Ben Gibbard can throw a pretty mean curveball.

With the poor weather following us almost everywhere we went, we were wondering if the storm clouds would follow us to Canada.

We had no problems at the border (ask any band: almost every band has some horror story about getting stuck at the border by some overzealous border patrol agent trying to find rogue produce or traces of drugs or alcohol... anything to help stop the unending flow of both boredom and the war on terror) and fell asleep knowing we would wake near Montreal.

Our bus was parked near a huge mall near Montreal. All band and crew decided to explore the mall for a while, seeing if there was any a possible sign of quality poutine (local dish that combines French fries, gravy, and cheese curd) or good popcorn. When we returned from the mall, Mr. Ben Gibbard informed me there was to be a high stakes whiffle ball game at 5 p.m. As I suited up in the bus, I wondered what it would be like to see a bunch of pasty indie rockers running around (... or, sort of running. This was to be whiffle ball, so let's not get too crazy) and trying to be coordinated.

Would I be the only one heckling? Would there be any chewing tobacco or fisticuffs? Would Rogue Wave crush Death Cab to a bloody frail pulp and then feel guilty for the rest of the tour?

Fortunately, it was decided we would split up the camps and co-mingle the teams into both Rogue Wave and Death Cab, so we would start fresh, make some new friends, and hopefully start some new rivalries. Who would have thought we would manage a full nine inning game? Let's see. What are the game's highlights... Gibbard can throw a pretty mean curveball, Nick Harmer hit a towering home run (light pole in the parking lot), Pat intentionally standing in front of pitches so he could get hit and take the base, Jason McGerr running so hard and fast to first on a ground ball that he tripped and landed on his hands and knees. We have pictures of pieces of the skin off his hands to prove it. It was bloody and nasty.

All in all, it was a great day off and it was nice to actually spend some time fooling around outdoors without any obligations...

The show at the St. Jacques was super great. It was still rather light out when we got on stage. This is always strange. Without the quiet and darkness of the night and the use of colored lights it feels like it is not yet time to play. But we did.

For the first few songs, it felt a bit like swimming upstream. But then I quietly uttered the words "nous appellons Rogue Wave" and the kids got very excited and cheered quite loudly. I guess people really like it when you show some respect for their culture. Man, I need to brush up on my French.

Our friends in the Stills showed up after the show and took us out to a bar to take in the local color. They just finished their new record and have a very busy year ahead of them. Can't wait to hear it and see what they've been up to.

While we were in the bar, one of the women in the bar started dancing on the tables. The Stills didn't seem all that surprised. I guess that's just Montréal.

When we got back to the bus, there were boxes of poutine waiting for us and the movie "Knocked Up" was playing on the TV. We ate our snacks, watched a little TV, and then crawled into bed, ready for the Toronto Island Festival the next day. Would it rain? Would there be gigantic mosquitoes? Would we have time to hear Stars play their set?

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print