Music, Prairie Post

Here Lies Haunter: Edmonton

Calgary to Edmonton is a pretty quick drive, so you’d think we would wanna sleep in and take off later in the day. But Edmonton also has a mall with a water park, so we tried to get going as soon as we could.

We got to the mall just a bit after noon, but Jory and Cole foolishly forgot to bring trunks, so Ryan and I had to wait to get into the water until they bought some. The water park isn’t cheap, but Jory’s Aunt Ruby got us some free passes (thanks, Aunt Ruby!). Then we all took our clothes off in a confined space together, and emerged from the dank changing room to the bright lights of the beach tourist trap.

Jory and Cole (again, foolishly) went for the longest, windiest slide first, but were forced to change course due to a very long line. Me and Ryan went on Nessie’s Revenge, which is my favourite waterslide ever, because by the last bump you feel like you’re being launched in the air.

Eventually we got to the bigger slides, which now have a terrifying system in place: you enter a pod, similar to what Fry falls into in the beginning of Futurama, and then you wait while a robotic woman’s voice counts down from three, at which point the floor underneath you disappears. Still fun, though.

After some shopping and arcade games, we took off for the venue. We weren’t sure about where we were staying so there was no place better than Wunderbar to spend some time at, especially because they have beer there. Most of us went for the Whole Lotta Rosie brew, which was super tasty, not only because it was named after an AC/DC song. After a couple of those we did some more shopping at a couple vintage stores, where Cole found a beautiful purple and yellow jumpsuit that he wore for the show later. A bunch of us also tried Churros for the first time, which are delicious.

Cole Woods: Lakers cheerleader.
Ryan enjoys a Rosie.

The show at Wunderbar was the best of the tour. The place is a pretty hole-in-the-wall, dive-y kinda place, which usually end up being the most fun venues to play: the only thing they serve is beer and liquor, one of the two bathrooms is out of order (on our night, anyway), and you get to play very loud. Special thanks to Craig Martell, the guy who booked our show, for making the place so cool and also letting us sleep on his floor.

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After the show, Ryan and I both went off to look for friends of ours who were in Edmonton, at various bars down the street. Eventually we caught up to each other, and decided to keep the party going with just us. And the party did go. We probably hit three or four bars, and then ended up out on the street in a strange confrontation with a couple dudes who wouldn’t stop talking about Rumor’s Comedy Club. Once we got free of that, and realized it was almost three in the morning, and no one’s phones were on, we stumbled back to the bar, worried we’d have to find a hotel in the middle of the night.

But the staff was still around! The bartender lived with Craig so it was no problem to get to his place later. Serendipity.

In the morning we went to a wicked sweet breakfast place (Alice’s?) and then Jory bought an organ at some cool music shop with a bunch of guitars we’d never seen. After rounding up all the gear, we were Runnin’ Back to Saskatoon, very late.

Jory’s Funky Pickle slice review:

“Already gorged and greased from three previous daze of the Italian delicacy, we traipsed Whyte Ave. in search of something different. Some minor mutation in the homogeny of ‘za. Our tired gaze came to rest on a gigantic, personified pickle! A plaque awarded the pickle with the best pizz-ah-zer on the avenue. With minimal reluctance we hoisted our crust and cheese hunger pangs into the establishment only to discover our options to be very limited. The choices: herbivore, bovine almost, or some blasphemous, corn-cobbled pie. Then, with some hesitance, we made a choice and dined. Unremarkable! Some may read this as a compliment, but lo! I have no remark! Underwhelmed. ‘Whelmed to the same degree as a frozen McCain may demand. Saddened, we left to find food and drink to wash away the oblique and grey reality of The Funky Pickle.”

Quote of the day:

*Ryan looks at Craig’s big blue trunk in the middle of the living room*

Ryan: Hey, I have a trunk just like that at home.

Matt: Ryan! You never told me you had a big blue trunk!

Matt Williams is a Winnipeg-based writer and musician infatuated by lady country singers. Follow him on Twitter @MattGeeWilliams. Follow his band, Haunter, on Twitter @HaunterMusic.

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