Day seventy-two

The Concert Date

The Musician

I met The Musician at the Tranzac.  I was late, as usual (I need to learn to be on time – I’m annoying even myself now!).  The bike ride uphill from my place had me feeling exhilarated (and really sweaty) when I arrived.  He had already bought the tickets and was giddy with excitement to see the acts that were about to come on.  His giant smile, making his whole face glow, was contagious.  When Corin Raymond started to sing about biking down Dundas Street, my affection that had grown through his first couple songs became love.  Accompanied by The Sundowners (David Baxter on guitar and vocals, Treasa Levasseur on the accordian, piano and vocals, Brian Kobayakawa on the upright bass), the folk/country/roots music was absolutely beautiful.

Jonathan Byrd, the headliner, performed his album Cacalack – which he recorded in six hours with some incredible musicians (The Sundowners, plus John Showmanon the fiddle and vocals, Chris Quinn on the banjo and vocals, Andrew Collins on the mandolin and vocals, Ken Whitely on the National Steel and vocals).  Between each song was a story – long stories about his young song, his dad’s death, his love for white oak trees.  He is an engaging man with such heartfelt, honest presence about him, which was even more apparent when we met him after to sign our CDs.

The Musician wanted a song, instead of an image to represent our date.  In a compromise, we took the picture above and here is one of the song we heard last night – Wild Ponies by Jonathan Byrd (The Musician wanted New Moon Rise, but I can’t find it online to share, so Wild Ponies it is… Note to Mom – you will not like this, it’s country folk):

Great live music gets my soul.  It makes me feel so many emotions (I had a few tears during Father’s Day about Jonathan Byrd’s dad).  I have so much love after a great live show, a date can’t possibly be bad.  And it wasn’t.  After burritos, a walk to his street, and I cycling downhill, the wind rushing past me, I was emotionally drained and feeling absolutely fantastic!  The Musician was amazing company, but even if he wasn’t, I’m not sure anyone can ruin a good concert (although I really don’t want to put that theory to the test!).

Tonight

Late drinks after work – the problem with working a night job and most people having day jobs.

Day fifty-three

The music concert

I love live music.  You can really tell a lot about where the song comes from by listening to a band perform it live.  I love the atmosphere of having a room full of people really listening and enjoying the music.  I love discovering new opening bands I’ve never heard of and buying their album.  Just like I talked about yesterday regarding the theatre, a concert’s success is influenced by the audience.  The vibe of the audience can make a concert great or can make it dull, completely separate from the music that is being played.

Joan As Police Woman at the Drake Underground, April 21st 2011. Taken by my friend Clark Kim on his phone.

Yesterday I went to see Joan As Police Woman at the Drake Underground, a tiny basement venue on the west side of Toronto (maximum capacity 150 people, but there were less than that last night).  I took three friends who had never heard her music and we stood at the very front.  I’m pretty sure the band was stoned – it was interesting to watch how talented they are as musicians that the sound came out so beautifully when they looked like they were out of their minds (or just really tired)!  That all adds to the atmosphere of a concert.  And I love the funny anecdotes told by musicians.

I met with Joan at the end of the performance and had her sign my cd cover.  She was lovely.  All three of my friends really enjoyed the music and two of them also bought her newest cd and had her sign their copy.  Without coming to the concert and having experienced the music live, I’m not sure either of them would have bought her cd.

Signed Joan As Police Woman cd

In an interview on You Tube about her new album The Deep Field (watch interview here), Joan talks about how she never allows a song to get recorded unless every single word is exactly right.  It’s interesting to see that precision versus the fluidity of the concert.  That’s why I love live music – it adds an extra visual and emotional layer to an already beautiful sound.

A couple of Joan As Police Woman live-in-concert (amateur) videos:

Tonight I’m off to dance some salsa.  More on that tomorrow…