Disembarking the ferry, we wasted no time and entered the name of the place where the gig was to take place. Entering “Lana Lou’s” gave us a location near Oppenheimer Park in Vancouvers east side neighbourhood. After a few misdirections by google maps, we arrived. Not wanting to park the truck and trailer in a random location in what is not exactly the nicest part of town, we again opened google maps and went for a walk to look for a parkade or parking lot. Unsuccessful in our mission, we had killed enough time that there were a few spots open on the side of the road right outside Lana Lou’s Rock n’ Roll Eatery . We plunked in two dollars in the parking meter and decided to go get a drink and some food. Noting our time left on the meter, we decided to make the walk to Gastown, a mere five blocks away.
Once on the edge of Gastown I spotted a sign advertising beer outside of a doorway that lead down some stairs to a dark basement watering hole. We had discovered The Portside an east coast themed classic pub with a great selection of beer on tap and a small but tantalizing menu on which every item was a flat ten dollars. I ordered a lobster roll, it was a delicious small bite and washed it down with a cold IPA. No time to dally, we had our nibbles and a couple drinks and meandered back to the truck.
Back at the truck, Lana Lou’s wasn’t open for business yet, but the neighbouring business (Powell Street Salon shout out) was and the friendly proprietor came out to chat with us, she told us we could park right in front, next to the loading zone for the rest of the night as the paid parking hours were ending soon. She offered to give Lana (of Lana Lou’s) a phone call to let her know we were here, but before long a man with a straight-banged shaggy silver mullet came out of the doors. He introduced himself as Mark the sound guy, and let us in to set up.
It was around this time we saw a familiar face strolling up the sidewalk towards us. It was Chelsea! Vogue Villains super fan, and girlfriend of Nate (drums, vocals), she had hopped an airplane and flown over to Vancouver to see the show after a thwarted attempt to catch a ferry and still be there on time. Excited to see our friend, we got to work setting up.
The inside on Lana Lou’s is delightfully whimsical. Part living room, part disused library, part bar. The stage was pleasantly of an adequate size, which was hard to discern from looking at the website of the bar earlier. As we set up equipment, the other bands started to arrive. We mulled around, chatting with the guys from Sleep Circle and Getaway Van as I decided on camera angles and claimed a table near the sound booth to set up the sound recorders.
Sleep Circle played first. a hypnotic but very energetic heavy rock band and a photogenic bunch, I was glad to have another band play before the Vogue Villains so I could nail my camera settings on this, the first show of the tour. I took some photos and fell into the music, any stress I felt was starting to melt away and just enjoyed the tunes. Next, the boys were up. By this time some friends of the band and relatives of Andrew (vocals, bass) had arrived to cheer on the band and take photos. As they played I could see the crowd, especially the other bands, really getting into the music. A successful set! Vogue Villains played until they were curtly told their time on stage had ended. The night continued with Getaway Van. Self described as slightly-out-of-control, punky blues, stoner fuzz rock, they rocked the venue with loads of enthusiasm and energy. Listen here.
As the night wound down, we packed up the trailer and truck and headed to what would be our first hotel room with five guys crammed in it of the tour in Chilliwack BC.
Next post: waking up in Chilliwack and the long drive to Nelson BC for a show the next night.
Cheers, Rev. D