Last month the Scranton, PA natives Tigers Jaw rung out summer 2012 with a successful run of shows in Canada. Keyboardist Brianna Collins was kind enough to write a tour blog for Alter The Press, summarizing the band's recent run of shows in the Great White North.
It’s not a secret that Tigers Jaw doesn’t get to tour very often. People may or may not know it’s because we are in school (except for Pat, Adam, and Dennis who have graduated), and that doesn’t leave much time or opportunity for touring. This summer we were really lucky to fit in a week of touring up to Canada. The last time we were in Canada was in the winter of 2009, so I knew that this time would be different – warmer weather, no snow on the roads, and we brought Jeff Cassazza (Run for Cover Records).
Monday, August 20th – Montreal
We played a house in Montreal that was across the street from an amazing pizza shop called F+F Pizza. They had a jar of house-made pickles on the table that you could snack on before your pizza was ready. I got the standard Margherita pizza, which was really good.
Later on we got coffee at a coffee shop called St. Henri, which was decorated like a church. I got a Café Latte (amazing) and the staff was really friendly. I should mention that both F+F and St. Henri both had WIFI.
The house that we played at was awesome. The kids that lived there were really friendly, and it was in this tiny basement that was really long but not that wide.
When we woke up we all (most specifically Adam and I) really wanted breakfast, so we went to a restaurant that we assumed had breakfast, but they didn’t. Adam and I both ended up getting chocolate croissants, and this vegan chocolate banana bread. When we got to Quebec City we ate at “Wok N’ Roll”. Dennis and I split something that must not have been that good because I honestly can’t even remember what it was.
The venue we played at was called Café L’Agitée. There was one opening band that was really interesting. It was like really intense Set Your Goals style vocals but with an acoustic band. The lyrics were all in French, and they did a Paramore cover. Not my cup of tea, but the lead singer had a good voice. After the show I tried poutine for the first time. I’m not a huge fan of cheese curd (Ben said it squeaks when you chew it), but I like fries and gravy.
I love using the Priceline negotiator to find deals on hotels, especially when I name a really low price for a three-star hotel and then we sneak six people in the room. It wasn’t that easy to use Priceline in Canada, but I did end up getting a good deal on a hotel between Quebec City and Ottawa. It had really great beds with huge pillows, and there was a restaurant that we got breakfast at the next morning. I had crepes with strawberries. (I forgot to take a picture of the before, but it came with this crazy chocolate sauce that was so good.)
We stopped at a Harvey’s at some point along the way and I got French fries. In Canada they have packets of Vinegar, so you can make your own salt and vinegar fries. They also gave me two pickles for free. Thanks Harvey’s.
This was our first of two nights with Turnover, PJ Bond, and Young Statues. We had played with Turnover once before at a college in Delaware, but I hadn’t really gotten to talk to them, and I had never met PJ Bond, but they were all really fun to be around. I am a huge Young Statues fan so I was really excited to get to see them. They even played Bumble Bee, which is my favorite song.
Speaking of Priceline, we almost stayed in the same hotel as Young Statues between Ottawa and Toronto, but we waited too long and the room ended up not being available anymore. Good thing it worked out like that because Young Statues said that the hotel was awful and they didn’t even end up staying there. The hotel that we ended up staying in was in this really cute town called Gananoque. In the morning we walked down by the water and went to breakfast at a café called The Socialist Pig.
When we got to Toronto we got falafel and ate it on the sidewalk. Everyone that came to the show was so nice. Even though the venue didn’t have WIFI, there was a Tim Horton’s right down the street. We had avoided Tim Horton’s pretty much the whole tour until this point because we had a bad experience at one in the south like two years ago, but this Tim Horton’s was awesome. I got a hot tea and a doughnut and it was perfect.
We hung out at Tim Horton’s way later than we should have with Turnover and PJ Bond, and then got pulled over by boyfriend-girlfriend Canadian cops that were most likely messing with us because we weren’t Canadian.
This was our last show in Canada. I watched three episodes of Mad Men at a café called The Irresistible Bean before the show started. After the show we crossed back over the boarder. It was really nice to be able to use my cell phone like normal.
Overall, I had a really fun time in Canada. I loved how everyone was speaking French. You don’t really realize how different a place can be when you’re so close to it. All of the kids who came out to shows were really nice, and I ate a lot of really good food. I want to say thank you to Jeff who did a great job at merch and smoking terrible Canadian cigarettes with Adam, and to everyone who came out to a show or gave us a place to stay.