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Archive for the ‘Concerts’ Category

Canada Day at the Bandshell

In At home, Concerts on July 8, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I know I said I was moving addresses but just haven’t gotten around to it.  And since I had something to write about I decided to stick it here instead of waiting for a new address to happen.  This past Canada Day my friend Sara and I got tickets to see the Soulstice concert which headlined SWV, Ginuwine, and Tony! Toni! Toné! I was psyched, I certainly love TTT and also enjoy a song or two by SWV.  Ginuwine I always found highly offensive and disgusting but was hoping he might have grown up a bit in the past 15 years.  The concert was held at the Orpheum, a rather classy joint with rotten acoustics for an R&B spectacular.  I saw K’naan there last year and it was a good thing I knew the lyrics to his songs because from where we were sitting it was pretty muffled.  We sat in about the same area this time, note to self.

The evening started off when a couple sat beside us, totally excited to see the show.  They had bets on who would open and close and which songs would start the sets.  Shortly before the show started there was a minor commotion behind us when someone in the drunk group puked on their seat and the floor.  The ushers came after the row had left and put up stylish canvas ropes to prevent others from walking in the vomit.  Then SWV came out.  I keep forgetting as the years move on quickly that time has passed so it was kind of a shock to see three middle-aged ladies rocking it out in 90’s attire.  The first one wore shiny spandex tights, the second wore black sequined tights, the third wore black sequined culottes, 3 inch heels and a Michael Jackson military jacket.  Halfway through the second song she kicked off her shoes and told us all she felt at home which is why she would perform the rest of the show barefoot.  Mmmm hmmm.  By this point the concert was reminding me of Canada Day celebrations at the bandshell in Fort George Park back home in P.G. You know those small town fetes where every cultural group has a cute group of kids dancing and there’s a lot of heart and soul driving it?  The people who run sound and stage manage usually have big hearts too, just not a lot of organizational skill or ability to get rid of feedback fast.  The roadies were running around the stage trying to replace mics while the ladies sang, pull cords, and do other visible things.  I guess it was good the music was canned (sorry to the dj who I think might have been trying just a little) because if a band was up there it would have added a whole other mess to the mix.  More on that later.  Couldn’t understand much of what they were singing but the middle one sure had pipes.  They were done in about 30 minutes.

They left, there was a 20 minute break, and then another dj hopped up on the stage followed by two guys wearing white cotton golf pant things, t-shirts and lovely navy blue pullover vests.  Ginuwine strutted out.  Wearing all white. Mother of mercy.  He started singing and even though I couldn’t understand a word he sounded pretty good.  You need to know that in the 90’s Ginuwine loved loved loved his penis and his abs.  Fifteen years later his abs might not be the same since we didn’t catch even the tiniest glimpse of them, however, whatever love he used to have for them was transferred to his penis so we got a whole lotta crotch grabbing, him holding the mic in front of his manhood, and the lovely ladies in the front row make golden effort grabs for his pony.  Meanwhile, the roadies were still running around the stage trying to get mics to work and hide cables and do other visible things.  Music was canned again (sorry to the dj who I think might have been trying just a little, but really, can we stop with the “Let me hear you make some mutha f@#$ing noise” already?)  Mercifully that set ended about 30 minutes in as well and now we just had to wait for TTT.

