-Formation (June 1997 – October 1997)
Dead Season was one of the many bands formed by ex members of Two Line Filler. Two Line Filler, under the line up of Matt White on vocals, Colin Clark and Al Biddle on guitars, Mike Calder on bass and Jon Drew on drums, had just finished an incredibly successful mid-western/east coast United States tour with The Enkindels (the first Enkindel tour under the new name) in mid-June of 1997. Two Line Filler, then signed to New Red Archives, was considering signing with Arista Records, who had already offered them a deal. Additionally, they were receiving offers to play shows with Texas is the Reason, Hot Water Music, Avail and even one of Colin Sears’ post-Dag Nasty bands, all amounting to enough dates for another east coast US tour that summer. Despite all of this, Matt White, not liking the direction the band was going, decided that he wasn’t up for it and announced that Two Line Filler was over.
The other four members, unwilling to pass up such an opportunity, decided to continue in a new band sans Matt White, with Colin assuming vocal duties as well as guitar. Without an official band name, they immediately started writing new material, in the style of “Life Isn’t Fair (Screams the Kid Again)”, the last song Two Line Filler had written. This song had been a huge hit on the tour with The Enkindels, but Matt didn’t like the direction the music was going in. And so the new band, now free to write how they pleased, started building up their set list, but never quite made it to having their eight or so songs ready for the tour.
Feeling extreme disappointment from this missed opportunity, Jon Drew decided to focus solely on audio production as Rob Sanzo’s assistant at Signal 2 Noise Studio. Leaving Colin Clark on vocals and guitar, Mike Calder on bass and Al Biddle, who switched back to his native drums. Sometime in August or September of 1997, the trio loaded all their equipment and drove up to Al’s cottage for a weekend, planning to write brand new songs from scratch again. It was at this point that Colin changed the direction of the band, by opting to play in Drop C tuning. The Dead Season signature sound would be symbolized that weekend with their first song, “Giving Tree”. Influences from this early on came from Seaweed, Samiam, All, The Descendants, Hüsker Dü and many of the Fat Wreck Chords and SST Records bands.
After brainstorming dozens of band names with no success, Colin’s friend Dennis Bannock suggested “Dead Season”, in reference to the autumn season, the time of year when the skiing and snowboarding mountains were lacking tourists. But it was also the season in which the band formed and wrote most of its songs, and Colin stuck with it. Dead Season continued jamming at Colin’s parents’ house in Brooklin, Ontario or Al’s parents’ house in Oshawa, Ontario throughout the fall. However this lineup would end when Mike decided that no other place could offer a better winter season than Whistler, British Columbia, Canada’s snowboarding heaven. Colin immediately asked Phil Zeller, who had played in Adolescents in Formaldehyde with him, and in Boneless with Al, to step in as a temporary bassist. They then started jamming in Al’s father’s business building in downtown Oshawa, Ontario. The new building offered a rehearsal room, a photo room, a kitchen and a chilling room, free from adults from 5 P.M. to 6 A.M. every day of the week. It quickly became a hangout spot for not only the band members but also their friends who were given duplicate keys. Dead Season would play their first show that fall at The Dungeon in Oshawa. According to Beau Bomberry, who handled the booking at the venue, Dead Season brought their gear over from their rehearsal space, only minutes before the show started, not originally meant to play that day.
-Recording demos (October 1997 – September 1998)
Jon Drew kept in close contact with the band, and wanting to establish his own recording portfolio, asked them to come record some material at Signal 2 Noise. In January of 1998, Dead Season sneaked in after closing hours to record their first two songs; “Giving Tree” and “Butcher’s Son”. They also brought their friend Chris Jokinen to the recording session, as he was the featured vocalist on “Butcher’s Son”, Colin handling the chorus and backups. Chris would also perform the song live with the band whenever possible, as he also joined them on some of their future tours. During the tracking of the acoustic interlude at the end of “Butcher’s Son”, Colin broke a guitar string; but this take was kept and appears on the released version of the song. At the end of the night, and with some free time left, Jon Drew suggested they record anything else they had in the bank. During rehearsals, Dead Season had been toying with an unofficial song, “Da Vipers”, which also featured Chris Jokinen. They decided to track it as well, although the song would never be played live. With these first recordings, Al would dub them on tape one at the time, as needed, because it wasn’t yet considered an official demo. They were simply the first recordings by the band. Only about a dozen of these tapes exist.
Sometime in February or March, Al asked ex-Two Line Filler guitarist Patrick Dupuis to join them as second guitarist. Patrick had previously played in Self Serve with Chris Jokinen and Jon Drew, and felt right at home in a line-up of friends. Patrick brought with him his Thin Lizzy and Descendants influences to the band. But as he was living in Kingston, Ontario at the time, his friend Jay Revelle started filling in for him at practices. Jay was one of the many friends with a key to the studio. Being there all the time, he easily learned the songs at the same time.
With a line-up ready to play shows, Al started showing off their first recording session through which he met Ewan Exall, who booked them at Club Shanghai in Toronto on April 4th. Experimenting with new songs, and as Patrick was still a new member and Phil still considered himself a fill-in bassist, focusing on his other band, “Scratching Post” (who was already quite famous and successful in the Canadian scene), Dead Season assumed a variety of different names for shows of this period. They are known to have used the names “Pink Ninja” and “Spazzjizzer”, both in April of 1998.
The April 4th show at Club Shanghai was performed under the name Pink Ninja, while they shared the bill with Scarborough’s Grendel, Mr Pink and Smallmouth. It is currently unknown which shows they performed as Spazzjizzer and any other names they used during this period. On April 18 they performed at The Different Drum in Oshawa as Dead Season. Finally, Mike Calder came back to Ontario during the week of April 19th 1998. He had kept in touch with Colin and Al while he was away and the moment he hit the town, Phil resumed Scratching Post full time and Mike was back in Dead Season.
One of the few people Al gave their unofficial demo tape to was a guy operating True Motion Video Magazine, who was putting together a new VHS skate movie, “True Motion Video Magazine Presents: Slam City Jam”. The guy really wanted to feature “Butcher’s Son” during the opening montage. This would be Dead Season’s first public release, or compilation appearance of sorts.
The first merchandise that Dead Season made and sold was the “tank” t-shirt, designed by Ben Playford in the spring of 1998. Colin ran his own screen printing company at the time, Threadlap Trainwreck Graphics, and handled the pressing himself. In June, Al was eager to record some of the band’s new songs. Although they had previously recorded at S2N, Jon Drew was busy at the time and Al urged the band to get the demo done as soon as possible. So they started recording four new songs on his 8-track recorder in their jam space: “Unconditional Love”, “Road to Nowhere”, “MindFire” and “The Tides They’re a Changin”. But later in the month, Jon Drew became available and all four songs were re-recorded at S2N. Jon also created an electronic track that was used as intro on the demo. But unfortunately they ran out of time at S2N to mix the demo so they brought it to Pete Hudson at Hallamusic. Pete had also previously worked with Two Line Filler and Jon Drew had interned under him. The demo stayed within the family.
To create the artwork for this first official release, the band turned Ben Playford once again, who created a simple layout with lyrics handwritten by Al. It was then dubbed, photocopied, and assembled just in time for their show with Earth Crisis at Call the Office in London, Ontario. They were sold for 2$ and Ian Edwards, the bassist from Earth Crisis, even got one that night. Over time nearly two hundred copies were printed and dubbed.
