In a corridor leading from Barrington St to Argyle St. Shots for my imaginary Country-Punk-Screamo-Bluegrass-Metal album. Hair by the Hive. Hoodie by Peach Berserk. I usually prefer trees and fields but this place was otherworldly cool.
Wrap it up:
Number of times I walked into a place and thought, Holy crap I DON'T BELONG HERE I am a FARMER'S DAUGHTER I have CASTRATED PIGLETS I wore my hair in TWO BRAIDS until I was THIRTEEN: oh....... constantly!
Number of times I got carded going into a venue: Once! Only once! This is a record for me.
Number of times I got asked if I was a singer: I stopped counting at 5. My husband said I should have just said Yes, and signed the autograph, and let them wonder forever afterwards what ever happened to that singer with the useless autograph.
Number of famous people I talked to but regret not getting a photo with: Two.
Number of times a bartender told me I look like a rock star because the front of my hair is pink: One. Of course I laughed. How ridiculous. I'm a suburban housewife and I have pink hair, therefore obviously it is not the exclusive domain of rock stars. Then Jethro reminded me that it is not normal.
Number of times we locked ourselves out of our room: Once.
Number of times I locked Jethro out because he was being a jerk and staying out drinking without me while I suffered panic attacks alone in our room: None! Big improvement over last year. Yeah.
Overheard on our way into the concert: "I don't even really like her but she's famous."
Here's my take on Music's Biggest Night, Canada style.
New this year was an anticipated bigger audience. The telecast got picked up by MTV Canada which meant it would be broadcast globally in 5.1 surround HDTV. This still doesn't guarantee that anybody will watch it!!!
Buck 65 did an excellent job of hosting the show. Never mind the fact that he wasn't the host. He introduced the host, in fact, introduced almost everybody, as well as DJing in commercial breaks. Real DJing too, like with turntables, mixing between tunes. I say more Buck next year.
Pamela Anderson. Oh Pammie. Why oh why did I want to like you? Is it my disastrous optimism, my relentless hope that everybody gets a chance? My desperate hope that our Canadian born International Superstar wouldn't disappoint us?
No chance. Listen, we Canucks are known for being dopily, spinelessly polite, and this girl got booed twice. It's really nice that she cares about critters, it really is, and I can't see why it's necessary to club baby seals to death when you can get perfectly nice pelts from those nasty little chinchillas, but to bring that agenda to a show that has nothing to do with it...she got booed by an arena full of Canadians, all right?
And the short shorts. Honestly, why? She did crack a half decent joke about Chris Martin looking for vegan buns, but otherwise, just lots of jiggle-giggle. Jethro, with a disgusted look on his face, kept muttering something about hepatitis and Tommy and Kid Rock and body fluids. He looked like he was gonna puke but he wasn't hungover anymore. Hmm.
Nickelback. Well, they were very Nickelback. The pyro was amazing. I felt the heat from the flames in my face, I'm not kidding. Here's the amazing thing about this band: they sound EXACTLY like they do on the radio. I mean, exactly, to the point that Chad Kroeger has developed an ability to sing both vox at the same time. You know, how he does the two-tracked vocal now. On every song. That. And if that wasn't astonishing enough, Ryan Peake can now sing his backup vox in Chad's voice!!!! They have really outdone themselves. And the crowd went wild!!!
Bedouin Soundclash. Sweet lil fellas. A very simple drum kit, a guitar and a bass, nothing else, set up like they're playing in your living room, not in an arena. Very nice.
Coldplay: They were perfect, just like expected! Apparently, according to my "Inside sources" who know what they're talking about, Coldplay too were running the ProTools tracks along with their live channels. I don't care. Everybody does, except for you know, Bedouin Soundclash...the difference is that Coldplay could do it without, but the synth pads add some atmosphere. And after all, do we love our Coldplay atmosphere? They were good.
Michael Buble. Very nice. Smooth. Dashing. Actually, I'm sorry, my ADD was really acting up at this point. I wasn't really paying attention. I'm sorry. It's just notsomuch my thing.
