Last night Canadian iconic band, Blue Rodeo (with opening act, The Sadies) brought their 1000 Arms Tour to Oshawa’s Tribute Communities Centre.
While my favourite song is Diamond Mine (see above) I was introduced to an old song by Blue Rodeo called “Disappear”. A sad story, great lyrics and wonderful song. Here’s a fan’s recording from a gig in Toronto:
Last night we attended The Tragically Hip’s final Toronto date on their “farewell” Man Machine Poem Tour. It was also the second live rock concert that our (now 10 years old) son, Kahzmir, attended. The first one was on his 8th birthday to see Arcade Fire in Toronto.
It was also the second time (that I can remember) attending the same concert with my brother, Aneez. The first concert was on New Year’s Eve 1985 to see OMD and Thompson Twins at Toronto’s old Maple Leaf Gardens.
The Tragically Hip were never my favourite band. At least not that I can remember. However, they have always been part of my musical appetite since I had my first portable FM radio player. I had purchased this player on Air Canada (or maybe it was WardAir?) coming back from England in the summer of 1989 and would walk to and from Sir John A Macdonald high school in Scarborough. It was a 10 minute walk. And it was on 102.1 and/or 107.1 that I started hearing songs like Blow At High Dough, New Orleans Is Sinking, 38 Years Old, Boots Or Hearts and Trickle Down.
I didn’t know it at the time but Up To Here was most likely the album that made me appreciate the mix of poetry and rock that I came to later appreciate in all of Neil Young’s incarnations.
Since then, the Tragically Hip have always just been there. I never noticed them. I just came to expect them. They were part of rock and roll. They were (and still are) part of Canada.
Although I’ve since “misplaced” my Hip CDs and cassettes, Road Apples was my first Hip album. My favourite tune from that album is Cordelia. I have no clue what the song is about. I love the lyrics and the pulsing beat that overlay the amazing lead and rhythm guitars in Cordelia.
Fully Completely is filled with hit singles. As many as U2’s The Joshua Tree. In my opinion. The next album, Day for Night contains my favourite Hip song, Nautical Disaster. I had the lyrics of this song taped to my desk in my room. And this was before the album was ever released.
It was listening to one of these albums that got me through a serious breakup in university. Thanks for the company, boys.
I’ve been to plenty of big events and concerts. I was in attendance at the Skydome when Canada played the US in World Cup of Baseball. I saw Halladay pitch against Burnett. I’ve been to Metallica and AC/DC concerts. Nothing can compare to the level of noise that the crowd in attendance last night created. NOTHING. It was deafening.
See my photos and videos from my view at the concert HERE.
I played air guitar, fist pumped to songs like Three Pistols and Little Bones, and generally caused Minaz and Kahzmir to look at me and shake their heads. I sang loudly to the hits. I smiled in glee then continued to rock out to songs long forgotten but still tattooed in my internal radio station.
When the show ended with Grace, Too I was caught off guard. There was no warning it was over. I wasn’t ready to say thank you. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
Last night’s concert was not goodbye for me. Music and songs live forever. We know Gord Downie will leave this world sooner rather than later. But the music that he created with his best friends will live on forever.
I’m thankful for the music. I always will be. I’ll always enjoy the music.
I’m thankful for Sunday August 14, 2016.
I’ll see you folks on down the road somewhere – Gord Downie
Here’s the set list from The Tragically Hip’s last show in Toronto:
Sigh. One of my biggest regrets now is never having seen Prince perform live in concert.
It has been reported my multiple sources, including AP and his publicist, that Prince has died at the age of 57 in his home at Paisley Park just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’m actually sad. Really sad. I grew up with his hit albums “1999” and “Purple Rain.” His lyrics and songwriting were second to none. His ability to fuse dance, rock and funk were legendary. I remember my parents letting me listen to “When Doves Cry” play over and over again on the car radio when I was a child. I’ve sang “Purple Rain” multiple times at Karaoke. His movie, Purple Rain, was a very important movie for me growing up.
“Purple Rain” was one of the best albums of all time. Rolling Stone ranks it as one of the best of all time.
Finally. I finally saw everyone’s (in Canada, at least) favourite homegrown boy band: The Barenaked Ladies. I few of us hung out in Ottawa last weekend and found out that the Ladies were playing that Saturday night. There were no tickets available so I did the next best thing. I emailed Jim Creggan (name drop!) and asked him if he had any extra tickets to sell. He didn’t.
But he invited us to come to the show and hang out backstage! Yes!
View of The Barenaked Ladies from side stage!
The official playlist of The Barenaked Ladies on November 20, 2016 in Ottawa!
Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. proved that their band from Dublin, Ireland called U2 is still the biggest band in rock and roll today. And they can still deliver one of the best live performances in music.
On July 7, U2 brought their critically-acclaimed tour to Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. and for this long-time U2 fan, they did not disappoint. By the end of the concert I was dripping in sweat with a smile permanently fixed on my face. This was my fifth time seeing U2 live. I saw them at old Exhibition stadium during their Zoo TV tour, I saw them at ACC at the Vertigo Tour, and I saw them twice (or was it three times) during their last U2 360° Tour at the Skydome.
The current i+e tour stage set up was something to behold!
If you’re wondering if you should catch U2 on their current iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour do yourself a favour, don’t read the critical write up by Jane Stevenson of Postmedia/Sun.
