I can't remember the exact date, but I'm pretty sure it was in 1989 (I actually can't find the ticket stub), as they toured in support of their album, Now And Again when I last saw The Grapes Of Wrath at Le Rendezvous. The Rendezvous wasn't a great place to see a band, it had this cavernous, warehouse feel to it, like a social hall or large bar that never had great sound, but it hosted some good shows. The size of the venue was larger than a bar (The Albert, Spectrum), but smaller than a theatre or concert hall, a middle-size venue that featured mid-range popular bands or bigger-name alternative bands. I saw some good stuff there, Mojo Nixon, Guadalcanal Diary, Scruffy The Cat (opening for 54-40, who I didn't care for), Wilco and the last band I ever saw there, The Weakerthans.
When I went to the Grapes Of Wrath I arrived in time to catch the opener, since I'm always interested to see who the headliner brought along on tour. To be honest in those days (in my pre-taping days), I didn't make a huge effort to arrive early as I didn't care how close I sat/stood to the front. Once I started to tape concerts it was crucial to stake out the venue before the show or during the opener to find that sweet spot that combined a balanced mix, close enough to the front to see the band clearly and enough volume to partially drown out the chitter chatter around me (usually the music doesn't drown out the chatter). Anyways, the opener for this Grapes Of Wrath show was emerging singer/songwriter, (and soon to be superstar) Sarah McLaughlan who didn't impress me in the slightest and continues to not impress me not even a little bit. McLaughlan went on to surpass the Grapes in popularity, record sales and probably disposable cash flow. McLaughlan has continued to milk her success through the strength of a couple of huge selling records, Lilith Fair and has become somewhat of a musical icon here in the Great White North...kudos for her...
The Grapes Of Wrath released another album after that tour, These Days in 1991, then broke up when Kevin Kane left the band to go solo. In 1999, Kane and Tom Hooper (vocalist/bass) reunited to play some shows and release an album, Field Trip under the Grapes Of Wrath name (without original drummer, Chris Hooper). They sporadically played together during the 2000's, but a reunion that included Chris Hooper didn't happen until July 2010, the first time the trio played together since 1992. The love continued on to include recording new tracks for a compilation album and a brand new album of all new material, High Road released in March 2013. Hopefully this new record will lead to more live dates this summer and maybe, just maybe they'll head back to Winnipeg, but not at the Le Rendezvous, which is long gone and replaced by condos.
As a bonus, I dug up a recording I taped off the radio in 2001 (?) from the Kevin Kane/Tom Hooper reunited Grapes. Excellent sound with some songs from Field Trip along with some classic tracks. It's almost worth the listen alone for the Replacements cover!- (sorry it's in a separate file because I exceeded the 200 MB file limit on Zippyshare.)
GRAPES OF WRATH Railway Club Vancouver, BC 2001? CBC "Just Concerts" Broadcast
FM> Audio CD> FreeRip> FLAC> rar FM Master
01. Intro 02. You May Be Right 03. Do You Want To Tell Me 04. Hitchhiker 05. Black Eye 06. Peace Of Mind 07. All The Things I Wasn't 08. I Am here 09. Unsatisfied (Replacements)