Later that summer, Traindodge came up to play two Ontario dates as part of their summer 1998 tour. It was also during the Two Line Filler/The Enkindels tour that Traindodge became close friends with Al and Jon; and after months of asking them to come up and play with the new band, they finally made it. The first show would be on July 20th at The Dungeon, followed by Who’s Emma on the 21st with Grendel and Acacia. Dead Season then embarked on their own first tour to promote the shirts and tapes. Only three dates have survived to tell part of this story. One show took place at Stalag 13 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 31st with The Passenger Train Proposal, Penfold, Midvale, The Jazz June and Endeavor. Another on August 1st 1998, at The Melody Bar in New Brunswick, New Jersey with No Reason, Drowningman, Days for Sorrow, Cable and Isis. A third date was also played at Something Cool in Plattsburgh, New York.
That summer, Al was interning for Jesse F. Mackowycz’s PR company. Within this tightly knit circle, Dead Season was asked to play a few shows with Jesse’s band, Bad Blood, and their close friends, The Almighty Trigger Happy. One of these concerts was on August 7th of 1998, when Jesse put on “Ring N’ Ears”, a “WrestleMusicFest”; a live event featuring wrestling and live bands sharing the stage/ring. The show at The Opera House also featured Twin Fold, ADF, Blank Stare and Random Killing. For some reason, Dead Season was not listed on the flyer for the event. The night proved to be very successful and Jesse went on to promote many more Ring N’ Ears events. Dead Season would reunite with Bad Blood, Trigger Happy and Twin Fold on August 30th for a show at The Dungeon.
Other notable shows from the summer and fall of 1998 include a show at Clinton’s in Toronto. In the middle of their set, Al called out to Jay Revelle in the audience and asked him to come play Patrick’s guitar parts for Giving Tree. None of it was rehearsed and Patrick’s good friend was relieved when it was over. It had been a while since he jammed with the band and wasn’t certain if he even remembered all the parts. But it turned out great. Another event took place at either The Rivoli or the 360 Club, when the show was played with two drummers. Al had asked Jon Drew to co-perform the entire set with them.
Sometime in the late summer of 1998, Al found out that Raw Energy Records was putting together the fifth compilation in their “On the Road” series. On July 31st of 1998, the label had called out to all unsigned Canadian hardcore bands to send in their best new song by November 31st. Luckily Jon Drew had a couple of free dates coming up for their newest song, “Reepers”, to be tracked. The two dates were set for August 23rd and September 1st of 1998. The song was then sent off to Raw Energy and all they could do is wait and hope.
-Record label interest (October 1998 – February 1999)
Still in contact with The Enkindels, the Kentucky band called up Al and invited Dead Season to join their upcoming Halloween 1998 show. It had been a year and a half since their last show together in June of 1997. The new Halloween show also featured Small Brown Bike (who had played with the two bands on May 31st, 1997 at Pharaoh’s Golden Cup in Westland, Michigan), The Farewell Bend and The Middletown Project. After hearing Dead Season play for the first time, some members of The Enkidels were extremely surprised, and even disappointed to see how much their sound had changed without Matt White. But not Ryan Patterson. He quickly became an avid fan of the band and kept in close contact with Al, hoping to play many more shows together. Small Brown Bike also instantly fell in love with Dead Season and the two bands formed a bond that would flourish in 1999.
Mike Warden, a Michigan personality mostly known for running Conquer the World Records, had been an avid follower of Two Line Filler since 1994, when Matt White toured with Chokehold. Mike Warden had begged to sign 2 Line Filler on his label on multiple occasions but his reputation had always prevented him from accomplishing it. Eventually, in 1996, he went as far as to bootleg TLF t-shirts that were so cheaply made that the letter print washed off upon first contact with water. When he approached Dead Season that evening with an offer to release their material on Conquer the World, they turned him flat down. But the height of the evening was when Mike Palm, owner of Salinger Press Records, offered Dead Season an EP deal on the spot. They eagerly agreed. Small Brown Bike and Dead Season were now label mates!
On November 6th of 1998, Dead Season got to play with two of the most important emo bands of the era, The Promise Ring and Jets to Brazil. The show took place at Salle de L’X in Montreal, Quebec. After a few phone conversations with Mike Palm that November, a date was set for them to record. The band entered Woodshed Studios on December 10th to spend two days recording four songs (“More than Wanted”, “Jaws of Life”, “Giving Tree” and “Handwriting”) with producer Tim Pak, under the financial supervision of Mike Palm. On December 18th they played the last show of the year at Call the Office in London, Ontario for Sinclaire’s CD release party. Of course Small Brown Bike was invited to come play the show as their new label mates.
On December 23rd, Al finally heard back from Raw Energy Records. “Reepers” had been accepted for “On the Road …With a Snowboard”, due out in early 1999. But Chris Murray was more importantly interested in signing Dead Season on Raw Energy for an album deal! He offered to meet the band and discuss things, but Dead Season wasn’t interested in being promoted by a Canadian record label. They had found a nice home at Salinger and were happy getting the attention they rightly deserved in the States. The compilation remained the first and only collaboration between Raw Energy and Dead Season.
On January 16th 1999, after finishing their new extended play at Woodshed Studios, Small Brown Bike invited Dead Season to play at The Chicken Shack in East Lansing, Michigan with Quixote. By February of 1999, Salinger Press’ fourth release was out. The Dead Season 7″ EP was graced by gorgeous silver ink printed on thick black paper, a layout design credited to Mike Palm. But some of the ideas originated from James Marks (the silver ink). Colin and Al would dedicate this release to their fathers. Colin’s father, Graham Clark, was a lifelong musician who gave up his dream in order to work full time. Al’s father was the “jam space owner”, where the band continued to rehearse. Mike Palm also sent Colin the 7″ band logo for him to press some new shirts for the band through Threadlap Trainwreck Graphics. With the new release and new merch, Small Brown Bike invited Dead Season to hop in on their upcoming tour.
-Touring with Small Brown Bike and the Michigan Fest (February 1999 – March 1999)
The week and a half Dead Season/Small Brown Bike tour started on February 26th at The IO Cafe in Detroit, Michigan. Dead Season then spent the night at Mike Palm’s house in Auburn Hills, Michigan. While Mike Palm was out the next day, they decided to learn Hüsker Dü’s “Something I Learned Today” as a surprise. The show on February 27th took place at James Marks’ venue The Bastard (aka The Vegetarian Grocer) in Pontiac, Michigan. The event was a fundraiser for Joel Wick and Makoto Recordings to help put together the Michigan Fest a month later. When Mike Palm heard Dead Season play “Something I Learned Today”, he couldn’t believe his ears! Hüsker Dü was his favorite band. From then on, the cover would be used as a filler if they needed to extend their sets. This show was also notable as the first show that Brett Fratangelo played drums for Thoughts of Ionesco. After spending a second night at Palm’s house, the two bands met up at Chicago’s famous Fireside Bowl to play with John Brown Battery and Sever the Chord.
