The Feminists: Thunder Bay Is Where We Are Now

Thunder Bay is where we are now, the first town that we will play in twice on this tour. We are on our way back, with 9 days to go. There has lately been much horror and heartbreak – mostly involving dead gigs and a shocking, utter, and complete lack of money.
It seems like we have been in Ontario forever. We had a show in St. Catherines last week at a festival showcase. Sounds impressive, no? And it was – there were 12 bands on the bill and everything was meticulously organized. Unfortunately, we played in broad daylight with the sun blazing merrily outside the bar, which was in, can you guess, a mini mall. (And here I thought Calgary was the only time I’d get to play in a mini mall on this tour.) Next door to a beer store. Miles removed from the rest of St. Catherines. The name of the bar was The Boob Tube. We played very well, and as usual we stunned the 8 people from the other bands that half listened to us as they packed up their gear.
Actually, there were a couchful of kids that really liked us as well. They made a lot of noise, and that made us feel special. We HAD to be really good, because Mayor MCa was right before us, and he is a force to be reckoned with. He sings, tap dances, make arm pit noises, and has a 1 man band that he operates while singing his songs that are mostly funny and always good. We have played with him before, and I hope we will again.
As we were done playing by about 7:30 and had to stick around to see if we would get any money form the door, we had some time to kill. Like about 6 and a half hours, as the last band played until 2am. So, at the behest of the Grief, we went to Niagara Falls, which is about 15 minutes away.
Whew. I have never been to Las Vegas, but I think Niagara Falls must be pretty close to that. It’s one thing to say “there’s going to be so many tourists there”, but it’s really quite awesome to see just how many there are. I was overwhelmed as we threaded our way towards the distant, less than $25 parking. The falls were incredible, but almost as incredible were the sheer number of people packed into every available space. We walked 6 km from our van to the falls, by the way. There was something kind of tawdry though, about waiting for a space against the guardrail to open up so I could press myself in between 2 strangers and look at that massive, neverending wall of water. It was breathtaking – but I wish I could have seen it 500 years ago when it must have been a little less crowded.
The prices for everything were of course outrageous. I paid almost $7 for a coffee. A one time error, already paid for handsomely with the amount of teasing that I got for it. That was my food money for the whole day. There was neon and people and amusements everywhere. After being confined in a van with the same 4 people for some weeks, the crush of the crowd, the blaring loudspeakers of cheesy music, the garish neon signs that blotted out the stars – it was mildly terrifying. So much commerce! So many things to buy, so many ways to spend so much money.
After we collected our $50 from The Boob Tube, we got lost in Toronto in the middle of the night. We ended up crawling down Yonge St through the worst traffic I think I have ever had the misfortune to be involved with. We asked a cop for directions to get back to the hwy and he actually laughed as he described how to get to the freeway and gently suggested that we might want to get off Yonge St, to help further our goal of LEAVING TORONTO. Thanks. You mean we should try to get onto another street where perhaps we could travel farther than 6 blocks in an hour and a half?Sigh. It seems like we’ve been in Ontario for a very long time.