Arrived yesterday in Ft McMurray after a hellish drive from Red Deer. Our travel time was rife with GPS misdirections (in that snotty british accent that demands subconscious competition from my superiority complex and therefore has me debating every route on the map) but also included picnic lunches in Athabasca, where I saw three 19-year-olds outside a mom-n-pop’s burger joint (they likely slaughter their own cattle as well – you know, that kind of mom-n-pop thing) posing for pictures with cheap lingerie outside their flared jeans and baby T’s — HUH?
By the time we got to our hotel I was ready to just take a break for like, um, 5 minutes… but The Stonebridge Hotel had other plans. The girl behind the counter had given away my room and then said (matter-of-factly, I might add) “THOSE rooms are for the music people”. So had to call the promoter, blah blah blah… But they were like, “Oh, we had one reserved for nikki awesome but we gave it to them”. Like as if Flo’s crew and I a) look so much alike and could easily be mistaken for one another and b) I’m in FORT McMURRAY in SEQUINS because I’m obviously a Townie. Seriously, it baffles me when people can’t make their own conclusions and need all kind of stupid documentation to give me a hotel room when I’m supposed to go on stage in like 2 hours. AND it’s like the only show in the whole city. Do. The. Math. People.
Waiting for the promoter to sort me out a hotel room, I go to use the washroom in the hotel (which is in Smitty’s Sportsbar AKA HELL) and walk through to about 50 oil-rig kind of guys that are wasted and yelling at me (or a-hootin’ and a-hollerin’ as they would probably have described it). PS Let’s not forget – I’m in SWEATPANTS and a t-shirt. They’re like “Hey baby, here I am, I got whatcha need right here; I’m what you’re lookin’ for!!” (group laugh because they are SOOOOO fucking cool, yeah?). Me: Does that make you a toilet, then? They then shut up except for that hissing sting that comes after one of your other Neanderthal cohorts gets slapped by the hand of reality – You know, where you’re just NOT ALLOWED to talk to me.
Soundcheck. I am losing my voice. I am losing my MIND. I just want to go up to my trashy STAPLES store-furnished hotel room and chill out for like TEN SECONDS now, but suffer through the soundguy checking my mic FOR me (um, what?) by barking “HEY. HEY. HEY. HEY. HEY. HEY. HEY.” Ad nauseum. Bloke and Breeze have to leave for a minute as all of our nerves are about to SMASH on this dude. Finally finish check and now have to RUN to hotel room (which PS smells like old people and appears to have the traditional markings of someone’s fist having been punched through the bathroom door. It is also composed of pastel-painted BRICKS).
I make tea and scramble to find a suitable costume (though I am tempted at this point to go out in sweatpants and heels, this town has pissed me off so much already), however, I settle on the tamest no-pants outfit I have as I suspect wearing a dress might mean you’re “asking for it”. I throw on makeup and take pictures of myself using the international symbols for “KILL ME” and “NOT HAPPY”. Security arrives to pick me up and to my complete pleasure, they are all in cowboy hats and one of them is actually attractive. Things are starting to turn around here in Ft. McMurray.
They lead me to the stage, and as soon as I hit it, there are tremendous cheers. I don’t normally look back when being led to my green room, but curiosity got the best of me and I turned to see.. NORMAL CLUBGOING PEOPLE, HOT CHICKS, HIPSTER-LOOKING DUDES… I Have never been so happy to see my Ft Mac peeps! All of a sudden we have a total 180 on this joint. I pop into the green room and discuss with Breeze and Bloke our mutual shock at the wickedness of the crowd.
We hit the stage to SCREAMS, they are ready to love us, and after this bullshit journey I am so ready to give some love.. So THANK YOU, attendees of The Royal Society/Flo Rida Ft. Mac Spectacle, you got me HYPE (which I was thinking might not happen). In fact, you were so good I got SO live and lost my voice almost entirely (Good thing I picked up all that sign language from the deaf chick on Sesame Street). As a result (and a result of so much travel) I pretty much stayed in while the boys hit up the club after. As the club and hotel are connected, I hear the whole show from my room and later hear drunken punch-ups in the parking lot. Kind of happy I stayed in.
What’s on the menu for today, you ask? An interview with a radio station in Halifax for our show out at Bubble’s Mansion, a drive to somewhere I might be able to check out a doctor – I may have gotten myself a good old-fashioned sinus infection. We’ll see what COLD FX manages to do all on its own, and cross your fingers for me that all goes without a hitch.
THREE DAYS OFF NEVER TASTED SO GOOD!!