Saturday, October 3, 2009

Adventures in E-town - Part 1

The other day A and I headed out to Edmonton to see City & Colour, as she's good friends with Dallas. During the drive we see a big truck with a trailer and a large unidentifiable object on the back of the trailer. A and I were trying to figure out what it was as we approached and were shocked as to what we saw as we passed it.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, that is one smashed up airplane! So scary!

After scrambling to get out the camera phones, we continue our journey, unbeknown to us, the events that will occur later in the evening.

Fast forward a couple hours and you will find us hanging out in the dressing room, chatting it up with the band before the show. Stu, the tour manager, walks in announcing to Dallas that 'Brett is on his way, he'll be here soon', to which Dal excitedly announces that he forgot to tell everyone Bret 'The Hitman' Hart was coming! Really? Bret Hart? So strange. Even stranger was how excited Dallas was that he was coming. A few more moments pass, and Stu walks in again stating Bret was in the venue. At this point Dallas, very flustered, exclaims he needs to brush his teeth, while Scott is across the room quickly tucking in his shirt. I was thinking to myself how ironic it was that these people were so excited that Bret Hart was coming to meet them, while at the same time, other kids get just excited to meet THEM. And then Dallas kicks everyone out of the dressing room, he needed a moment before Bret arrived.

A and I wandered to find our tickets and passes and had a chat with our new friend Phoebe, who is running to be Much Music's newest VJ. Having given Dallas ample time to have his moment and chat with Bret, we wandered back to the dressing room to see what was going on. We sat and listened as Dallas and Bret exchanged stories and laughs, all the while still thinking it was so strange that they were so excited to meet each other. Dallas later showed off a picture on his Blackberry of him and Bret together. So proud!

It was then time for the opening act to begin so we made our way to our seats to watch. Hannah Georges was the girl opening and she was so adorable. Her music embedded a sense of happiness in me. A felt like she should be frolicking through a grassy field. Very light hearted and happy music. She reminded of an indie version of Lenka. I encourage everyone to check out her music and live show if she's ever in your area.

Between sets we made friends with the couple next to us and filled them in on our secret that Bret Hart was in attendance. In return they shared their finding of Mike Comrie and some of his NHL Oilers friends. I thought it was pretty rad that there were so many 'celebrities' in attendance. Our new friend began asking us about the band and how we got our great seats as they had got theirs that day. He then shared where his love for the band had come from, which was after hearing 'Body in a Box' following the death of his friend from an avalanche. What a heartbreaking story. But we assured him he would not be disappointed by the show.

And then the moment we were waiting for, City & Colour. Alone on stage with his guitar, Dallas begins the show with 'Forgive Me', with Scott (bassist) and Dylan (drummer) joining in mid-song. A and I had high hopes for the boys as they divulged to us that they hadn't actually practiced since they were together last in May. In fact, they hadn't even seen each other until they arrived at the airport. Backstage, the boys said they weren't going to fill the audience in on this little secret, which would have been for the best in case they DID make a mistake. However, Dallas went against his word and informed the crowd on their lack of practicing. Following that both Scott and Dallas forgot a line in the song, which was barely noticeable if it weren't for the fact that they both looked at each other in the way you would when you screw up. The rest of the show went much better, aside from a tiny mishap during the solo in 'Sleeping Sickness'. Scott provided some humor with his stories while Dallas focused on tuning his guitar a few times. His first story of the evening was about his love for the Oilers and how he got last minute tickets to a game last time he was in the city. This was when I thought to myself 'I wonder if he knows Mike Comrie is in the crowd?'. Dallas's wit and humor between songs also never gets old, nor does counting the number of times he hits his face on the mic (tonight it was ZERO! Good job buddy!). And of course who can get tired of listening to some of the greatest songs I've ever heard. Again, hearts to the amazing Canadian artists out there. Nearing the end of the show Dallas played 'Body in a Box', and I glanced over to the side to see how my new friend was taking the song. He has quietly shedding a few tears to himself and my heart ached for him. To listen to the song closely is enough to make me cry sometimes, but knowing how much pain and sorrow the man next to me was feeling made my heart ache.

Post show we walk into the dressing room to find 5 really big dudes have been added to the mix of musicians and retired wrestlers. They were the members of the Oilers we had scoped out earlier. A and I sat in the corner realizing we were the least important in the room, but still enjoyed listening to the various conversations occurring around the room. A short time later, everyone heads for home and we're left with the band gushing about meeting some of their idols. Scott was as giddy as a child meeting Santa, exclaiming that had he been asked who his top 5 favorite Oilers players were before the show, he would have listed the 5 guys who were just in the room. I couldn't help giggling to myself over how funny it was to see.

It's at this time where the guys needed to leave the venue and head back to their hotel room. We say our goodbyes and thanks for the show and good laughs and head out of the city. A and I can't get over how bizarre the night had been, with the random people showing up backstage. Then A gets a text from Dal inviting us out for drinks. We were nearly out of the city, but decided we had nothing to lose by going back. Or did we?

Upon driving in circles around a few blocks, we manage to find the hotel but are having a difficult time finding parking. A pulls into a lot that was nearly empty, but we learn it costs $7 to park there. That wasn't happening, we go to leave and she accidentally backs into a parked car. Oh no. The damage to the other vehicle was pretty good. Nice sized dent in the back corner. A's car however only had a couple scratches. Go figure. She did the right thing and left her information on a note under the windshield wiper and we left to find cheaper parking. This certainly called for a drink. It was nearly 2:30am by the time we left the hotel bar after reminiscing over old songs, listening to more stories and avoiding the strange friend Dallas had made that was hanging around (when you have to tell someone that your psychiatrist thinks you're normal, I think that means you aren't). Many thanks for Lyndon, the bartender who stayed after closing to pour our drinks and hang out. It was a sad moment saying goodbyes to the guys for good, despite knowing we would be back the next day.

It was one long, sleepy drive home, seeming much longer knowing I was to be up for work at 7am.

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