A Day in the Life of an Acres of Lions tour: Edmonton
Notes from the Road is Music Canada’s artist tour diary. Canadian artists on tour around the world will share their stories of fans, gigs and the “good, bad and the ugly” of touring!
Friday, November 4th, 10:00 AM, Edmonton
We wake up and prepare for a busy day in Edmonton. We are staying with our friend Janet, whose old apartment is warm, stocked with snacks and a delightful wide-eyed cat who fears men. There is an impromptu jam with an ancient electric piano, my acoustic, a dusty old fender jazz bass and even a cello. It is sloppy and out of tune and I like it, the cat does not.
We spend the early afternoon on our computers like chumps, changing strings and warming up while skimming through the Tom Petty "Running Down a Dream" documentary and it is magic. I think about it all day; how my Dad used to make me listen and understand how iconic Tom and The Heartbreakers were, how much he inspired me when I was growing up, wanting to be him when I was a kid, covering his songs, hearing "Insider" with Stevie Nicks for the first time and then later discovering the Traveling Wilburys. I thought about how every time I hear "Free Fallin" during a montage or the trailer for some outrageous new teen drama I probably won't see, I still don't roll my eyes. I recommend watching all four happy, heart-wrenching, nostalgic hours of it, unless you don't like Tom Petty, of course, but in my current state of things, I think it would be sad.
We make it to Sonic 102.9 on time and are actually proud of ourselves for the first time in awhile… only because we are on time. We load into the "Sonic Sessions" studio and prepare for a three-song acoustic set which includes our new songs "Kids" and "Reaction," and an older one called "This Was Not My Best Day Ever."
is also an interview and a meet and greet, and we even convinced a bunch of our friends and fans to come and watch the show, including Kelly, who, let's face it, had to come anyways since he's our new roadie.
Our good pals Dave Sawchuk and Sarah P also pop their heads in, and even Tyson's brother Keith and his wife Julie attend with their three wonderful children, Teague, Quinn and Guthrie. If you listen to the session closely, you can hear them a couple times during the interview. I am uncomfortable with how cute it is.
The Sonic team, Adam, Layne and Brandy help us with the sound and gather coffee and water as we get ready for our set. The performance is awesome and playful and the small crowd we have gathered has a great time. It is a touching experience, everyone singing along, and they even hang out a few minutes afterwards to chat and catch-up. We even got to sign Sonic's studio "Star Guitar," which is still hilarious. That sharpie covered red Ibanez will be worth big money some day.
At last, The Starlite Room. We meet up with the boys in Ten Second Epic
for the first time, our tour-mates for the rest of the month, and although I don't have to say it, it's good to finally see them in person and tell them our "diabolical" schemes we have for the rest of the tour, which mostly include seeking out great restaurants in every city, sabotaging each others' sets/vans and "Learning-to-be-a-man 101" featuring Sandy on bass and lectures. They are great guys.
Before soundcheck, we find out that Tyson's piano power cables are missing and therefore must find a substitute. Mike, the champion of the night, and also best sound-tech ever, pulls a MacGyver and jury-rigs a cable out of old wires, electrical tape, wood glue, string and gunpowder from a single bullet. Problem solved.
9:00 PM - 1:30 PM
The venue fills and the show begins with Machines, a rather intense and talented metal-core band out of Vancouver and some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. Same deal with The Red Threat.
They are a local Edmonton punk rock band with great songs and insane amounts of energy, and yes, they ARE really good-looking.
We play our set next and are instantly taken aback by the crowd and how loving they are. Here we are, some band from BC taking up some space on a stage with some incredible acts, in a city that has been so good to us, a city that we have had the best and worst of times in, and if I can put what we feel in a simple light and quote Dan again on this one, I would say "that show was a shark sandwich for sure, bro!" I am certain that what he means by that, is that was a privilege to play tonight, and it was one of the all-around favourite shows we have played to date.
We really can't thank Ten Second Epic enough for this, and even though we may drink too much, stay up too late, drive far and wide, smell like dying and play great shows together on this tour, we'll look back on it one day, as the greatest, and least shameful, tour of our young lives.
Music Canada Editor: Did you hear Acres of Lions on Sonic 102.9? Have you seen them on their Canadian tour? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for their next update!
Acres of Lions is: Tyson Yerex (Keyboard, Guitar), Jeff Kalesnikoff (Vocals, Guitar), Dan Ball (Bass) and Lewis Carter (Drums).
Acres of Lions on Tour:
11/2 Kamloops, BC - Heroes Pub
11/4 Edmonton, AB - The Starlite Room
11/9 Calgary, AB - The Republik
11/11 Victoria, BC - White Eagle Hall
11/12 Vancouver, BC - The Media Club
11/16 Saskatoon, SK - Walkers Night Club
11/17 Regina, SK - Riddell Centre
11/18 Yorkton, SK - Ukrainian Orthodox Hall
11/19 Winnipeg, MB - West End Cultural Centre
11/22 Toronto, ON - Sneaky Dee's
11/23 Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa
11/24 London, ON - London Music Hall
ACRES OF LIONS