Road Blog: Saturday September 09, 2017 - Windsor, ON
September 9, 2017
We left our AirBB in Montreal at 10am sharp, an hour that came pretty damn early after the late night at Barfly. We got in showers, got down a pot of coffee, and hit the 20 Ouest towards Ontario with Gabe at the wheel to the soundtrack of The Nils. Exhaustion aside, spirits were high after the great show the night before. But that drive…. 9 Hours straight through to Windsor. It was largely uneventful with a lot of banter about the Montreal show, our friends there, and how much we love that city. The sun was out, traffic was thin (except through Toronto), and we made great time. Patty and I worked on some tour booking and arrangements, discussing options for some November runs, sending emails and messages that, more often than not, go unresponded.
We hit Windsor just after 7pm and headed to the venue to scope it out. It wasn’t exactly what we expected, but The Windsor Beer Exchange had its charm for sure. We were to play in the lower level, and there was a hardcore punk show upstairs. We ordered some food from their small menu, set up our merch, and ate while we watched the hardcore bands load in and waited for the other bands on our show to arrive.
We met Tj, the drummer from Black-Eyed Susan – a super nice dude who was providing the kit for the night. We also met Ray, the solo-acoustic opener, who was a friendly, bouncy, free spirit full of positive energy and excitement. Before long the drinks were flowing and it was show time. We had some friends show up from the other side of the Detroit River – Jason, our brother and former bassist, Jon and Alessandra - dear friends from my neighborhood, and – to my great delight – my wife (TrooperGirl22 in social media circles) and our friend Jennifer, who was in town from Kalamazoo for a visit and seemed really excited at the novelty of getting out of the country for a couple short hours. It was great to see them all and to have some familiar faces with us!
The Universe Featuring Ray was a solo act. She had a wireless mic, an acoustic guitar, and completely owned the stage with her performance. Her confidence and refusal to hold anything back was inspiring and we all enjoyed her set. Next up were The Feedbacks – some younger dudes from Windsor who played a sort of Bleach-era Nirvana style with a little more of a bluesy-metal edge. They were super tight and proficient musicians – the singer had a great voice and their bass player was locked in solid with the drummer for the entire set. Cool band. The room filled up pretty good for them.
We hit third, sometime around 11:30, I can’t say for sure, to a thin crowd, but by the 3rd song it was filling in pretty good and we had a good amount of faces in front of us for the majority of our set. The sound was….let’s say….not the best, but we’d been through worse. The manager helped us dial in the monitors a bit and we were on our way. We didn’t play as well or with quite as much spunk as we did in Montreal, but it was a fun set, with an engaging crowd, and a great way to end the run.
After us Black Eyed Susan hit and these women (and TJ on the drums) brought it. Great rock songs, bouncy harmonies, and a cool edge underneath it all. Their singer Mariah moved to Ottawa a year ago so this was a bit of a comeback show for them and they had a good room to play to. As the night went on the crowd got a bit more intense with some new characters milling about, drinking heavily, and looking like they needed a bath. All was fine though, and people were friendly and there for the rock. After the show I chatted it up with their bassist Casie, Mariah and TJ a bit, we traded CDs, loaded out, and headed for the tunnel.
We emerged from beneath the Detroit River sometime just south of 3am, exhausted and ready for a night in our own beds. There was a short line at customs, but it moved quickly and before long we were negotiating our re-entry into the United States of America with an agent. You never know how this is going to go – we’ve seen it all, from intense searches and immigration to a quick passport check and see ya. Fortunately, last night was closer to the latter, with a few softball questions and “have a good night.” Around 3:15 we pulled up to Gabriel’s house where Patrick and I loaded out our luggage and guitars and headed home.
I walked into the back door of my house just before 4am, to a tired, but somehow still awake wife who gave me the recap of the domestic goings-on over the last couple days. We didn’t get a chance to chat too much at the bar – with the music and band obligations and all. I took a quick shower and tried to watch the news to see what was going on with the hurricane and how my friends in Florida might be holding up, but I couldn’t hear the TV over the blaring, high-pitch ringing in my ears and skull, so I shut it off and crashed.
Another good run in the books. Once again, great wealth and fame has somehow eluded us, but we had a great time at these shows and made a lot of new friends and saw lots of old ones. This was the start to our Fall 2017 tour and a good warm up for our annual October trip. More about that in a few days. Thanks Canada – you rule.
Our next show is Wednesday in Detroit – opening for the great Beach Slang, *repeat repeat & more at The Shelter!