Twin Cans #drtynflrty Tour – Chapter 5 – Ruminations on a festival

It’s been almost a week since Twin Peaks were fortunate enough to play the Vancouver Island Music Fest, and I think the hangover has adequately subsided to the point where I can somewhat accurately recollect the events of that weekend. Here’s some stuff that happened:

We cruised up island from Victoria to Courtenay, enjoying sunshine, Much Dance 2000 & 2001 CDs, and the fact that we didn’t die when an 18-wheeler ahead of us slammed on its brakes for apparently no reason at all. We rolled into the Comox Valley and got checked into our hotel, The Anco, which a local informed us has the delightful nickname “The 24 Hour Anco”. Not too sure what that meant, but it was a nice enough place for us.

We dropped off some stuff and made our way over to the festival grounds. Although the first act hadn’t even kicked off the festivities yet, the place was already teeming with people, and I eyed up bands that were checking in to see if any looked cooler than us. They all did.

That evening we took in performances by The Wailin’ Jennys, Guitar Heroes (Albert Lee, Amos Garrett, James Burton, David Wilcox), Kris Kristofferson, and Walk Off The Earth. We spent most of our time hanging out in the backstage area, taking advantage of short beer and portapotty lines, and waiting for ol’ Kris to emerge from his trailer. When he did finally make his way to the stage, it took about 15 minutes for him to walk the 100 yards because he was frequently impeded by fans wanting pictures, autographs, and conversation. I can totally relate.

The next day we actually had to play music (slavedrivers, amirite?), so we got up at the crack of dawn and went to meet up with our pickup rhythm section which consisted of the extremely musical Brin Porter on bass and the tastefully named Mitch Guindon on cajon. We had a quick rehearsal and then it was over to our first performance, where we’d be sharing the stage with other great songwriters Christa Couture, Jenny Ritter, Leonard Sumner, and a gentleman named Ronny Cox. If I had known that Ronny Cox had been the guy that played guitar during the infamous Duelling Banjos scene in Deliverance, along with a ton of other high-profile movie roles, I probably would have been more starstruck, but ignorance is bliss and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing his great songs.

Later we had our own dedicated show at ominously named “Grassy Knoll” stage, and it went swimmingly and was completely free of any sort of assassination attempt. We bummed around for the rest of the day, I awkwardly sidled up on legend Albert Lee and got a photo with him, and later that night we took in sets from the Indigo Girls, John Hiatt, and an amazing high-energy dancetastic set from Blitz The Ambassador. Later that night we hung out at the hotel with some of the members of Montreal based hip-hop group Nomadic Massive and embarrassed ourselves with our terrible French accents and limited vocabulary. No offense was intended, but much was experienced.

A groggy and short sleep was had, and the next morning we were unlucky enough to have the early “Wake Up!” slot, sharing the stage with Ariana Gillis, Library Voices, and the extremely talented ‘bonist Nick La Riviere. Playing with people like Nick reminds me that we all have a long way to go on our instruments – keep practicin’ people. Immediately after that, we headed over the main stage where we shared our time with other great BC acts Christa Couture, Ed Peekeekoot, The Cumberland Brothers, and Fort St John locals Betty Be Gidd.

With that show over, we were done playing and could really begin partying in earnest. I’d like to give full details of said partying, but our lawyer said that I should keep any incriminating details private. Let’s just say that we shooed away from the hotel and had to party behind a dumpster.

All in all, it was a truly amazing weekend and definitely one of the best of my life. Big thanks to the organizers, the musicians we heard, and most of all, the multitude of volunteers that made the event a possibility. I now think I have a burgeoning addiction to playing large scale festivals, so I’ll continue to chase that dragon I suppose.

A bientot and Godspeed.

 

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