Tag Archives: Broadway Avenue

Broadway at Night

Another one of 52 reasons to love Saskatoon.

Some bars are filled with university and college students, grinding the night away on sticky dance floors, stepping outside only to cool down or hop on their pub crawl bus.

Bikers and metal heads are just down the street buying hot dogs and admiring the Harleys outside Bud’s On Broadway, the last bastion for those not hip enough or young enough for the latest indie band touring through Saskatoon.

At Amigos Cantina, patrons stuffed on burritos or soaked in Jagermeister meet up with old friends, some who’ve moved away to Vancouver or Montreal, some who just don’t frequent the bar as much as they used to.

Hipsters can be found anywhere, at Amigos or The Yard and Flagon, or ironically watching a cover band at Bud’s or playing ping pong at Lydia’s Pub. They’re drifters on Broadway, looking to catch one more show or find the after party.

On Sundays, amateur poets and storytellers gather at Lydia’s for Tonight It’s Poetry, a weekly show that hosts performers from in and outside the city. Between sets, the audience filters outside where they give impromptu reviews of the performers while those waiting to perform grab a nervous smoke before showtime.

Elsewhere, people in coffee shops and restaurants are deciding whether they should go home for the night or join the crowds on Broadway.

As those that know me, my favourite times on Broadway are at Buds on Broadway on Monday nights with another musician.  The Monday night band is going to suck and often are on their first road trip outside of their hometown.  It is often just the two of us, one of the band members girlfriends, and the waitress in there.  What looks cool when Bono does it in front of 80,000 people isn’t nearly so cool when it is Todd and I having a Pepsi trying to ignore him.  No we aren’t going to buy your CD and more than likely we may yell, “Play Freebird” and quietly mock your smoke machine.  The apex of the evening is when the lead singer’s girlfriend starts to talk to us to find out what we think about her boyfriends band.  The secret is to smile and say things like, “great sound” and “they look like they are having fun” and then get her talking about the band before she realizes that when you said, “great sound” you meant the bass players guitar and not how he was playing it. 

My other favourite haunt is Amigos.  The secret is getting in there without having to pay the cover.  While I have no issues paying a cover charge, paying it to hear an industrial grunge band while being surrounded by goths who don’t appear to be actually responding to the music when all I wanted was some Mexican food isn’t my idea of a fun night.  The secret is to walk through the band door by the stage and look casual but not too casual.  Then you sit at the back.   The weird thing is that times that I have done this, the band always ends up talking to me because I am not goth or emo (and they saw me casually stroll in through their entrance).  For some reason I ended up with some free CDs with lyrics I can’t understand and I get the joy of hearing a band say, “We have really weird fans don’t we.”  Yes you do, now excuse me, my nachos are getting cold and you have a set to play.

What to do in Saskatoon during the summer of 2010

With Wendy working at Safeway and her shifts being all over the map, we need to plan ahead as a family if we are going to enjoy all of what Saskatoon has to offer this summer.  While we won’t get to all of these events this summer, here is my list of why I think Saskatoon is a great place to spend the summer.

  • June 24 and 25th :: Broadway Art Encounter :: This is done in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival so there will an interesting selection of art and some great jazz to see.
  • July 10th :: Regina Red Sox vs. Saskatoon Yellow Jackets ::  Wendy and I have been meaning to go to a minor league baseball game since the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets came to Saskatoon.  They are a Western Major Baseball League team and I am told it’s not bad baseball to watch.  $8 per ticket.
  • July 18th to July 25th :: Arlington Beach Family Camp and 50th Reunion :: I am taking the entire week off work and spending most of it at the cabin with the boys.  Wendy will be out for part of the week while she works a couple of shifts at work.
  • July 23rd and 24th :: Rotary Club Dragon Boat Festival :: Not sure if we will be back from the lake but if we are, we will take this in along with the Taste of Saskatchewan.
  • Taste of Saskatchewan July 20th to July 25th :: Taste of Saskatchewan :: I really like the idea of Taste of Saskatchewan but in reality, I don’t really enjoy going.  The food can either be good or mediocre, it’s a really crowded event, the music is too loud to have a conversation, and parking can be brutal.  My honest feeling is that it would be a better event with fewer (but better restaurants), a larger venue, and a sound stage that doesn’t feel the need to blow out your ear drums.
  • July 29th to August 7th :: Saskatoon Fringe Festival :: Good food, lots of stuff made of hemp, hundreds of people smoking pot while the police look the other way.  I don’t generally take in the plays but instead just enjoy myself on Broadway Avenue with the boys.
  • Saskatchewan Roughriders July 31st :: Hamilton Tiger Cats vs. the Saskatchewan Roughriders :: It’s the Riders Centennial which means like all Saskatchewan Roughriders fans, we must make the mandatory pilgrimage to Mecca and take in a game.  We are choosing to see the Riders lay down a smackdown on the Hamilton Tiger Cats.  There is a reason why we have a cabin that is only an hour away from Mosaic Stadium.
  • NASCAR Canadian Tire Series August 4th :: NASCAR Canadian Tire Series :: 250 laps of NASCAR goodness at the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway.  Oddly enough, Pierre Bourque of Bourque Newswatch is also in the series.  Sadly, the Conservative Party is no longer sponsoring his ride, maybe because NASCAR drivers only turn left.
  • August 8th :: Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan :: I know it goes all summer but what could be a better way to spend a Sunday night than taking in some Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice) and then head to a place with a patio for coffee and dessert.
  • August 10 15 :: Saskatoon Exhibition :: This is the highlight of Mark’s summer and is fun to go with Wendy and Oliver as well.
  • September 3-4 :: Saskatoon Fireworks Festival :: After years of taking in really lame fireworks shows in Saskatoon, the Saskatoon Fireworks Festival changed everything.  It is a world class, must see event that is perfect for River Landing.  Let’s just hope the Traffic Bridge doesn’t collapse before that weekend is over.
  • Calgary Flames logo September 29 :: Calgary Flames vs. New York Islanders :: I know I broke up with hockey a couple of years (I said some things, hockey said some things… you know how it is) but we have been checking out each other on Facebook and I may grab a thing of nachos and see how hockey is doing.

As you can probably tell by the links, I am a big fan and user of Yahoo!’s Upcoming service.  I’ll keep adding events to my profile as I see them coming up.