We were very honoured to play the last big weekend shaker at the Artery this past Sunday. Philip and crew run an amazing outfit, and although the body is changing, the soul of the Artery is in fine form. The performers and audiences that came out this past weekend were top notch, and the community that has coalesced around this space is so refreshingly welcoming. Things can only get better in a new location.
That said, the building at 9535-Jasper Ave and its immediate surroundings holds a special place in the RWS92 heart. Our first gigs were held next door to the Artery building at the Multi-Purpose Rumpus Room, an actual underground venue in the basement of the Eco City offices. It was the only place for gangly, flanneled proto-grungers to play in the early 90s, and we cut our teeth down there along with many other alternative Edmonton musicians. A few months or years later (it’s a foggy chronology), we found ourselves on the top floor of the Artery building itself, playing blues jamz in El Zorro Loco to audiences of -2. Craig even ‘donated’ his Hondo bass with a custom Fruit Loops pick guard to the joint.
Because of this background it always felt comfortable and full circle when we played at the Artery. That same sense of artistic comradery that we first felt in the Multi-Purpose Rumpus Room came back every time we got on stage or listened to our favourite bands there. That feeling comes from the people that worked and played there, but it is meaningful that all this stuff happened on that little patch of ground down in the Bowery.