Todd Kerns’ Tour Diary – Episode 3: Twenty Eight Years Later

Todd Kerns continues to regale us with tales from the road with Age of Electric. Make sure you read all the way to the end for tour information and a special surprise!

April 3rd 2017

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

A day off in a place you once lived can be somewhere between a lazy Sunday cruise down memory lane and downright melancholic.

I grew up in a small town as a kid. After high school, I started my life as a pirate/outlaw traveling from town to town avoiding hurled beer bottles while also playing music.

At some point, I put down roots, however shallow, in the capital city of Regina. I have great memories of those days. A town full of bands, full of musicians. Full of great friends. I would meet Kurt Dahle there. We would go on to put together The Age Of Electric a few years later.

Walking around Regina these days is both comfortingly familiar and bafflingly unfamiliar.

That was a lifetime ago now, though. Almost literally.

The Age Of Electric turned 28 years old in the past few days. There has been a great deal of discussion as to when that day was. The central point of this is that my niece, my brother John’s daughter, was born March 30th 1989. My brother was barely 18 at the time. At that particular juncture, I was living in Calgary. I took a Greyhound bus back to Saskatoon where John picked me up and we went to the hospital to meet my brand new niece, Cassandra who had just entered the world. Then we drove on to that wee town of Lanigan to begin jamming with the band that would someday be called The AOE.

Those early days were four men and a baby. Cassandra has become the touchstone for the life of the band. She just turned 28 therefore so did the band. I rounded AOE’s Birthday off to April 1st. April Fool’s Day seems a fitting AOE Birthday.

I had dinner with Kurt and Ryan’s Mother, Carole, last night and she broke out a treasure trove of things she’s been saving. All things AOE. Every magazine article or news clipping she could find. When I asked about the seemingly arbitrary calendar from 1989 amongst the treasure she explained that she had written our dates in it back then out of concern for us young boys being away on our own and wanting to know where we were at all times. Carole is an amazing lady.

What a fortuitous discovery. I immediately dove into the calendar to discover that we had arrived in Stetler, Alberta on May 3rd, a Wednesday, which leads me to believe that we must have played what was affectionately known in those days as a ‘back 3’. Thursday, Friday, Saturday. This means that The Age Of Electric played our first show EVER on May 4th (May the fourth be with you, anyone?) 1989.

This tour will wrap up a mere 2 weeks before that anniversary arrives but it shall be celebrated every day out here regardless.

Since last I checked in we have completed 3 more dates of the tour. Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary. All three of these cities are in the great province of Alberta. A province that has always been the heartland of a hardworking band in our solid touring days.

Red Deer had not seen The Age Of Electric’s shadow in 19 years. It may seem I am a bit obsessed with numbers when speaking of these things but it is difficult not to comment on the surreality of this lapse of time.

Red Deer was a great deal of fun this time. A rowdy, happy bunch singing at the tops of their lungs. As every city across Canada we were inundated with family. Family and friends but especially family. Which is a wonderful thing.

Then off to Edmonton which, just like Red Deer, we had not played in 19 years. In our different configurations, we had all been in Edmonton and Red Deer over the years but never as AOE.

Edmonton was especially rewarding. Many Edmonton friends had enquired as to why we had not paid a visit since reforming in 2015. It was nice to finally do just that.

Great to catch up with family, friends and, yes, even more family. The Kerns clan is strong on the prairies.

Then back to Calgary. As I’ve stated many times AOE has played Calgary more than any other place. For good reason, I guess. The crowd was hungry and giving and we celebrated together in good fashion. Friends, family, friends, repeat.

Now I find myself in my former home of Regina, Saskatchewan. We will play The Exchange tomorrow night. It will be madness. Good, sweaty, Regina madness. I can’t wait. I don’t live for days off. I live to play.

We are rapidly making our way across the country. Much too rapidly for my liking. I want it to go on and on. We are about half way through. It’ll all be over before I know it. Me no likey.

I’m off to scour music shops. Guitars and records in the Motherland.

See you next time.

Big love

Your loyal and humble servant,

Todd Dammit

(Todd Kerns-AOE)

Check out  Age of Electric when they pass through your city. There are a few more dates left on the tour, including a newly announced show in Ottawa! Want to go? Simply tweet “I want to see @ageofelectric in Ottawa with @weraddicted #addictedtoAOE” For your chance to win (winner much be 19 years of age or older and will be selected at random). You’ll also get yourself a signed EP at the show. Good luck!

4/4 – Regina @ The Exchange tix: http://tinyurl.com/ho7ldbq
4/5 – Saskatoon @ O’Brians tix: http://tinyurl.com/j2tqnz2
4/6 – Winnipeg @ Canad Inns Transcona Nashville’s tix: http://tinyurl.com/hh9l8gv
4/7 – Thunder Bay @ Crocks tix: http://tinyurl.com/grmrfft
4/10 – St. Catharines @ Warehouse tix: http://tinyurl.com/hg4x9oh
4/12 – Waterloo @ Maxwell’s Music House tix: http://tinyurl.com/z3tob2w
4/13 – Toronto @ Mod Club tix: http://tinyurl.com/zf5gcsp
4/14 – London @ London Music Hall w. Rusty tix: http://tinyurl.com/jl9xwv7
4/15 – Oshawa @ Oshawa Music Hall tix: http://tinyurl.com/h6xo67r

Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet. Nadia has written for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada, and was a weekly columnist for Don't Believe a Word I Say. She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine. Nadia is the co-founder, Managing Editor and resident Music lover (and editor) for Addicted.
Nadia Elkharadly

Latest posts by Nadia Elkharadly (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.