Fall east coast tour—The Stunning Conclusion!
On to St. John, N.B.—As we drive over the Confederation Bridge that connects P.E.I. to the mainland ( one of the longest bridges in the world ), it's hard to believe that in two weeks waves will be washing over it during a wild, fall storm that is brewing up and getting set to pound the east coast. This is a big bridge that rises high above the Northumberland Straight, no small feat for a storm to shut this engineering marvel down. By the time this calamity descends we'll be safely tucked away in the belly of the flat lands playing C & W for people who actually live in the country, out west.
Our show in St. John is being put on by some fellows from the university radio station at a bar/restaurant in the hilly, downtown area of this port city. We played here with Weeping Tile a few times back a piece but not at this roadhouse. At first there seems to be the booker/bar staff dichotomy that slows down the soundcheck drill to a veritable standstill. Also the P.A. rental guy has set up the system (sort of) and is leaving right away but admits that it doesn't seem to be working and tells our vastly experienced and wonderful soundman that he can't put the kick drum in the mix. (I think, "that's okay, Cam only uses it every 4/5sth of a second for the whole show. Who's gonna miss it anyways?). Sean goes immediately into interference mode and distracts our well-meaning promoters long enough so that Grant can rebuild the system properly and we can put on a show.
Once again the show is a blast and the people make us and Jim Bryson feel welcome. The live music scene is on the ropes coast to coast, you know? These small victories spur us on. We spend time usually every morning exchanging stories and views from the previous night's performance. There's a certain amount of pride in traversing the second largest country in the world, putting your all into a show regardless of the size of the crowd or the money (ha!). I figure as long as one person is getting it out there and I can sort of see or sense them, I'm good to go. It helps having your four best friends on stage with you and another at the soundboard. We play so much live that we don't really get to jam with all our gear like this so there's a certain joy that compensates for any lack of audience enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm for music however, does not present a problem down east, eh?
Halifax— ...The big show. Saturday night before Halloween and we don't have costumes, other than Sean Kelly who managed to pull together some pimping/gangster outfit. We had talked about getting some outfits a few days ago in Sackville but Sean (the "east coast authority") assured us that they don't celebrate Halloween down east, instead it's like a "Mardi Gras" thing and it won't be even happening the night we are in Halifax. Ha. Jokes on us as we hit the stage to a roomful of people in all kinds of great get ups. The rest of us are dressed as...uh... guys in cowboy shirts. It's our second time playing the Marquee and the crowd is impressive and fun. We wail through an hour and forty-five minutes of country/punk with too many breaks between songs due to my malfunctioning guitar. Damn things can be your best friend or the bane of your existence. Nobody leaves though, except for Dan who runs off of the stage during "Nobody Home". He does return and looks happy about whatever he did.
The next morning has us up too early to face the long drive back to Kingston. In some other universe we are casually playing our way home through Quebec but here in this odd experiment we drive the entire way in one fell swoop. Ouch! But it's good to be getting home, even if it's just for three days (including a big Halloween show at our local). We are set to continue west after getting our dress up ya-ya's out. We ponder the possibilities of team costumes and land on the Wizard of Oz crew (yes, Cam is Dorothy). Trick or Treat!!