After a half-way stop in Louisville, Kentucky, they continued south. Small Brown Bike had been in negotiations with No Idea Records since mid-1998 and had just recorded their first album, “Our Own Wars”, for the label that January. While the album was at the pressing plant, Dead Season and Small Brown Bike went to play some shows set up by Var Thelin on the South coast. The first was at the The Cow Haus in Tallahassee, Florida, followed by Planet 10 in Valdosta, Georgia; then to Gainesville, Florida to play at The Shed with Panthro U.K. United 13. The final date of this collaborative tour would be back up in Athens, Georgia at Hunter Gatherer’s house on March 6th.
After a very successful tour promoting their first 7″, Dead Season headed for a hotel in Panama City, Florida for two days. It was spring break and the beaches were full of people. Dead Season took advantage of the comfort to set up their instruments right on the sandy beach and started jamming. When cops quickly showed up and asked “What do you guys think you’re doing?”, the band simply replied “We don’t know, we’re from Canada”. The cops then replied “Really? That’s cool. Have fun!” and left them alone.
Ready for another week of touring, Dead Season left Florida on the morning of March 9th to drive west to Arkansas. About an hour after leaving, they realized someone was missing. They had forgotten Mike Calder at the gas station, thinking he was sleeping in the back of the van. By the time they got back to him, Mike had already nervously looked at the bus and train schedules, thinking he would have to make it back to Toronto on his own. The second leg of the tour was booked by Al, using his connections from the Two Line Filler days. Ryan Patterson, one of the busiest musicians in the Louisville scene, made sure to book a couple of shows with them as well. Al also managed to make a date with Traindodge once again, this time in their home state.
Some of the shows that were played during this week include Clunk Music Hall in Fayetteville, Arkansas and CD World in Norman, Oklahoma with Traindodge. At this show, Colin showed off his new Jackson Flying V guitar, which had cross signs on the fret inlays. He put on the guitar, shifted it over to his left hand, and made sure to point out that the crosses were now upside down, noting how it was too bad that he wasn’t left handed. They then spent the weekend playing shows with Ryan’s new band, Automatic, in Indiana. First up was The 540 Club in Jeffersonville with Evan Patterson’s band Standard Issue. Then at 2805 Maumee Ave with another of Evan’s band, The National Acrobat.
From March 26th-28th of 1999, the annual Michigan Fest took place in Wayne, Michigan. Dead Season was initially set to play on Sunday, March 28th, in an average late afternoon spot, between Moods for Moderns and Chris Ieo. The guys drove down on Saturday afternoon, to enjoy the other bands throughout the weekend; but the minute they stepped out of the van, Joel Wick asked them if they’d be up to play in just an hour. Apparently Hot Water Music hadn’t shown up (they eventually showed up late and really drunk) and the whole schedule was reorganized. Dead Season jumped at the opportunity. The show became even more memorable when multiple guests performed with Dead Season. Firstly, Ben Reed of Small Brown Bike came on to play Colin’s guitar parts on “Giving Tree”. Then Chris Jokinen, who was always traveling with the band, came to sing his parts of “Butcher’s Son”. Through this show, they also became close friends with the members of Thoughts of Ionesco (their second show together). And as if things weren’t going well enough, Joel Wick offered to sign Dead Season on Makoto Recordings, with an attractive album recording and releasing deal. But Makoto was just a little bit too late, because Salinger had high hopes and plans for the Canadian band.
-Recording at Signal 2 Noise for compilations (April 1999 – May 1999)
In the spring of 1999, Salinger Press had big plans for Dead Season. There was talk of a split 7″ with Small Brown Bike, full-time touring opportunities and also a full-length deal coming their way. But Salinger’s promises soon fell apart. Small Brown Bike’s contract to No Idea Records meant no split on Salinger. The funding for the album was delayed until August and the touring was ultimately left to be booked by the band members, most specifically by Al. Additionally, Mike Calder had quit Dead Season shortly after the Michigan Fest. Ever since he came back from Whistler, his heart had been divided between the band and living in the mountains. After spending a year back in the band, British Columbia won for the second and final time.
But all of this wouldn’t stop Dead Season from recording new material on their own. After three successful Ring N’ Ears events, Jesse F. Mackowycz decided to put together a compilation showcasing the bands that helped make the concerts so popular. He contacted Al and asked for a song to use in his compilation. Around the same time, the person behind Chimaeric Records was putting together another compilation, “Making the Impossible Possible”, and needed a song right away. Therefore Al sent him “Butcher’s Son”, as it was the only song not properly released on music media.
But right before they could enter Signal 2 Noise in early May, Patrick received a hairline fracture on his wrist during a skateboarding accident with Jay Revelle. Reduced to half a band, Dead Season would record as a two-piece, with Colin and Al dividing all the instruments. At this time The Tea Party had been demoing post-“Triptych” album material all week with Rob Sanzo and when Dead Season came in to record, their equipment was still all over the room. Three songs were recorded during this session; “Dark and Stormy Night”, “Last Love Song” and “Speed”. Colin remembers that his guitar sound on “Last Love Song” was the best he ever had, because he got to (secretly) use The Tea Party’s amps that night. Of these recordings, “Last Love Song” was sent to Jesse, who officially released the compilation at Ring N’ Ears’ fourth event on July 10th 1999. Bad Blood then went on tour promoting the compilation.
With Patrick recovered and wanting to go back on tour, they booked three weeks‘ worth of shows in the middle of May 1999. To fill in on bass, they called Jesse “Wookie” Payne who had played in Self Serve with Patrick and Boneless with Al. Jesse was attending the University of Toronto and really could not commit to touring so he initially only agreed to playing one show in late April. The band gave him a few tapes and within a week Jesse had learned all the songs. Wookie’s first show with Dead Season was on April 24th at The Different Drum Cafe in Oshawa with Sinclaire.
-Touring with Small Brown Bike and Thoughts of Ionesco (May 1999)
Two weeks later, they still had not found a new bassist and Jesse was asked to fill in again at The IO Cafe in Detroit. This May 9th show was played with Small Brown Bike and Thoughts of Ionesco, who were both getting ready to hit the road again with Dead Season. By then, the whole tour had already been booked and Jesse was quickly convinced by Al “not to be a lameass” and stick around for it. The May 1999 tour, featured Dead Season and Thoughts of Ionesco on all dates, plus Small Brown Bike at most of the Canadian dates. From the little information that has survived, the tour started out at The Different Drum Cafe in Oshawa on May 12th. In the middle of this show, when Dead Season performed “Butcher’s Son”, Phil Zeller was asked to jump on stage and play bass as a one-off reunion. Then Jason Donovan, who was Thoughts of Ionesco’s roadie, took up bass for the Hüsker Dü cover. Travis Dopp (of Small Brown Bike) also came on to sing one song with Dead Season. The second show was played on the following day at Who’s Emma in Toronto.
May 14th and 15th were spent participating and attending the Oakville Hardcore Festival, a.k.a. the Southern Ontario Hardcore Festival (SOHC Fest), which took place at Munn’s United Church. The two–day event was booked by Canadian concert promoting legend Erik Hoibak and featured such bands as As We Once Were, Buried Alive, Captain Co-Pilot, Confine, Cru Jones, Dead to the World, Disciple, Ever Since Friday, Haligula, Kid Gorgeous, Maharahj, Malakhai, Notoriety, Race Traitor, Shiloh, Subsist and Walls Around Us.
