28 September 2010

Shows with Caspian Sept. 18-19 in Montreal & Burlington, VT

So here's a short account about the two shows with Caspian during the weekend of the 18-19th of September. The Montreal show was moved from Bar St-Laurent II in the Mile End to Loft from Hell in St-Henri. If you don't know what that means, well it's like moving a show from Manhattan to Brooklyn if the former's the really cool hip & trendy cultural artsy area, and the latter is where the cheap low-rent trashy area.

Caspian usually attracts the clean-cut preppies and yuppies, so it was interesting to see who who trek down to St-Henri for a sweaty, dirty loft show in a courtyard surrounded by industrial lofts, practice spaces occupied by a commune of squeegee-punks & their nasty dogs. I'm pretty sure some drove by it and went back home. Some didn't even find the place, as it is hard to find as it's hidden behind a huge building whose civic number was the last one on the street, next to train tracks, above an underpass, near an alley. The good thing about all this is that the venue is really small, maybe 400 square ft. of space between the stage and the backwall. The other good thing is that when it's loud, it's fucking loud, and there is no escape.

For this show, I used some amps I found in the loft... I went there early to check what I could use, as there is no PA. I found a Ampeg Bass head going through a 2x15" cab, and a Laney guitar head through a 4x12" Marshall cab. TOTAL FACE MELTER. Might have been one of my most satisfactory performance, and that says a lot. I wish I had a picture of my setup, but I only have this picture of the courtyard while I was practicing some drones at the Loft around 4pm that afternoon:


The next day, I was scheduled to play in Burlington, VT. More precisely: Winooski. Caspian was nice enough to do me the huge favor to drive my equipment across the border with their own stuff. Meryem joined me at the last minute for the 90 mins drive to the USA. When we arrived at the Monkey House venue, the nice guys from Black Lodge booking brought us some food that they made. We also had 2$ off bar consumption, so I had a few of the local Switchback on tap. Did you know that Burlington, Vermont is named the 4th best city in the WORLD for beer lovers?

Anyway. During the whole time, I was thinking about my show the night before with the two amps, and how I couldn't go back to playing into the PA anymore. Especially the Monkey House's, which looked like it would sound really thin & weak. I was really starting to stress about that. Finally, I asked Philip and Chris from Caspian if I could borrow their amps, and they agreed. Philip had a Fender Twin Reverb going into a 4x12" cab, and Chris had this really nice head (forget the name --- but wow, I felt bad about using it) going into an 8x10" cab. It sounded really amazing, and I think it might've been even louder than at the loft. Again, I wish I took a picture of that set-up. Thank you so much guys. I don't know what the Burlington crowd thought of my set, they were sort of Abercrombie & Fitch-ish mixed with Birkenstock-ers - a lot of them seemed uninterested, going outside back and forth during the whole evening. One Vermont Cynic didn't say anything bad about the performance, so that's good.

On the way back home to Montreal (left Winooski around 12:30am), we almost hit a deer. It was really freaky as it didn't flinch nor react... AT ALL. I've witness the true meaning of 'deer in headlights':

Ok, so that wasn't so short. I will write about The Théâtre Plaza show aka the Black Metal show, in another entry.

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