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June 12, 2012

Toronto Times!

We hit Toronto at about 3pm on friday and decided to take Yonge St. all the way from the 401, as we did when we were first here about a year ago. The rush hour traffic made our journey down Yonge well over an hour long, but we were far too excited to complain about the traffic or the 30+ temperature (with no A/C in the van, of course). We did overlook where we were going to be staying for the next 5 nights. How do we always let this happen? While I was maneuvering the busy streets of downtown, the boys were on their phones searching for places to stay.

We were scheduled to be at sound check in about 30 minutes, so decided to go to the venue and worry about where to lay our heads later on. We did a quick sound check and continued our motel search. After finally finding a less than affordable place downtown, we had much needed showers, and made our way to Rancho Relaxo. We caught the last bit of The MacHams set, and sat around and watched a couple other bands while the rest of the bar was drinking tequilla like it was going extinct. We hit the stage at about 1am, and it seemed like the humidity and temperature only gained strength this late into the night. By the time I tuned my guitar before the first song, we were all sweating bullets. I felt as though my guitar we going malfunction from all the sweat going into the electronics. Big shout outs to our good buddies, The Cheap Speakers for coming out to watch us play. It was definitely a good start to our Toronto leg of the tour.

We spent most of the next day repairing/fine tuning our instruments that we didn’t have the time to do previously. As per usual, Josh spent a terrifying amount of money on drum paraphernalia, and the rest of us were diminished to window shopping. We made our way to the Hideout on Queen St. West to do our soundcheck, and found out the band we were opening for had cancelled, and we would be playing with the house band. We were pretty disappointed because that meant a lot less people were at our set, but we played surprisingly well despite that. On the bright side, we were done by 11pm and spent the rest of the night wandering around downtown without a care in the world.

Sunday was one of our days off, so what better way to spend it then at Canada’s Wonderland? We made the journey north to Vaughn, and acted like little children for the rest of the day. What we experienced that day was so bittersweet, I can’t even put it into words. The temperature must have been 35+, and for some reason none of us thought to bring shorts. We waited in line for at least 1.5 hours for each ride. Needless to say, we slept good that night.. Except for the extreme vertigo when we first hit our beds of course..

On Monday we were off to Peterborough to play The Spill. We underestimated the traffic on the Don Valley Parkway, and got there a bit late, but all was well. After what was arguably the best coffee thus far on the tour, and killer sets by locals Lindsay Barr and SuperQuest, we hit the tiny stage on a quiet Monday night and played to a loyal group that stuck around even though the bands they had already came to see were long gone. At about 12:30am, with about 3 songs left in our set, out of nowhere a decent sized group of what looked to be college kids came into the place and refueled what was until then a pretty quiet night. So thanks, unknown Peterborough bandits, you made our night!

Tuesday was the big day for us. I can’t speak for everyone, but it was the one day on the whole tour I was looking forward to the most. We were about to play the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern!  I was going to be as close to Neil Young’s sweat and blood than I have ever been before! Before we could even get too excited about that, we were off to a photoshoot with a photographer I had met back in March when I was attending Canada Music Week. I this very well could have been the hottest day of the year so far, so before we even met up with Nick, we were absolutely soaked in sweat and not ready to have our pictures taken. After a quick detour to H&M to take in some A/C and some fresh t’s, we met Nick a couple blocks from the Horseshoe on Queen St. After struggling with some poison ivy, and getting the book from a couple local proprietors, we managed to get some cool shots. Thanks Nick!

It’s hard to explain to feeling we had when we walked through to the doors of the Horseshoe with our gear in hand. It was a really strange feeling of accomplishment. Granted, this was a tuesday night, and this was a free showcase, but nonetheless, you couldn’t rob us of the high we had for the rest of the night. I think at some point in their career, every Canadian band dreams of playing at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. We were headlining the night, so luckily we got the sound check first, and relax for most of the night and take in some other great music. Luckily we played a great set, aside from a couple broken strings during crucial moments. We were happy with the crowds response at the end of the night, and another item checked off the bucket list. SUCCESS!

Needless to say, we slept good that night, and dreamt of our next stop in the morning; Ottawa!



 Toronto Times!

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