Paul G. from Redstar Records was in the midst of putting together his own compilation, “The Sound and the Fury“, which ended up featuring a few bands from this event (Dead to the World, Kid Gorgeous, As We Once Were, Subsist). Al had given a CD with “Dark and Stormy Night” to Ewan Exall (who was also at this show) who then convinced Paul G. to add it to his compilation. “The Sound and the Fury” compilation was eventually released, after quite a bit of delay, in October of 1999.
After four days in Canada, Small Brown Bike then headed home. It seems that Thoughts of Ionesco and Dead Season traveled a few days through the States, including a date at Stalag 13 in Philadelphia, and Something Cool in Plattsburgh. While in Plattsburgh, Jesse ended up tripping over a rock in a park and getting a hairline fracture in his foot. Luckily the band was staying with a nurse, who bandaged up Jesse’s foot for the remainder of the tour. But Jesse wasn’t the only one having issues on the tour. Thoughts of Ionesco’s new drummer, Brett Fratangelo was already butting heads over a girl with Sean Madigan Hoen. Their bassist, Nathan Miller, not wanting to be stuck between their troubles, started traveling in Dead Season’s van. It wasn’t long before Brett also joined them and became close friends with Colin and Patrick.
After a couple of U.S. dates, the bands crossed back into Canada to play in Levis, Quebec. By this time, Patrick and Sean Hoen had reached the ultimate level of solo competitions. Each attempting to extend and improve the guitar solos during their sets. Driving west, they arrived in Montreal only to find out that their show had been cancelled without notice. They drove on straight to the last known date at the Aloha Room in Ottawa on May 20th. When the tour was over, Jesse went back to school, making it clear to Al that he would not be available for future touring. He would however rejoin the band one last time on June 7th to play at Who’s Emma with The Jazz June, Mid Carson July and Figure Four.
-Touring with The National Acrobat (June 1999)
Ryan Patterson was managing his brother’s band, The National Acrobat, and had booked a nearly month-long East Coast tour in June. Ryan, still a huge fan of Dead Season, invited them to partner up on the tour. Still without a permanent bassist, Al started helping to book a few extra shows with Ryan. In addition, more dates were scheduled for a second leg of the tour in July with Memphis, TN’s Ellipsis Union and London, ON’s Acacia in the Midwest.
The tour was initially set to start at the 540 Fest in Jeffersonville, Indiana, just across the river from Louisville, Kentucky. The National Acrobat and Dead Season were set to play on Saturday June 12th. However, the fest ended up getting cancelled by the city’s fire department before it ever started. The bands were then to travel to Syracuse, Buffalo, Long Island, State College and Baltimore. But Dead Season still had no bassist.
Al hastily called upon another ex-Two Line Filler connection, Simon Head, to fill in on bass. Simon was a great bass player but unfortunately couldn’t commit to touring, as he was producing music full time, and left after only a couple of rehearsals. Patrick then turned to yet one more ex-Two Line Filler member, Paul Schedlich, who was working at a record store in Toronto. Since 2 Line Filler, Paul had played in Drop Forge, The Eight Pound Test and Flies and Frogs. He had also known Al and Colin since childhood. Willing to dedicate himself full-time to Dead Season, Paul practiced with them for just a short week before rushing out to tour.
By then The National Acrobat had been on the road without them for a week and had already played through New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The two bands finally met up to hang out in New York City on June 19th. The tour started for Dead Season at The Melody Bar in New Brunswick, New Jersey the next evening. Their second show was cancelled in Richmond, Virginia and they headed south to Greenville, North Carolina to play the Back Door Skatepark. They were off on June 23rd, and had the chance to catch Joan of Arc playing in South Carolina, to an almost empty venue. On June 24th they were intended to play at Planet 10 in Valdosta, Georgia but this date too was cancelled.
The pair of bands arrived in Florida where four dates were planned with Panthro U.K. United 13. First off was the Fictitious Warehouse in Gainesville, followed by The Punkhouse in Tampa. The 27th and 28th dates also ended up getting cancelled. Initially, the 27th was to be played at Sluggos in Pensacola. Then the 28th would have either been at Mega Rock Arena in Tallahassee, or at Slackers 66 in Birmingham, Alabama. But none of these materialized and The National Acrobat decided to head back home, short of a few dates from a finished tour. Meanwhile Dead Season took their second Florida beach vacation.
Dead Season and The National Acrobat had hit it off so well that they discussed doing a split together, using the newly recorded songs from S2N. As soon as he was back home, Ryan called Jason Irvine and Rick Felton from Arise Records, who jumped on the opportunity to work with both bands. Using “Speed” and “Last Love Song”, the arrangements for a four-song split 7″ started coming together while Dead Season was still on the road.
-Touring with Ellipsis Union and Acacia (June 1999 – July 1999)
On June 29th, Dead Season met up with Ellipsis Union in Tennessee for a week of concerts together. The first show in Nashville, Tennessee took place at the Indienet, a venue that filmed and streamed all of their shows on their website. Apparently the show’s headline, Bongzilla, cancelled and this show lacked a serious audience. While in Nashville, Paul and Patrick ended up going to a guitar store. Patrick sold his Fender Telecaster and Paul bought a new Ampeg Gemeni guitar amp. Meanwhile, Colin was out driving in David Soldi’s car and crashed into a Cadillac. On June 30th they drove west to Fayetteville, Arkansas for their second appearance at Clunk Music Hall, this time with The Snacks and Gal’s Revenge.
On July 1st, the bands drove to St. Louis, Missouri, to a venue that was above a strip mall. After hauling up all their gear and playing a great set, to only fifteen people, the bands were paid their ten bucks and packed their stuff. They had planned to drive back to Memphis, Tennessee on July 2nd to play at Barrister’s Bar; but the owner had recently changed the venue into a speakeasy. Instead, Al got a last minute connection to play in Philadelphia with Tight Bros From Way Back When. This was a sixteen hour drive, out of their way, just to play with a big band. They set up to meet back with Ellipsis Union (who didn’t want to drive all the way east) in Wisconsin two days later. But when Dead Season got to Stalag 13, the show’s promoter, owner and resident announced that Tight Bros had cancelled the gig and he had been too lazy to call them and let them know. But he did offer to buy them pizza as compensation. The guys spent the evening having some drinks at the bar across the street and making friends with the locals before a tedious drive back out west in the morning.
After a disastrous night and another fifteen hour drive to get to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, everyone was relieved to see nearly one hundred attendees at the Bremen House. The local house show was booked with Chauncey, Ellipsis Union and Dead Season, on the eve of Independence Day. The house was operated by straight-edge members and mostly straight-edge kids were attending the show. But Ellipsis Union showed up with two cases of beers and convinced the owner to allow them to leave it in the fridge. It wasn’t long before the underage x-wearing kids were puking off the balcony during Ellipsis Union’s set. Then, either before Dead Season started their set or shortly into it, a huge party with fireworks broke out on the nearby Lake Michigan beach. The entire crowd vanished within minutes. Only the owner of the house remained, and for him, the band decided to still jam their set and even discussed practicing some of the new songs. Tension was already building up within the members, and the lengthy driving hours met with little pay off , causing short fuses. During the set, Colin was the recipient of one of Al’s launched loogies and considered it an act of war, although they now laugh about it. When the subject of trying out a new song came up, Patrick became completely opposed to the idea and he also ended up getting into a huge argument with Al. Without finishing the set, Al quit the band and disappeared into the night.
