Sled Island Day 1, part 2
It became clear early on that there was no way I was going to be on time for every show.
Heck, it quickly became clear that I would likely not stay for a whole set if I wanted to check out more than a few bands in one night.
While I wanted to check out Minstrel Cycle at the Arrata Opera Centre I decided that filling the bike tires was a priority. Unfortunately the gas stations downtown are few and far between. It would be cool to involve some bike shops with Sled next year. Like tire pumps at each venue and portable bike stands to park your bike.
Fortunately I found a gas station with air near Cantos. I arrived just in time to catch Bobbie Hollywood belting out 40 Gun Flagship‘s last song.
It was an all ages venue, mainly full of boys all eager to party. As the Cripple Creek Fairies set up, a volunteer started a competition. I’m not sure exactly what it was but it seemed like you had to blow up paper bags and pop them really fast. Whoever popped nine bags in the time allotted won. There was a four way tie followed by rock paper scissors to decide the winner.
After chatting up some cute boys in the lobby of Cantos (Chris and Tyler I believe), I hopped back on the bike and headed down 11th ave back to the Arrata Opera Centre to catch BRAIDS. As I passed by Broken City and headed down 6th street I ran into none other than mayoral candidate Naheed Nenshi. We had chatted before but I’m never sure if he remembers me so I reintroduce myself and launch into a recap of my night so far. I can’t speak for the other candidates but Nenshi is an easy going and friendly and completely approachable. He was out on the street chatting up pedestrians – at 10:45 p.m. on a Wednesday night. I should have snapped a picture but I wasn’t thinking. Next time.
I made it to Arrata with time to spare before BRAIDS began. The Calgarians turned Montrealers are currently touring Canada to promote the fall release of their upcoming album Native Speaker.
It was after 11 p.m. and the night was far from over. I told Handsome Andy of 4o Gun Flagship I’d meet him at the Marquee Room to see Lesbians On Ecstasy and I wanted to catch Manchild, Spastic Panthers, Myelin Sheaths and Sharp Ends before the end of the night. But I knew full well that at some point I was going to crash. I decide to recuperate at Milk Tiger Lounge, my home away from home before proceeding to the next destination. A glass water afforded me the time to decide I needed to eat before I do anything and finding pizza became the next goal. Back to 11th ave, I picked up a pizza at Stardust and decided on my next move: the Marquee Room.
Unfortunately I couldn’t see Handsome Andy and with eyes drooping I couldn’t fully enjoy Lesbians on Ecstasy. The all girl band was clearly bringing the party to the dance floor and I sincerely regretted being so tired. It was too packed up front to grab a photo. The heavy bass lines and infectious energy of the lead singer was almost enough to make me say ‘fuck it, let’s dance’. But alas, I decided now was the time to be responsible and head home.
Just as the train was pulling up to Victoria Park LRT station, I got a text “come to the super secret beatroute party”. The not-so-secret Beatroute party had been on my list from the beginning but knowing that work wasn’t going to go away, I had decided to skip it. But my rubbery arm was easily twisted and I disembarked.
On my way I ran into Bob Quaschnick from The Dudes . Bob didn’t have a headlight for his lamp, so he made one. Out of a potato. Bobbie is one of the smartest people I know.
So once again I was riding my friend’s bike downtown. Pretty sure it was the 4th time of the evening I was on 4th street.
The not-so-super-secret party was slowly starting as I arrived. More bands were showing up hauling in gear as people trickled in wondering if they had enough beer to last the evening. I don’t think they did.
Photographer Randy Gibson didn’t want to have his camera for this year’s Sled but not surprisingly he took mine and snapped some shots of the first band to play.
By this point I was finally done. As I was leaving more and more people were showing up and it had the makings of a sweet after party. Ran into Lorrie again eating a fabulous looking pizza. But I need some sleep to do it all over again in a few hours.