I was getting a little excited again, there were actual instruments on stage with monitors indicating the sound might possibly get better.  A dj who had been hovering in the back like a lost roadie hopped up to the turntables and actually did some good stuff.  T1 marched onto stage with his guitar, wearing a jungle print jacket over hot green pants and military boots.  Then T2 came on wearing a sharp grey suit with orange shirt and smart white shoes.  T3, otherwise known as Raphael Saadiq, was absent, probably because he has a highly successful career writing new songs and doesn’t need a comeback tour to cover last month’s expenses.  Sound wasn’t better, roadies were even more visible, one had to run over to the bassist to turn his monitor around so it was facing him and not the drummer.  T1 one had to squat down to fix his foot pedal with his hand, mics canned out.  Again.  T1’s 15 year old son had the most beautiful fro and rocked it out on the keyboards, but I had to wonder if his father wasn’t a little concerned that the lovely ladies up front were making a grab for the onstage jailbait.  Fortunately the music for Feels Good was awesome even if we couldn’t understand the words and then terribly for us, seven ladies were pulled on stage to dance.  Maybe two of them could groove, but the rest rocked back and forth while holding onto their purses and continually running their hands through their hair all sexy like, cuz that’s like, hot, right?  The nice couple beside us left at this point after saying “This got weird.”  Let’s Get Down ended the show with Ginuwine reappearing in track sweats and more crotch grabbing.  I’ll bet what you got down there is super nice, eh Ginuwine?  Thankfully it all ended finally.  But is it normal for a group to announce the after party to the whole audience?  Because they did.  Twice.  I hope someone showed up since it sounded like TTT was nervous nobody would.

This was probably the worst concert I’ve ever been to, including Billy Idol when he was so drunk we thought he’d wander off the stage and never come back.  But just like Billy Idol, it was a fun time.  And in case you don’t know who any of the bands were and are wondering what you missed, here’s a classic line from TTT’s Let’s Get Down:

Who is your friend?
She don’t look nice.
But I bet she will,
Later on tonight…

Billy Idol Weird

In At home, Concerts on July 11, 2008 at 5:49 pm

This past weekend as a family event, my brother, sister, and I went to check out Billy Idol live in concert.  “Live” might be a misnomer since Billy wasn’t very lively, more stoned and confused.  The concert started off in a promising manner with the stage going dark and the sounds of lions and tigers and general jungle atmosphere rocking the theatre while the band came on stage.  Lights up and… Billy wanders onto the stage looking like he’s not quite sure where he is.  He lifts his head for a moment to look around and then treats us all to a big yawn.  We three siblings look at each other to confirm that we saw the same thing, yep, and we’re off to the stoner races.

I can’t even remember what song he started with but he manages to sing it in key and with most of the lyrics intact while looking at the floor and tapping his chest in time to the beat.  A little karaoke-ish, no?, and I want to yell, “It’s ok, Billy.  They’re your songs, you can own them.”  Song’s over, he mumbles something incoherent and we move on to White Wedding which he also performs moderately well.  A few more songs, then everyone but the fanastic Steve Stevens (dude, what is that on your head??) leaves the stage for a break while Steve-O brings down the house with his excellent guitar riffage.  Billy takes a hit of something backstage cuz when he comes back on he’s animated for all of 20 seconds.

We’re thinking the road crew must panic a little with the worry that Billy might wander off somewhere and disappear so it looks like they’ve given him tasks while he’s up on stage not singing.  Like a roadie brings him an acoustic guitar which he expertly swings onto his neck before playing… nothing.  Just standing there for most of the song with fingers on frets but no movement.  Then he lifts his hands like he’s going to play and… more of nothing.  End of song and two small chords later he passes the guitar back to the roadie.  Then another rocking song with yet another fantastic solo by S.S., more time to kill for Billy.  So he wanders back to the drum kit and picks up a drum stick, positioning himself behind the snare like he’s ready to kill it.  Nope.  Instead he tap tap taps it like he’s testing a steak on the barbecue for doneness and then pauses long enough to spin the cymbal around and stare at it in it’s rotating glory.  A bit more tapping, spinning, tapping, he’s done.  But there’s still more soloing going on and Billy needs purpose so one of the roadies has put a stack of white discs at the front of the drum kit.  Billy picks them up and stares at them for a good minute or two before whipping them out into the audience.  Fan appreciation moment over.

Not that I’m complaining.  As we discussed afterwards, we all felt like we’d gotten our money’s worth although perhaps not for the show we were expecting.  Nobody yells as well as Billy and Rebel Yell was worth the price of the ticket alone.  Plus he has THE SEXIEST SPEAKING VOICE of anyone on the planet and his stomach still looks rock hard.  Yes, he took off his shirt.  As we exited the theatre I saw a few star-gazing, feminine mulleted variety ladies holding those white discs.  Up close I discovered they were not Frisbees but white Corette paper plates with Billy’s autograph.