Making things even more difficult was that there was no room for Dead Season to sleep over at the Bremen House. Being a national holiday, there were also no rooms left at any nearby hotels and without Al, they couldn’t drive off to the next city. Jason Barnett from Ellipsis Union ended up looking in just about every nearby bar but couldn’t locate him. Eventually, it was decided that Patrick, Paul and Colin would sleep on the nearby beach, while Ellipsis Union would drive on to Chicago, where they would meet up the next day. The next morning they finally found Al wandering the streets, and agreed to stay professional and finish up their last week of touring, eager to play a last show with Ellipsis Union and meet up with fellow Canadians, Acacia.
The July 4th show at the Fireside Bowl in Chicago would be refreshing for everyone. Jeff Dean, a new fan of the band, had come specifically to see them, after having witnessed their set at the Michigan Fest. The crowd, packed in a full venue, was into the music and the bands played their best set of the tour. After spending the night in a nice hotel, Ellipsis Union headed back south.
The next day Dead Season finally met up with Acacia, in Grand Haven, Michigan. But more misfortunes started happening at the Eagles Lodge. The show had been planned to feature seven bands; Small Brown Bike, Dead Season, Acacia, Forever and a Day, Hamilton, With Arms Still Empty and The Fungus. But Small Brown Bike ended up cancelling and The Fungus broke up and didn’t show up. Even the show’s promoter, Yann Kerevel from With Arms Still Empty, didn’t stick around after his band played and had already started telling people that the headliners weren’t playing, before the show started. By the time Dead Season and Acacia played, the atmosphere was uncomfortable and the place almost empty.
They then drove down on July 6th, to play The Back Door in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This was a small venue in the back of the Modern Primitive tattoo parlor, where they played with Dead Letter Auction. On July 7th, while driving south to Ohio for two shows, Dead Season got stuck in a horrendous traffic jam. They were backed up for an hour and when they finally reached the accident that was causing gridlock, they were shocked to find out that it was Acacia who had totaled their van. Five dates were still booked for the tour; Cincinnati (at Vinyl Assault), Columbus (at The Legion of Doom), Buffalo, Hartville and Rochester (at the Vortex Club). But when they hit Cincinnati, the shows’ promoter, Mike Carr, told them that the show at Vinyl Assault had also been totaled. He had booked a replacement venue in a music rehearsal building in Corryville. By then it was obvious that the band was falling apart, and some of the members didn’t even care about the show. Two thirds into their set, Al broke the silence, asking publicly if the band would take him back, admitting his mistake. But Patrick had already made up his mind; he was never playing in a band with Al again. The last four dates of the tour were abandoned and the dysfunctional band headed back home. Al considered the tour such a failure that he timidly avoided any contact with the other band members for nearly a month. He instead signed up for music management classes to help make sure something like this would never happen again.
-Recording the album & hiatus (July 1999 – November 1999)
Dead Season continued practicing as a three-piece in Colin’s parents’ house, where Patrick was then also living. Although Paul had joined as a last minute replacement for the tour, he was now welcomed as a permanent member of the band. In early August, Mike Palm had already booked Dead Season to record their album at Woodshed. Initially set to be Salinger Press’ sixth release, due out in the fall of 1999. But with the band uncertain of their status, Tim Pak had planned a fishing trip for himself and closed the studio. Mike Palm knew that the band needed a new drummer to make this album happen. By this time Mike Palm and Tim Pak had developed such a friendship that Palm was constantly hanging out at Woodshed Studios, engineering some of the bands he wanted to work with, for free. One day Brett Fratangelo, who had also recently quit drumming for Thoughts of Ionesco, was recording at Woodshed with his new band, Keller. Mike Palm decided to play for him the Dead Season 7″ and asked him if he thought he’d like to drum for the band’s studio time. Brett showed interest, remembering how friendly the Dead Season guys had been.
The next night Colin called Brett and asked him to meet them at Mike Palm’s house the following day to learn their songs. Colin, Patrick and Paul drove down to stay at Mike Palm’s house and set up their instruments in his garage. Dead Season practiced for just a day, well into the wee hours of the morning. Brett was also excited to show off his brand new DW drum set that had arrived the same day. The very next day, the band entered Woodshed Studios in Oak Park, Michigan, which was a half hour’s drive from Mike Palm’s house. However when the band got there, they realized that Tim Pak was not to be present for most of the recording session and the studio had been left in the hands of Mike Palm for the next few days.
From the start it seemed obvious to Brett that he was just a hired gun for the album session. But the studio time was filled with funny memories. The band felt so motivated and free having the studio to themselves, that they celebrated on arrival. There was a party store down the street that had wine coolers on sell for 1$ each. The band bought a few cases of it and while Paul and Brett were laying down bed tracks for drum and bass, Patrick, extremely drunk, took a roll of tape and taped his face to the mixing board. The band wouldn’t let him live it down the next day when he wasn’t feeling too well. Patrick also took down the isolation blankets from the studio to make some sort of “sound igloo” for his amp, trying to get that raw punchy sound. Another story involves a portable guitar amp that Colin had found, built within a Marlboro cigarette pack. He actually ended up using it to record the solo in “Cave Bear”.
Although the plan for a full-length had been proposed back in the spring, Dead Season still wasn’t ready with enough new material. Colin and Patrick were actually still writing a couple of new songs in studio, including “Cave Bear” and “To a Close”. Even a few older songs were re-recorded in order to make an album’s worth of material. “Dark and Stormy Night”, “Last Love Song” and “Speed”, all three songs from their most recent S2N session were redone. “Road to Nowhere” from their second demo was given the same treatment. As was “Giving Tree”, making its third recorded version. On top of all this, most of Colin’s lyrics for the new songs weren’t finished. By the end of the three-day session, when Tim Pak came back, the instruments for ten songs were tracked but not a single vocal had been recorded. When Tim saw that Patrick had deconstructed part of his studio for his “igloo”, he immediately regretted leaving his studio in someone else’s hands. Brett went home and continued with Keller and The Disco Kids, thinking that his job was done with Dead Season. But he let them know that if they ever needed him again, he would be available. Paul also took a bus back to Toronto, while Patrick and Colin went ahead with some guitar overdubs and vocals on the older songs. But they quickly ran out of time.
Later in August, Al ended up calling Colin, wanting to come back into the very band he founded. But Colin let him know about their new drummer and of the album the band was now finishing up. Although disappointed, Al would go on to play in Figure Four before perusing Rammer full time and get back into the metal music that he was most comfortable with. He also announced to Ryan Patterson that Dead Season, as he knew it, was dead, and that he was unaware of their future. Ryan then passed on the news to Arise Records, who announced that Dead Season had “broken up” and that the split with The National Acrobat would continue on with a different band.
Throughout the fall, Colin made three or four trips to Woodshed, whenever Mike Palm had a few hours of free time to record vocal tracks. He was even invited to contribute vocals to the Small Brown Bike song “Unsung Zero”, which was recorded at Woodshed during this period. Joel Wick had also kept in touch with Colin, letting him know that he was still interested in releasing their album through Makoto. He was even willing to take the band to a new studio and re-record the songs for his release. But again, Dead Season stuck to Salinger.
