One Night in Canadian Rock ‘n’ Roll. I swear, this shit just does not happen to people!
Except it did!
After being stuck at work for faaaar too long, I raced down to the Red Room hoping that the tickets I had to see the Armchair Cynics and the Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir would still get me into the club.
While I did arrive about halfway through the AC’s first song, there were no worries about getting in – the club was dead. Which was perfect. No being hassled or jostling for position. Just the ability to check out the band and appreciate the music, which is just the way I like it.
After the Armchair Cynics’ set, I meandered over to the merchandise table to pick up their CDs and a t-shirt (since they’re who I really showed up to see anyway), and chatted up a couple of them. This is where the night started getting amazingly cool. The guys in the band are SO. DAMN. NICE. They actually engaged in conversation, and personalized my CD covers (instead of just scrawling their names). Then Kenn (the lead singer) started to, in a very controlled and subdued way, FREAK THE HELL OUT.
Who was in the club to see Hugh Dillon but GORD FUCKING DOWNIE. So of course Kenn dug out a Tragically Hip CD from his stuff and asked Gord to sign it. Then I gathered up every ounce of courage I had, and tried to suppress the giant fangirl inside, and walked over to him. I shook his hand. I shook Gord Downie’s hand. And I told him I adored his music. And I told him to “just stand there and look pretty” while I captured the moment with my cameraphone (BEST. INVENTION. EVER!) for posterity.
Once I came down from that particular high, I watched Hugh Dillon et al perform for a bit, wasn’t really drawn in terribly much by them (great music – but not so much my taste), said goodbye to AC guitarist Adam at the merchandise table, and made my way out of the club. I spotted Kenn and bassist Aran with some other guy a short ways down the alley next to the club, so I wandered down to say “hi/bye/thanks again” for signing the CD and being so darned nice. Kenn introduced me to Aran, and their friend (and producer now that I look at the CD jacket) Dave Genn. You may know him better as the guitarist for 54.40 (whom I saw a few weeks ago!).
The four of us commisserated over a bit of BC’s finest for about half an hour, at which point we hugged and parted ways as the guys went back into the club, and I floated back to my car and home.
It’s hours later. I’m still buzzing. Not just from the drugs.
THIS is why I love Vancouver and live music in small venues. You never know what’s going to happen or who might show up!