After months of anticipation, I caught Spoon at the Sound Academy in Toronto last night, and was without a doubt, pretty much blown away.
I picked up the Danno in P-tang after work, after checking numerous times to make sure that I had tickets, wallet, bank card (a mid-day drive back to Vic Harbs ensured that I did indeed have the plastic-money-card) etc etc, because let's face it, I forget shit. ALL. THE. TIME. We made pretty decent time if I do say so myself and I managed to navigate the 401 and the Don Valley Parkway without any minor coronary episodes. When it's not rush hour, I enjoy driving the DVP, since when you're not bumper to bumper it can be quite scenic in places. Driving along I tend to find myself overwhelmed by some of the bridges that pass over this stretch of road, if only for their sheer age and immensity. The Bloor street viaduct is kind of awe-inspiring and depressing at the same time. The high screens that stretch from one end of the valley to the other are a stark reminder that enough people chose this particular bridge from which to shuffle off the mortal coil (probably due to the heavy traffic and insane heights) that it actually necessitated the erection of these high screens to prevent precisely those sorts of 'Go-big-or-go-home' type self-inflicted deaths.
Prince Edward aka Bloor Street Viaduct
There's another bridge along this road that just intimidates and awes the hell out of me, but I can't remember what it's called. It's one or two exits north of the bridge above and every time I drive under it I get little shivers. The sheer expanse combined with the almost ancient looking pillars plunging into the valley below always make me think of the capability of humankind to create these magnificent things of beauty and function, especially in bygone eras where we relied on craftsmanship, skill and effort rather than technology to build and create.
In the past I'd considered a career in architecture but I think I'd probably be better suited to art history. I have a great interest in buildings and structures of old, but little to no interest in creating new.
Onwards and upwards. I gotta admit, I'm running on about 3.5 hours sleep, and I've had a vaguely disturbing evening that I won't get into here, so having rambled on about bridges, I'm afraid the concert portion may be a bit.. erm.. condensed? Abridged? Haha.
We got to Toronto without incident and met up with my other friend Eric. The Sound Academy is a pretty wicked venue so far as clubs go. It's located on Toronto's waterfront, near the Distillery district, and appears that it was probably some sort of industrial building at some point. About four to five different bars scattered through out the building, which resulted in very short wait times for drinks.
Oh, a short rant towards concert merchants. Carry Women's style t-shirts in Large. We're out there. You will sell them. Or, if I ask for a woman's large, LIE. Say you had some but they are sold out. Don't make me feel like a flippin' freak because I have too much dignity to squeeze myself into a medium, by saying 'Oh we just don't have large.'
The opening band, a kind of rockabilly type group called the Strange Boys, played a pretty enjoyable set. The vocals left a bit to be desired, and the last song kind of sucked with its repeated line of "I've got my parents Pinto" but otherwise it was a pretty strong performance. They alluded to having been until recently unable to enter Canada legally. I'm guessing this is less to do with criminal records and ties to terrorist groups than it is about taking minors across the border, as none of these kids looked a day over 16.
Between sets I was lucky enough to discover a sort of lounge area decorated with assorted tables and tall stools, disco balls and white leather couches. There were also screens provided so that you could watch the concert without having to watch the concert. Which is good, because although the second openers, DeerHunter, were tolerable enough, they really didn't inspire me to want to stand in a crowd for 20-40 minutes of their set.
Oh Spoon. What can I say? If you have not had a chance to listen to them, do it. If you have heard them, and you get a chance to see them live, do it. I'm not familiar with their entire repertoire, so there were a lot of songs played I didn't know, but all were enjoyable, and I was happy that I got to hear my two favorite tracks from the album I am familiar with, Ga Ga Ga Ga, Rhythm and Soul and Don't you Evah, respectively.
Managed to get home from Toronto in the dark with my lousy sense of direction without too much mishap, which is always a good thing.