By the time October rolled around, things started slowing down for the band. Colin still needed to write lyrics for two songs and Mike Palm wasn’t offering any more time at Woodshed. Additionally, whenever the members would talk to Mike Palm, there was a constant financial restriction preventing him from fully dedicating himself to the release, causing doubt that the release would ever come out. This started causing a lot of tension between Colin and Patrick. Patrick couldn’t understand why everything was taking so long to finish. Until then, all of their previous recording sessions had taken under a week to complete. Making things even more difficult for him was when Colin decided to take a three-month vacation to Australia with his girlfriend in the middle of November. With an unfinished album, Dead Season was on an indefinite hiatus.
-New year, new plans, new hopes (January 2000 – June 2000)
Somehow, in mid-January of 2000, the Dead Season/The National Acrobat split 7″ managed to come back to life. Ryan had been so disappointed that he convinced Arise Records and Al to put it together as a farewell for the band. On January 16th 2000, Arise Records announced that the split would be out no later than March 1st, as Arise #5. According to Jason Irvine, they were waiting on Al to send in the Signal 2 Noise masters of the two songs. Meanwhile Colin came back to Canada in late January, with finished lyrics to “Cave Bear” and “To a Close”. He had managed to write them while in Indonesia. He quickly called Mike Palm, wanting to set up one last Woodshed Studios session in order to record the final pieces of the album. But Mike Palm was reluctant to put his time and effort in Dead Season, feeling doubt of Colin’s dedication to the band after his trip to Australia. Mike Palm was also busy with Salinger Press, releasing a new 7″ record compilation, “Quarters Volume 1”. This compilation had replaced Dead Season’s album as Salinger Press #6, although it was initially set to be Salinger Press #7. But after the Dead Season album got put on the back burner, it was moved down to #6.
On January 30th, Arise announced that they had received the masters of the May 1999 S2N session, and after finding out that three songs had been recorded, upgraded the split to a 6-song CD. The layout (apparently something pink) was practically finished, only missing Dead Season’s information. The last step was for The National Acrobat to head back in studio to polish up the additional third song that they were adding. A couple weeks later, right before anything could be sent to the pressing plant, Mike Palm showed up to abort the project. Apparently it was made aware to Arise that all three songs that were to be on the split had been re-recorded for Dead Season’s upcoming full-length and that the S2N versions were but mere demos, not even featuring the whole band. The label wanted nothing of nonexclusive, “demo versions”, of the songs and felt that it was a better idea to put off the split until Dead Season could record some new, exclusive material. When Arise Records announced this on February 25th of 2000, they also mentioned that Dead Season’s full-length on Salinger was due to hit the shelves in April of 2000. Arise #5 was eventually released that spring as The National Acrobat’s CD EP “The National Acrobat, For All Practical Purposes, Is Dead”.
Sometime in February, March or perhaps even April, Mike Palm finally made time for Colin’s final session at Woodshed. All the missing vocals, guitar solos and overdubs were finally finished. Tim Pak and Mike Palm could finally mix the album, going for a very old school, “…And Justice for All”-influenced production. April came along and it seemed obvious that the album wouldn’t be released in promised time. Colin and Patrick had kept in touch with Brett during the winter, making sure that he knew that he was their new drummer. The plan was that as soon as the album was done and released, a new tour would be booked and the band would hit the road again. The first show booked with Brett on drums was on May 11th 2000 at the Fireside Bowl. Dead Season was set to play with Michigan legends Capture the Flag and Jeff Dean’s band The Story So Far from Chicago. For this, the band met up at Capture the Flag members Steve Kay and Jeff Tuttle’s house in Ypsilanti, Michigan. There they had a dirt basement which had been setup as a rehearsal room where Dead Season practiced together for the first time since August of 1999. Still waiting for their album to come out in order to have material to promote, it took a month and a half until a second show happened. This time Dead Season rehearsed at Colin’s house in Brooklin, Ontario. The June 25th show took place at Who’s Emma in Toronto with Searching for Chin, Darkest Hour, Submission Hold and Drowningman.
-The Small Brown Bike takeover (July 2000 – September 2000)
By the middle of summer, Mike Palm was still finding excuses. He felt that it wasn’t worth investing in a band that wasn’t playing shows. Colin quickly called up Ben Reed and Dan Jaquint from Small Brown Bike to book a Canadian tour together that July. Four dates were ready to go, but again Mike Palm had a new excuse. Apparently he no longer had money to put into the label. He had recently started a new band, End It, and had made the accommodations to sell all of the label’s back catalog rights over to Ben Reed, Mike Reed and Dale Dixon, for their new label, Atarms Mechanics. Thus putting a permanent end to Salinger Press and it’s association with Dead Season. All of the left over Dead Season 7″ in Mike Palm’s possession were passed off to the Reed brothers.
Even without label support, Dead Season was up to go on tour and promote the songs from the unreleased album. They had become so close as a band by then that Brett was occasionally coming up just to hang out with the other guys, and band practice would come as a distraction. This time around they were jamming at a rehearsal space in Toronto near Eglinton Avenue and Bayview Avenue. At this location, a couple of new tunes even started getting thrown together, but were never completed. And so with this new motivation, Dead Season started booking shows weekly again.
The third tour between Small Brown Bike and Dead Season started on July 20th in Toronto, where a huge lack of promotion was the case. Hardly anyone was there. But the rest of the tour proved extremely successful at Club Saw in Ottawa, Cafe L’Inconditionnel in Montreal and then south to Gloucester, Massachusetts’ Artspace for a matinee show. The show in Gloucester was one of the best shows either band had ever played. Afterwards, Dead Season was approached by a new fan (if any knows who this was, let us know) who offered to sign them to his record label. Colin told him that they had an album ready to go, only needing label financing to release it and gave him Mike Palm’s contacts to acquire the material. Dead Season and Small Brown Bike finished their tour together by going off to the beach, skating and eating slow cooked chili to a sunset.
Back at home, Colin called Mike Palm to find out if they could take over the album masters to either release it themselves or have another label put it out. But Mike Palm refused and said that if they wanted those songs to ever come out, that they would have to re-record them elsewhere. The Woodshed Studios sessions were his to keep. The new fan from Massachusetts was likely told the same thing. Colin ended up telling the story to Ben Reed, who immediately offered to put out the album on Atarms Mechanics, as he felt confident that Mike Palm would grant him the permission to use the material.
With the Reed brothers backing the project, Dead Season was finally confident that the album was going to come out. It was set to be the label’s third output, as AM-03, and due out in the early fall of 2000. An album title was finally chosen: “Everything Connects”, in reference to lyrics in “Jaws of Life”. For Atarms Mechanic’s release, Ben Reed put together a layout compiled of Ben Playford’s tank design (from the 1998 t-shirt), a collage of various pictures taken throughout the band’s career, and some of his own artwork. Patrick had also been given his grandfather’s old 1950’s cigarette case, which was aged and rusty and somehow ended up being used as part of the album design. The initials on the case were slightly altered to say “DS”, a logo the band was planning to use on future merchandise.
The track listing on this version of the album was upgraded to reflect a dedication of sorts, to the past members. Omitting the new Woodshed versions of “Road to Nowhere” and “Last Love Song”, they were replaced by their older recordings. “Last Love Song” was taken from the May 1999 S2N session, while the entire June 1998 demo, including “Road to Nowhere” was added as bonus tracks. “Butcher’s Son” was also added to complete the fourteen-song CD.
