Monday, September 26, 2005

St. John's Saturday Before the Show

Walking Around St. John'sThe hotel ended up being quite nice, not as sweet as the suite we had in Halifax at the Marriott Residence butas a place for 5 people to flop for the night it was exactly what we needed. For some reason if my body knows I have to be awake for something I can always get up in time for it, no matter what. (sadly, it also means I can't wake up early unless I have to, multiple-alarm tricks be damned, it just doesn't happen.) So I was the first one up at 9am which gave me the privilege of taking a long shower and shaving and actually trying to look like less of a dirtbag. Then when I was done I got to wake the boys up and tell them we all had to be out of there in an hour and a half. I love being able to lie back and rest and laugh while everyone else scrambles around and curses at me and begs to sleep longer. (At this point in the weekend I was both the one with the least sleep and the one with the most energy. This would develop into a rather bizarre pattern.)

For our purposes St. John's turned out to be really easy to get around. Our hotel was at one end of Water St. and Mile One Stadium was at the other, and everything we needed to get was somewhere in between. We had lunch at the first place we could find that didn't look too touristy, though it was pretty run-of-the-mill and the service was slow.

Talking to Wintersleep outside of Mile One StadiumAfter standing in line to get tickets we get a bit adventurous and decide to just walk on around the back of Mile One. By some heck of a coincidence we were spotted by one of the dudes from Wintersleep, and eventually the whole band came out to talk to us. Since we've seen them numerous times and always ended up chatting with the guys after the show they seemed pretty happy to see us. It goes without saying that they were completely pumped. Apparently they were on a list of about 30 bands that were being considered as opening acts for the St. John's shows, and weren't officially asked until just 2 days before the show.

It was pretty funny to see their little van parked in one corner of the lot next to PJ's multiple 18-wheelers.

I forgot to ask them how it felt to go from opening for Grand Theft Bus to Pearl Jam in the space of about 8 months. We stood there chatting for a while while activity buzzed around us in the parking lot. I told the story of seeing Sleater-Kinney and compared their SF show to Halifax (SF was way better, but that's because it was their own show), and we even talked about message board politics for a while. Everyone is a geek these days, it's pathetic. Jud said that he regretted ever looking at the Pearl Jam message boards, never before had he seen such rock snobbery, and before he thought teh Dependent Music message boards were awful. (so bad in fact was the snobbery on there that Wintersleep set up their own board so new fans wouldn't be jumped on and savaged quite so badly.) It must be a bit daunting to have people say they'd rather not even have an opening act than see your band. We re-assured them, though, and talked a bit about how they were really good at building up drama in their performances. They said they were glad we were there, and that there'd be at least 5 people who knew who they were at the show.

Then the boys checked out a little internet cafe across the road from Mile One. I'm proud to say I'm officially less of a geek than Willie, Taylor or Gonzo, based solely on the fact that the girl behind the counter wanted me to tell her what I thought of the coffee she had made and we got to talking which struck me as more interesting than my email and posting to message boards. (getting home and clearing out days of spam re-assured me of that.)

Walking Around St. John'sAfter that we walked around for a while, took a few pictures of the pretty buildings and wound up on George St. again. I guess it goes without saying that George St. was far less spectacular without the strung-up lanterns and throngs of scantily-dressed people, but it still had its charms. We ran into a couple of friends of Gonzo who told us about meeting Stone and Mike that morning (they were staying at the Delta, where the band was. (pwned by frugality)

At that point in the day I was starting to really notice that anyone under 40 had barely a hint of Newfie dialect in them. Either TV has flattened out North American accents completely or Newfies can switch in and out of a more standard way of speaking when talking to people from away, the way Qu├ębecois can switch effortlessly between school-type French and joual. While I can do a fairly decent job of faking a Newfoundland accent, I find I have to compose the sentence I want to say in my head first, then speak it sped up, I haven't been able to speed my conversation centre up to match the normal conversation speed you typical Newfoundlander.

By al - 2:30 a.m. |

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