As I awoke on the floor of a freezing cold shady motel with my hair till soaked from the shower I took just hours before, I took a look at the time and realized we only had a half hour until check out, which meant only a half hour until the next step of our Canadian adventure was to begin.
The general consensus would probably think that being a touring band, means living that cliché of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll but in all reality or maybe just for Back And Forth, the tour life mostly is filled with wandering around, Starbucks and phone charging. Leaving the seedy motel at 11am meant that we had a solid nine hours to kill before we had to be at the venue. In other words, we were going to get to know Windsor very well before the end of the day.
The first major problem that we ran into was the fact that we were not allowed to use Google Maps on our phones for directions around the city due to the outrageous international charges. As the band hung out in the first of many Starbuck’s to charge up and scour WiFi to Instagram, Chez and I wandered around the rest of the surrounding complex to find a Radioshack to buy a cheap GPS for the rest of the Canadian tour. We came across two girls walking around and asked where the closest Radioshck was. The girls laughed right in our faces and said “Radioshack? It’s called The Source here…psht”. Sadly this would not be the last time we would get laughed at for being stupid Americans in an alternate universe.
Passing up, on the GPS, we would use our gut instincts and the kindness of strangers plus with some help from Starbucks WiFi to find our way around Windsor. After eating at a quirky hole in the wall organic café, we ventured out to the downtown area of Windsor.
In a way downtown Windsor kind of felt like home to all of us. The main pastime that we all have back home is to wander around the circle of Red Bank, stop at record shops, grab something to eat and hang out at Starbucks for hours (Did I mention that this tour diary is now sponsored by Starbucks!). The first thing we did downtown was grab a snack, stop at a record shop called Doctor Disc and once again hang out at a Starbucks….to once again Instagram. The life of a rock star is a rough crazy one, I tell you what!
After killing a few hours of living in Red Bank in Canada, we decided to kill a few hours by living in Atlantic City in Canada. In our hours of wandering, we stumbled across a Casers Palace casino and decided to test our luck.
I started the trend by playing a few hands of blackjack where I won $60 and then immediately lost all of it. Instead of leaving and tending to my increasing financial woes, I helped teach Chez, Dean, and Ant how to play the game of craps. Little did I know, but I helped create three new gambling addicts. Bored after the first few roles, I walked away to meet up with the rest of the band to wander the casino. Every half hour or so, I would come back to check out how they were doing and they were up a huge amount! After what felt like two hours, we tried to get them to all leave the table after discovering that they had lost all of their winnings plus the money they originally put in. The remainder of the trip, the three of them were obsessed with the strategies of craps and trying to win their money back.
We eventually rolled up to the venue a few dollars shorter but still motivated to show Canada what Back & Forth is capable of live. The venue that we played in Windsor was a three-story club called Pogo’s. The main floor was more of an upscale bar that was suited for the latest up and coming Indie Rock acts. The top floor was dedicated to Dubstep and electronic music and like the main floor was very large and very classy. We were delegated to the bottom floor where all of the Hardcore shows take place. The best way to describe the venue was that it felt like a New Brunswick basement with leaky pipes and all.
A clear cut indication that your Hardcore band is doing something right, is when audiences that are completely new to your band start pitting during your set. During Back & Forth’s entire set the audience began pushing each other and bouncing off the concrete walls even with a visible sign that stated “No Moshing allowed”. Needless to say, Back & Forth’s first show in Canada was success in all of our minds, so much so that before we left the venue we ventured up to the third floor and I proceed to dance with a group of heavyset women. That’s Windsor baby!
Once the show had ended around 1am, we had to venture almost two hours to Chatham, ON to meet up with this guy Adam, whom responded to our post on Facebook regarding places to crash.
The next two hours of our trip was the closest thing we had to death since the great Chips Ahoy incident of July 18th. Almost immediately, rain came pouring down to the point where we couldn’t see what was in front of us. Well I lied. We could see the whole night skies when the bolts of lightening were crashing down around us and when I say around us, I literally mean just a few hundred feet away from us. To make matters worse, we missed Adam’s house and were now lost in the suburbs of Ontario.
As we backed out of a random driveway to find this guy’s house, our van decided to shut down on us in the middle of a lightning storm. The next few moments were clouded with the fear that after one-day this tour was already over. Thankfully, luck was in our corner for once and the van kick started back to life.
Once we made it to Adam’s house, another fear of ours was conquered as we would soon discover that this random stranger was not a Craigslist killer, but rather one of the nicest guys you can ever meet. He let us use his showers, watch his TV and use his beds. Dean, Swetal and Chez occupied the living room couches, while Good Matt, Ant and I shared his kid’s bedroom bunk bed and all. Of course Matt, slept in the van as per usual.
If only for a few hours, waking up in a real bed was a joy that only Larry David could describe. One by one we all awoke and proceeded to lay around relaxing watching season one of the show “Dinosaurs”. I peak into the kitchen to see Adam making pounds of French Toast for all of us.
Before we left and after having a serious discussion about pro wrestling with Adam (another sign of him being a great guy), we all wrote Adam a letter thanking him for he did to help us out. We even left him a few dollars to show him our gratitude. He immediately turned down the money and told us if we ever needed anything in the future he was always there to help us out.
Once again, we loaded up the van, said our goodbyes and started our next long journey. This time to the home of Wrestlemania 6……or Toronto to those non wrestling nerds.