Here’s the setlist:
One of my highlights, which I’m sure you’ve already read about, was when the U2 tribute band were invited on stage to play with U2. They played Desire.
U2 have teamed up with technology giants Apple and Blackberry in the past. On this tour they have teamed up with startup, Meerkat to livestream various aspects of their tour.
U2’s stage. The most interactive stage in music history. Not only did it display images but the entire band opened the second set playing inside the stage. Freaking amazing!
Last week I had the opportunity to see one of the top musical acts of all time, RUSH. According to multiple sources, RUSH stands just third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band.
I’ve never been a huge fan. But I’ve been very aware of their musicianship, their hits on Q107 in Toronto, and the wizardry that is Geddy Lee on bass, Alex Lifeson on guitar and the most talented drummer to ever live, Neil Peart.
I’ve never been as amazed as I was last Wednesday night. Words cannot describe the experience. And photos cannot capture the energy and enthusiasm of both the band and the crowd.
This past Family Day long weekend, I attended the Stars show at Toronto’s historic Danforth Music Hall. The opening act was Hey Rosetta! from Newfoundland.
It was the first time seeing any of these bands live as well as attending the Danforth Music Hall. and I came away both pleased and excited.
Stars are a favourite local band that has been making waves both here in Canada and around the world for their fun pop anthems and energized live shows. Their 2012 album, The North, is in heavy rotation on my laptop. And they did not disappoint the thousands in attendance.
Hey Rosetta! are the “new kids on the block”. And I came away more than impressed. So much so that I truly believe that they are going to be one of the biggest indie rock bands in the world. Think the same level as Arcade Fire. They have a ways to go but there was something about them that impressed me.
Maybe it was the impressive vocal range of lead singer and songwriter, Tim Baker. I don’t want to jinx anything but he kept on reminding me of Coldplay front man, Chris Martin. Or maybe it was the durability of Romesh Thavanathan who played guitar, cello (I think) and guitar. Most likely it was that any band who has a french horn featured in multiple songs is a winner in my books.
This past March 13th my son, Kahzmir, turned 8 years old! And so, like any other dad worth his salt, I took him to his first legit concert. Actually, that would not be the whole truth, but it’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
We both had a great time. And The Arcade Fire (I think they should drop the “The” from their name, by the way) put on one of the best concerts I have ever been to. It’s right up there with Neil Young/Oasis concert at Molson Park in August of 1996.
The main act started on a raised mini stage at the opposite end of the main stage with an intimate rendition of “My Body Is A Cage.”
After this short opening the main players ran through the crowd to the main stage to start into a loud and rocking rendition of “Reflektor” from their recent album of the same name.
More than anything, Arcade Fire came to rock and have fun. And rock they did. I’m a more recent convert to the Montreal-based band so I can only properly speak to their last 2 albums. The Suburbs was a breath of fresh air for someone who had for the longest time only listened to classic rock. An theme-focused album, The Suburbs was something new and invigorating. Listening to it, you could argue that Arcade Fire was not a rock album but a indie rock album fused with folk music.
Then came their fourth studio album, Reflektor. Now all bets were off. Here was a totally different sound. By this time, I had discovered that I actually knew a number of their older songs such as “Rebellion (Lies)”, “Wake Up” and “Keep The Car Running”. Yet Reflektor was something more. It was everything they were doing before. But now they infused percussion and horns and gave their sound a dance feel. And while others longed for the sounds of old, I was hooked.
Arcade Fire was the band that other successful bands wanted to be. Earlier last year, Pearl Jam also released a new album. Don’t remember? No one else does either. You see, Arcade Fire is not afraid to discover new sounds and experiment. And that’s what I love about this band right now.
That and their ability to rock the heck out! This concert, like I have said, was amazing. Not once did I sit down because of a slow song or a musical pause in the set. The band’s polished studio sound bore no resemblance to the loud and sped up rocking renditions of their hits and favourites. Imagine, after only four albums, this band can put out a greatest hits album if they wanted.
From the reggae inspired “Flashbulb Eyes” and the heavy and fast-paced “Joan of Arc” to the popular “No Cars Go” and dance-infused “Here Comes The Night Time”, this concert started fast and did not stop for over 2 hours. Even their encore break was less than 3 minutes long.
Arcade Fire comes back to Toronto on August 29th 2014.
Oh yeah, Kahzmir had a great time. As an eight year old (barely) I was a little bit worried. After observing the festivities, Kahzmir stayed on his feet for most of the concert. He felt a little tired and slept for a couple of songs. But after the Encore, he danced the rest of the way! #ProudFather
1986’s Graceland by Paul Simon still remains one of my top ten favourite albums of all time. And Stewart Copeland’s distinctive drumming while with The Police made it cool for kids like me to air drum.
So when my sister gave tickets as a present for me to see Paul Simon and Sting (lead singer for The Police for those of you not at “mature” as me) this past weekend, I was more than excited.
While I thought that the sound system could have been improved upon (Neil Young’s last visit to the ACC may have blown a few fuses – I was at that concert too) the two did not disappoint the thousand in attendance.
Both eclectic songwriters performed hits such as Every Breath You Take, Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes, Walking On The Moon, Graceland, Roxanne, The Boxer (which was a Grade 5 favourite of mine), and You Can Call Me Al.