Fuckbuttons and Mogwai

Vancouver Travel Blog

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Sorry that was not meant to be crude, those are actually the names of the bands, which I've shortened to FB and 'Gwai in most mentions of them. They are both really, really good. Like freaking amazingly, head-boppingly good. And apparently the Olympics think so too - that's always good to hear non-mainstream talent getting picked up and broadcast! =)

So Vancouver was interesting. We took yet another ferry over to Vancouver and we're staying in a crap hotel on Granville but it's a short walk to the Commodore Ballroom down the street. There seems to be a theme in the musicians' life. Parking vans in gross alleyways, loading equipment, walking into a venue that stinks of yesterday's beer, finding your greenroom/dressing room and hoping your rider was fulfilled (which hasn't happened for FB in 2 days straight) and I don't know what the rest of it is because I generally get bored by then and leave for sightseeing!)

We got in fairly late and hung out in the green room for a bit before Karin and I went to get something to eat next door at a creperie that also had baguettes.
Best-eban and Karin @ merch table
It was alright, but the service was stinkingly poor. Waited 15 min to be seated and another 20 to order. Very European service levels I think.. I went back to the crap hotel for a rest (didn't get any as I was uploading pictures) and making plans to see my old friend Kevin, from back in the AsianAvenue days!! I haven't seen him in 6 years and not really spoken to him in depth since my last trip to Vancouver to see him. And I just missed him in LA last month when he was here on business.

Very detemined to not miss another concert - I think it really hurt their feelings yesterday - I got ready extra early and walked the 4 blocks to the Commodore Ballroom at 8:30pm. Karin had gotten me an all-access backstage pass sort of thingy which was super cool. She said I can go backstage to take pictures of the band while they were playing, but I didn't know what the hell I was doing and with my luck I would have probably tripped over some wire and disconnected an amp or had the lights come crushing down on some unsuspecting musicians.
Esteban really liked my jacket..
.

Karin was at the merch table with Esteban (otherwise known as Besteban - because he's the best!) who was selling stuff for Mogwai. Karin and I sold out of shirts (well we only had like 15) and most of the CDs, raking in almost a grand. Esteban sold probably a hundred or so shirts. It was kind of funny to be sent on errands like a little kid to get change for the play money (canadian dollars). Esteban was such a pleasure to meet and had the craziest head of soft curly hair mussed around. I would totally make out with him he is such a sweetheart with such a caring, positive energy about him.

When Fuckbuttons went on it totally changed the atmosphere of the place. They are such amazing rockers with all their funny non-traditional instruments and attitude.
Karin gives me some love!
  I had such a great time and the girl selling beer next to me was totally rocking out too. I couldn't believe these were the two little dudes sitting in the back of the van for the last two days that I'd been traveling with. The audience was wild about them, as was I, and when Andy took off his hoodie in the middle of the set, a roar went up in the crowd like he was some freaking rockstar. Which I guess is in the eye of the beholder! After their set they came to the merch table and got accosted by this British girl to sign EPs or LPs or whatever those are called. And I gave them big hugs and congratulations for an awesome show and went outside to have a ciggie.

Then Mogwai came on at 11pm and rocked the house with their incredibly ambient music. Kevin finally showed up and looked so stressed out.
Fuckbuttons!
I asked how he was doing and he admitted that earlier in the year he gave his mother a kidney. WHAT THE HELL?! Oh my god... Kevin is one of the most active, athletic, healthy and .. ahem.. buff.. people I've ever met. Tall, killer body, sportiest person I've ever met. And to say that the surgery took a toll on him is an understatement. I can't even imagine having to ask your kid for a kidney due to kidney failure. Much less being a kid and realizing only you can save your mom's life. Jesus.

So we left the show early to chat some more and wandered down Granville which had become "a Gong Show" (canadian term probably) by this time of night. Apparently every single club in Vancouver is to be found on this street and it took almost an hour to get from the theatre to my hotel because EVERYONE knew Kevin in Vancouver.
Kevin and I
I've never been looked up and down so many times in an hour and had to focus on not rolling my eyes and putting on a wide smile.

Got to bed at around 2am and Karin came in around 3am. We totally overslept and woke up at 8:40am - nearly 2 hours late. I was supposed to be in Seattle already and Karin had a 16 hour drive to San Francisco ahead of her! Holy cow, we both grabbed our stuff, brushed our teeth and jetted the hell out of there in 9 minutes flat.

So I didn't get to see Vancouver at ALL. Not incredibly impressed with this city to begin with, but it's ok - I got to reconnect with an old friend and the rest of my day more than made up for it. However, next time I would REALLY like to eat some BBQ pork buns, grab some dimsum and boba, and perhaps see some nature.
post-set ciggie
In sneakers this time, preferably.
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Best-eban and Karin @ merch table
Best-eban and Karin @ merch table
Esteban really liked my jacket..
Esteban really liked my jacket..
Karin gives me some love!
Karin gives me some love!
Fuckbuttons!
Fuckbuttons!
Kevin and I
Kevin and I
post-set ciggie
post-set ciggie
Esteban and Karin
Esteban and Karin
whadda knockout!
whadda knockout!
cash money
cash money
merch people counting dolla billz
merch people counting dolla billz
=)
=)
Mogwai!
Mogwai!
Inside a green room
Inside a green room
Green rooms
Green rooms
Karin speaking to Duncan thru her …
Karin speaking to Duncan thru her…
Karin checking papers for promo ads
Karin checking papers for promo ads
Vancouver
photo by: Browser