It’s been a spell since we’ve had a good long hang in Cow-town, but thanks to BreakOut West, we were able to spend 3 magical days in a blur, roaming the streets downtown, being naughty in hotels, seeing some excellent bands in action and literally swimming in Big Rock Pilsner. And not at all to worry about us boys from Victoria… we survived with only a few scars… some physical, but mostly emotional… it hurts so good!
We spent a night in Edmonton playing a gig at Filthy McNasty’s the night before the festivities began… of course, we needed to warm up to this onslaught of festival behaviour and build up our tolerance a little bit… and make sure our set was spot on for the oncoming storm of performances by another seemingly endless list of acts performing the next 3 nights in Calgary. We felt it was adequate time spent with our bests Thursday night in Edmonton; the boys in Old Towns, and the reckless pack of friends we’ve made over the years up here playing gigs, all under one roof again. It was a reunion to be half-remembered the next morning, that’s for sure, and we didn’t even feel the ‘the load of shame’ while we extracted our gear during the bar’s afternoon liquor delivery. It was a classic first night of tour. Big thanks to the boys in Old Towns for treating us like family, and to Filthy McNasty’s for their endless patience and PBR tall boys.
We started off the next night in Calgary slow, retrieving our passes and then heading straight into a fine meal from The Palomino Smokehouse, consisting of chili and cornbread, pulled pork mac’n’cheese and a whole pile of bacon-wrapped corn. We said yes to it all. Soundcheck came soon after and the upstairs bar filled to the brim for our set. It was a good feeling, but an even better one knowing that we could hang here all night and 12+ more killer bands like The Belle Game and Miesha and The Spanks. It was a good night that ended at The Legion down the street for Good For Grapes and the inevitable 5am hotel room hang with some good people and beverages. The music industry is still not without its charmers.
The next morning at 3pm, we found ourselves at the ever so famous Calgary venue, Broken City. We cannot count how many times we’ve seen good bands play here on drunken tour evenings, but have never ourselves had the chance. This time we were loading in for an afternoon show put on by our beloved Toronto family at Audioblood media and the fine folks at Beatroute. It is safe to say the entire room was comprised of a giant hangover but the energy was there. It was a great rock show (as if we would ever doubt the tenacity of hungover musicians right?) Miesha and The Spanks and Mise En Scene were delightful. After greasy food and a whole sleeve of tums, we ended up at Republik for our third and final performance at BreakOut West, again with our good pals Miesha and The Spanks (They couldn’t get rid of us the entire weekend) an excellent up and coming band of musicians Good For Grapes, the legendary Five Alarm Funk and an eager Shred Kelly who did a wonderful job filling in for Moka Only.
In the peculiar, but expected, way the night went straight fucking sideways following the events that took place at Republik would explain why the details of the timeframe between 2am-5am are hazy, or absent from our poisoned minds at best… regardless, the evidence of the after-party in the basement of Beatroute exists and proves that 2 out of 4 of us were present, but waking up on the floor of our hotel room next to bloody towels and ice cream sandwich wrappers and Tyson wrapped around Shane in a fetal position makes us believe that there does exist more to this story than any social media could ever capture, and that is the raw power of physical excellence in the form of alcohol consumption.