Tour is officially over, and it was our biggest challenge yet. We have so many thank-yous to give out:
· To everyone who came out to the shows,
· To all of the bands that devoted their time and energy into helping us,
· To the kind and generous people that hosted and fed us,
Thank you, from the deepest corners of our hearts. Our tour would not have been nearly as successful without your support and consideration, and we are beyond grateful. And, thank you to our bassist, Victoria, for her energy and work in joining us on this journey.
We will be taking a short hiatus this fall, but we will have videos to share with you of our month-long excursion across the country.
Alea, Jeremiah, Patrick
Early morning this one was. We woke up in Regina to a wonderful porridge made by the illustrious patriarch of the Crowe family, Bob. DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELICIOUS. They also provided a lovely little care package for us to consume from. The drive from Regina to Winnipeg definitely wasn’t as bad as previous drives from the trip, as we were able to spot some trees and whatnot. I was even able to spot the McDonalds we went to from the tour we did two years ago. Interesting how you can remember some things but not other, more important things, like names and birthdays and social security numbers. Many naps were had in the backseat of the Caravan, but eventually, we woke up to the beautiful view of Winnipeg’s gorgeous gray, rectangular apartments. But on a more serious note, there are some lovely little neighbourhoods in the suburbs of Winnipeg. After loading our personals into the house we are staying in, we went to a tasty vegan burger restaurant, just down the street from the venue we played in. I had the sweet Thai burger, which provided some freshness that Ritz peanut butter cracker/sandwich/whatsits are unable to provide. After a delicious dinner, we loaded in our gear to The Handsome Daughter, which was much bigger than expected! The drumkit that was provided was UUUGE. So many parts to it, all of which I wanted Jer to incorporate, none of which he did. The other bands were fantastic; made me very jealous to be honest. Oh well. Can’t be a guitar god everywhere.
We woke up in a beautiful house in Regina – our hosts Jakki and Bob were kind enough to feed us breakfast once we all crawled out of bed. After some chatting and light band work, Jer, Patrick and I headed into town to poke around some thrift stores and a videogame store. We ran into Landon, the drummer of Laska; we chatted a bit and he said he was hoping to come out to our show that night. We were happy to see him, and we continued poking around the city from there. I found a great cross stitch of a drum kit, which Jer sadly did not buy. We went back to the house to have a truly amazing dinner before heading to the show. We were a little nervous about how it would go after our show in Saskatoon, but we had a great turnout, made some money at the door and sold quite a bit of merch! The bands were really lovely and kind and generous as well. We were happy and relieved with how things went. One of the highlights of the night was truly a plot twist: when we first loaded into the venue, there was a man sitting at the bar reading a book, and he remained that way for the entire duration of the show. We didn’t think much of it, but as I was packing up our merch at the end of the night he came up to me and asked for a CD. I was surprised, and said so, also saying I appreciated that he was listening. He nodded curtly at me and left. We later learned his name, and that he goes to every show, reads and buys CDs. It was wonderful.
Today we said goodbye to Nate, Sarah and the most wonderful pup Bubba and drove to Saskatoon. The drive was largely uneventful aside from Google maps taking us on 20km of gravel-road highway. We arrived in Saskatoon and found the venue, a house venue, and admired the beautiful houses in the neighborhood. Last time we were in Saskatoon we only saw the more industrial area, but the house was near the river and the downtown core, it was a beautiful area and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about the show. While the host and bands were nice and accommodating, we played to a small and completely indifferent audience. We left at 11pm feeling disheartened and I drove us straight to Regina to stay with a friend’s parents. Everyone fell asleep as I drove us across the prairies, and when we arrived I fell out of the van and we all loaded into the house. Jer and I shared a luxurious bed, and I was happy as heck to be going to sleep.
It is 1:59AM. We arrived at our friend’s place about an hour and a half ago. It was about a 12 hour drive with all the stops we made. We were supposed to play Vernon tonight, that fell through for a million reasons which is sad but out of our control. Oh well. We are in Calgary now and it was an easy first day, for the most part… probably in part to do with the fact that we had a day off of work beforehand. When everyone arrived at my house, the van was packed like no one’s business, we took everything out. I looked at it all to think about how it would all fit and we began reorganizing. Everything JUST fit in. We’ll be getting rid of a lot of the snacks along the way and that will clear plenty of space. We will also sell lots of merch, I’m sure, and that will relieve some of the load, but woah. I had a special RAYA nesting kit made just for touring and boy did that save us a lot of space, however, even with our minimal gear setup, the van still seems very full. Alea and Victoria took over the first two long shifts of driving today and we listened to a few records and podcasts to warm up to the road. This was our longest drive of the trip, thank goodness. We hit a lot of construction along the way. There were several wildfire’s and smoky sections we just motored through as well.
It feels unusual being on the road again. I don’t know if it hasn’t hit me yet or if I’m just used to it with all of the shows and out of town dates we’ve done. I’m just able to manage the promotion and emails and there’s no pressure leading up to the shows really, even if we don’t have a place to stay in some cities yet. I have had this strange comfortable mindset for a while. My life is going through a lot of change right now though and that may play a part. Having left my busy job and booked this tour with Alea, designed the posters for the third time? and… Well, I don’t know. I am just not all that concerned, like I’ve been in the past. It’s also the first day, so we’ll see how I feel in another week. We already made our first unhealthy food stop at McDonald’s because it was 67 cent hamburger day. We just couldn’t pass it up. They had this great coloring page they were handing out too, but they only had red crayons. So that was good. We definitely need to watch what we eat, I made a mistake on the last big tour and it costed me big time. I learned your diet doesn’t just affect your stomach, it hugely affects your mood. If we drive by a soft serve place though, I might have to splurge. I know we can do this and make whatever comes our way work. Here’s to another 29 days.