Wednesday, July 04, 2007

July 2nd - Grande Prairie

So on Monday, July 2nd, our tour began. We left PG pretty early in the morning, but not early enough that we didn't feel the impending heat that would nearly kill us later that day. You see, Josh's heater was broken....which wouldn't be so bad....if it wasn't broken in such a way that it only let out corpulent amounts of HEAT. So we had a long sticky drive to Grande Prairie. The drive itself was nice, the weather was pretty and the scenery was nice. It got a bit dry in Alberta, but that's flatlands for you I guess.

Upon arriving in GP, Josh was really confused at the sideways street lights, so we stopped in at a Costco and took samples because we were hungry. We killed a bit of time, went to a resteraunt that was playing terrible music and had waitresses with several fresh, visable bruises, and made our way to the venue, Better than Fred's.

Better than Fred's sort of scared us at see, it's a sports bar....that almost bordered on a biker was dimly lit, was full of pool tables, and had a haze of smoke all around, because they were allowed to smoke in there. I half expected to see a screen of chicken wire in front of the stage to protect the musicians from the audience, but there was none to be found. We talked to the promoter, made some demands, and then ate some good old fashioned pub food.

Shortly after, we met up with the other band that we were playing with-Eccentric Brain Trick- and they seemed really excited about the show, and invited us to jam with them on one of their songs (me on cello, Josh on guitar). This started to sort of smooth over our worries, but there was still a bit of apprehension going on. I guess we maybe just had jitters with it being the first show of the tour, scary town, whatever.

So it was decided, since we were the out of town act, and an acoustic one at that, that we should play first. We hit the stage, nervously look over the pool tables and dimly lit booths that housed our audience, and began to play. To our immense surprise, the crowd didn't throw things at us. They infact, received us very well. We sold several of our CD's, and had some strange but interesting conversations with some of the bar patrons. (One of which wrote Josh and I a poem during our set). We also met this really cool guy named Stacy, who I unfortunately didn't have a chance to really talk to, but he was also a musician and gave us his CD. The other band also played a really tight set.

So after the show, we packed up, got paid, put fuel in the car (at a sketchy gas station where I saw some crazy cracked out native guy attack some poor slightly more cracked out old man in the parking lot) and hit the 2 am....expecting to find somewhere to sleep somewhere along the road to Edmonton. We drove down many a dead end road that promised campsites to no avail. We finally drove down an old dirt road that finally came to a campsite. But something about it just didn't seem right. Maybe it was cause it was dark, and maybe I'm too parinoid, but something about the place just rubbed me the wrong way.

We drove around for a while, down a narrow dirt road lined with skinny aspen trees that refused to let any light pentrate into what lay behind them, circling around the campsite, passing by empty camp buildings and outhouses. We reached a sort of dead end, and started to turn the car around. It was at this point that I was starting to get concerned that the car might get stuck, and we'd be stranded alone, left to get hunted down by whatever hill billy backwoods murderers obviously inhabited this campsite.

Finally my nerves get to me and I say "Josh...does it bother you that there doesn't seem to be anyone around here...?" He paused and then thanked me for officially making him creeped out too, so we left. It was getting really really really late, so late that we could see the light of dawn branching out from the eastern horizon. By the time we found a less creepy, more suiteable campsite, it was started to get light out. So we set up the tent, discovered we only had one sleeping bag, and tried to sleep while one of our fellow campers kids cried loudly the entire night. Needless to say we didn't sleep terribly well. So the next day, we arose early, and departed for our next tour date....

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