rachel elizabeth

Formerly Known as Fern

"A dream that you'll never want to wake up from."

-Razmataz Magazine

Nerves Normal (Breathe Normal): Saskatoon mini tour kick off at Creative Commons

When I officially changed my band name to Rachel Elizabeth, I knew I wanted to play some shows in celebration of it. That was this weekend's mini-tour with Sarah Farthing.

We started off in Saskatoon, playing a very intimate show at Creative Commons YXE. Creative Commons is the workshop and event space connected to Void Gallery's newest iteration on Ave B, owned and operated by Michael Peterson. I've known Michael for about 10 years now (we even played a few shows together back in the day), so it's been pretty cool to see his artistic vision grow into Void Gallery, and now Creative Commons. Michael recently hosted a show for Seattle musician, Rocky Votolato, so when it came time for me to book a Saskatoon date, I thought of Void/CC. Luckily Michael was down to host us, and we were able to be CC's first local show.

Michael and I performing at Prairie Ink in Saskatoon, circa 2012. Check out those music stands!

Michael and I performing at Prairie Ink in Saskatoon, circa 2012. Check out those music stands!

On show night, we played to a cozy crowd. It's always tough when attendance isn't quite what you want it to be, but I have to remind myself that life happens and the people who show up are who you're playing for. They shouldn't get a lacklustre show just because the event didn't sell out. Luckily, these cats were very attentive and seemed to genuinely enjoy Sarah and I. What more can you ask for? 

Aside from a few technical difficulties (my sustain pedal kept sliding around on the floor, such that I could barely reach it), the show went well. Nerves are always a thing, but we both had some good laughs with the audience. I seem to have started a tradition wherein I ask for audience participation to sing Dolly Parton's 'Jolene', but proceed to forget at least one or two lines. Perhaps this comes across as the epitome of unprofessionalism, but I like to think I'm just charming enough to make it work. Usually, I at least get a few chuckles, or everyone is too busy singing along to care. It's a thing.

After the show, I was s.p.e.n.t. I love playing songs for people, but it can be an overwhelming experience for a weirdo, anxious person like myself. Sometimes I reach a point where chatter/noise become stressful and I need to take a step back. This can be a challenge when you also want to stick around and talk to the people who've come out to support you/bought merch/etc. So much of it has to do with my week leading up to a show, how much prep work is needed to be ready the day of, what the vibes of the venue are. This particular week I'd been doing a lot of press/admin related things about my name change/shows (like this Star Phoenix article) and was more tired than I wanted to be. In the end, I pulled through, but it's a delicate balance I'm still trying to figure out. 

S/O to my partner, Ryan, for helping with load in and merch sales, and to my sister Christina and her fiance Jon, for helping work the door. Obviously, huge thanks to Creative Commons and Michael for being open to the event and giving us the space to put it on. Watch out for their upcoming workshops!

It was also a pleasure to play with Sarah, who in addition to being a rad song-writer, knows a thing or two about live sound (and remembered to bring a merch float). Check out her video for 'Ghost' here.

Since this ended up being a long one, I'm going to save the other dates for separate posts. Fort Qu'Appelle's up tomorrow! Until then, please enjoy these photos from Friday night.

Listen to 'The Spendthrift and the Swallow:' www.rachelelizabethmusic.bandcamp.com