Tag Archives: tour#4

Western Canadian tour by the numbers:

Kilometers Driven: 10,497.2 (plus another 600 if you count Chris’ solo voyage to Edmonton and back)
Vehicles used: 4 (5 if same as above)
Songs heard in the van: 1022
Shows: 11
Other bands played with: 21
Days on the road: 20
Footlong Subway sandwiches consumed: 11 1/2
Kilometers driven without a license plate: 4084
Interactions with the police: 0
Over the top dance parties: 4
Empty Bars: 0
Photos: 86
Good Times: 10000000000

Love. Tour.

So we made it home.

The Final Number

It’s been almost two weeks now that we’ve been out of the van, but it’s been a bit of whirlwind. Between reacclimatizing to the realities of normal life and the madness of Pop Montreal (which required its own recovery period), we’re only just getting back to normal now.

The final few days of the tour played out like this:

Crossing the Border

No Kidding.

The Apollo was amazing, we played to a surprisingly large and excited crowd (read: 12 people) for a rainy thursday night in Thunder Bay; there was dancing, and our first ever encore (read: we played Kids TV a second time because we didn’t know any more songs). The Apollo seems to be keeping its head above water for now (or at least is getting really good at holding its breath!), and we wish them the best. Sheila, Tina and Alex are the proverbial bomb.

Our new pal Josh Talakoski warming up the Apollo stage

Seriously T-Bay, show up and show your support as often as possible!

We then spent about 30 ish hours in the van, in the rain, stopping only to sleep and eat subway sandwiches. I can happily report that Lester Montana is even more comfortable than rusty was for the purposes of sleeping and watching early 90’s Law and Order.

Things got a little ridiculous.

Note the Hearts

The final show of the tour took place on a very rainy saturday night in Ottawa. We opened up the evening at the Avant Garde Bar for some self proclaimed “old-timers” who had recently gotten back together as a band for the first time in 15 years. There was a little bit of rustiness, but good times were had by all in attendance and on stage.

40 Watt Monkey


After the gig, we made a bee line for Montréal, deciding that arriving at 3 am and sleeping in our own beds was worth the late night drive.
It was.

Being home is wonderful.
Being on tour was wonderful.

Can’t wait to hit the road again!

Stay tuned for sweet stuff taking place in Montréal in the mean time!


Winnipeg is quickly becoming one of our favourite cities in the country, having now played there as many times as Toronto. This, despite the fact that it’s more than 4 times the distance and has less than a quarter of the population. I can now also say that the crowds there have started infinitely more mosh pits to Conviction than Torontonians ever have. All three of our appearances in Winnipeg have been in the Exchange district, all taking place within 2 blocks of each other.

Upon our arrival, we loaded in to the Rudolph Rocker, up on the third floor of 91 Albert street, the legendary home of many of Winnipeg’s workers co-ops, including the Mondragon cafe and G7 Welcoming Committee records. Unlike our first show in Winnipeg back in May, we had an army of locals helping to cart our stuff up the stairs; it seemed as though the promises to bring friends to the next show we heard on the way out had been lived up to. All the local bands played killer sets, the place was full, and crazy dancing ensued.

Narwhal Strike

Pop Crimes


We spent the night back in the venerable halls of the Mansion, and I even managed to snap a couple more photos of the place, though they still fail to properly capture the majesty within.

The Speaker Tree

Riverfront View!


The next morning, (closer to afternoon, really) we piled back into the van, and kept moving eastward.

This time around, we were performing at a cool little place called Caffe Sola. Much like our own Le Cagibi in Montréal, the space was a coffee shop featuring all kinds of local goodies, and featuring a back room done up like a mini venue: complete with stage, PA, dance floor, and a few tables. The night’s promoters, Phil and Rich of Vive productions had rented the space earlier in the summer and were working on establishing it as a concert venue for independent local and touring bands, offering an alternative to the occasionally overwhelming size of Amigos.

We were joined by a new friend of our, Ben, the drummer of Saskatoon legends Feral Children, who rocked our faces off with a great set of tape loop saturated shoegazey goodness. Apparently our touring itinerary practically mirrored the most recent Feral Children tour, with stops at the Apollo, Wunderbar, the Cobalt, and Amigos, which is pretty cool. Road stories were shared, to say the least!

Ben tape-loop-shoe-gazing it up!

After a night spent in the comfort of Phil’s decidedly lovely home (where I’m told Torngat once performed), we were on the road once again, destination: Winnipeg.

Up to Speed

We’re currently cruising in the comfortable confines of Lester Montana along the final stretch of the number 1 highway, on the way from Winnipeg to the glorious womb of the Apollo in Thunder Bay. The last several days have been a bit of a whirlwind, which is why I’ve been less than diligent with my blog updating duties.

After returning from Vancouver, we had a wonderful show at the Palomino in Calgary. Opening up for some serious heavy rockers JJS3 and the Great Evil, we were a little out of place. The bar was half filled with our friends and family members, and half with leather clad, tattoo bearing metal folk. I’m pleased to say that we held our own, and managed to convert a good chunk of the audience. More good vibes were thrown our way from many of our childhood idols, which made us get a serious case of the proverbial “warm-fuzzies”, as did the copious quantities of free Steam Whistle. All had a lovely night, as far as I could tell!

Ready to Go!

JJS3 Bringing the Metal

The Great Evil bringing the Rock

The next two days were rather insane in the busyness department, but the upshot is that within 48 hours we had test-driven, purchased and temporarily registered our new vehicle, the lovely Lester Montana. Les is a brown 2004 Pontiac Montana, essentially the same vehicle as our beloved Rusty Venture (RIP), only newer and nicer in every way.

Pretty much as Soccer-Mom-ly as they come.

I’m fond of saying that our first van was Rusty, and the second one was Les. Chris likes to go with “Les is more!” Chris also made the trip back up to Edmonton to reclaim the belongings we had left with Rusty at the shop, and to administer last rites.

Rusty Venture (2000 – 2010) ~ RIP

After saying our final goodbyes to friends and family (and stocking up on practically everything we could get our hands on), we headed east, stopping first in Saskatoon.