Welcome to our first-ever edition of the On The Road… series, which will bring you a bird’s eye view of what being a band or artist on the road is really like. We’re so excited to be kicking off with one of my favourite Toronto artists, the eternally talented and hard-working Angela Saini. If you don’t know Angela, be sure to check out “Living On The Bright Side” or listen to her newest single, “Here I Go Again”. Angela was recently in Alberta for some shows, and kindly put her thoughts in blog form for us. Check it out below.
I’ve been up since 4:30am, making the frugal (a.k.a WISE) decision to take the bus to the airport to fly straight to Edmonton in time for my show at The Beaumont Blues and Roots Festival. I’m stoked to play Edmonton; I’m heading back to my homeland Alberta, will see some old friends, and Sloan is headlining tonight as an added bonus. As I head across the field to the festival grounds upon arrival, I quickly regret curling my hair (it is WINDY!) and all I’m thinking is I hope it doesn’t rain. My set goes great; I get a ton of people in front of the stage and my sing-a-long for my tune “Living on the Bright Side” is complete with harmonies. Did I mention how awesome it is to play in front of kids? Doesn’t happen all that often. And they love to dance! The good news is that it doesn’t rain the entire day and I’ve made a bunch of new fans. “Something Like I’m Beautiful” is the memorable song from many attendees; they ask if it’s on one of my CDs for sale. (Why yes!) In true rock star fashion, my dad picks me up from the festival and we make the late-night drive to Calgary (my true homeland.) I’ve been up for almost 24 hours and think I’m talking gibberish by the end, but it is a great drive to spend time with my dad, and on Father’s Day!
Fast forward a couple days, and it’s time for a gig in Calgary, my first time playing renowned Mikey’s Juke Joint. I know the owner from a past life in Calgary, and I look forward to a show in my hometown. I can count on some familiar faces from my high school (it’s a reunion every time), and family. This time I am pleasantly surprised by some attendees that used to follow my old rock band Supernal (one who found me after all these years after we had opened for Wide Mouth Mason a decade ago!) and some people who have attended based on word of mouth. I really like the venue, and play 2 sets filled with a bunch of new songs that I haven’t played live yet. I’m pretty nervous presenting so much new material, but I don’t forget any lyrics and the audience is appreciative. Playing in Calgary is always such a pleasure; it feels like home even though I’ve lived in Toronto for close to a decade. Home sweet home: It’ll never change.
The last show of my Alberta adventure is a private party. Eighty people celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary. The bonus of this show is it’s hosted by people that I know, and the guests of honor are in fact fans of my music and have come out to my shows in Calgary. I feel very comfortable for such a special event (it’s catered and in a VERY big house complete with amazing view of the Rocky Mountains) and my original tunes are appreciated since some of the audience have my CD at home. The only real drawback is the weather; dark looming clouds hang over us and we get sprinkled on three times (thank goodness for garbage bags to protect the equipment!) This time “Living on the Bright Side” has new meaning.
I jet back to Toronto on the red-eye, in time to play an afternoon show at Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market. It’s great to play with the band, in much warmer weather, to an appreciative audience. It’s been a whirlwind last 24 hours and I haven’t slept or eaten much but I’m so happy to be home in the sweltering heat of the 6ix.