The drive from Vancouver to Calgary can be a treacherous one; but take a look out the window and you’ll see some of the nicest scenery in the world. Less Than Jake made the 12 hour trek as they prepared for their show in Alberta.
For day two of their Canadian Tour Diary, Less Than Jake Saxophonist JR Wasilewski details the ride and the reward of glorious beer upon completion while drummer Vinnie Fiorello continued documenting the trip in picture format.
Calgary, AB – it’s hard to describe how long some drives can be on tour unless you actually experience it for yourself. We are lucky enough to have a bus with a driver to do these so-called “hell runs” but when you fall asleep while the bus is moving and you wake up to the bus still winding through the Canadian Rockies, you know that this one is super challenging.
Challenging, but beautiful. Some of the best sights of this tour that didn’t involve our own show occurred this morning over coffee and conversation. As the road starts to straighten out I know we are near our destination of Calgary. All I knew about Calgary prior to coming here years ago was this is where Lanny McDonald is God and there was a football team called the Stampeders. Rad!
Feeling MUCH better after my sick day, I decided to explore some of the local spots and found a pub called The National a few blocks from the venue (The Republik). I was blown away at their beer selection and their menu was really quite amazing. Years ago, finding a good place to eat on tour was a luxury. Now a days there are tons of great places and I was glad to find this one! They had the most beers on tap I have ever seen. Well over 100. They had their beer list posted over the bar in a “airport arrivals/departures” format: each “flight” would tell you the name of the beer, where it was from and the percentage of alcohol for each. I was mesmerized! I had macaroni and cheese with beef short ribs and needless to say it made my love of Calgary grow exponentially.
And we hadn’t even played a single note!
Got to chill with Kevin and Aimee from The Interrupters a bit before the show and swap stories about bands we love and mutual friends we share. I don’t think I can mention enough how happy we are that The Interrupters and Big D. And The Kids Table are on this tour. I headed downstairs just in time to catch a few songs from Big D. out front and then it was time to get ready to play.
People always ask if we have any rituals before we go onstage. Everyone does something on their own to warm up but the one thing we all do is hang around and start cracking jokes. It lightens the mood and gets us laughing. If we’re in a good mood before going on, chances are we are going to have a good show no matter what.
Well, tonight there was no chance of having a bad show. Calgary went OFF. It’s hard to describe the beautiful danger of a show when it all happens correctly. It’s a little scary, a little hilarious, a dash of a panic attack and a whole lot of fucking fun. So much energy. There were times voices singing along eclipsed the PA. I sometimes just sit back and watch it all happen. It really is amazing and really is what makes me the happiest in life.
So we got back to the bus, tried to figure out if we go to Saskatoon or Winnipeg first. Well we go to Edmonton tomorrow, then Saskatoon THEN Winnipeg. I think? Time changes. Provinces. I don’t care. I love this place. I’m never leaving.
Remaining tour dates:
|Oct 11, 2014||Edmonton||The Starlite Room|
|Oct 12, 2014||Saskatoon||Louis’ Pub|
|Oct 14, 2014||Winnipeg||Pyramid Cabaret|
|Oct 16, 2014||Thunder Bay||Crocks|
|Oct 17, 2014||Timmins, ON||The Victory Tavern|
|Oct 18, 2014||Toronto, ON||Opera House|
|Oct 19, 2014||London, ON||London Music Hall|
|Oct 22, 2014||Ottawa||Ritual Night Club|
|Oct 23, 2014||Montreal, QB||Club Soda|
Photos by Vinnie Fiorello: