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 isnâ€™t nearly so cool when it is Todd and I having a Pepsi trying to ignore him. No we arenâ€™t going to buy your CD and more than likely we may yell, â€œPlay Freebirdâ€ and quietly mock your smoke machine. The apex of the evening is when the lead singerâ€™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, â€œgreat soundâ€ and â€œthey look like they are having funâ€ and then get her talking about the band before she realizes that when you said, â€œgreat soundâ€ 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 donâ€™t appear to be actually responding to the music when all I wanted was some Mexican food isnâ€™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 canâ€™t understand and I get the joy of hearing a band say, â€œWe have really weird fans donâ€™t we.â€ Yes you do, now excuse me, my nachos are getting cold and you have a set to play.