a nice, quiet, local joint where we can put our feet up and have a couple relaxing brews. It is a success, and with tall cans of PBR on special for $3.00, nobody complains, no fucks are given. Not even Dan.
Sunday, Nov 4
We wake up early and begin our trek to Chicago. 30 minutes into the drive we turn around back to the hotel because SOMEONE has forgotten their portable hard drive with their ENTIRE life on it. I won’t name name. There’s no point in getting blacklisted from Hop-Sing’s this early into the journey. It is a long drive to the windy city. Lot’s of snack and pee-breaks, which are key for well-being on the road. We finally arrive in Chicago, enamoured and overwhelmed by it’s sheer size, but are excited all the same. We find our way to Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs. One of Shane’s many childhood dreams are fulfilled, and we take way too much pride in being tourists, “Ooooh-ing” and “Aaaah-ing” over every little nook and cranny of the historic monument to baseball. There is a brief argument whether or not the “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” house is located in Chicago or Los Angeles as the movie was filmed half and half in each city, something that could have been remedied quicker if our phones had worked. It’s in Long Beach.
Later that night, instead of finding a place to sleep, we head out to a south-end venue called The Empty Bottle to catch Canadian gems Elliott Brood and Wintersleep on tour. They are both fantastic and charming. Very tasteful use of banjos and laser beams, and it is wonderful to hang out on the town in Chicago and catch a great show. Here’s a clip of Elliott Brood performing “Old Dan Tucker,” an old children’s hymn, but to be put in context of the show, also the name of a harsh brand of bourbon the boys in Elliott Brood enjoyed the night before:
Monday, Nov 5
We drive through more states on our way to Toronto; the short-lived beauty of Indiana, the roadkill massacre of animal parts and blood and hollowed out deer carcasses in the back of every pick up through Wisconsin, the hilarious, extremely racist and alarmingly abundant bumper stickers at every pit stop through Michigan. After what seems like forever, and one more quick stop for junk food, we finally make it to Toronto, where our saviours of the damned, Tristan and Dean, have laid out our sleeping arrangements for us at their new place. God bless the company we keep and the friendship that grows stronger every hour we are away. It is a solid night of catching up with our best boys.
Tuesday, Nov 6
Today is a big day. Not only do we scramble to prepare for our trip the UK the next evening, but we also manage to fit in a quick rehearsal before playing a show at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern. And what a show it is! Again, another solid night of great music and bands, good people, the beauties of Toronto that they are. We are extremely grateful for the turnout and all in all we have to say it was an amazing and captivating show, by far one of the best in Ontario to date. And like always, without missing a beat, after the drink tickets are spent, the gear is packed up like a champ, we bid a very fond goodnight to all of our friends and Toronto family, and all 4 of us meet on the corner of Queens and Spadina for our ritualistic, after-show street-meat.