As I sit to reflect and write about my travels through Canada following The Head and The Heart, I can’t help but find a smile sneaking across my face. It was truly, truly a wonderful and special experience. My heart is so full. Not only are they wonderful musicians but also, truly wonderful and genuine humans as well. I can’t speak fondly enough of the entire band and my love for them.
But, there’s a lot to tell so let’s begin from the start;
I left Minneapolis early Friday morning, making my way to Canada to attend six of my favorite bands shows. We were touring “with” the band, but not ‘with’ the band. Call us groupies, I prefer to think of myself as a devoted lover of great music.
I flew into Toronto anxious to get this trip started. My friend, Joe, had recently quit his job and decided to spend the next year traveling. He met me at the airport and away we went on our adventure. After a few stops in Toronto we began the 8-hour drive east to Quebec City.
As it turns out I’m not that fun of a road trip partner if I’m ridin’. I tend to fall asleep real quick and for real long, oops. I snoozed away in the front seat for most of the drive, waking up of course, to eat my pizza and to sing along to some DMB, THATH and Almost Famous soundtrack.
As the sun started to set, my internal excitement for the show started to kick in and I got my energy back. We rolled into Quebec City after the sun had set. We knew we would be late for door open so my anxiety level was at a calm and collected state. We found the venue easily enough but were having some troubles finding parking. So, like any normal person, we opted for the “VIP” behind the venue, directly in front of the tour bus parking… again I say, oops. Stretching as we got out of the van, we casually looked around and decided we blended in well enough with the crew van and tour bus; we looked like we belonged and after all, that’s rule #1; be cool, act like you belong.
We headed inside the tiny, 400 person venue and found ourselves in the back of the most crowded bar.. but, I was determined to make my way to the front. Most everyone in the bar (and Quebec City) spoke French. I quickly realized they could also speak English but most preferred not to. I managed to find myself in the 3rd row with a perfect view from stage right. Some young men next to me started to strike up conversation with me… in French. I awkwardly stood there and just looked at them trying to formulate my head the best way to respond. I finally just said, “I don’t understand..”
“Oh, you speak English?”
“Yes, I’m sorry I don’t understand French.”
With that he turned to his friends, laughed and continued a conversation with his buddies in french. k. whatever. I didn’t have time to worry about the mockery of some random guys, the show was starting. The band came out and filled the crowded room with excitement and energy. Opening their number with Cats & Dogs into Cour D’Alene was the perfect way to make me feel exactly where I needed to- at home. The small and intimate venue gave the band a different vibe than I was used to but I didn’t mind. Sure, they weren’t able to spread out like normal and poor Kenny seemed squished to the side- but I was really digging closeness. With a fantastic explosion of passion they ended their show with Down in the Valley (typical- but I’ll never complain).
With that, we made our way out back- back to our van and conveniently where we knew the band would be. No surprise we saw Josiah standing by the back door casually smoking his cig. We casually lounged in, out and around our vehicle for an unnecessarily long amount of time. We watched band members get on the bus, crew members get on the bus, band members leave the bus, crew members open their beers, and finally their manager walk down “talking on the phone” and look at us then walk away. Awkward. Finally, we decided to just go over and say hello to Josiah. So, we walked creepily down the dark, faintly lit alleyway toward them..
It was a friendly conversation, nothing less than expected from Josiah. He has always been so genuine and nice I was pleased he continued this personality outside and after hours. We chatted with him and his girlfriend for a few minutes before bidding farewell.
It was only the beginning of a fantastic adventure, but I could already hardly control my excitement.
Next stop; Montreal.