A week after coming back from tour, Colin booked a show at Who’s Emma. Dead Season was to play on July 28th with Few and Far Between and Brett’s band Radio Holiday (the new name The Disco Kids had settled on). Another week later, on August 5th, Jeff Dean invited Dead Season to play the Fireside Bowl again with The Story So Far. Also performing at this show were Stereotyperider and Division. The show was a success and all attendees were extremely anxious for the new album to come out.
Most anxious of all was Patrick, who announced at the band’s next rehearsal in Toronto that he would not play anymore shows until it was released. It had been over a year since Dead Season entered Woodshed to record it, and he felt that it shouldn’t have taken this long. A handful of practices were arranged throughout the rest of the month to keep up with the old songs and occasionally work on the new ones; but mainly just to hang out as friends. Each time the subject to play a show was brought up, Patrick stood his ground. After a few weeks it became obvious to the band that playing shows with no new merch to sell was kind of obsolete.
By September of 2000, Dead Season had stopped practicing, each member moving on to other things. Colin started focusing on family life. Patrick was now living in Kingston again and his interest in music had gradually faded. During the winter 1999/2000 hiatus, Patrick had planned to move to Japan for his professional career. He was 30 years old by then and had the opportunity to get a holiday working visa and experience living in a country he had always dreamed about. Paul was still living in Toronto and had resumed The Great Forgetting in full force, an indie band with his girlfriend which he formed at the time he joined Dead Season. Finally, Brett was living in Detroit, Michigan and playing in Radio Holiday; a band which sounded similar to Dead Season but with a pop hook. Somewhere before the end of the year, the album fell between the cracks for Atarms Mechanics and remained unreleased.
-Albums sitting in a pressing plant (2001-2006)
Almost a year after Dead Season broke up, Jeff Dean recruited Colin to fill in as The Story So Far’s guitarist for Krazy Fest in July of 2001. Jeff Dean had previously played in Tomorrows Gone and Cleons Down, both of which were getting the discography CD treatment by World on Fire Records in Las Vegas. The label was founded by Tomorrows Gone bassist Mike Rosati and his friend Chris Burns; but Jeff was so closely associated with the label that when he suggested that World on Fire release the long awaited Dead Season full-length, Mike and Chris went right for it. After a great deal of negotiation, Mike Palm finally gave them the permission to use the recordings, even though it had cost him nothing more than his own time to record the album at Woodshed. Initially, World on Fire wanted to make this release a discography, to keep up with the label’s habits. But Mike Palm refused to let them use the songs from the 7″. So a similar tracklisting to the Atarms Mechanics release was compiled and expanded upon. This time, the full Woodshed session was kept intact. The June 1998 demo and “Butcher’s Son” were added as bonus tracks and this time “Reepers” made the cut.
The sixteen-song album was then sent off to Jon Drew for mastering in late 2001. Jon Drew completely changed the sound of the Woodshed recordings, giving it a polished, professional sound. He also added an intro to “Gone” and shortened the beginning of “To a Close”, omitting the sound of the speakers connecting and turning on. When reviewing this finished version of the album, Colin and Paul felt that it lacked bottom end and asked Jon Drew to make it more bassy. Jon Drew openly went back to work on the album, adding the wanted changes. But a few more edits to the songs were made this time as well. The intro on Gone was removed, allowing the album to start as it originally intended. The intro to “Cave Bear” and the ending on “Giving Tree” were both shortened. Finally, the original intro on “To a Close” was restored but the ending was extended by looping the last build up, giving the album an incredibly melodic finale.
The artwork for this release is slightly debated. Some remember that Ben Reed or Mike Reed from Small Brown Bike submitted new artwork. Some debate that it was World on Fire who hired a new designer. Some say that the layout featured a greyish-brown front cover of an abandoned, post-war/apocalyptic looking street scene. Some recall that the skull design from Ben Reed’s version ended up as the front cover. Mike Rosati and Chris Burns sent in a deposit payment and the masters to a Las Vegas pressing plant (which they had previously used to press Tomorrows Gone discography “No Way to Make Time Stand Still” and the Cleons Down discography “I Got a Plan”) for 1000 CDs. But by the time the CDs were ready a few weeks later, Chris Burns had abandoned the label, and Mike Rosati didn’t have the funds to pay the balance. So the pressing plant kept the boxes in storage, while this label, too, folded. Whatever happened to the finished albums, after sitting in the warehouse for an undetermined period, is still a mystery. Some say they are now part of a landfill in the American desert…
In the summer of 2001, just prior to filling in for The Story So Far, Colin would join Brett’s band, Radio Holiday. Radio Holiday eventually recruited Mike Warden to fill in on bass, and he wound up releasing their album through Conquer the World Records in early 2002. Mike Warden had shown continuous interest in working with Dead Season over their span, but no one in the band ever trusted him enough. He knew of their loyalty to Salinger but still offered to release their album in 1999, then again in December of 2002. Lastly, in 2006 during a brief foray into revamping Conquer the World Records as a digital distributor, he tried again. A final attempt was made to shed light on the unreleased Dead Season album. Mike Warden had planned to compile some demos, the 7″ EP and the unreleased album on a digital “discography” compilation entitled “From the Grave”. Baring catalog number CTW 035, it was slated for a June 2006 release. Mike Warden had the release set and ready to go, and told Colin of his idea, who at that point was simply excited for it to come out. Colin then asked Mike Palm for a last minute approval of the project, but was quickly told that Mike Warden would never be given permission to touch any recordings that Salinger had worked on.
After many years of silence, Dead Season has finally digitized their full discography in 2014. A Bandcamp page was created where they host their demo, the 7″, the album as well as compilation songs and unreleased b-sides. All this is for free download. Colin has also found a box of 7″s which are for sell on the Bandcamp page. Additionally, Travis Dopp of Small Brown Bike has released a new compilation, “Fourward Volume Two”, which features “Butcher’s Son”. It cane be found on the Old Point Light Records website. Dead Season’s music is finally out there, for anyone and everyone, and for good.
- 1997-fall/winter The Dungeon (Oshawa, ON)
- ????-??-?? ?? Motive
- ????-??-?? Bovine Sex Club (Toronto, ON) Ignorance Never Settles
- ????-??-?? Call the Office (London, ON) Kittie
- ????-??-?? El Mocambo (Toronto, ON) Pezz
- ????-??-?? Clinton’s (Toronto, ON)
- ????-??-?? Rivoli/The 360 Club (Toronto, ON)
- 1998-04-04 Club Shanghai (Toronto, ON) Grendel, Smallmouth, Mr. Pink
- 1998-04-16 The Different Drum Cafe (Oshawa, ON)
- 1998-07-?? Call the Office (London, ON) Earth Crisis, Acacia
- 1998-07-20 The Dungeon (Oshawa, ON) Traindodge, Lucky Number Seven, T.O.E.
