Toronto rock band Return For Refund just wrapped up their 12-date Lift You Up tour in promotion of their recently released EP of the same name. Today the band continues their tour diary with Part 2. Need to get up to speed on their tour shenanigans? Check out Part 1 here.
Tour Blog – Leg 2
Day 5 - Sudbury
"We left on Wednesday afternoon in good spirits for our show in Sudbury. We felt stronger from the week before and more confident heading out. We knew that no matter what we were faced with, we’d be able to face it head on. The distances were going to be longer and with that, the rests between shows was going to be shorter. But it didn’t matter to us. We were so happy to be on the road again.
Our first stop was in Sudbury at the Asylum. The venue is a really cool place with a very long and sordid history attached to it. It was first opened as a union hall for the local miners after the second World War. Back then, Sudbury was the largest nickel supplier on the planet and the city was build on the money coming in from the mines. Several times over, the location became the site of several union disputes. At one point, it was even barricaded and laid siege to when the organizations involved couldn’t figure out a peaceful solution to their problems. Later, when mining and the power of their unions was in decline, the building exchanged several hands until it eventually became abandoned for several years. That’s when the current owner picked it up for a steal and began plans to turn it into the venue it is today.
After arriving and unloading our gear, we were taken through the broken down hallways to the room where the venue offered to put us up for the night. We all looked around the room with a chill at our spines. The room was fresh out of a horror film. Our guide then proceeded to let us know that not one, but two horror films had been filmed there. There was a hole in the ceiling that looked perfect for any variety of blood sucker or head collector to swoop down from in the middle of the night. The windows were covered in plastic and at the far end of the room there was this really eerie and blood read painting that Rick described as “having no good reason to be that blood red.” Here are some pics from the Asylum:
After playing a solid set with local support from the Radissons, we all had a few beers and shot a couple games of pool. When the lights came on, we headed up for the night, somewhat spooked by the decor and feel of our room. I slept under the murder painting on a sofa. Everyone of us refused to sleep on the bed under the hole in the ceiling, as that would be the likeliest place for a creature to strike first. So, Rick made himself a bed off to the side of it. Sasha and VB slept, as per usual, in a double bed together.
A couple minutes before bed laughter broke out when Sasha said, “Hey man, what do you think you’re doing?”
VB replied, “Oh shit. Sorry man. I’m just used to sleeping with a woman in the bed. I thought you were my girl.”
“Well, I’m not.” Sasha laid down directly. We all had a good laugh and passed out until morning. No one was assaulted by any other worldly forces during the night, although our dreams were quite weird.
Day 6 – Leaving Sudbury
On the way out of the city, we made sure to make a stop at the Big Nickel, a local landmark which is exactly what you think it would be. It’s a huge Canadian nickel meant to signify Sudbury’s contribution to Canada’s prosperity. I’ve always wanted to see it and there was no way I was going to allow a minor blizzard from stopping us from doing so. We all pulled up to the massive coin, got out despite the blizzard pummelling snow down around us, and ran out. We stayed just long enough to declare victory, and took a couple photos while running back into the car. Here are some pics from the Big Nickel:
Day 7: Driving to Thunder Bay
One of the most breathtaking sites I have ever seen was the drive from Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay. For the eight hours between them, drivers are faced with the beautiful shores of Lake Superior on one side, and the awesome cliffs and lush green forests of the Canadian Shield on the other. None of us read or did much else but look out our windows for the majority of the trip.
We arrived into Thunder Bay for our show at the Apollo and were instantly treated like family by the Sheila, who runs the place. They gave us a place to stay for the night, fed us several times, bought a bunch of our shot glasses for the bar, gave us free drinks for the night, and above all, they set us up with a great show there. The local support was amazing, the crowd was awesome, and we played one of the best shows of the tour for them. After the show was done, we hung out and had some drinks. When it was time to close up, we all went to bed, exhausted from an amazing day.
Day 8: Winnipeg
The next morning we got up, had breakfast and coffee with Sheila, and said goodbye to the Apollo. Here are some pics of our stay there:
Our last stop of this leg would be Winnipeg, where our friend Nick from the band Moon Tan would be waiting to put us up for the night. It was interesting to watch the hills and cliffs of northern Ontario gradually dwindle into the flat plains of the prairies. With every kilometre the road just became straighter until completely straight and the trees became smaller until non-existent.
Our last show of that leg was at the Cavern in Winnipeg. It’s a great stage right in the Osbourne area of the city, which is a bustling place on a Saturday night. We had a great crowd for the show and played with everything we had. Afterwards, local guitar hero, Ronnie Ladobruk took the stage and blew us all away with his insane guitar technique. Here are some shots from the Cavern:
In the morning, we said our goodbyes and headed back for Toronto. The drive itself would take 24 hours minimum. With stops we managed to do it in 29 hours. When I finally got to my bed, I slept for 12 hours. I woke up with a smile on my face, still happy from the times we had on that leg."
Return For Refund performed live last night at Hard Rock Cafe Toronto as part of Canadian Music Week 2017. Be sure to return to musicalnotesglobal.com for Part 3 of their tour diary!
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