Song of the Day: Wham! - Last Christmas or the Jimmy Eat World Cover of it
So last night was the most surreal concert going experience ever! I've been to a number of shows I don't mind telling you, but last night was definitely something very memorable. The Lineup was as follows:
Opener No. 1: Circa Survive
Opener No. 2: Thrice
Headliner: My Chemical Romance
Like the kool kats that we are, Kerni, Matt, Johny, and myself made a late entrance to an area full of pre-teen/teen meat and purposely missing the majority of Circa Survive's set (I'm sure it was fantastic) . For a second I could have sworn I had entered my high school dance again, but this time I didn't consume and alcohol. So after being ushered to our seats by a John Labatt Centre representative, we were set to watch a rock show from a comfy seat high up in the rafters in and about the 310 section of the area. First of all, I felt weird sitting down at a rock show, but I had prepared myself for this and the oodles of hyper teenaged girls with their high pitched voices cocked and ready to scream at their rockstar hunk on stage. Being that this was a general admission event, we expected to be one of the older folk in the crowd. Luckily for us, there was a parent sitting near us to take the attention away from the 4 old dudes with glasses and facial hair.
So the reason the four of us put ourselves into this situation... to see thrice; one of the most technical progressive rock bands around. A very tight band who pull out all the stops to entertain the crowd with their music! No gimmicks or fancy stage effects, just rock. It sucks that I missed their last headlining tour for "the Artist and the Ambulance", but I wanted to make sure I saw them again just in case they broke up. I wouldn't want that to happen again, where one of my person favourite bands break up bbefore I see them. Anyways, the set was relatively short (as expected). I wished they could have played "To Awake and Avenge the Dead". I would have air guitared to the max!
As the lights illuminated the sea of kids scrambling to the exits after the Thrice set, my nose picked up the smell of tuna, vinegar, pizza and chicken fingers. Low and behold, this show also served food! This totally blew my mind, as I've never been to a one day show where food was sold. Alcohol or water is okay, but chicken fingers and fries?!?!?! It's a rock show man! Eat at home and sweat away the pounds at the show! I'm sure you could have gotten chicken pot pies or lasagna if you wanted to...
Okay, so to the headliner: My Chemical Romance. First off, the band is obsessed with the dead to the sense they are glamourizing death and the whole process around the mourning of the deceased. I wonder is enrollment of mortician courses have increased and if so, what stake did My Chemical Romance have in popularizing this occupation? Anyways, like any typical pop/punk band, there were circle pits, sign-alongs, hand motions. But to the eye of the four of us, the way the MCR vocalist orchestrated the whole set was far too textbook begging the question of authenticity. It was as if the vocalist had a checklist of things to do and say onstage. For instance, "Wave your hands in the air, wave 'em like you just don't care". Okay, I would expect this at a Kool Moe Dee concert back in the late eighties, but man this was a rock punk show in the new millennium! Also, the I could not tolerate the excessive cursing that was taking place. This was a crowd of bewildered kids whose admiration and devotion for the rockstar on stage is at an all-time high. I know cursing can sometimes emphasize a point, especially of a pop/punk/punk persuasion, but this guys just milked the cow on this. F* ck this, f*ck that, like c'mon man, it loses it's edge after the second time you used it to get the crowd going. Mind you, there was no need to get the crowd going,as these kids had already consumed and average of 3 sodas, 2x slices of pizza, and a basket of fries and chicken fingers and ready to burn off those calories. As for the music, it wasn't bad. Not my cup of tea, but the guitar riffs where decent with some qualifying for arena-rock status. So after, about 20 minutes playing of me playing Akronoid, the show was drawing to an end. At this point, the band decided to shock the crowd by playing an unreleased track! Yet again, keeping to a checklist of things to do as a rockstar. Man, did jaws drop when this was announced. If I was a 14-year old pimp faced high schooler (I spend most of my time wishing I was), I'd be pretty psyched for this. Anyways, the band plays the song, repeating the chorus several times. Matt happened to chime in and sing Last Christmas over the chorus, which was hilarious because it was the exact same melody as Last Christmas. I can only wonder if George Michael would quit his daytime job of public washroom indecency, he's be furious that someone is ripping him off. We all had quite the chuckle much to the chagrin of MCR. Anyways, the set was good if you liked the music, but we collectively thought the presentation of MCR was all too textbook for our liking. Sincerity was lacking here.
Overall, I felt that I had aged myself by being there, but for the few who dared to enter this scenario were treated to a great performance by Thrice and MCR too if that's your thing.
Next week, Brantford's own The Vermicious Knid play their last show in Waterloo at the GradHouse - Thursday December 8 before calling it quits. Come out, it's on the Southside of U of W campus! I'm already practicing my dance moves for this one. So if you go, come protected, as the karate chops and roundhouses will be a blazin' Chuck Norris style!