Calgary, Alberta was described to us by some Canadians as “The Armpit of The World.” We’re not feeling that. Sure, we’ve only been here for fifteen hours, but I couldn’t be more impressed by the people we’ve met. The HiFi Club is a really nice spot in downtown with a deep stage and a spacious dance floor. Many of the posters were made by our old friend Joshua Ruckstuhl, who, as you all know by now did the artwork for Ooh La La, Sha Sha…
(Wait, how could you not know that? Have you forgotten to pick up a copy? We’re trying to outsell Kanye and 50, people. We can’t do it without you.)
Anyhow, we finally got to meet the guy. Couldn’t have been nicer. Thanks again, Josh, for your incredible work. We also met a bunch of other great people, like Anthony, Sarmad, Wax Romeo, DJ Day and our old friend Huggs, who is best known for putting on “Soul Power” when we needed it most a couple years ago. Thanks to all of these people for making a fantastic night. We didn’t meet Pete and Mike, but they deserve a loud shout, too.
Okay, how fantastic was it? Well, it was potentially the best show we’ve ever had in a place we’ve never played before. (Say that ten times fast.) People came out, people sang and people danced. People supported our tour by buying records. Calgary, in short, is the bee’s knees, impossible not love after that experience…
From the opening words of the show, “Dormant Party People! Your time is here!” the crowd erupted into a cacophony of spirited applause. They came to party and they were ready to let it all hang out. Daddy Wrall entered to wide eyes and people did their best to sing along with “Number One,” though nary a one had heard it before. Well, that’s not entirely true; we discovered after the show that the Miss Fairchild Mixtape has been making the rounds up here and some people had anticipated our arrival for some time.
Speaking of “Soul Power,” just before the rap portion of “Girl’s Gone Wild,” people seemed to think that DW really was James Brown, as they exclaimed a rowdy “Yeah” in response to his question. “What am I James Brown?” And it was our house for the duration of that show. So, stop the shooting!
The sound on stage was a tough, due to the enormous hollow chamber below our feet, but we marched hard and made it over the hump. You know how we sometimes talk about us “funking hard”? Well, that’s what happened last night. Calgary had us digging deep into our pockets and coming with some of that gut bucket, tabacco chaw, hoodoo funk. In fact, for the first time in almost ten years, I broke a guitar string. It wouldn’t be worth noting, except that it hasn’t happened in soooo long. I think I was threatened a bit by our very own Trick Johnson who has taken his bass solo to the next level of late, sounding a bit guitar-ish, in the best possible way. I may have overcompensated though, and I’m sad to say that I was unprepared for this particular twist (no extra strings and no moments of rest to change them anyway), I was forced to play most of the show with five strings, which, thanks to some support from the crowd and a little creative re-manouvering, worked out just fine.
After the show, we had some strange and wonderful interactions with the good people of Calgary. First, we met Dylan, an all around good guy who said that we reminded him of The Band. Wait, The Band? We love The Band. Now, I’m not exactly sure how we could possibly remind you of Rick, Levon, Robbie, Richard and Garth, my friend, but we are flattered anyhow. For those of you who weren’t there, know that we had a recurring theme with Dylan. Every so often he would wander back to our perch amongst the merchandise and sing a few bars of “Ophelia” or “Up On Cripple Creek.” He was ecstatic to find that we named our van Bessie, even if she tore up my winnings and threw it in my face, just for a laugh!
In between singing with Dylan, we met another fella, whose name I don’t know and who seemed to have a fondness for DW’s behind. What happened is somewhat of a blur, but we are fortunate enough to have video evidence of the aftermath. As far as I can tell, this is what happened:
Wrall and I were standing near the entrance to the HiFi Club when a young couple approached, pretty drunk, but friendly. The boy in this couple came towards Wrall with his hand raised, seemingly looking for a high five. Instead of slapping five, though, he slapped Wrall’s butt. And then he did it again. And again. And hard. Hard enough, that Wrall jumped back against the wall. This happened about five or six times, and I was in such shock that I stood idly by while my friend was assaulted. Wow. And shame on me.
Well, this is what happened next:
You see, fair is fair. And that is that.
Snout broth is a thing.
Super spicy Indian food is a thing.
Broken strings is a thing.
Bass solo is a thing.