Review By Hollis

Regina , Friday Sept. 23rd 2005 (450km – then 760km back to Calgary )

I haven’t been back here since 1989. I met Frances in Regina in 1982 and we wed in the same year, 5 months after we met. Crazy you may think, maybe true then, but it’s our 23rd wedding anniversary tomorrow. “Love leads to Madness” comes to mind for some reason, but I guess the years must mean that we’re still in love. I wouldn’t do this trip with anyone else. This was the birth place of our kids, Jenny and John.

Arrived in Regina at 3:30 and went over to the Casino on Saskatchewan Drive to check it out. We picked up our tickets too, even though we had guest passes, we had paid for these tickets months ago and we wanted to keep them as souvenirs. Walked around the back to see if we could see the bus but it must have been inside. This was a huge place.

Drove around the old neighborhood of Glen Cairn, but it was run down. The old house was, erm, baby blue, Yuck!! At least they put in a drive way and a garage, but baby blue? Yuck! After our huge disappointment, we headed to my Uncle and Aunts place for supper. We hadn’t seen them since they visited us in Liverpool 7 years ago.

Arrived back at Casino Regina at 8:00pm and just had a beer each while the support band played. We were then to drink water for the rest of the night due to the fact that we had to drive home tonight, or as far as we could. Ever since I saw Van Halen support Black Sabbath, in Southport UK, I’ve been waiting for another brilliant support act, but, being stuck in the 70’s, I don’t think that will ever happen twice in my life time.

Frances and I wore our Nazareth-Blow Me (bagpipes! Put your mind away) tee shirts with our guest passes around our necks. We had quite a few people asking about tee shirts but I think the band had sold out of them.

OK, you’ve waited long enough for the show. The Casino Regina venue was way too posh! I prefer less formal surroundings, like a pub. This place was a huge lounge, people sitting at tables wit h l amps and being served food and beverages at the tables. Way, way too posh. There was even a balcony, with seating. It was almost like a Victorian surrounding. Even Dan would comment on how posh this place was. He said “We’re used to playing in crappy little bars, so this place is too posh”.

Frances and I took our place to the left of the stage, near Jimmy, sitting on the steps, however, the bad thing about playing at a posh place was the security didn’t want people dancing in front of the stage. They even came over to us to ask us to move until they saw the passes and then decided to back off. It wasn’t until “Turn on Your Receiver” that the crowd started to get into it and gather up by the stage while the posh ones still sat. How sad! Here we had one of the greatest rock bands of our time on stage, playing their hearts out to a load of snobs. I salute those who rocked!

I thought that North Battleford was amazing for sound because I was drunk but not the booze that makes it sound so good. This theatre was good for sound but it lacked the life of North Battleford and Edmonton ! Yes, the sound was great, make no mistake, but you need the atmosphere too.

Just as the guys were finishing the last song, “This Flight Tonight” a woman appeared on stage with a note. She was trying to hand it to a reluctant Dan McCafferty, who eventually caved and took it as the woman stood there pointing at him, yelling something. Tom moved in quickly to get the mad woman off the stage. As Dan was singing he was reading the note at the same time. He had to hold the white note at arms length due to the fact that he didn’t have his glass. It was amazing to see him sing so clearly and focused as he read the note. Almost unfazed. After he read the note he laughed and shook his head as he turned his back on the audience as he placed the note on the drum stage. Dan then engaged with the crazy woman when the song was over and appeared to have an angry exchange with her. He was noticeably annoyed as the security people moved in to make sure she didn’t get near the star. The band quickly disappeared behind the black curtains, hoping to forget this night.

Frances and I had only one beer ‘cos we had to drive as far as we could tonight. The music was just as good drunk or not, but the atmosphere was the common denominator, which Regina did not have tonight. Maybe another time, but not at this venue.

Greg and Brenda showed up at the end for a chat before we had to take off. They’re life long Naz fans, just like us and had guest passes last year. We’ll maybe see them next year.

Got the hell out of Regina at 11:30 and stopped in Piapot for a sleep at 2:30 – up at 7:00 and onward bound.

Calgary next Wednesday night….

Entire trip to date is 3,460km … in a week!

Dave (a.k.a. Hollis Brown)
Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.