Words taken from MajicalCloudz.com:
“There is some indefinable difference between Canada and the U.S. communities just on the other side of the border. I recognize that a lot of it could be in my head, but in any case it feels different when I return to Canada after having been in the States.
The psychology of national borders is interesting. When we are driving through Minnesota on our way to the border, it feels ‘northern’, but as soon as we cross into Canada, Winnipeg feels “southern” because of my mental map of its location within the province, rather than its location within the continent.
Entering Winnipeg and later walking around part of the city was a trip through old memories of touring – I’m sure the whole Canadian segment of this tour will be the same in this regard. There was a lot of looking back on experiences where at the time I felt grown up, and with the clarity of hindsight I recognize how young I was (in age as well as in my head). I haven’t driven through the prairies since then, so all my memories were preserved and ready to be unlocked by the landscapes.
We arrived in the early evening at Union Sound Hall, which is a venue so new that we were their second show. They were still troubleshooting a lot of different things. For example, there was a light facing the stage that would slowly change colours. I asked for it to be turned off, but they didn’t have the capability to do so from the desk and so had to physically unplug the light from the wall. However, it is a great space with a lot of potential and I’m sure any problems will be solved very soon.
The show was more difficult than the other shows we have played so far on this tour. The stage itself had a large wooden column just to the left of centre at the front, which cut off the line of sight between the audience and us. It was difficult to get the stage lit properly so after the first couple of songs I just unplugged all the lights and we played in the (relative) dark. There was a contingent of people talking for the entirety of the show — nothing we did seemed to stop them, which is something we don’t usually deal with. Even some people who were enthusiastic about our performance were loud in a way that effectively made it distracting.
The show became interesting for me when I decided that it was too loud in the venue space and went through a back door at the side of the stage that went into the venue’s stock room. I started singing ‘Silver Rings’ through the closed door, and wondered if anyone was going to come through the door to join me. A couple of people did and we stood there while I sung, and then more people came in. The security guard initially told them not to come in but after I motioned for them to come in he let it happen. By the end of the song there were probably 10 people in the back stairway. My vocals were of course completely dry because there were no speakers in the back.
When we finished the song everyone and I went back into the venue space and I sang ‘What That Was’, acapella. A guy who had been dancing quite a bit throughout the set started doing a particularly intense dance so I told him to come up onstage. I stood at the back of the stage and sang while he danced very energetically to my singing. During our past tour with Youth Lagoon I enjoyed the idea of filling the stage with people from the audience for the last couple of songs. So far on this tour there seem to be opportunities for specific individuals to come up and do things. Different events and situations just seem to present themselves on tours, and I just try to look out for what feels right on a given night.
Afterwards I spoke briefly to Aaron Funk, who makes music as Venetian Snares. He is from Winnipeg (see his song called ‘Winnipeg is a Frozen Shithole’). Matt went with him to see his studio setup which was apparently very interesting.”