At first, Greyson Gritt of the Yellowknife music group Quantum Tangle thought a friend was playing a prank when they rang up early Thursday morning saying the band's equipment had been stolen from a van.
"My first reaction was like 'Ha ha. That's a funny joke. How's your day going? What's up?'" said Gritt.
And then the news sunk in. Nope, not an early morning joke.
Gritt and Tiffany Ayalik, the other half of Quantum Tangle, had arrived in Vancouver on Wednesday for the last stop of the From the North showcase tour. And now they were without their equipment.
"We're missing a good chunk of gear. Two guitars were stolen, a suitcase with a bunch of different pedals that we really need for our shows and a pair of nice shoes that Grey just bought," said Ayalik.
"I just bought a nice pair of black leather shoes," said Gritt.
"A little salt on the wound," said Ayalik.
While they might be quick to joke about the situation, Ayalik and Gritt remain hopeful their gear will be returned. In addition to filing a police report, they've posted a list of their stolen gear, along with photos and a couple of serial numbers, on their Facebook page — hoping to spread the word as far as possible.
"One of our producers, Jen, is super awesome and is organizing people to call pawn shops and keep an eye out, so there's a bunch of different people on several different fronts trying to spread the net as wide as they can," said Ayalik.
With their gear stolen and three shows scheduled over the next three days, Gritt and Ayalik were quick to improvise. Their first show was scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library.
They managed to borrow an acoustic guitar from a friend and said the people at the local Long and McQuade store also pitched in — helping them get enough equipment together to perform, albeit not as they usually would.
"I think despite the circumstances it was nice to have an excuse to do a really acoustic version," said Ayalik.
"Unplugged with Quantum Tangle."
Quantum Tangle will be performing two more shows while they're in Vancouver, as part of the From the North showcase tour at the Cultch. The Indigenous duo will be playing alongside fellow Northerners from all three territories on Friday and Saturday night.
"It's a pan-territorial tour with folks from Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut. So we're a bunch of musicians, artists, carvers, athletes, dancers, tech crew," said Gritt.
"It totally celebrates the North," said Ayalik. "It's just like really positive and super beautiful and a really great way for a lot of Southerners who maybe don't know a whole lot about the North to just get a big taste of it visually, musically, aesthetically."
Ayalik and Gritt will be flying out of Vancouver on Sunday, heading to Montreal. In the meantime, they're keeping their fingers crossed that they'll have good news soon.
"Hugs and high fives, that's what we need right now," said Ayalik. "And Facebook shares."