The Five Best Concerts I Have Been At

I have been to quite a few shows and concerts in my day. They have been quite varied in sound quality, energy level, performance length, venue feel, number of people at the show, seating/standing, etc.

Here are my five favourite, in alphabetical order:

Collective Soul - summer 1999, Craven, SK "Rock'n the Valley". I remember that it was a very hot day, people were squished for the headliner. The set started with the sun still out and hoses to water down the fans and ended with Ed Roland coming out alone with a single acoustic guitar, strumming away as he left the stage at the encore.

David Gray - spring 2010. This was a timely show - the 2009 album, Fugitive, was my favourite of the year. We had great seats - 3rd row from the front. The concert was at TCU place (moderately sized, good sound). The highlight of the show was the mesmorizing, extended version of Nemesis. More details of the concert were described in a previous blog entry.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - fall 2006. I tried to remember the setlist in a previous blog entry. This show was after the double cd Stadium Arcadium came out and I was musically in love with John Frusciante. It was a great show - I just wish I had floor seats.

Tragically Hip - early 1998. My first taste of music was earlier the previous summer at MuchMusic's EdgeFest. There were some decent acts at that - Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, Tea Party, Sloan and a fairly new Foo Fighters. However compared to this show, it all seemed amateurish. The Hip were the real deal. A piece of Canadiana. Gord Downie was a genius and a raving lunatic at once. I remember the guitarist, Rob Baker, and his long hair - somewhat outragish to a conservative 16 year old version of me. I remember the way the bass player was in his old world. The rhythm machine of Johnny Fay and the backing vocals of Paul Langlois. The show came after the Phantom Power (1998) and Trouble at the Henhouse (1996) albums and was to me, the pinnacle of the Tragically Hip's fame.

TV on the Radio - summer 2009. This was at the Odeon (small club) and it was hot outside and felt like 35 degrees inside. I wanted to be close to the stage, so I sweated a ton. There was so much energy at this show. The acclaimed album Dear Science was out and I was a big fan of it. Highlight was the song DLZ.

Honourable mentions: Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Constantines, Plants and Animals


yoga bear

A few New Year's ago I mentioned that I was interested in taking up meditation. I have not (I still would like to). However, for over six months now I have practiced yoga on and off.

As someone who has worked at a desk for the last five years and hunched over a computer too much in the last fifteen, I've had some back issues already. yoga pose

I have found that weeks when I have been able to do yoga, it has helped my mobility greatly and reduced stiffness and pain. I have found to make sure NOT to stretch farther than I naturally can for a pose, or I will be sore and possibly worse.

I am glad that my girlfriend Tressa introduced me to yoga and recommend it for others with back issues that think it is just hype


david gray concert

Tressa and I went to see David Gray a week ago, on may 18th at TCU Place. It was a very good to amazing show from one of the best singer songwriters around.

The opener was good as well - I can not remember his name at the moment - a singer songwriter type as well, with a single backing guitar player.

I do not know if the show was a sellout or not, but it seemed quite full. We had great seats - row C slightly to the right (sixth row with the orchestra seating).

Then it was Gray's turn to hit the stage and he did so with style - a white curtain silhouetting the rest of the band and David's distinctively infectious bobble-head-like sway.

david gray saskatoon sk may 18th 2010

David packed a wide variety of songs into his setlist (which I will try to list from memory later in this post) ranging from Shine off of his first album a century ends, to a new track called fix it from an album set to be released in fall 2010, apparently called foundling.

The only song that did not make the set that I was really hoping for was Kathleen off of 2009's Draw the Line, but one missed song is pretty good.

The highlights of the show for me was an extended version of nemesis with a long breakdown into possibly (I did not recognize it) a cover song with a pulsating disco ball/strobe light which was very trippy and just how great the entire band sounded on every song played. Tressa's favourite song was jackdaw.

david gray saskatoon sk may 18th 2010 - picture 2

here is my attempt to remember the setlist (please send any corrections to me)

  1. fugitive
  2. first chance
  3. now and always
  4. you're the world to me
  5. jackdaw
  6. sail away
  7. ain't no love
  8. nemesis
  9. life in slow motion
  10. shine
  11. fix it
  12. babylon
  13. draw the line
  14. be mine
  15. --------------
  16.    encore
  17. --------------
  18. this year's love
  19. ?
  20. please forgive me

canadiens amazingly tied 2-2 in pens series

I have been a lifelong Habs fan, ever since watching the 1989 Patrick Roy led team lose in the Cup final to the Calgary flames. 1992-93 was the one year that they of course won the Cup and it has been a long drought since then.

This season I admittingly did not catch as many regular season games as most years. I was disappointed when Saku Koivu signed with Anaheim. I liked some of their offseason pickups - notably Cammalleri and Gomez.


pk subban

I have watched all of their playoff games and witnessed them improbably coming back down 3-1 against Washington. Now they are giving Crosby, Malkin and the rest of Pittsburgh fits.

At the beginning of the playoffs there were a few players that I did not really know much about - Moore, Pouliot, Darche. I also did not know how much of a wizard their young defensive prospect PK Subban is skating and manuevering with the puck. Josh Gorges ability as a defensive defensive has been exposed to me.

One thing special about this team is that they are a total team effort. They are usually outshot, badly, blocking even more shots and waiting for their chances. Jaroslav Halak has been exceptional.

What makes the Canadiens wins even more phenomenal is that they have done so without their best defensemen - Jaroslav Spacek and Andrei Markov. In their absense, Hal Gill has stepped up his play along with the aforementioned Subban and Gorges.

They may advance further and they may not, but there is something special about this team.

Tressa does not care about hockey per se, but gets behind Montreal to support me : ) She is funny watching hockey with, getting into the game and shouting things like "no, no, no! you get away from the net"

And if they do win it all, then myself, Robert, Vince, David, Danny, Darryl, Elaine, Stephen and many others will be partying like it is 1993


Piper, Beryln's 2nd Birthday, Habs advancing

Robert's girlfriend Lisa gave birth to their first child, Piper Mikhal Aleksandra Danchilla at 11pm on April 24th. She is 6 pounds, 6 ounces and 15.5 inches long. Robert also says "she is ...1/4 Romanian 1/4 French 1/8 Scottish, 1/8 German, 1/8 Swedish, 1/8 English... 100% Canadien... has already brought good luck to Halak". Mother and child are both healthy. Congratulations!

Pipes!

Berlyn celebrated her second birthday (April 23rd) on April 24th. Her grandparents, auntie, 2/4 uncles and others were on hand. Despite being sick with chest congestion, she was lively and mostly in good spirits.

Tonight, April 28th, the Montreal Canadiens completed their comeback against the Washington Capitals, becoming the first 8th seed ever to beat a 1st seed after being down 3-1 in a best of seven series. The game tonight was ridiculous. Halak stopped around 40 shots and the Canadiens as a team blocked about 40. They play the Penguins in round 2 and will aim to frustrate Crosby and Malkin like they did Oveckin, Backstrom and Semin - who had forty regular season goals and none in the playoffs.


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Words of Wisdom

When one teaches, two learn.

Robert Half

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TV On The Radio - Will Do

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