Oh, the Olympics. As much as I dislike them and their waste of money, I can not deny the massive amounts of free shows and other enjoyable events that have come because of them. Here are some highlights. I'll try to keep them brief, but we all know how that usually turns out.
Sunday, Feb 14
Despite going to see two shows, I didn't get to actually witness any live music, which was kind of disappointing. Because someone was running late, we didn't get to Livecity Yaletown for Mother Mother until the line was well passed the alleged half-hour mark. So we said nuts to this, and found a perch on a fence across the street where is sounded just fine, and a big screen was in view. Aside from some issues with levels -- which you would think would be slightly important for a band with harmonies like Mother Mother -- it sounded almost perfect. Every once in a while it would sound a little muffled, but
And even from across the street, Hayloft, which seems to be the favourite of a lot of people (me included) sounded killer.
After which we raced on down to Livecity Downtown for Elliott BROOD. The line moved quite quick and we were inside after only ten minutes, just as they were starting. However, the lineup was just to get into the pavilion or whatever. Inside there was ANOTHER line (Yo dawg, I heard you like waiting...) to get into this pretty small building where the band was actually playing. But outside there was a giant screen, so we ended up just watching them on that. It was still decent, and as great as it was to see Elliott BROOD "live" again, it just wasn't the same. Especially when they handed out the specially made, custom maple leaf'd baking sheets with the wooden spoons for everyone to play along to "This Valley Town" & "Write It All Down For You" to. They threw in a few covers, CCR and Neil Young before ending perfectly with "Miss You Now", which was dedicated to Dan Mangan.
Monday, Feb 15
After finding out the line for Sloan at Atlantic Canada House was insane, I went with plan b, which was to head down to the O Zone in Richmond for Jenn Grant & Kathleen Edwards. And boy, am I glad I did. Grant was on first, and I admit I hadn't heard much from her other than whatever is played on R3. But she was pretty good with her folk-y pop sounds and made a fan out of me. I should also mention before she went on, the trickle of rain turned into a full-on downpour and didn't stop until, of course, Kathleen Edwards was done.
And then Kathleen Edwards was up, Peruvian poncho and all. I hadn't seen her live before, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but damn was she good. Her band, which includes the great Jim Bryson, was firing on all cylinders, despite needing to warm up their hands between (and sometimes during) songs. There were more than a few songs that ended with the the whole band rocking out, but "The Cheapest Key" was definitely a highlight of the night.
Despite the soaking rain, I am really glad I ended up at that show, and now can't wait to see Edwards again.
Wednesday, Feb 17 - Morning (Non musical, but too awesome not to mention)
Stephen. Freaking. Colbert. That's right, The Colbert Report hit Vancouver for two days of taping, and even though I had to get up at 6:30 to get down to Science World, it was more than worth it. There was a huge line already at 7:45, but that kind of ended up as an epic failure as around 9 they let people in to the field and there was a mad dash toward the stage.
It wasn't a whole show; he taped the intro and a couple of good byes, did a "better know a riding" with the South Vancouver MP Ujjal Dosanjh (which he intro'd, then was played for our benefit on a couple tv screens no one could see). After he did three interviews: Michael Buble, The captain of the Miracle on Ice team and Bob Costas.
The crowd was awesome, and was chanting everything -- when Colbert said we were starting to seem like chanting whores... we chanted "chanting whores". At some point a chant of "Ride the Moose" started, and persisted a few times, to the point where Colbert worked it in to the Costas intro... and then had him actually ride the moose. It was all sorts of awesome. Hopefully most of it makes it on air for his shows next week, which is the Olympic spotlights.
That is all for now. Stay tuned for part two, where I will have tales of Karkwa, wherever I end up tonight, Arkells and my major decision between seeing Sam Roberts, Coeur de Pirate & Arkells Downtown... or Said The Whale, Mother Mother & Hey Ocean in Surrey.
There'll also be a full review of the Hey Rosetta! & Stars show.