Saturday, November 12, 2011

Repost: Great Big Sea Concert

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Oh the night that Paddy Murphy died, is a night I'll never forgetSome Vancouver girls got loaded drunk, and they ain't got sober yet...

Well okay. That's not exactly what you'd call true. But being drunk would really explain how, at the ripe old age of 41, I ended up standing at a stage door, in FEBRUARY, handing my ticket stub over to a musician whose name I didn't even know so that he could sign it.

I hooked up with some people from the GBS Kitchen Party (online messageboard) and one of them was attending her first concert ever. It is a right of passage that you have to stand at the stage door on your first concert. So off we all went. We were there for about a half an hour before 2 of the band members came out. Not being one to usually hang out at the stage door, I didn't have anything for them to sign until someone suggested my ticket stub. I handed it over, got it signed and then promptly smudged the signature. We waited around a bit for the other band members but the people I was with had to get up early to catch a ferry to the next concert the next day. I was home by midnight.

What about the concert itself you ask?

By mid afternoon there was some question as to whether there was even going to be a concert. The band’s tour bus had tipped over just outside Abbotsford (about 80 kilometres away.) No one was injured but the incident did prompt Alan Doyle (lead singer) to open the show with “We’re glad to be here. I mean it. We’re REALLY glad to be here!”

One of the things that I like about GBS, besides the music, is that the band members all seem to be outgoing and funny. There’s a lot of banter (in Newfoundlander accents) through the show. I had one of those “When Fandoms Collide” moments. Alan commented that they were just “in it for the money” and that was why they’d just released a CD of Newfoundland “sea shanties.” “Ca-Ching!” said he. He then had a conversation with Sean McCann that went like this:

Alan: They wanted us to play the Grammys but we said no, we want to play Vancouver.
Sean: U2 has to end. They can’t go on forever.
Alan: Dem bastards are good.

The concert lasted about 2 and a half hours with an intermission. The first set could be called “acoustic” where they played more traditional songs with traditional instruments. Most of the “sea shanties” were in the first half. Alan warned the audience that in the second half they would be playing whatever they wanted. That turned out to be true when they turned into the GBS Karaoke Band. They’d start a song and the audience would sing. I hear they do this regularly with different songs at each show. Last night the selections were: “Summer of 69” by Bryan Adams, “Jesse’s Girl” by Rick Springfield and “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by The Eurythmics. 80s night obviously.

The rest of the evening was full of dancing, clapping and singing. By the end of the show my hands were sore and my throat hurt. I enjoyed myself. The only down point was when I found out I couldn’t by a t-shirt because they didn’t take VISA and I didn’t have enough cash. Bum. I guess I’ll have to wait and get one online.

Surfing around the internet I found some cool pictures. Great Big Sea played Barenaked Ladies for a 2002 Junos (Canada’s Grammys) celebrity street-hockey game in St.John’s, Newfoundland. Those are my two favorite Canadian bands. Here are the pics:

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Here are a couple of links you might find interesting:

The Official GBS Site
Check out some Newfoundland accents

Have a GRAND day!

BTW the musician's name was Murray Foster. He's the bass player. I also got an autograph from Bob Hallett who sings and plays guitar and other instruments.

Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

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