Take that America and the Night 40 Peoples Lives Change.
Ah Sarnia, my hometown. I booked this show during a brief moment of nostalgia and almost instantly regretted it. After all, I hated my hometown! The city was void of any form of culture and artistic merit while I was growing up there. I mean isn't that why I moved away in the first place? We really had no idea what to expect.
We loaded into the club and instantly my spirits rose. The venue we were playing at is called the Trinity Lounge. The club was awesome! It used to be Sheri Chanpagne's, the city's most notorious strip bar. The stage was roughly five feet of the ground and surrounded with neon lights and mirrors. The seating consisted of individual booths arranged stadium style with the most awesome décor ever. Once the tour photos go up, you'll see what I mean.
As soon as it became apparent that we weren't gonna get a sound check, we walked down to the water front. Sarnia is at the mouth of Lake Huron and right on the border with the good ole U.S. of A. Dave then decides to let America feel the crushing weight of his disdain by dropping his pants and mooning the entire country. We walk back to the club confident that Dave has really shown America what for.
Two of my old high-school bandmates, Jeff and Bill, show up and we decide to get our drink on. Several Steeler beers and shots of Jack Daniels latter and I feeling the Sarnia love. Opening the show was a singer-songwriter from London named James Hammel. Good dude, reminiscent of early Ron Sexsmith. He has a big crowd for his opening set, but most of them leave after he finishes. Fairly typical of my hometown.
We go on and lay down a brilliant set. Probably the best performance of the tour. The band is dead on and the 40 people in the crowd keep getting more and more responsive with each song. Dave doesn't break any strings and our stage banter is brilliant. The crowd totally couldn't even deal with how hard we were rocking them. After the show we sold a butt load of merch with one girl even buying five CD's so she could give them to her friends and brag about how they missed the show of the year. We signed autographs. It was that kind of night. For a moment I knew what it must feel like to be Dave Fucking Ritter!
Next up was FuZeus which are kind of like Sarnia's answer to Incubus. They were young fellas but really good dudes and super friendly. Although we don't exactly dig their kind of music, we were totally down with their show. Dave and I are completely railed at this point and stand in front of the stage screaming “Awesome!” and making devil horns during the drum solo. Yes, they did a drum solo.
After the show Dave meets the local street busker outside and in a drunken stupor discussed the merits of the Yes song that depicts the end of the world. I am still drinking at the bar and totally forget to help during load out. The rest I can't remember too well.
I wake up before everyone else and remarkably have no hangover. Which was a miracle in its own right. Our show in Windsor had been cancelled for that night so we hang around downtown Sarnia and go to the local flea markets. Dave buys $40 dollars worth of Casio Keyboards and I buy a Lucky Strike trucker cap for 50 cents. We head back to my folks place for some BBQ ribs before we all head of to see Revenge of the Sith with my Dad.
Sarnia was awesome. I don't think anyone on the tour expected that.
Words spoken by Mike Rifkin on tour at this point: 36