Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Rock n Roll Weekend

Let’s dig right in… I’ll give a day-by-day summary, and then through the week, I’ll add band reviews and longer versions of some of the more notable stories.

Saturday; May 21st – Day One
We bailed TO around 9am and had quick trip across the border and an uneventful drive (aside from wandering around downtown Erie, PA looking for food). We arrived in downtown Cleveland only to find that all the cheap hotel rooms were booked since the next day was the Cleveland Marathon. We wandered from hotel to hotel and eventually ended up paying the cheapest rate we could find out of fatigue. We got a huge room, but we just wanted to get out and explore the downtown core. By now it was about 4 in the afternoon.
After walking ALL OVER downtown Cleveland, we discovered that there is nothing downtown. No restaurants. No apartments. No people. Even the Cleveland State University Campus was abandonded. Ghost town. Still, we kept walking around hoping to find something… anything… that would redeem Cleveland. It didn’t happen, so we headed to Cleveland Heights for a concert Jared had heard about.
Cleveland Heights was a GAP and American Eagle ad mixed together… homogenous suburbia. Still… there were people there, which was a nice change. We were at the venue REALLY early, so we sat around watching the crowd build. The young crowd. The VERY young crowd.
The show was awesome. The Crystal Skulls and The Headphones were both great… more on them later. Of note now, I finally found an American beer I like. It’s called Rolling Rock and it’s from PA. It’s a little on the light side, but it’s got great flavour.
We crawled into the hotel room around 3am. This matters because…

Sunday; May 22nd – Day Two
… our alarm went off at 9am (I think) because we wanted all day free to roam the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was especially looking forward to taking lots of fun pictures, and spending some serious time at the exhibit celebrating U2’s induction this year.
First problem. No cameras in the museum. Bam. Bickety Bam. Second problem. The lights in the U2 exhibit weren’t on. You could still see and read things, but it wasn’t easy. The RRHoF was a pretty cool experience on the whole, but after our Cleveland experience, we were a little bitter. We only spent a few hours there (most of it fighting schoolkids and the drunk ex-roadies who work there). More on the RRHoF later.
In the afternoon, we hopped in the car, brushed the dirt of Cleveland from our shoes, and blasted off to Pittsburgh. We got a cheap hotel on the interstate, and figured that rather than heading downtown, we’d go to the show venue early and check out the town. After Cleveland, we figured that Downtown was a bad idea, but the show was probably in a vibrant town outside the city.
Indeed. It was in a very dead town outside the city. We sat for a while in Subway (the only thing open in town) and wandered around for a bit in the drizzle, trying to find the venue. It turned out to be a community centre and our spirits were at an all-time low. Then… things took a surprising turn…
The venue turned out to be one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. It was an old church that had been converted into a club and the sound and lights were awesome. The bands got progressively better and ended on a really high note with The Appleseed Cast rocking things out, and Jared stealing their setlist off the stage. Then it was back to the motel for some sleep.

Monday; May 23rd – Day Three
So much driving. We stopped at a WalMart to soak up some ‘American Culture’ and pick up some snacks and ‘souvenirs’. Some seriously tasteless stuff. We also ate at good ‘ol Bob Evans, and we felt like we were 65 years old. We crossed back into Canada with no problems or lineups, and drove from rain and cloud into sunny skies and warm temps.

All in all, the trips was great. We pulled more U-Turns than I care to remember and saw some really interesting places and people. Yet again, I was reminded of how different Canada is from the US, and how thankful I am for some of those differences. In the future, even on a spontaneous trip, a little research goes a long way. Lesson learned.

No comments

Comments are closed.