I didn’t take any notes for this show and it’s now been two weeks, so I suspect this will be a short one. Taking immediate notes is something I need to do more of; these are a lot easier to write when I have a few bullet points to work with.
On the flipside, doing this from memory means I’m a lot less constrained by accuracy. I went through old reviews this weekend to make a big (if still incomplete) list of all the bands I’ve seen and was amazed at some of what I’d written, shows that I have no memory of, inside jokes that I can no longer explain. If I wrote that Elliott BROOD’s van broke down and they were replaced by a pack of wild coyotes who played tunes by gnawing on discarded Bop-Its and nobody but me noticed the difference, there’s a really good chance that 2032 James would believe it. You’re dumb as hell, future me.
Going through the old reviews did reveal that I saw Elliott BROOD at the Folk Festival this past year (which I remembered – give me a little credit) and that at the time, I was convinced I had seen them before, but I had not. That is the extent of the exciting backstory to this show. Mika said “I’d like to see them” and I wanted to too, so I got us some tickets. Or maybe she did? I think I did. And before the show we went to Wok Box. Probably. I mean, that sounds like something we’d do. I know I ate some weird red fortune cookies at some point.
I didn’t think we got to the show particularly early but the crowd was still pretty sparse. We took some seats off to the side, each of us with our view partially obscured by a different post. Attempts at changing seats didn’t help so we stuck with our original choices. Ultimately not a big deal. Roof’s gotta stay up.
On our way inside, we passed a wall of posters for upcoming events, including CWE wrestling with Colt Cabana and Silas Young, the Yukon Blonde show, and – and I can’t believe I hadn’t already heard about this one – Twiztid’s Canadian Juggalo Invasion Tour, featuring Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Boondox, Lex The Hex Master, and Trilogy. Presented by Majik Ninja Entertainment. Everyone I know has refused to go to the Juggalo show with me despite the fact that I already have tickets to the Spirit of the West farewell show that night and couldn’t go to the Juggalo show if I wanted to. They pre-emptively refused. All I had to do was see the poster and text message refusals started flooding in. They just knew, somehow, and they wanted their refusals added to the public record just in case. Fine. But we are driving by the Exchange both before and after the Spirit of the West show to see if we can spot some Juggalos in the wild.
I wonder if anyone has ever had to actually make the choice between seeing Spirit of the West or Blaze Ya Dead Homie? I mean, I didn’t consider it for real, but maybe someone did somewhere once? Or have I stumbled across something that is entirely unique to the whole of human experience?
I wonder how we can get Spirit of the West to show up AT the Juggalo show? Or vice versa? Can we at least talk Spirit of the West into wearing greasepaint and covering Miracles? Can we just put the lyrics on John Mann’s iPad and hope he doesn’t notice?
I went back and forth on that last line for way too long but I still say if they can make jokes, I can make jokes too. Anyway.
Our opener was Nick Faye, who is a local guy I had never seen but whose name I’ve noticed on lots of local stuff. Usually as Nick Faye & The Deputies, but there were no deputies present, unless you count his parents who were sitting behind us. I’m not sure what qualifies someone for a career in musical law enforcement. Anyway, he seemed like a pretty personable fellow, singing songs and playing guitar, telling stories and making self-deprecating jokes about his uncreative song titles (all of the ones I can remember were names of places – and I sympathize, I can’t write titles either).
He mentioned getting asked to play guitar for Al Simmons at the Folk Festival, and there’s a good chance we actually did see that. Or, more likely, we tuned it out as we usually do when the children’s entertainers are filling time.
I don’t think he played any Al Simmons originals on this night, but what do I know? He did play Eagle-Eye Cherry’s Save Tonight so I suppose anything is possible. Anyway, I really enjoyed his set and would check out his EP release on March 25 at the Artesian if we weren’t already booked that night. Sorry dude, the Watchmen don’t play Regina as often as you do. But you can have a free plug and we’ll cross paths again.
The crowd filled in for Elliott BROOD (and let’s take a moment to mark the end of that spelling right now) so we took the opportunity to rid ourselves of our chairs and our posts. Now we had naught but heads in our way, as God intended.
They played their one song I know (Oh Alberta, which I think I got free on iTunes or with one of those cards at Starbucks or something) and a cover of Bad Moon Rising and a bunch of songs off their newest album that I listened to on the afternoon of the show. There was lots of banjo and every time there was banjo I thought “hey, I like this, I should listen to more banjo music.” You read these for my deep and insightful thoughts on music.
I liked the whole show, really, and not just for the banjo (but it helped). It was fun, fast, loud, bluegrass-infused country that left me wondering why I don’t listen to these guys more often. I did not, however, like the show as much as Oliver liked the show. This was an all-ages gig and Oliver was… I don’t know, four? Three? I am bad at guessing ages. He could have been short and seventeen, who knows. Point being he was very wee and he was dancing up a storm and Elliott Brood seemed quite delighted by this. One of them in particular spent pretty much the entire show trying to make friends with Oliver to limited success. This was adorable.
(I do not know the names of the folks in Elliott Brood – and I suppose that sentence sounds very different if you don’t know that Elliott Brood is a “they” and not a “he.”)
So yeah. I had a good time and left as a bigger fan than I came in as. And that sentence was awful, but you get it. SHOW FUN BAND GOOD WANT SEE AGAIN SLEEP NOW