Massari. I do not get this. Again I apologize. Slick young man comes out dressed in pure white, discards the jacket to reveal the gym toned expensive physique--not that there's anything wrong with that!!- and then proceeds to dance dirty with two dancers clad in orange hot pants bikinis. All this while he is singing to his own CD. I think I was admiring the pictures of Johnny Depp on my hoodie at this point.
Broken Social Scene. Holy crap I just don't get this AT ALL. Somebody explain??? Please??? Because I must be missing something. Critics drool all over this "band". All I could do was watch, perplexed, as two drummers, a bunch of horn players, five or six guitar players, and two backup singers blissfully, obliviously mashed their way through about four minutes of undiscernable noise. There were about 97 people on the stage. Was somebody playing a triangle, because with that many people I want to see a triangle player; it's only fair. I don't even know if they all knew what each other was doing...People, listen to me. Not all of your friends can be in your band. It's nice that you're too nice to axe them, but maybe you could suggest that you all could be three bands, and you can still tour together, but dish it out to us in smaller servings.
Black Eyed Peas. Now THAT'S how you bring the energy! Again, the kind of performance I expected from an act with their experience. I don't even really understand hip hop but I find these guys kind of fun. (They are hip hop aren't they?) My only beef is that in this country our hip hop artists can't get arrested. No respect, no breaks. I think many artists would have loved to get the spot given to the peas. Okay, so having said that, they were a lot of fun.
Divine Brown. This young lady is very talented. She's a classy performer and I hope she does well. It's time we had a brown skinned diva come out of this country and she should be one of them!
Bryan Adams. Perfect. I can't help but wonder what he's been eating over there in England, because he hasn't been aging!
Hedley. Last but not least. Our little punkasses brought down a frantic performance and shut the gig down right. Mind you, I'm biased, because I like them. They could crap on stage and I'd be like, "Yeaaahhh! that is so ROCK N ROOOLL!" Actually I wouldn't. I'd be thoroughly disgusted. But I'd still think it was punk.
Okay so that was all great. Then it was on to stand outside a club in the increasingly cold wind waiting to get spotted by Somebody Important on the Inside, while four guys with walkie talkies got the big black limo into position in front of the club so that Pamela could be whisked in, never to be seen again. I am not making this up!!!
Once we got in, we danced with our buddies who didn't win awards for their instrumental albums. I danced; Jethro watched. It was like high school all over again. Music was provided by an act called MSTRKRFT, half of whom is one Jesse F Keeler, who is also one half of an act that I particularly love called Death From Above 1979. Those guys had the place bangin. It wouldn't be an After Party, of course, unless the place was first of all way too small and also packed. Wall to wall humans. There were, as usual, more Nobodies like me than Somebodies, but that's okay.
I did not harass Hedley that night, mostly because loads of other girls were doing that instead. The only rock star I harassed was George from Alexisonfire. Nice guy.
I don't know how long the dancing went on but eventually the non-dancers in my entourage (ha ha) got hungry and hassled me to leave and go eat. Well I don't know why you'd need to eat when you're dancing but I didn't really want to get left behind, so, seven of us were eating fish and chips in a greasy spoon at 2 am. Awesome.
Monday morning came along, finding Jethro and I in reasonably good shape, being just smart enough to know that we have kids to go home to. We had lunch at the Wooden Monkey (cool!) and snuck back into that incredibly cool corridor to take a few pictures. It was kind of Austin Powers. Yes! Yes! Yes! No! Yes! And I'm spent. Look at Johnny on my hoodie!!!!
This is one of my favourites. Let's see it again.
So who was in the airport but Hedley. And who was all obnoxiously perky? Me! And I want you to know that despite blinding them with my hair, they were still kind enough to let me have another pic with all four of them, therefore ensuring that for just a little bit longer, when I force my kids to eat vegetables, I can say, yeah well I brought home pictures of Hedley for you!!!!
It was a blast and I was so glad to see my kids and my cat and my dog again. Next year, Saskatoon Saskatchewan!