Song of the Day: The Strokes - Reptilia
*** This might be a bit of a rant, but it's worthy of a vent ***
*** so readership discretion is advised ***
Friday November 5th was dedicated to getting crammed into a car and driving into a snow storm to see Ben Lee, Rooney, and John Ralston play the Foundation in Barrie. This car was filled with some of the most dedicated Rooney fans and I happen to tag along as I've heard some good things about said band (the good things might have come from the people in the car in the first place). There was much anticipation for this show and the build up was brimming to capacity. Anyways, we arrive early to do the walkabout and check out the other kids at the venue. Much to my naivete's, all the kids were certainly younger than any of the five of us. We took the the local bar to kill sometime where I snicker about how the under ages wouldn't have the same luxury to keep out of the cold. So after a few pints, we decided to head over to the venue. We proceeded to march like penguins one by one into guarded door. Everyone ahead of us were carded until it came around to the quintet of out-of-towners. I think I've bitched about this before, but I'm not getting carded anymore and it's bothering me.
Anyways, as we enter, the half empty venue was rather drab, but decorated with tacky paintings etc. I think this place turns into a dance club when not hosting traveling bands passing through the Barrie region. We receded to the back where all the old folks hang out and consume alcohol. From here, I don't remember what happened, but as the first band was finishing up their set, I joined the rest of the group who were upset about something. Turns out that Rooney was not playing the Barrie show (note: Barrie is one of two stops in Canada for the tour in total). The Rooney contingent were flabbergasted! We were so pissed that we took off to cool some heads. We ended up at a swanky Indian restaurant (as swanky as it gets in Barrier) a couple of blocks down the street to cool ourselves down. Vindaloo, mango lassi, a single tear and an outrageously cheesy portrait of a Bengal tiger calmed our nerves. We ended going back to the show to check out Ben Lee because we did just drive several hours to be in Barrie. The set was alright, but our spirits were already broken, so I don't think any of us really could enjoy the show much.
As we were leaving, I decided to stay back and find out why the co-headliner of the tour decided not to play the only Ontario date of the tour. So I confronted one of the guys from the opening act to find out. They were nice enough to give me a story which would make any music fan cringe in distaste for the music business. Anyways, the story goes like this... Touring bands get taxed in Canada for playing shows and additional taxes are enforced if merchandise is being sold at the show. The bands playing this night were paying $500 for just playing the show not including the merchandise they were selling. So with all the tax implications and playing a smaller venue like Barrie, Rooney didn't play for those reasons (supposedly). It's good to know that they have good business to recognize the potential of not reaching the break even point, but isn't touring about playing shows and exposing the music to new fans and old? I might be wrong on this, but isn't it about the music and maybe the fans?
So here are added kindling to the fueling fire. Flame, flame away:
- There were only two Canadian dates on the tour and only one in Ontario and it isn't Toronto!
- Rooney bailed on their last visit to Canada for the tour supporting their self titled release
- they didn't play a show because of taxes! It's like they didn't know this beforehand? They played Canada already( and for $500 CDN dollars, which is like next to nothing for Americans, they did not play)
- Robert Carmine is a Coppola... I think the Coppolas could spare 500 bucks to play a show for its fans. It's not like they wouldn't get paid to play a show...
- what happened to playing for the sake of music or fans?
- If you don't play a show, announce it to your fans prior to the show!
- The other bands touring with Rooney played... They didn't bail
There's always the other side of the story and I'd love to hear it sometime.