The Age of Electric tour has taken off, so here’s Todd’s second tour diary installment for your reading pleasure!
March 25th 2017
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Last night was the opening show of The Age Of Electric‘s Make A Pest A Pet 20th Anniversary Tour 2017 . It was pretty damned magical.
I arrived in Vancouver on March 18th to begin rehearsals and spend time with family. I have such an interesting relationship with the great city of Vancouver. In October of 2006, without really knowing it, I relocated to the US. I split my time between Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Vancouver. I eventually put down roots in Las Vegas but was in Vancouver on a regular basis. The city is markedly different yet exactly the same as the city I moved to in 1991. Maybe that was ’92. I’ll have to ask someone with a sharper memory than mine.
Back then there were millions of places to play. The Town Pump, The Hungry Eye, The Cruel Elephant, The Starfish Room all come to mind. They are all gone now. In many cases the very buildings themselves are gone. Often replaced by state of the art condominiums. Vancouver’s real estate boom has priced it out of comfort for anyone living on a modest wage.
The one constant has always been the Commodore Ballroom right there on Granville Street. First erected in 1930. Unimaginable that it still stands let alone reigns as the premiere showroom in Vancouver.
I’ve seen a million unforgettable shows there. I’ve played a million (seemingly) unforgettable (for me at least) shows there.
For us, The Age Of Electric, it is hallowed ground. We have a deep respect for the building. It was the goal when we found ourselves calling the streets of Vancouver home. To stand on the floorboards of its stage is the greatest honor a Vancouver musician can attain.
This time we played 2 songs for the first time ever on that stage. Where better to premiere them?
In 1997 we released Make A Pest A Pet, our most successful album. Now 20 years later we have released a deluxe anniversary package with four unreleased songs from the same sessions at Mushroom Studios all those years ago. Last night we debuted the song Th13teen from that list of songs. All four of the unreleased songs are very strong. We felt if we are out there supporting this 20th Anniversary package we should include an unreleased track in the set.
Beyond the 20th anniversary package we have also released The Pretty EP, the sister release to 1995’s The Ugly EP. We are currently playing all four songs from the EP. We have been playing 3 of the 4 since our first reformed shows from 2015 and 2016.
Last night at the Commodore we played “Show Me Your Weakness” from The Pretty EP for the first time ever.
Within the lyric of that song there is a tale of our interaction with Lemmy from Motörhead back in 1991 when we made our way to Los Angeles.
Our drummer, Kurt Dahle, took to sporting a crazy, gigantic, plaid, mad hatter top hat he’d found somewhere on Melrose. While sitting at the Rainbow one night Lemmy sauntered by then stopped and said ‘Nice hat. Glad I’m not under it’
To which we all had a good laugh at Kurt’s expense. Lemmy had always been a hero. Years later he would become closely intertwined in my life with Slash.
But that’s a different story.
He is dearly missed.
Listen closely to the bridge of “Show Me Your Weakness” and you will hear-
‘Such a glamorous habit, boss
On the subject of Motörhead
My brother in plaid red
Lemmy said, “Nice hat. Glad I’m not under it”‘
Featuring Ryan Dahle doing his best Lemmy impersonation. Which he’s pretty damned good at.
Today my ears are ringing and my neck is stiff. These are the signs of a successful battle. We spend a couple of more days with family before hitting Red Deer, Alberta for the first time in 19 years. We have had many late nights in that town. It has been too long.
I’m thrilled we have been afforded this opportunity to time travel across Canada again as if 1997 and 2017 have met seamlessly. It is too rare an experience to really wrap my head around just yet. Some perspective will be required to really understand it all. All I know it has been one of the great joys of my life. Thus far.
When next I join you I will be deep into the travels of the Make A Pest A Pet 20th Anniversary tour 2017.
I, for one, am savoring every moment of it.
Your loyal and humble servant