Thursday, November 15, 2007


I had a big long post about the Mookie, but blogger mangled the last half. It may make an appearance in some form. We'll see. It's down below now.

Anyway. Despite being picked by 2 or 3 people who obviously haven't been reading, I didn't make the Riverchasers tonight. I'd been saying all week I wasn't. Which is why the Mookie and MATH were key for me.

A got a call a couple of weeks ago from a friend.

"Hey, my company is having a secret concert at the Air Canada Centre. I can bring a guest, want to go?"

"Sure. Who's playing?"

"That's the secret part."

"It better not be Nickelback."

"If it is, we can leave."

So then the rumours started. It was John Mayer. Okay, I could leave then. Then some strong names started being mentioned, and they were confirmed before showtime. Especially with T-shirts being sold.

The Air Canada Centre, for those who don't know, is the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Toronto Raptors. Big arena. Big company to rent it out for a concert.

We arrived, took our seats, and were told the show would start in 10 minutes. 2 minutes later the lights went out and the first act started. A lone voice says, "We're the Tragically Hip."

Awesome. They do a great show. I posted about one a while back. This one was shorter and less intimate (14,000 people can do that). They mixed new with old and still put on a great show. Gord Downie sweat up a storm, but wore black this time. That's a good thing.

After their set the lights came on and the crew went to work. A quick trip to grab some drinks and we were back as the lights went down. During the break, a blimp floated over the crowd with the name of the headliners on it. Just in case anybody hadn't heard or seen the merch.

A screaming guitar riff tore through the air. Lightning fingers tore down the frets. The black curtain dropped as the lights flared to life, and the opening chords to "You Really Got Me" brought the crowd to its feet. Mr. David Lee Roth waved the giant red flag while Eddie, Alex, and Wolfgang Van Halen did their thing. VAN FUCKING HALEN.

Nothing like a second stop in Toronto to play a private corporate show on your way to from NY to LA.

And they rocked. A few extra deviations from script (or so they claimed... a brief cover of The Who's "Magic Bus" was interesting), a killer solo from Alex, and another from Eddie (who screwed up and apologized to the crowd as he hadn't "played this in years".) But in the end, seeing The Hip and Van Halen live for free is pretty awesome in itself.

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