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ROD'S DIARY - REGINA -- WINNIPEG - JUNE 8 -9
It's a long way from Edmonton to Winnipeg so we thought we would stop off at Regina, Saskatchewan, even though the biggest venue there, Regina Brandt Centre, only has a capacity of around 5000, which sold out almost immediately. The Brandt Centre, formerly the Regina Agridome, is an indoor arena in Regina. Built in 1977, it's the home arena for the Western Hockey League's Regina Pats, and also hosts concerts, rodeos, and the like. It replaced Regina Exhibition Stadium. The Brandt Centre has hosted numerous Tim Hortons Briers and Scotties Tournament of Hearts as well as the Memorial Cup. Musical acts such as Rush, Kiss, Nickelback, Mötley Crüe, Three Days Grace, Seether, Avril Lavigne, Velvet Revolver, Collective Soul, Heaven and Hell, Poison, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Cher, Neil Young, Iron Maiden, Snoop Dog, Van Halen, Bon Jovi and many other acts have played the Brandt Centre. (nicked from Wikipedia so probably all wrong!)
Although he venue is relatively small for a tour like this as you can see a lot of big acts have played there (plus Cirque de Soleil soon). It's rare for a venue this size to stage so many big concerts and, with no disrespect to fans there, this is largely due to the location and logistics in terms of travelling and playing across Canada. We really enjoyed playing it, the crowd were again terrific and the band do enjoy the intimacy of smaller venues when they get a chance, and this was a very good place to play.
We had flown in from Edmonton, checked into a hotel, did the show, stayed overnight and then the following day flew into Winnipeg for the show there, going straight to the show on arrival, playing, then on to Chicago. Another sold out show here in Winnipeg, about 11,500, and another fantastic Western Canada audience.
This whole run through Western Canada, our first full tour there for many years, was a tremendous experience. Not a ticket to be had anywhere, fantastic audiences, lots of young fans, everything about it was very enjoyable. Add to that the abundance of Irish pubs and our fondness for Canada and our Canadian cousins (a bit like OZ in that way, sort of English speaking (!) and an obsession with beer and sport, just not the same weather!!) it all made for a wonderful week there. We will be back on the next (new album) tour for sure. Thanks everyone for making us so welcome.
There is one more thing I should mention here. As you guys who attended these shows will know, we had a very cool Canada Event shirt, painted by Herve, of Eddie as a hockey player in the red shirt of Canada, which proved to be very popular. This was based on an original 84-5 WST Canda shirt of Eddie in Oilers colours with the number 999 on the front -- the Great Gretsky's number was 99! However when Herve copied the red Canada shirt presumably from the web he also included the Canada Hockey insignia on the chest and sleeve. And none of us noticed, partly as we were probably carried away by how good it looked and didn't check the detail sufficiently and partly because we didn't know the insignia anyway!! We would NEVER consciously use other people's copyrighted motifs. I spend enough time stopping people ripping us off and hate pirates who rip off both the band and fans with inferior crap. So this was VERY embarrassing. None of us -- not me, not my team, not our merchandisers Bravado -- had picked up on this. We were contacted by Dale at Canada Hockey but it was all very amicable. They understood it was a genuine error and we withdrew the shirt from Eddie's Megastore and tour sales. In Montreal you will find Eddie is now in dark blue with a more apropriate 666 on his sleeve!! We agreed with Dale to make a good contribution to a Charity related to young hockey players which we will do once we have the details. Although I don't think it was the logo that sold the shirts, more likely Eddie!! And as this was a genuine error on our part, this is totally reasonable as we did infringe their copyright. So this all means that any of you who got the event shirt at the show or from our webstore (without dates of course as is our policy now), before we were aware of this, have something very unique which will NEVER be available again. So take care of it!!