Saturday, February 19, 2005

Concert #1

At long last, we arrive at the pinnacle of my live musical experience. I know some of you were wondering who would fill this spot (one of you called me from work to ask). I should warn you: this will get quite sappy.

Spirit of the West at Grand Central, Ottawa; 17 March 1994

For many different reasons, SOTW rises to the top on this particular occasion (of all the many times I've seen them - I can think of 6 shows right away). The opening act, Feeding like Butterflies, was stellar. A mix of eclectic folk-rock that captured my musical persona at the time. One can't go wrong with flute and accordian alongside guitar, bass and drums. Their "John in His Earthsuit" is one of my prized CDs.

SOTW live is always a treat. There isn't much artistry or polish but they are energetic and earnest. They simply offered their music and in doing so, themselves; it was one of the rare moments a band relates directly to and touches the audience. (Or it might just be me having built up this experience into something more than it truly was. But that does not make it any less significant for me now).

The clincher was the special person who was my date that St. Pat's night so long ago. The budding long-distance romance that was Shelley and I added one more wonderful experience to our shared lives.

Bonus features: after the show, we met the band for the first time; they were appreciative and obliging. Ah, St. Paddy's in a pub with a motley crew of my Canadian idols!

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