Toronto band Return For Refund is just about to wrap up their Lift You Up tour in promotion of their recently released EP of the same name. Bringing together elements of blues, metal, and alt rock, their high energy performances really bring down the house.
Kicking off their 12-date tour with a release show at The Bovine Sex Club in their hometown, the band had the opportunity to flex those live performance skills in a variety of major Canadian cities, including Ontario, Montreal, and Hamilton. Today the band recounts some of their Lift You Up tour experience in the first installment of a three-part diary, exclusively for Musical Notes Global. Read Part 1 below and return to musicalnotesglobal.com for the next two installments!
Day 2: Mar 30th, Cornwall
"Today is the second day of our tour. I’m currently sitting shotgun in our trusty, and rusty, Grand Caravan en route from Peterborough to Cornwall for tonight’s show. The boys are feeling great . We’re all still laughing about last night’s gig.
It wasn’t an easy show. One of the local bands, the one most expected to help bring out some fans, bailed without letting anybody know. It wasn’t until thirty minutes into the show that we finally managed to get a hold of them. They just said sorry and left it at that. It was a bit of a disappointment but we weren’t going to let that stop us from having a fun night. We just added a couple songs to our set and rocked out anyway.
We took the stage after a solid set by Bigmotorgasoline, a great group of dudes, and put on the best damn show we had to give. It worked out since we were able to draw in some people passing by on the street. It’s always a good sign when there are more people at the end of your set than there were at the beginning. Afterwards, a couple of fans insisted on buying us all drinks and raided our merch table. It worked out to be a great night.
The venue, called The Spill, is a really cool, kitchy Rock n Roll bar. The walls are covered in old signs, trippy artwork, and posters from memorable shows past. Dave, the owner, is a real fan of live music and made sure to make us feel welcome. He bought us all drinks and invited us to come back to play again on a weekend. Seeing how Peterborough is only 2 hours away from Toronto, I can definitely see that happening.
Here are a couple pics from the Spill:
Right now we’re on our way to our next gig in Cornwall, Ontario at La Maison. Sasha is driving and I’m sitting beside him navigating through some rural back roads while I type. We’re all feeling pretty good after last night. It was a great reminder to always take the stage with everything you have, whether you are playing for two people or for two hundred. This shouldn’t be a surprise or a revelation. Just about everyone who plays in a band has faced this scenario before. Anyone worth a damn has reacted the same way we did. We’re just doing our time."
Day 4: April 1, Quebec City
"I’m up particularly early today considering the night we had. Our show in Quebec City went great. The stage was probably the largest one we’ve played yet this tour and we took full advantage of the extra space. I love it when the stage floor has a little bit of flex. That way, when you’re jumping around, it sort of feels like you’re on a trampoline. Although it might not be the smartest thing, sometimes I try to stomp through the stage when we’re playing. One day, I hope to stomp my way right through the stage and disappear, like through the trap door of a magic show.
Here’s a shot taken by one of the members of the band Traps who shared the stage with us last night:
So far, we’ve been staying in the cheapest, two double bed rooms we can find. Rick and I have been sharing a bed while Sasha and VB have been sharing another. I had a good laugh last night when I found Sasha and VB spooning each other in the middle of the night. If I had any worries about the cohesiveness of our band, seeing the two of them cuddled up together would have easily dismissed them.
In a couple minutes I’m going to wake up the boys, who are currently passed out in our shared room. In the spirit of April Fool’s, I’m going to barge in a panic, saying that our trailer got broken into last night. I figure that would be less cruel and more appropriate than screaming “Fire! Fire!” to break their slumbers.
After the boys likely kick my ass for freaking them out this morning, we’re heading to St-Hyacinthe, QC for tonight’s show. There was a last minute double booking that forced us out of our originally planned gig in Montreal. Luckily, our friends in the band Code 40-11 helped us find a new venue and band to play with us last minute. We made friends with them a couple years back when we drove six hours each way to play a Tuesday night in Montreal for fifty bucks. At the time, it was the only slot we could land in the city. Code 40-11 was also on the bill. Not only did their set blow us away, they hung out and had a few drinks with us until the bar closed. Since then we’ve played another 4 shows with the guys. They’ve housed us. We’ve housed them. Friendships like those make this lifestyle worthwhile. What we don’t get in cash, is made up ten fold in the friendships we make. I’m really looking forward to seeing them tonight."
Day 5: April 2, St-Hyacinthe
"Last night was a great way to wrap up the first leg of the tour. The gig in St-Hyacinthe was a lot of fun. Like the past four nights before we put on a stellar show and made a bunch of new friends. The band local band, Les Pics a Flores, put on a solid acoustic performance before us and rocked out front and center for our whole set. Those guys had a great vibe to them and really got what making music is all about, fun, friendship, and community.
Here’s a shot of Les Pics a Flores:
We spent the night with a good friend of our in Montreal. In the morning, while everyone was sleeping, I took a long walk through the city. I used to live in Montreal and really miss the vibe and people there. This mural really caught my eye:
In the morning, our friend and I went to the grocery store and I picked up the fixin’s to whip up a huge tex-mex breakfast for everyone. After filling ourselves up on eggs, toast, sausage, fruits, and yogurt, we headed back on the road toward Toronto.
Now we have a couple day to rest up before we head out on the next leg of the tour. We’ll be hitting Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie, Thunder Bay, and Winnipeg."
Return For Refund premiered their single "What Were Their Names" last month exclusively with Musical Notes Global. Check it out here.
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