- 1998-07-21 Who’s Emma (Toronto, ON) Traindodge, Grendel, Acacia
- 1998-07-31 Stalag 13 (Philadelphia, PA) The Passenger Train Proposal, Penfold, Midvale, The Jazz June, Endeavor
- 1998-08-01 The Melody Bar (New Brunswick, NJ) No Reason, Cable, Isis, Drowningman, Days for Sorrow
- 1998-08-?? Something Cool (Plattsburgh, NY)
- 1998-08-07 Ring N’ Ears, The Opera House (Toronto, ON) Bad Blood, Trigger Happy, Twin Fold, ADF, Blank Stare, Random Killing
- 1998-08-30 The Dungeon (Oshawa, ON) Bad Blood, Trigger Happy, Twin Fold, Scratching Post, Figure Four, Out of Hand
- 1998-09-19 Something Cool (Plattsburgh, NY) Orchid, The Dying Game Theory, Nut Sponge
- 1998-10-31 Empire of One (Flint, MI) Small Brown Bike, The Enkindels, The Farewell Bend, The Middletown Project
- 1998-11-06 Salle de L’X (Montreal, QC) Jets to Brazil, The Promise Ring, Sequoia
- 1998-12-18 Call the Office (London, ON) Small Brown Bike, Sinclaire, The Weekend
- 1999-01-16 The Chicken Shack (East Lansing, MI) Small Brown Bike, Quixote
- 1999-01-22 El Mocambo (Toronto, ON) Bad Blood, Neva, Splitseconds, Street Troopers, Spinercracker, Planet Smashers, Blank Stare
- 1999-01-30 Something Cool (Plattsburgh, NY) Unopened Letters from God, Down Foundation, In Reach
- 1999-02-06 Who’s Emma (Toronto, ON) Ire, Sinclaire, Countdown to Oblivion, Good Clean Fun
- 1999-02-18 Lucky Ron’s (Ottawa, ON) Bionic, Endgame
- 1999-02-26 The IO Cafe (Detroit, MI) Small Brown Bike, Hyatt
- 1999-02-27 The Bastard/The Vegetarian Grocer (Pontiac, MI) Small Brown Bike, Thoughts of Ionesco, Malakhai, Lovesick, Voglio Capirlo
- 1999-02-28 Fireside Bowl (Chicago, IL) Small Brown Bike, John Brown Battery, Sever the Chord, Chauncey
- 1999-03-02 ??? (Louisville, KY) Small Brown Bike, By the Grace of God
- 1999-03-03 The Cow Haus (Tallahassee, FL) Small Brown Bike, Side Project
- 1999-03-04 Planet 10 (Valdosta, GA) Small Brown Bike, Next Time Around, Sans Sobriety
- 1999-03-05 The Shed (Gainesville, FL) Small Brown Bike, Panthro U.K. United 13, Dystopia, Reina Aveja
- 1999-03-06 130 Carr Street/Hunter Gatherer’s House (Athens, GA) Small Brown Bike, Hunter Gatherer
- 1999-03-08 The Indienet Record Shop (Nashville, TN) Ellipsis Union, The Shyness, Clinic
- 1999-03-09 Clunk Music Hall (Fayetteville, AR) Shut the Fuck Up
- 1999-03-11 CD World (Norman, OK) Traindodge, Smarty Pants
- 1999-03-12 The 540 Club (Jeffersonville, IN) Automatic, Standard Issue, Pflanz
- 1999-03-13 2805 Maumee Ave/Dead Letter Auction’s house (Fort Wayne, IN) Automatic, Ghoul, Elisha’s Sorrow, The National Acrobat, Dead Letter Auction
- 1999-03-27 Michigan Fest, Knights of Columbus Hall (Wayne, MI)
- 1999-04-24 The Different Drum Cafe (Oshawa, ON) Sinclaire
- 1999-04-30 R.J.’s Boom Boom Saloon (Ottawa, ON) Reset, Greyline
- 1999-05-03 The Melody Bar (New Brunswick, NJ) The Jazz June, The Movie Life, The Last Perfect Thing, Steve Cooley’s All Star Jazz Ensemble
- 1999-05-09 The IO Cafe (Detroit, MI) Small Brown Bike, Thoughts of Ionesco, Hamilton
- 1999-05-12 The Different Drum Cafe (Oshawa, ON) Small Brown Bike, Thoughts of Ionesco
- 1999-05-13 Who’s Emma (Toronto, ON) Small Brown Bike, Thoughts of Ionesco, Figure Four
- 1999-05-14 SOHC Fest, Munn’s United Church (Oakville, ON) As We Once Were, Buried Alive, Captain Co-Pilot, Confine, Cru Jones, Dead to the World, Disciple, Ever Since Friday, Haligula, Kid Gorgeous, Maharahj, Malakhai, Notoriety, Race Traitor, Shiloh, Subsist, Walls Around Us
- 1999-05-16 Stalag 13 (Philadelphia, PA) Thoughts of Ionesco
- 1999-05-17 Something Cool (Plattsburgh, NY) Thoughts of Ionesco
- 1999-05-18 ??? (Levis, QC) Thoughts of Ionesco
- 1999-05-20 Aloha Room (Ottawa, ON) Thoughts of Ionesco
- 1999-06-07 Who’s Emma (Toronto, ON) The Jazz June, Mid Carson July
- 1999-06-20 The Melody Bar (New Brunswick, NJ) The National Acrobat, Silent Majority, Ousia, Supersleuth, Force Fed Glass
- 1999-06-22 Back Door Skatepark (Greenville, NC) The National Acrobat
- 1999-06-25 Fictitious Warehouse (Gainesville, FL) The National Acrobat, Panthro U.K. United 13
- 1999-06-26 The Punkhouse (Tampa, FL) The National Acrobat, Panthro U.K. United 13, Burden of Life
- 1999-06-29 The Indienet Record Shop (Nashville, TN) Ellipsis Union
- 1999-06-30 Clunk Music Hall (Fayetteville, AR) Ellipsis Union, The Snacks, Gal’s Revenge
- 1999-07-01 ??? (St. Louis, MO) Ellipsis Union
- 1999-07-03 Bremen House (Milwaukee, WI) Ellipsis Union, Chauncey
- 1999-07-04 Fireside Bowl (Chicago, IL) Ellipsis Union, The Wayouts, Cole
- 1999-07-05 Eagles Lodge (Grand Haven, MI) Acacia, Hamilton, Forever and a Day, With Arms Still Empty
- 1999-07-06 The Back Door (Fort Wayne, IN) Acacia, Dead Letter Auction
- 1999-07-07 The Mansion (Corryville, OH) Hailshaft
- 2000-03-29 Blind Pig (Ann Arbor, MI) Capture the Flag, Moods for Modern
- 2000-05-11 Fireside Bowl (Chicago, IL) Capture the Flag, The Story So Far
- 2000-06-25 Who’s Emma (Toronto, ON) Searching for Chin, Darkest Hour, Submission Hold, Drowningman
- 2000-07-20 ??? (Toronto, ON) Small Brown Bike
- 2000-07-21 Club Saw (Ottawa, ON) Small Brown Bike, Red Shift
- 2000-07-22 Cafe L’inconditionnel (Montreal, QC) Small Brown Bike, Red Shift, Fifth Hour Hero, Blue Jacket Rebellion
- 2000-07-23 Artspace (Gloucester, MA) Small Brown Bike, LaneMeyer, Jericho
- 2000-07-28 Who’s Emma (Toronto, ON) Radio Holiday, Few and Far Between
- 2000-08-05 Fireside Bowl (Chicago, IL) The Story So Far, Stereotyperider, Division
- 2000-10-14 The Anarchist Free Space (Toronto, ON) The Stiffs, Bombs Over Providence, Rockets Red Glare